What you need to know about payments in Moscow

What is the national Russian currency. Is it possible to pay in dollars and euros in Moscow. Where can I pay by a card. Where can I withdraw cash from the card

1. What is the national Russian currency?

Russia uses the Russian ruble as its national currency. Official exchange rates are available on the website of the Central Bank of Russia.

2. Do I need to exchange my money to Russian rubles before my trip?

It is not necessary to change money to Russian rubles before the trip. It is enough to have US dollars or euros in cash or a Visa or Mastercard card with the amount of money you need. In Moscow, you can exchange cash for rubles or withdraw money from your card.

Important! If you are going to withdraw cash from a card or pay by it in Russia, contact your bank before coming here and warn them about your plans, it will help your bank not consider your transactions on the card suspicious and therefore not block it.

3. Are dollars or euros accepted in Moscow?

No. In Russia, including Moscow, only Russian rubles are accepted for payment.

4. What kind of banknotes and coins currently circulate in Russia?

Currently in circulation in Russia are Rubles and kopecks (1 ruble = 100 kopecks).

The ruble comes in the following banknotes:

  • 10 rubles;
  • 50 rubles;
  • 100 rubles;
  • 200 rubles;
  • 500 rubles;
  • 1000 rubles;
  • 2000 rubles;
  • 5000 rubles.

Coins exist in the following form:

  • 1 kopeck;
  • 5 kopecks;
  • 10 kopecks;
  • 50 kopecks;
  • 1 ruble;
  • 2 rubles;
  • 5 rubles;
  • 10 rubles.

5. Where can I exchange money in Moscow?

You can exchange currency for rubles and back anywhere in Moscow — from airports and the city center to remote districts. You will find the best exchange rates in the city center. At airports and on the outskirts, as a rule, the rate will be less favorable.

You can change your currency at bank branches and currency exchange offices. As a rule, there is a signboard "Обмен валюты" ("Сurrency exchange") at the entrance to the currency exchange office. Information about currency exchange rates is inside bank or exchange offices.

Important! The exchange rate can depend on the amount of currency to be exchanged. In addition, some currency exchange offices charge a fee for currency exchange transaction. Therefore, it is better to ask in advance how many rubles you will receive in exchange for the amount of your currency.

6. Where in Moscow can I pay by plastic cards?

In Moscow, you can pay by card almost everywhere: in all tourist places, souvenir shops, shopping centers and large stores. It is not in every cafe, restaurant, and small grocery store that you can use your card. The further away you are from the center, the more likely you will need cash.

Please note: if you pay by card in Moscow restaurants, waiters sometimes are trying to take your card away and make payment in a terminal themselves. To minimize the risk of fraud, you should go along with the waiter and make payment in the terminal, without letting the card out of your hands. However, more often waiters bring the card terminal to the table.

The most widespread payment systems are Visa and Mastercard. Some places accept American Express, Diners Club, JCB, China UnionPay, but they are very few.

7. Where can I withdraw cash from the card?

You can withdraw cash from the card at ATMs. It is safest to withdraw money from ATMs located inside bank branches — the chance of becoming a victim of card fraudsters will be much lower. 

Please note: almost no major Russian bank charges a fee for cash withdrawal, but your bank may do it.

Also, cash withdrawal limits from "other-issuer" cards vary from bank to bank, so sometimes it makes sense to look for your bank’s ATM nearby.

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