Sunday, June 20, 2010

russian currency?

So for those that have traveled to Russia, should we convert some of our money at the airport into Rubles? Do the stores take American dollars and/or credit cards? We are taking a bunch of cash (we marks, tears, etc...), but wanted to check if we should take out Russian currency as well. Thoughts? Thanks!

we are getting we are praying that the Visas come in on Wed and we get the final paperwork back so I (Randy) can go get them Apostilled! thanks everyone!


Jeanette said...

Most restaurants and stores will take credit cards, but you should get some rubles. We got them over there. Our hotel had a mini bank and we also went into several banks. I hear the airport isn't a good exchange rate. The shops on Old Arbat Street in Moscow will give you a better deal if you pay cash. Now, we didn't leave Moscow. I'm not sure what the situation is if you are going to a different region. You must be so excited and anxious right now!!! Looking forward to following along.

Shelly and Steve said...

The VMI takes credit cards.....small markets only take rubles and we needed rubles for some souvenier shopping. Our agency took us to exchange cash. Airports have terrible exchange rates so I would just wait for your agency driver to take you somewhere. Even on our layover in Korea the airport took credit cards. Its so exciting!!!!

Wendi and Terry said...

Don't exchange your cash at the airport - the exchange rate is not good. Have your agency take you to a bank or something similar. We used rubles for everything that we could - it's just safer. We used our credit card on Old Arbat at a really cute, nice store (I got carried away shopping and we didn't have enough rubles) and the store charged us twice for the transaction. Luckily we checked our account online (hubby was nervous using the credit card over there) and saw the double charge. We had to go back the next day to get it taken care of. And boy, did our agency rep give them heck!! So, my advice is use rubles unless you are at a big hotel or restaurant.

Have a great trip, can't wait to hear how it goes.

Russian Life said...

I am an American living full-time in Moscow. Wait until you get here to exchange your money. As everyone has said, do not exchange your money at the airport. The airport has the worst rate in Moscow. This is usually true of hotels. You can find places all over the city to exchange money. Avoid the places near or on Old Arbat street. They have terrible exchange rates and usually charge a fee too.
I usually avoid places where the sell and buy rate are close together. They have their fee built into their exchange rate. It is usually better to pay a flat fee. Also, the rate and fees will be higher outside of the major cities. I am not sure where you are going outside of Moscow.
I primarily use an ATM to get cash. Call you bank and see what their exchange rate is and transaction fee. You might have to pay a transaction fee too from the bank here, but ours are refundable.
Also, call you bank and tell them to make a note in your file you will be in Russia for x number of days. My credit card gets turned off every 90 days like clockwork when the note in my file expires. There is a lot of fraud here, so you have to be careful.
As someone else said, most places take credit cards. I use mine all the time - and probably due to Murphay's Law should not write this - have not had a problem. I buy everything with credit card (groceries, coffee, etc.). I always check my receipt very carefully to avoid extra or double charges. And, as someone else said, be careful on Old Arbat street. I can not say this enough! They will over charge you there or double run you. I speak Russian and they know I am local, so I do not have issues. You can bargin in all of the stores and always ask after a you negoiate a price "what is the cash price?".
You are welcome to e-mail if have any more question. My e-mail address is on my blog.
Best of luck! I love it when a Russian child is adopted has now has a chance at life.

Garc said...

You will also be able to find banks in Vladivostock to exchange money once you get to your hotel. We kept some rubles for Katerina's scrap books.