When traveling to Greece, it’s important to know how to handle your cash. Avoid unexpected fees at ATMs and when exchanging money.
Whether you’re watching the sunset in Santorini or eating a delicious gyro in Athens, understanding your finances can make your trip smoother. This guide will help you use ATMs in Greece and manage cash with ease, so you can focus on enjoying your trip.
Let’s make sure you spend wisely!
Understanding the Euro in Greece
In Greece, the euro is the money you’ll use every day. It’s the currency used by all countries in the Eurozone, including Greece. This is great because the Euro is accepted everywhere and it’s stable, which means its value doesn’t change too much. You’ll need euros to buy things, pay for services and really enjoy your holidays in Greece.
It’s important to understand how exchange rates work. It matters when you withdraw cash from an ATM or pay with your card. Always check the exchange rate to make sure you don’t lose money when you change money. Although you can’t buy things with dollars or other non-euro currencies, you can easily get euros from ATMs throughout Greece.
Using Greek ATMs
When you visit Greece, you’ll notice that it’s easy to find ATMs, especially in cities and places where tourists go. These ATMs come in handy when you need cash quickly. Here’s how to use them without any problems:
- Watch out for extra charges: Some ATMs may charge you more to withdraw money. Look for any extra fees before you complete your transaction.
- Know how much you can withdraw: There is a limit to how much money you can withdraw each day and it’s different for each bank. Make sure you know your bank’s rules to avoid unexpected limits.
- Keep your information safe: Always hide your PIN and be aware of who’s around you when you withdraw money from an ATM.
Remember to always choose to be charged in Euros when using an ATM in Greece. This will avoid extra charges from the bank for converting your money from one currency to another. It’s a good idea to withdraw enough cash in one transaction to reduce the number of times you’ll be charged a fee.
Check your bank’s foreign transaction fees before you go, and let them know you’re traveling so they don’t accidentally block your card. Check with your home bank whether they offer any cards that do not charge these fees. Some banks, like Charles Schwab, even reimburse all ATM fees.
It’s also worth noting that while cash is still used in Greece, the use of cards has become more common, even in local kiosks on street corners. Therefore, you may not need to withdraw as much cash as you might expect. However, it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand, especially when visiting rural areas where ATMs might be less available.
Exchanging Foreign Currency
Using ATMs is a convenient way to get euros, but you can also exchange your money at a bank or exchange office while you’re in Greece. These places are easy to find in tourist areas and major cities. Bureaux de change are businesses that specialize in exchanging different types of money.
It’s important to pay attention to the exchange rate because it determines how many euros you’ll end up with. Since these rates change every day, the amount you can get may be different each time. It’s a good idea to compare rates at different places to see who gives you the most for your money. Keep in mind that you may also have to pay a commission, which will affect how much you get in the end.
Exchanging currency is usually easy, but you should always check rates and fees to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Also, plan your exchange for when banks are open, as many may be closed late at night or on holidays.
Practical money tips
When you’re in Greece, it’s wise to be aware of how much you’ll be charged for using ATMs and when to exchange money. Here’s how to make sure you get the most out of your money:
- Be smart about ATMs: Different ATMs charge different fees. Try to use ATMs at well-known banks – they usually have lower fees.
- Withdraw cash smartly: Withdrawing larger sums of money less often can save you fees. This means planning ahead for how much cash you’ll need.
- Know your bank’s rules: Ask your bank about foreign transaction fees so you don’t get hit with surprise charges.
- Keep in mind that Greek ATMs may charge a flat fee for using a foreign card, typically ranging from 2 to 4 euros.
- Most ATMs accept a wide range of cards, including Visa, Mastercard, and American Express
Remember that it’s not just the local ATM fees that matter, but also what your home bank will charge you for withdrawing money abroad. These fees can quickly eat into your spending money. Also, check the exchange rates; if they’re good, it might be wise to get a little more local currency.
Have a backup method of payment. Bring an extra card and some emergency cash. That way, you’ll be prepared for anything and can enjoy your trip to Greece without financial worries.
The Eurozone and Greece
If you’re getting ready to visit Greece, you should know that you’ll be using Euros to pay for everything. The Euro is the common currency for countries in the Eurozone, which includes Greece. This is handy because it means that the money you have will work not only in Greece, but in other parts of Europe as well.
The European Central Bank is in charge of the euro and works to keep it stable. This is important to you because it affects how much you can buy with your money. Remember that the value of the Euro can change against other currencies, which can make things more or less expensive for you while you’re in Greece.
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different euro notes and coins in case you need to buy something like a coffee in Athens or withdraw cash from an ATM. Although Greece has had some economic problems and there was talk of them leaving the Eurozone, that didn’t happen. Greece still uses the Euro, so that’s the money you’ll need there.
Remember to check out the best places to exchange your money to get more bang for your buck, and enjoy your trip to Greece with the ease of using a widely accepted currency!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any specific times or days when ATMs in Greece may be unavailable or run out of cash?
When you’re in Greece, it can sometimes be difficult to get cash from ATMs. This can happen on national holidays or during strikes when banks are closed.
Also, ATMs in busy tourist areas often run out of cash on weekends because of the number of people using them. To avoid problems, it’s a good idea to carry some extra cash in euros.
You should also know where to find a few different ATMs, just in case one is out of cash. Keep an eye on the local news so you know if anything happens that could affect ATMs.
That way, you won’t be surprised if you can’t get money when you need it.
Can I deposit cash or checks into my foreign bank account at Greek ATMs?
You may be wondering if you can use ATMs in Greece to deposit cash or checks into your bank account from your home country. Unfortunately, while it’s easy to withdraw euros from these machines, you usually can’t deposit money into international accounts at Greek ATMs.
Instead, you’ll need to use other methods to add funds to your account, such as using your home bank’s mobile app or going to a bank branch in person.
It’s a good idea to check with your bank to see what methods they offer for managing your money while abroad.
What should I do if I come across a counterfeit euro note while in Greece?
If you come across a counterfeit euro note while in Greece, stay calm and follow these steps.
First, report it to the local police – they’ll tell you what to do next. Remember, it’s against the law to use counterfeit money, so don’t try to spend it.
If you do receive cash, take extra care to check it for authenticity, especially in crowded places where counterfeit notes are more common. It’s important to do this because you won’t get your money back if you end up with a counterfeit note.
Always be careful when receiving money to avoid loss.
What are the safety precautions one should take when using ATMs in Greece, especially in tourist-heavy areas?
When using an ATM in Greece, especially in places where many tourists go, it’s important to follow certain safety steps to protect your money.
- Always be alert and hide your PIN from view when entering it.
- Choose ATMs that aren’t isolated and be sure to look around to stay aware of who’s nearby.
- Before using an ATM, inspect it for any strange devices attached that could steal your card information, known as skimming.
- For the highest level of safety, use ATMs located inside bank branches while they’re open.
- If anything about the ATM looks or feels wrong, don’t hesitate to reach out to the bank right away.
By being careful, you can avoid theft and make sure your ATM transactions are secure.
For example, when you go to enter your PIN, you can use your other hand to shield the keypad. This simple action can prevent someone from seeing your PIN over your shoulder. Also, ATMs inside banks are often monitored by security cameras, adding an extra layer of protection.
If you’re ever unsure about using an ATM, it’s better to find another one than to risk your safety. Remember, taking these precautions can keep your bank account and your trip worry-free.
Are there any restrictions on the amount of cash that can be withdrawn per day from Greek ATMs?
In Greece, the amount of money you can take out from an ATM each day has a limit. This limit can change depending on which bank you’re using and what kind of account you have.
Usually, you’re allowed to withdraw up to €600 every day. If you’re using a bank card from another country, the amount you can withdraw might be set by the bank that gave you the card.
To avoid any unexpected issues, it’s a good idea to talk to your bank before you go to Greece.
How does the currency conversion work when withdrawing euros from a non-euro denominated account at a Greek ATM?
If you take out Euros from a Greek ATM with a bank account that’s not in Euros, the ATM will convert the amount you withdraw to Euros at a certain rate. This rate is usually higher than what banks use between themselves and they call this extra cost a markup. You might also have to pay extra fees to your bank and maybe even the ATM owner.
To avoid any shocks, it’s a good idea to look up the conversion rate and any fees before you take out money. When you’re at the ATM, it will show you the rate it’s going to use and ask you to agree to it before it gives you the money. This way, you know exactly what the withdrawal will cost you.
For example, if your home bank charges a 3% foreign transaction fee and the ATM charges another 2%, you should be aware of these costs when taking out 100 Euros, as you’ll incur an additional 5 Euros in fees. Checking with your bank for a partnership with Greek banks or looking for ATMs with lower fees could save you money.
Always remember to confirm the transaction only after you’ve seen and understood the conversion rate on the ATM screen.
Are there any cultural taboos or etiquette related to handling or discussing money in Greece that tourists should be aware of?
In Greece, you should be careful about how you handle money. It’s not polite to show your money in public. Also, don’t ask people how much money they make or have; it’s not polite. If you spend money, do it quietly and without showing off.
You don’t have to tip, but if someone gives you good service, they’ll appreciate it. Being respectful with money is part of showing respect for the Greek culture, which values modesty and politeness in all aspects of life.
How do I get a VAT refund in Greece if I’m a tourist making large purchases?
If you’re visiting Greece and you buy a lot of things, you can get money back for Value Added Tax (VAT). To do this, shop in places that have a Tax Free Shopping sign. When you buy something, ask the shop for a Tax-Free form, fill it in with your details and make sure you have your passport and receipts for your purchases.
Before you leave the European Union, go to customs at the airport and show them these documents. They will have to stamp your form.
With the stamped form, you can either get your refund at the airport refund desk or, if you don’t have much time, you can mail the form when you get home and have the refund credited to your card.
Getting this refund is important because it can save you money – VAT can be a significant portion of your purchase price. Remember to keep all your paperwork organized and don’t wait until the last minute at the airport, as it may take some time to get the stamp. And if you’re planning to do a lot of shopping, it may be helpful to use a specific credit card for these purchases to make it easier to track refunds.