Travel money guide Czech Republic | finder.com

Travel money guide: The Czech Republic

We value our editorial independence, basing our comparison results, content and reviews on objective analysis without bias. But we may receive compensation when you click links on our site. Learn more about how we make money from our partners.

What you need to know about withdrawing and spending korunas in the Czech Republic.

The Czech Republic is a European Union member state, but like neighboring Poland, the Czech Republic does not use euros. The Czech Crown koruna is the national currency of the Czech Republic. Since the end of communism in 1989 and subsequent split with Slovakia in 1993, the Czech Republic has transformed into a modern European economy.

Like so many destinations in the region, westernization in recent years has lifted the living standards, monthly salaries and daily costs, which in turn has increased expenses for travelers. Although the Czech Republic is not as cheap as it used to be, with local know-how and a bit of travel savviness, your visit there doesn’t need to be expensive, either.

Our pick for travel

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • Earn 50K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine
  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3x points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit
  • 3x points on dining at restaurants and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
Read less
Read more
Promoted

Compare travel cards for the Czech Republic

When traveling to the Czech Republic or anywhere overseas, be sure you have a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. These small fees can add up quickly over the course of a vacation, but thankfully most strong travel cards will waive them while also offering great perks for your trip.

Updated December 15th, 2018
Name Product Currency Conversion Fee Annual Fee APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases
None
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.99% to 24.99% variable
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
None
$450
17.99% to 24.99% variable
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
None
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.74% to 26.74% variable
30,000 bonus miles after you use your new card to make $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
None
$250
See Rates & Fees
50,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months Rates & Fees
None
$0
17.74% to 26.74% variable
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & Fees

Compare up to 4 providers

Promoted
Travelex Money Card

Why we like: Travelex Money Card

Load GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD, JPY or MXN onto this prepaid travel money card and use it at millions of locations worldwide.

  • Not linked to your bank account for safety.
  • Convert currency with a 5.50% Foreign Exchange Fee
  • Contactless payments
  • Reload, withdraw, or replace your card for free.

    How much should I budget to travel in Czech Republic?

    Although the Czech Republic still enjoys a lingering reputation as a bargain destination, in reality prices have risen considerably in recent years. Travelers will still find it rather affordable in comparison to western European countries. Budget travelers can get around the city for as little as $40 a day, while midrange travelers should plan on budgeting $90 or more.

    Budget Midrange Expensive
    sleep

    Budget hostel

    $15–$25 per night

    2 star hotel

    $50 per night

    5 star hotel

    $200 per night

    food

    Trdelnik/ Kürtőskalács/ Kurtosh (Rolled Pastries)

    $2–$2.50

    Sausages

    $2

    Midrange restaurant

    $8–$20 per dish

    Degustation menu

    $100 a head

    noun_412539_cc Walk Charles Bridge —
    one of the most beautiful bridges
    in the world — at dawn or dusk
    Free
    Private guided
    walking tour of Prague
    Appr. $15 per hour (prices can vary depending
    on the size of your group)
    Prague communism
    and nuclear bunker tour
    $30 per person

    *Prices are approximate and based on summer seasonality and are subject to change.

    How to send money to Czech Republic

    Back to top

    Which should I opt for: travel card, debit card or credit card?

    People traveling to the Czech Republic will find that debit, credit and travel cards can be used throughout the country, especially in major cities such as Prague, Brno and Ostrava. Visa, Mastercard and American Express products can be used for purchases and at ATM machines (bancomats) for withdrawals.

    In Prague, cards are accepted at restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, retailers, train and metro stations. Bars and small eateries are cash only. Outside the capital and cities, you’ll need cash more often. Most Czech banks don’t charge ATM usage fees (non-bank affiliated ATMs generally will) so a product which waives the currency conversion fee and international ATM withdrawal fee is most suited for a trip to the Czech Republic.

    Travel money options for Czech Republic at a glance

    Travel money options Pros Cons
    Debit cards
    • Widely accepted in the Czech republic
    • Protected by PIN & chip
    • Directly linked to your bank account, which means not having to worry about being charged cash advance fees
    • Save on international ATM fees
    • If it’s stolen, thieves may have access to your funds since the card is linked to your bank account
    • No emergency funds available though a cash advance
    Prepaid travel money cards
    • Allow you to load money in multiple currencies
    • Secured by PIN & chip technology
    • Emergency card replacement and backup cards
    • Easily reloadable via a secure online platform
    • No travel cards allow you to load and spend in CZK
    • Reload fees could be high
    Credit cards for travel
    • Protected by PIN & chip
    • Accepted worldwide
    • Great for larger expenses such as booking hotel rooms as many won’t charge fees for currency conversion
    • Interest-free days when you pay your account in full
    • Emergency card replacement
    • Withdrawing cash can be considered a cash advance and can charge you fees and high interests
    • Attracts an annual fee
    Traveler’s checks
    • Easy to cash at banks and exchange offices in Prague and the Czech Republic
    • Secure and can be easily replaced if lost or stolen
    • Expect to be charged a commission when cashing your checks
    • You’ll pay a high commission
    Cash
    • Payment flexibility
    • Convenience
    • Difficult to manage expenses
    • Higher risk of theft

    This table is a general summary of the travel money products in the market. Features and benefits can vary between cards.

    How different travel money products work in the Czech Republic

    Using a debit card

    A travel friendly debit card provides a cheap way to buy things over the counter and make withdrawals from ATMs overseas. Look for debit cards that don’t charge for international ATM withdrawals and don’t charge a currency conversion fee. ATMs in the Czech Republic don’t charge a local ATM operator fee.

    According to a report published in the New Europe Investor, the Czech Republic is the number one country in the European Union for contactless card payments, so load your credit cards onto your smartphone for simple payments.

    • Tip: When you use your credit card or debit card to make a purchase or withdrawal in the Czech Republic, the Visa, Mastercard or American Express exchange rate is used for the transaction. This is the best rate consumers can access using a travel money product.

    Using a travel prepaid card

    Unfortunately, no US travel cards allow you to load and spend in Czech koruna.

    • Tip: Prepaid travel cards offer other benefits to travelers such as a separating your travel funds from your savings or line of credit and you get two cards when you open an account in case the first card is lost or stolen.

    Using a credit card

    Look for a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® that waives the fee for foreign transaction . This card features complimentary travel insurance when you charge your flight. It also protects you with anti-fraud guarantees. Avoid using your credit card to withdraw cash if possible. This will be considered a cash advance and will cost you a fee and will attract high interest immediately.

    • Tip: Credit cards allow you to make interest free purchases if you pay your account in full by the statement due date and some even offer a number of interest free days.

    Using a traveler’s checks

    Although traveler’s checks are not a popular way to carry funds to another country any more, traveler’s checks can be cashed at banks and exchange offices in Prague and the Czech Republic.

    • Tip: You can cash American Express travelers’s checks with no commission at the American Express exchange office in Wenceslas Square, Prague.

    Taking cash with you to Czech Republic

    While cards are widely accepted, there are a handful of times when you’ll need cash — markets, hole in the wall bars, small transactions at some stores and rural areas are all cash only.

    • Tip: Tipping is expected in Prague and the Czech Republic unless the service you got was extremely bad. Add 10% to 15% for good service — and leaving money on the table as a tip is considered rude.
    Back to top

    Greg’s trip through Central and Eastern Europe

    greg
    Greg visited the Czech Republic for the first time on his last trip to Europe. He started his trip in Prague and visited Kutna Hora, Plzen (the home of Pilsner!) and Cesky Krumlov.

    What cards did you take with you?

    Greg took these cards with him:

    Why did you take these cards?
    Greg used the Capital One 360 because he wanted to take advantage no international ATM fees. The Capital One 360 card also lets him spend overseas without paying extra for foreign transactions.

    He applied for the Barclaycard to get the 40,000 points for signing up and ended up using this account to pay for his flight so he could be covered by the complimentary international travel insurance feature.

    Where could you use your cards?
    There were a couple of times where he couldn’t use his card when he was having a beer at old town, but he could pay with his card when he went out to eat at restaurants and when he bought food from supermarkets and convenience stores.

    He says that he could use his card in less places in Cesky Krumlov and Kunta Hora than in Prague. He booked the Pilsner Urquell brewery tour online using his debit card and paid cash for beers when he was there.

    Did you make ATM withdrawals?
    When making a couple of ATM withdrawals in the Czech Republic, Greg said he could take out the koruna equivalent of around $275 (6,000CZK) each time, this limit varied from machine to machine, but 6000CZK was all he needed each transaction. Greg says he didn’t pay anything to withdraw from ATMs attached to banks in the Czech Republic.

    What’s your travel money recommendation?
    Greg says it’s worth the effort applying for the Barclaycard. The credit card worked everywhere he tried to use it, and he says you’ve got a lot to gain from being a Barclaycard member.

    Do you have any travel money tips?

    • Use cash. Greg says his Capital One 360 made it easy and cheap to withdraw cash. Using cash for the majority of his transactions meant he never gave a thought about how to pay when he sat down for a beer or a meal and it helped him feel a little bit more like a local.
    • Use the metro. Surprisingly, Greg says using the metro was a highlight of his trip. The metro in Prague is ridiculously efficient, cheap, easy to use and operates 24 hours a day. It even saved him a taxi fare from the airport.
    Back to top
    What is the official currency of the czech republic, the euro or the czech koruna?

    A full member of the European Union since 2004, The Czech Republic has yet to introduce the euro as the official currency. The euro acts as a kind of unofficial currency in the Czech Republic, often readily accepted, sometimes even more than cards. Unless you are sure of the exchange rate between the euros and the koruna, you should pay with koruna to be sure you get the best rate.

    Getting familiar with banknotes

    czech-republic-banknotes

    Buying Czech koruna in the US

    It is likely that your bank can sell you koruna before you travel. You can also buy koruna from Travelex and other foreign exchange providers in shopping centers and airports. The main difference between a provider like Travelex and your bank is that the bank fees are often much lower.

    • Tip: There’s no limit to the amount of cash you can bring into the Czech Republic. If you’re carrying more than the foreign currency equivalent of $10,000, you must declare your cash at customs when you arrive.

    Exchanging cash

    It is easy to get cash exchanged in Prague and all over the Czech Republic, even in smaller towns. Look for the word “valuty” meaning change. Some exchange places will charge a flat fee for the service and others will charge a commission.

    A commission is more suitable if you are changing a small amount of money and a fixed rate is better for larger amounts.

    Stay away from the exchange places in the Old Town, Wenceslas Square and other tourist centers as they often have poorer exchange rates and higher commission designed just for tourists. Banks generally charge two percent.

    • Tip: The best rates are usually around the main Railway station and some exchange offices are most reliable than others. Never change money on the street, avoid exchanging cash at the airport and using automatic exchange machines.

    Why you’ll need a combination of travel money options

    While emergency cash assistance from companies such as Visa and Mastercard can give you the money in your account if your card is lost or stolen, this request can take a up to a couple of days to process. Travel friendly debit cards combine some of the benefits of a travel card minus the fees. You might want to take a credit card so you can access an emergency line of credit — there will also be times when you’ll need to put down a credit card as a security deposit.

    Back to top

    Find travel insurance for your trip to Czech Republic

    If you are planning Czech adventure, make sure your vacation is protected against the unexpected, with the help of travel insurance. Travel insurance can provide you and your family with protection from the unknown. Situations protected by travel insurance include:

    • Lost luggage
    • Cancellations
    • Personal liability
    • Emergency medical and dental care
    • Lost or stolen travel documents
    Details Features
    Atlas Premium
    Atlas Premium
    Comprehensive coverage with higher limits and a range of additional benefits.
    • Trip cancellation: Not available
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $2,000,000
    • Baggage coverage: $1,000
    • Trip delay: $200/day up to $400
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Travel Max
    Travelex Travel Max
    The most comprehensive protection plan offered by Travelex. Offers optional Cancel For Any Reason upgrade.
    • Trip cancellation: 100% cost of trip
    • Emergency medical expenses: $100,000
    • Baggage coverage: $2,500
    • Trip delay: $1,000
    Go to site More info
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Essential
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Essential
    Coverage includes trip cancellation insurance, tourist health insurance and baggage insurance.
    • Trip cancellation: 100% cost of trip
    • Emergency medical expenses: $15,000
    • Baggage coverage: $750
    • Trip delay: $100/day up to $500
    Go to site More info
    STA Travel Standard International
    STA Travel Standard International
    Affordable coverage for the essentials needed when traveling outside of your home country.
    • Trip cancellation: Not available
    • Emergency medical expenses: $25,000
    • Medical evacuation & repatriation: $250,000
    • Trip delay: $100/day up to $250
    Go to site More info
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Preferred
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Preferred
    Increased limits of coverage, plus trip interruption insurance worth 150% of the trip cost.
    • Trip cancellation: 100% cost of trip
    • Emergency medical expenses: $50,000
    • Baggage coverage: $1,000
    • Trip delay: $200/day up to $1,000
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Cancel for Any Reason
    Travelex Cancel for Any Reason
    Not 100% sure you're going to make your trip? Cancel For Any Reason upgrade is available with the Travel Select plan.
    • Reimburses up to 75% of the insured trip cost
    • Must cancel within 48 hours before scheduled departure
    • Offered on trips with a maximum value of $10,000
    Go to site More info
    Atlas Travel
    Atlas Travel
    Customizable policy that balances between the basic essentials and premium coverage.
    • Trip cancellation: Not available
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $2,000,000
    • Baggage coverage: Up to $500
    • Trip delay: $100/day up to 2 days
    Go to site More info
    Seven Corners Trip Protection Insurance
    Seven Corners Trip Protection Insurance
    Comprehensive coverage for the cost of your trip, your medical expenses and your belongings.
    • Trip cancellation: 100% cost of trip
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $250,000
    • Baggage coverage: Up to $2,500
    • Trip delay: Up to $1,500
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Flight Insure Plus
    Travelex Flight Insure Plus
    Choose the coverage amount that meets your needs. Baggage and trip delay protection included.
    • Flight accident AD&D: Up to $1,000,000
    • Emergency medical expenses: $10,000
    • Baggage coverage: $1,000
    • Medical evacuation & repatriation: $100,000
    Go to site More info
    STA Travel Explorer Plus
    STA Travel Explorer Plus
    Premiere coverage for a range of travel mishaps with additional riders for sports and other leisure activities.
    • Trip cancellation: $3,000
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $100,000
    • Baggage coverage: $500/item up to $2,500
    • Trip delay: $200/day up to $1,000
    Go to site More info
    Allianz Domestic Travel Insurance
    Allianz Domestic Travel Insurance
    Make sure you're covered in case your planned trip unexpectedly goes awry.
    • Trip cancellation: $1,000
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $25,000
    • Baggage coverage: Up to $1,000
    • Trip interruption: Up to $1,500
    Go to site More info
    Allianz International Travel Insurance
    Allianz International Travel Insurance
    Customizable coverage that can give you peace of mind when traveling to popular or remote destinations.
    • Trip cancellation: $1,000
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $50,000
    • Baggage coverage: Up to $2,000
    • Trip interruption: Up to $1,500
    Go to site More info
    Don’t let accidents, illness or travel delays ruin your Czech vacation. Compare travel insurance policies today.Back to top

    Kyle Morgan

    Kyle Morgan is a producer for finder.com who has worked for the USA Today network and Relix magazine, among other publications. He can be found writing about everything from the latest car loan stats to tips on saving money when traveling overseas. He lives in Asbury Park, where he loves exploring new places and sipping on hoppy beer. Oh, and he doesn't discriminate against buffalo wings — grilled or fried are just fine.

    Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

    Ask an Expert

    You are about to post a question on finder.com:

    • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
    • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
    • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
    • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

    Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

    By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

    Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
    Go to site