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Travel money guide: The Czech Republic

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.

Which option is right for your next trip?

Compare travel cards for Czech Republic

Rates last updated April 19th, 2018
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
0% of transaction value
$0
$10 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
$0 annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter)
Enjoy 40000
bonus miles after you spend on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase.
Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum
2%
of transaction value
$0
The Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers multiple perks, including one of the lowest available APRs on the market.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card
0% of transaction value
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants.
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
0% of transaction value
$0
Ditch the restrictions of typical airline rewards cards. Any airline, any hotel, anytime. No blackout dates.

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.

    BudgetMidrangeExpensive
    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_ccWalk 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.

    Exchange rate history

    USD to CZK for the last 10 days

    Apr 09 Apr 10 Apr 11 Apr 12 Apr 13 Apr 14 Apr 15 Apr 16 Apr 17 Apr 18
    1 USD = 20.5721 Inverse: 0.0486 20.4741 Inverse: 0.0488 20.4646 Inverse: 0.0489 20.5291 Inverse: 0.0487 20.5167 Inverse: 0.0487 20.5167 Inverse: 0.0487 20.5233 Inverse: 0.0487 20.4033 Inverse: 0.0490 20.4310 Inverse: 0.0489 20.4352 Inverse: 0.0489

    USD to CZK for the last 10 months

    Jun 2017 Jul 2017 Aug 2017 Sep 2017 Oct 2017 Nov 2017 Dec 2017 Jan 2018 Feb 2018 Mar 2018
    1 USD = 23.3743 Inverse: 0.0428 22.6220 Inverse: 0.0442 22.1527 Inverse: 0.0451 21.8451 Inverse: 0.0458 21.7092 Inverse: 0.0461 21.7980 Inverse: 0.0459 21.6261 Inverse: 0.0462 20.7785 Inverse: 0.0481 20.5319 Inverse: 0.0487 20.5798 Inverse: 0.0486

    How to send money to Czech Republic

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    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 optionsProsCons
    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 Simmons Bank Visa Platinum that waives the fee for foreign transaction and has a low APR. This card features complimentary travel insurance when you charge your flight, just like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard. 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.
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    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.
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    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.

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    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
    Seven Corners Trip Protection Insurance
    Seven Corners Trip Protection Insurance
    Travel with a smile - protect your trip cost, your medical expenses, & your belongings.
    • Emergency Accident & Sickness Medical Expenses up to $250,000
    • Trip Cancellation – 100% of Trip Cost
    • Trip Interruption – up to 150% of Trip Cost
    • Political Evacuation - $20,000
    • Lost, Stolen or Damaged Baggage – up to $2,500
    • Emergency Medical Evacuation – up to $1 million
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Travel Max
    Travelex Travel Max
    TravelEx's most comprehensive protection plan for the comprehensive traveler. Offers optional Cancel For Any Reason upgrade.
    • Trip Cancellation - 100% of Insured Trip Cost
    • Trip Interruption - 150% of Insured Trip Cost
    • Trip Delay - $1000
    • Medical Expense Benefits - $100,000
    Go to site More info
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Essential
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Essential
    RoamRight’s Essential travel insurance package can be broken down into three critical parts: Trip Cancellation insurance, tourist health insurance, and baggage insurance.
    • Cancellation Cover - 100% Cost of Trip
    • Emergency Medical Expenses - $15,000
    • Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation - $150,000
    • Baggage and Personal Effects Cover - $750
    Go to site More info
    STA Travel Standard International
    STA Travel Standard International
    Get affordable cover for the essentials of options with STA's mid-level cover policy. This option will still provide up to $1500 in luggage cover and up to $100,000 in medical cover.
    • Trip Cancellation Cover - 100% of trip cost insured up to $10,000
    • Emergency Medical Expenses Cover - Up to $100,000
    • Baggage and Personal Effects - Up to $1,500
    • Trip Delay - Up to $500
    Go to site More info
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Preferred
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Preferred
    As the name implies, the Preferred package provides coverage for most trips and vacations.
    • Cancellation Cover - 100% Cost of Trip
    • Emergency Accident & Medical Expenses - $50,000
    • Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation - $500,000
    • Accidental Death and Dismemberment - $10,000
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Cancel for Any Reason
    Travelex Cancel for Any Reason
    Cancel For Any reason upgrade available with the Travel Max plan. Cancel for any reason - no questions asked.
    • Reimburses up to 75% of the insured trip cost
    • 100% cover if delayed to departure and loose at least 30%
    Go to site More info
    Atlas Travel
    Atlas Travel
    Provides customizable coverage for specific losses. Cover can be tailored to provide a balance between the basic essentials and premium cover.
    • Illness and Injury Cover - Up to $1 million
    • Emergency Medical Evacuation - Up to $1 million
    • Lost Checked Luggage - Up to $500
    • Travel Delay - $100/day up to 2 days
    Go to site More info
    Atlas Premium
    Atlas Premium
    Provides quality cover for a range of benefits with higher cover limits. Premium plan is perfect for travellers with health concerns looking for total protective cover.
    • Illness and Injury Cover - Up to $2 million
    • Emergency Medical Evacuation - Up to $1 million
    • Lost Checked Luggage - Up to $1,000
    • Travel Delay - $200/day up to 2 days
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Flight Insure Plus
    Travelex Flight Insure Plus
    Provides option to choose between different levels of flight insurance protection.
    • Flight Accident AD&D - Up to $1 Million
    • Baggage - $2,000
    • Medical Expense Benefits - $2,500
    • Medical Evacuation / Repatriation - $25,000
    Go to site More info
    STA Travel Explorer Plus
    STA Travel Explorer Plus
    Get premiere cover for a whole range of options with STA's premium policy. This option will still provide up to $100,000 in medical expense cover and up to $3,000 in cancellation cover.
    • Trip Cancellation Cover - $3,000
    • Emergency Medical Expenses Cover - Up to $100,000
    • Baggage and Personal Effects - Up to $2,500
    • Trip Delay - Up to $1,000
    Go to site More info
    Allianz Domestic Travel Insurance
    Allianz Domestic Travel Insurance
    Allianz Domestic Travel Insurance makes sure you are covered incase your planned trip unexpectedly goes awry.
    • Trip coverage - Depends on plan
    • Baggage coverage - Up to $1,000
    • 24-hour hotline assistance
    • Existing medical coverage - Up to $500,000
    Go to site More info
    Allianz International Travel Insurance
    Allianz International Travel Insurance
    If you frequently travel abroad and want extra coverage in case you get sick, injured, or need to cancel your trip, Allianz International Travel Insurance is the perfect solution.
    • Trip coverage - Depends on plan
    • Baggage coverage - Up to $1,000
    • 24-hour hotline assistance
    • Existing medical coverage - Up to $1,000,000
    Go to site More info
    Don’t let accidents, illness or travel delays ruin your Czech vacation. Compare travel insurance policies today.

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