Travel money guide for Poland | finder.com

Travel money guide: Poland

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Want to get your travel money in order before your trip to Poland? This is the guide for you.

Cycling along the countryside or visiting the rich history in Warsaw — whatever your plan for your vacation to Poland, make sure you have your travel money options figured out.

Though Poland is a member of the European Union, it has not adopted the euro as its currency. Today Poland uses the zloty.

Finding travel friendly cards that waive international fees will save you money on each purchase and withdrawal. get the most out of your trip by finding the right cards.

Why you’ll need a combination of travel money options

The best advice for how to carry and use your travel money while in Poland is to split up your travel funds between cards and to carry enough cash to get you through any small emergency. In larger cities like Krakow and Warsaw, paying with your card is the norm, but there will definitely be situations where cash is the preferred, if not the only way to pay.

When planning a trip to Poland, compare travel money options to get the most of your dollar before you leave.

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
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Promoted

Compare travel cards for Poland

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 ($89 thereafter)
17.99%, 21.99% or 24.99% variable
Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
None
$0
14.99%, 18.99% or 24.99% variable
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees.
None
$0
12.99%, 16.99% or 20.99% variable
An 18 months 0%% Intro APR period on both purchases and balance transfers, plus zero foreign transaction fees, makes this is a strong well-rounded card. See Rates and 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 zloty do I need to bring to Poland?

    Poland is still cheap compared to the rest of Western Europe, but ultimately how you choose to travel will dictate the final cost of your trip. If you plan on sleeping in dorm beds and eating from the markets, you can plan on spending about $30 a day. For nice hotel stays and late-night parties you can plan to spend between $75 to $150 a day.

    Krakow Budget Mid-range Expensive
    to-sleep Dorm or hostel
    $15–$30 per night
    2-star hotel
    $40–$80 per night
    5-star hotel
    $100–$250 per night
    to-eat Zapiekanki (Polish pizza)
    $3
    Pierogi (Polish dumplings)
    $5
    Restaurant and wine bar
    $10–$20 per dish
    plus wine
    $20 (500ml)
    5-star restaurant with a 3-course menu plus drinks
    $80 a head
    camera Private bike tour of Krakow
    $35 per person
    Auschwitz-Birkenau guided tour from Krakow plus museum entry
    $45 per person
    Private wine tour of Krakow over 2 nights with accommodation
    $250 per person

    *Prices are approximate and for one guest in summer.

    Send a money transfer to Poland

    Travel card, debit card or credit card?

    You won’t have a problem using your debit card, credit card or travel money card for payments or at ATMs — American Express is not accepted in as many places as Visa or Mastercard. Card payments are the norm in supermarkets, shops, gas stations, restaurants and more.

    There are two charges you should try and avoid: the currency conversion fee when you spend in zloty and the international ATM withdrawal fee.

    Travel money options for Poland at a glance

    Travel money option Pros Considerations
    Debit cards for travel
    • No currency conversion, international ATM withdrawals or both
    • ATMs are widely available
    • There may be a fee for ATM cash withdrawal
    Prepaid travel money cards
    • Convenient and safe
    • Prepaid travel cards can be used to spend and withdraw
    • No US travel money cards support Polish zloty
    • There are cheaper travel money products to use than a prepaid travel card
    Credit cards for travel
    • Credit cards are widely accepted, especially Visa and Mastercard
    • Some cards have no annual fees, no foreign transaction fees and they perform currency exchanges at the best possible interchange rate
    • Credit cards can usually only be used in larger cities and tourist areas and you may be subject to fees
    Traveler’s checks
    • Security
    • Traveler’s checks can be exchanged at the larger hotels
    • Only accepted by main banks and hotels
    • They are not accepted by kantors (money exchange service in Poland)
    Cash
    • Greater 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 travel cards, debit cards, credit cards and more work in Poland

    Using debit cards

    Look for an account that won’t charge for currency conversion, international ATM withdrawals or both. You won’t have a problem using your card at an ATM, but you should note that ATMs in Poland have an operator fee (approx. $3) when you withdraw cash.

    You can use card at many different establishment, but what you’ll find is that the transaction isn’t as snappy as it is here — it may take a few minutes instead of seconds.
    How to get a refund if you’re a victim of a fraudulent transaction

    Using travel prepaid cards

    No US travel money cards support Polish zloty. Unless you’re using a no currency conversion fee travel card, you’ll pay an additional fee when you use your travel card to spend and withdraw. While travel cards may be suited to take to other parts of Europe, there are cheaper travel money products to use in Poland than a prepaid travel card.

    Using credit cards

    Travel credit cards let you spend in zloty without paying the additional 3% charge to convert dollars into a foreign currency. This is must-have feature when you’re overseas as it allows you to use you credit card in Poland for around the same price as home.

    In Poland, as in most developed countries, credit cards are widely accepted, especially Visa and Mastercard. However, be mindful that in smaller businesses and out-of-city areas credit card acceptance might not be so common.

    • Tip: Some credit cards offer complimentary insurances when you meet conditions like pay for your return airfare with your credit card.
    Exchange rates using your credit or debit card

    When you make a transaction in zloty using your credit card or debit card, the Visa or Mastercard (or American Express) foreign exchange rate applies. This rate is usually better than the rate you’ll get on a travel card and is pretty close to the market rate.

    Using traveler’s checks

    Traveler’s checks are dated and have been replaced by debit cards and travel cards. You’ll have trouble finding a place where you can get your traveler’s checks cashed – taking traveler’s checks to Poland is not advised.

    Paying with cash in Poland

    Whenever you’re traveling, it is always wise to have some cash set aside in case your card isn’t accepted, or even worse, lost. For smaller transactions, businesses may prefer the you pay cash. Also, if you’re a nightlife kind of person, you should go out with cash in your pocket because pubs, clubs and restaurants are frequently cash only. And of course, markets are cash only.

    Here is what zloty banknotes look like:

    Poland-zloty1

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    Kacey detours for a day in Krakow

    For her 19th birthday, Kacey visited Poland as part of a 13-day trip. The tour started in Budapest and finished in London. She spent a day traveling from Vienna to Poland and one day in Krakow before continuing to the Czech Republic.

    What cards did you take with you?

    • Simmons Visa®
      • Low APR 9.25%
      • Travel insurance
      • No annual fee
      • No foreign transaction fee
    • Capital One 360
      • No currency conversion fee
      • No international ATM fee, but subject to ATM operator fee

    Why did you take these cards?

    Her parents paid for her trip for her birthday, but they recommended she open the Capital One 360 before she left. This account doesn’t charge for international ATM withdrawals, currency conversion and has no fee to keep the account open.

    She took her Simmons Visa® for emergencies. This no fee card has a low 9.25% APR, so she wouldn’t rack up too much debt should she use it.

    Where could you use your cards?

    She didn’t have a problem using her card and only made one ATM withdrawal of about 200 Polish zloty — about $55cv— which was more than enough to cover her for a day and a half. She didn’t want to withdraw too much money as she headed to the Czech Republic the next day.

    What about ATM withdrawals?

    Kacey made a withdrawal from a Bank Polski ATM around Krakow’s main square and was charged a fee of 5PLN, which is about $1.50. She says that the ATM offered an English language option and displayed exactly what she would be charged before she accepted the transaction.

    What travel money recommendations do you have for Poland?

    She says the Capital One 360 was a great card to use around Europe. Not only are there plenty of ATMs in different countries, Eurozone ATMs don’t charge a fee, so she paid nothing to withdraw cash using this card.

    Do you have any travel money tips?

    Be sure to notify your bank of your travel plans, indicating which countries you’ll be visiting. Credit card companies and banks don’t want to cover costs for fraud, so they will put a block on your card if they suspect any suspicious activity.

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    Buying currency in the US

    If you want to purchase zloty in the US, banks and foreign exchange providers can sell you cash before you leave. You can order your foreign cash online with Travelex and collect the money from major international airports.

    There’s no limit to the amount of foreign cash you can bring with you to Poland, but if you’re carrying more than the foreign currency equivalent of 10,000 and you’re entering Poland from a non-EU member state, you must declare your cash.

    Exchanging cash

    Dollars, euros, and pounds can all be easily changed at Polish kantors or exchange offices. Kantors can offer a very good exchange rate. Always use a Kantor which displays a buy and sell rate — if only one rate is displayed, there’s a good chance it’s a sketchy exchange office and you may get ripped off.

    Avoid changing money at the airport. If you find yourself in smaller villages, banks will usually change foreign currency, but come prepared with enough zloty beforehand.

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    Get travel insurance quotes for your vacation in Poland

    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
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