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Travel money guide: Poland

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


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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.

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.

to-sleepDorm or hostel
$15–$30 per night
2-star hotel
$40–$80 per night
5-star hotel
$100–$250 per night
to-eatZapiekanki (Polish pizza)
Pierogi (Polish dumplings)
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
cameraPrivate 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 optionProsConsiderations
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)
  • 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:


Compare travel credit cards

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
American Express® Gold Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
3x points on directly-booked flights; 4x at restaurants; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points)
Earn up to 4x points on select purchases, a bevy of travel perks, and a welcome offer worth up to $600 with this upper-mid tier travel card. Rates & fees
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, a value of up to $1,000 through Chase Ultimate Rewards
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
Earn a huge signup bonus worth $1,000 with this popular travel card. Combine with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards for even greater value.
Citi Premier® Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
3x points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, flights and hotels and 1x points on everything else
Earn 60,000 bonus points after making $4,000 in purchases with your card within the first 3 months of account opening.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
Get a generous $300 in annual travel credits, 3x points on travel and dining, and a 50% bonus on point redemptions with Chase's premier card.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
100,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months, plus earn 25,000 after the first anniversary of card membership (offer expires 1/13/2021)
6x points at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 3x at US restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2x for all other purchases
Earn 100,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 or more within your first 3 months, plus earn 25,000 after the first anniversary of card membership (offer expires 1/13/2021). Rates & fees

Compare up to 4 providers

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Case study: Kacey's experience

Kacey profile photo

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
    • 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.

Our pick for a prepaid travel card
Travelex Money Card

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.

Cash pickup services in Poland

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
$1 Within an hour USD 3.99 3.936 PLN 3,921 Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up. Go to site Show details
$0 1 - 2 days USD 1.99 3.877 PLN 3,869 Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Quick, affordable transfers around the world with both express and economy options.
Go to site Show details
$1 Within an hour USD 8.00 3.867 PLN 3,836 Easily transfer cash to more than 350,000 locations around the world. Show details
$1 3 - 5 days USD 20.00 3.857 PLN 3,780 The biggest name in money transfers can get your funds to friends, family, or businesses in almost every corner of the globe. Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.
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Get travel insurance quotes for your vacation in Poland

Name Product Trip Cancellation Emergency Medical Expenses Baggage Coverage Trip delay
Allianz Travel OneTrip Emergency Medical Plan
Budget-friendly policy designed for international and domestic travelers who want medical protection. Trip cancellation and trip interruption not included.
Allianz Travel AllTrips Basic Plan
Annual policy that offers affordable protection, but doesn't include trip cancellation or trip interruption.
Travelex Travel Basic
Essential travel coverage — with the option to customize — that can protect the cost of your trip.
Travelex Flight Insure
Protect the cost of your flight and choose the coverage amount that meets your needs — trip delay protection included.
RoamRight Essential Travel Insurance Plan
Basic policy with coverage that includes trip cancellation insurance, tourist health insurance and baggage insurance.

Compare up to 4 providers

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