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Best place to exchange money in Poland?


Harry
7 May 2013  #61
Can I use my Polish bank card at ATMs in the US?

Yes, but you'll get charged a lot for doing that.

What's the best way to convert PLN to USD?

Take your PLN in cash to a kantor in Poland and convert them to dollars. Then go to a bank, open a USD account and pay in your dollars. Then transfer the money to your US bank.
bullfrog 6 | 603
9 May 2013  #62
Excellent advice. If the sum is large though, be careful to keep all receipts in case the bank asks anti money laundering questions (due to paying a large amount of cash in new $ account)
Harry
9 May 2013  #63
If the sum is large, it's best to ask the kantor to meet you in the bank (you take the zloty out, give it to him, he gives you the dollars, you pay them in). Most kantors will come to the bank and do that (provided the amount is large enough).
sobieski 107 | 2,129
27 May 2014  #64
Merged: What is the best option for tourists to change money in Poland

We will have several times guests from the home country to Poland this Summer, and always the same question pops up...What about money?
What is the best option - not to loose too much on commissions, exchange rates... - for tourists?
1. Using an ATM here in Warsaw with your foreign (EU) debit card, and does it make a difference if that tourist is EU or non-EU?

2. Taking Euros from home and exchange them here in a "kantor"...(obviously not in the airport, but in a reputable one)
3. If a "kantor"...which ones in Warsaw are the best? I know one near Hala Marymoncka which is not too bad...but are there other ones advisable?

4. Pay the majority expenses by their non-Polish but EU credit card
5. Use their debit card here in Poland

Obviously they won't be spending huge sums here for a few days. Still I'd hate to give any bank a present.
Harry
27 May 2014  #65
What is the best option - not to loose too much on commissions, exchange rates... - for tourists?

It depends on where the person is from and which bank they use and which particular account they have at that bank.

1. Using an ATM here in Warsaw with your foreign (EU) debit card

Not a bad idea, but there is usually a minimum fee (often about 15zl), otherwise it's a 3% fee; so it's best to take out at least 500zl. Also, don't take the 'guaranteed' conversion rate.

2. Taking Euros from home and exchange them here in a "kantor".

That is certainly the most cost effective option.

3. If a "kantor"...which ones in Warsaw are the best? I know one near Hala Marymoncka which is not too bad...but are there other ones advisable?

This place usually has the best rates in town: conti.waw.pl

4. Pay the majority expenses by their non-Polish but EU credit card
5. Use their debit card here in Poland

Using a credit card is better than a debit card but it's important to always and only pay in zloty, never in foreign currency.

Related: Kantor in Poznan (to exchange Chinese Yuan to Polish zloty)

Can anyone recommend a Kantor in poznan/warsaw where I can change chinese yuan(CNY/RMB)to PLN?

For yuan you'll probably need to go to the main branch of PKO, the biggest bank. It will be easier in Warsaw than Poznan. Perhaps it's better to change it before you come.
sam6 1 | 25
18 May 2016  #66
Merged: Money Exchange in Poland >>>

Hi

good day

1-The best way to switch the currency in Poland , air port . exchange shops , banks ?

2-Can I use

*. Euro
* A US dollar

In shops, restaurants, etc.?

Rent a car cash or Credit card needed? ?

Can I use the ATM card FOR CASH ? Is there a commission on use

Knowing that the Saudi riyal and the Polish zloty almost the same value
kpc21 1 | 763
18 May 2016  #67
1-The best way to switch the currency in Poland , air port . exchange shops , banks ?

Exchange shops are a good option. If you have a bigger amount to exchange, like 1000 USD, negotiate the price. Exchange shops in the airports and train stations may have worse exchange rates than those in the city center.

I don't know how it is with banks, if their exchange rates are comparable with those of exchange shops, or worse.

Exchange shops are called in Polish "kantor", but they usually have English signs as well.

2-Can I use *. Euro * A US dollar
In shops, restaurants, etc.?

Big supermarkets sometimes accept euro, but they will have a bad exchange rate and you will get your change in the Polish currency. Definitely exchange the money to Złoty earlier.

Can I use the ATM card FOR CASH ? Is there a commission on use

It depends on your bank, the one that issued the card. If you have a card with free withdrawals in the whole world or Europe, it will be free.

If you withdraw the money from an ATM and it asks you about the currency of the transaction, don't choose the option with the "guaranteed exchange rate", select the option that you want that the transaction will be carried out in the Polish currency. The exchange rate of your bank/card operator/whoever is responsible for that will be better than the one offered by the ATM operator and showed to you.

Knowing that the Saudi riyal and the Polish zloty almost the same value

If you are from Saudi Arabia, then it's good for you.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,625
18 May 2016  #68
I don't know how it is with banks, if their exchange rates are comparable with those of exchange shops, or worse.

Banks aren't terrible, but worse than kantors. For serious amounts of cash (regular transactions of 20k Euro or above, or one-off transactions of over 100k Euro), the banks can beat kantors.

A friend has a deal with his bank where he calls them to agree a rate, then he has access to a special online facility that allows him to make the exchange. The converted money is back in his account within 15 minutes - and the rates offered are staggeringly good - he'll never pay more than 0.75gr over/under the interbank rate, and his all-time record was to get within 0.23gr. I was there at the time, and if he had exchanged 150,000EUR instead of 120,000EUR, they would have been able to offer him 0.18gr.

If you have a bigger amount to exchange, like 1000 USD, negotiate the price.

Heck, negotiate regardless. Any decent kantor will always offer something.
NickP - | 5
19 May 2016  #69
A couple of years ago I changed GBP 200 with the first kantor I came across in Warsaw. I thought there couldn't be much difference in the rates between different kantors. Turns out there is. As I was walking away, I did a quick mental calculation and realised I had been given a terrible rate of exchange. I went to another kantor and he told me to return to the original kantor and demand my money back. I did just that and the guy gave me the 'bank rate' - he literally gave me an extra PLN 130! I know I was an idiot for not checking the rates in the first place. The rates board was on a side wall out of the way. Following this I thought I would make an app showing the kantors in Warsaw with links to their phone numbers and websites (if any) and directions. Many months later I released the app on the App Store (I'm working on an Android version). Here's a link to the landing page fx-warsaw.com. It's free.
sam6 1 | 25
19 May 2016  #70
kpc21
thank you so much
Mariamne
27 May 2016  #71
Hi. Is there a kantor near Wroclaw airport? Is there a kantor in the town of Oświęcim?
spiritus 67 | 663
2 Jun 2016  #72
Merged: Advice for best exchange rates

As the title suggests what would you recommend ?

Buy in kantor ?

Use machine in Poland ?

Buy at home ?

Other ?
Dougpol1 30 | 2,928
2 Jun 2016  #73
what would you recommend ?

Depends on the amount. Nothing beats internet rates. Otherwise every town has its "kantor-zone" where you caan negotiate to a minimal degree.
ula4
2 Jun 2016  #74
Use banks, ATM or pay with card. In kantor's exchange rate is much lower in compare to banks.
jon357 63 | 14,122
2 Jun 2016  #75
In kantor's exchange rate is much lower in compare to banks.

That depends a lot on the card you are using; some are better than others (Halifax MasterCard for example) and some are best avoided outside the country of issue.
ula4
2 Jun 2016  #76
jon357 - in kantors exchange rate is always lower but 10 or 15 years ago it was okay.
Dougpol1 30 | 2,928
2 Jun 2016  #77
In kantor's exchange rate is much lower in compare to banks

I don't understand that opinion. Kantors generally give better rates for the non business user - otherwise why would they exist? I think it works out at a saving of 1.5%?
Chemikiem 6 | 1,888
2 Jun 2016  #78
Is there a kantor in the town of Oświęcim?

There are 3:-

oswiecim.kantor.co
jon357 63 | 14,122
2 Jun 2016  #79
jon357 - in kantors exchange rate is always lower but 10 or 15 years ago it was okay

The rates obviously fluctuate however 15 years ago the difference between the kantors' rates and the rates the better cards offer wasn't that different.

In general avoid Visa since MasterCard tend to give a better exchange rate and use a card (like the one I mentioned above) which doesn't charge extra for overseas or a foreign currency.

For any Americans reading who are planning to visit, forget those travellers' cheques that people use over there; in Europe we stopped using them and I'd be surprised if many Polish bank clerks have ever seen one.
spiritus 67 | 663
2 Jun 2016  #80
right so I'm wrong to dismiss banks as a possible option ?

I always thought a kantor was the best place to go....generally.

If someone can't speak Polish is transferring money in a Polish bank a difficult process ?
jon357 63 | 14,122
2 Jun 2016  #81
right so I'm wrong to dismiss banks as a possible option ?

If you have the right credit card (thisismoney.co.uk have a comparison tool) for using abroad and you don't happen to have a wad of banknotes from your home country that you want to cash just use the ATM.

If you do have a wad of banknotes to change, check the rate at the bank (most larger ones display it prominently inside) and decide if the few percentage decimal points of difference between the kantor is worth the time going there. If you don't speak Polish well enough, any phrasebook will tell you what to say.

Personally I don't tend to trek into town for kantors however the ATM here gives a very good exchange rate in my credit card which I just pay off online.

You could also try WorldFirst.com which I use for larger amounts (I get paid in dollars and convert to pounds), they do instant exchanges so the money is in your account rit away and their rates are excellent. There are several other such services but from experience I can say that one's good.
gunnerboy21
30 Mar 2017  #82
Hello ! Where can i Change/Convert Indian or Sri lankan money here in warsaw ? I arrived here sometime back and forgot to exchange it in the airport . Does kantors take Currencies from any country ?
Looker - | 1,010
30 Mar 2017  #83
For sure not from any country. You will have huge problem with changing Sri Lankan money in Poland, and regarding Indian Rupee try there:
joder.kantory.pl/kursy-walut.html
kantor-centrum.pl/index_en.php
kantor-zoliborz.pl
kantorcris.pl
Anta1
4 Jan 2018  #84
Are Kantors still the best place to change cash in Warsaw ?
Where's the best ones ?
Cheers and thanks in advance
Jardinero 1 | 407
5 Jan 2018  #85
I don't know any other places except the banks - and their rates are always lower.

To get best exchange rates, you will need to sign up to on-line exchange services such as walutomat.pl or cinkciarz.pl - best real time rates and small provisions.
wojtekg
19 Sep 2018  #86
independently on city, I strongly recommend awesome tool Quantor. you can there best prices for currency exchange in city and opinions which kantor is most reliable. they also offer free exchange booking, which is great for abroad tourists - you dont need to talk with often no-english office workers. read more here: quantor.pl/blog/currency-booking-quantor.html
jon357 63 | 14,122
19 Sep 2018  #87
Easy enough to find online comparisons in Poland (several newspapers' websites have them as well as the very established bankier.pl and kantory.pl

Certainly no need to 'book' currency exchange at a kantor; in fact it's unheard of unless the amount is so huge that there's a possibility they don't have that much in the safe. It isn't as if people pre-book at a fixed rate since the rates can fluctuate slightly. If anyone offers a pre-agreed rate, it is likely to be a very bad one.

you dont need to talk with often no-english office workers.

You don't anyway, ever. You just hand over the cash (all kantors display the conversion rates on the wall - they have to) and the assistant counts the money in front of you and hands you the currency back with a receipt. What would you talk about anyway except to say hello and thank you?
gggg
20 Sep 2018  #88
If you want to exchange a large amount of money, definitely don't use banks, ATM's or pay with a foreign currency card in Poland.

Best way is to either:

Open a bank account in Poland and have a separate Zloty + foreign currency account from the same bank. You can then transfer your foreign currency from your foreign bank account to your polish bank foreign currency account, and use a site like walutomat to exchange the foreign currency into zlotys for actual real exchange rates, and get the zlotys into your zloty account.

The second method is to just take your foreign cash into a kantor, however different kantors always have different rates, and no kantor will have an actual real exchange rate as they need to make their profit.
MoOli 9 | 484
20 Sep 2018  #89
If its over 10k$ or euro Conti kantor I found to be the best.You can show then the current live rate on your phone and they will charge 1/2 grolsh and change to Zlotay,but for any other currency,you will have to change to Pln and pay commission and then convert again and pay to change to any other currency.
jon357 63 | 14,122
20 Sep 2018  #90
If you want to exchange a large amount of money, definitely don't use banks, ATM's or pay with a foreign currency card in Poland.

Cash machines are fine when you use a card on the Mastercard (used to be Access) network, especially if it's a particularly good one for using abroad. Moneysavingexpert.com has a list of these cards. Avoid using cards that are on Visa since the rate is worse, or ones where there's a fee for overseas use.

And never, ever, ever accept the fixed amount if the machine suggests it, even if they remind you twice in flashing red letters. This is very close to being a scam.

Open a bank account in Poland and have a separate Zloty

Great for people working in PL, not so great for a visitor.

There's also changing via an online service. I use WorldFirst which I find to be good, there are also others, though beware, some (Transferwise is notorious for this) have 'affiliate marketing schemes', 'referral codes' etc which ultimately the customer pays for.

The advice about Kantors is good. Just avoid them in major tourist sites, railway stations (though the two in the passage under the Marriott in Warsaw are good, just stay clear of the ones nearer the platforms), shopping malls etc. 24 hour ones often give a slightly worse deal too.


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