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Warsaw - Exchanging Large Sum GBP > PLN in Poland


DriftJ 1 | 19
11 Apr 2016 #1
Hey there all,

I've been reading a few threads but haven't managed to find an answer just yet. By all means point me in the direction if a thread for this does exist...

I'm travelling to Warsaw (Okecie) next month on a Saturday and need to change a significant amount, that being approximately 150,000PLN.
Firstly, yes I do understand the risks of travelling with such an amount in cash.

I've been using this forum to plan the trip, however for this amount of money, can anyone suggest a reputable / trustworthy location for currency exchange?

Having checked in the UK, the currency exchange desks give me a very poor rate (as I'm sure you're well aware of) and with this amount of Zlotys, I'm looking at a significant difference of around £1000GBP!

So, with this in mind, I would really like to hear your recommendations for large currency exchange in Warsaw, where I won't get ripped off.

To confirm, I'm looking to exchange GBP Sterling > PLN Zloty to the equivalent of 150,000PLN and it will need to be on a Saturday.

Many thanks in advance,
J.
Harry
11 Apr 2016 #2
Conti on Jana Pawla has excellent rates and is open Saturday from nine until three. conti.waw.pl
OP DriftJ 1 | 19
11 Apr 2016 #3
Thanks for the prompt response, Harry. I've just dropped them an e-mail now to touch base, here's hoping they speak English.

The only issue with Conti is the timing, as my flight will only be arriving around that time. I suppose it depends whether they would be willing to open a little later for the transaction...

Any other suggestions in case this is a no-goer?

Thanks again,
J.
cms 9 | 1,255
11 Apr 2016 #4
I think the maximum one Kantor could do is PLN 60k under local laws that limit cash transactions. However they will let you know I presume. So you might have to end up going to 3 places.
OP DriftJ 1 | 19
11 Apr 2016 #5
Is that in a single transaction (thus could be broken into three transactions), or the total for one person at a Kantor?

Thanks for the response...
Ziemowit 13 | 4,484
11 Apr 2016 #6
to exchange GBP Sterling > PLN Zloty to the equivalent of 150,000PLN and it will need to be on a Saturday.

Money laundring or what?
OP DriftJ 1 | 19
11 Apr 2016 #7
Haha not quite :)
It's actually for the purchase of a car... and before anything is said, yes, I am fully aware of the potential pitfalls involved, particuarly in Poland. I've been stalking these forums for long enough and have done a wealth of research.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,484
11 Apr 2016 #8
I'm surprised that a 150,000 zloty car would be cheaper in Poland than in ...
OP DriftJ 1 | 19
11 Apr 2016 #9
In my case it certainly is.

Any further advice on reputable Kantors much appreciated...
Ziemowit 13 | 4,484
11 Apr 2016 #10
There is one in the underground passage between the Marriott hotel and the Warsaw Central Railway Station. I think it's called 777, but I am not sure of it. Some kantors would be an open over-the-counter point, so you cannot get into a closed space, but this one isn't. I think you can always ask them to arrange a back-office exchange. Kantors in central Warsaw quote rates for larger amounts for an exchange, but I think you can negotiate your rate if you change 150,000 zl as well. Always check their spread to see how much you may negotiate.
OP DriftJ 1 | 19
11 Apr 2016 #11
Much appreciated, thanks for that. I'll do some Googling and see if I can locate their details.
I'm still waiting to hear back from Conti at the moment; may be worth a phone call to see if they speak the Queen's...
Harry
11 Apr 2016 #12
Any further advice on reputable Kantors much appreciated.

The kantor at the Intraco building near the New Town usually has pretty good rates.
OP DriftJ 1 | 19
11 Apr 2016 #13
@Ziemowit - I've located 777 and have e-mailed them, thanks.

@Harry - Thank you for this; are you referring to this Kantor?
kantor-intraco.pl
goo.gl/maps/wLDrxd4uE4m

Cheers...
cms 9 | 1,255
11 Apr 2016 #14
Note that if its a classic car on Otomoto there have been a few scams recently of money being paid but car not delivered - Polish gangs operating out of Sweden I think, so make sure you know who you are dealing with. A big cash payment with no trail to them is not going to leave you much evidence if things go wrong.
OP DriftJ 1 | 19
11 Apr 2016 #15
Noted, thank you CMS.

I've been in touch with the seller for a while now and the dealership he owns is well established, but this is his own private car that he is selling.

My intention is to fly out of the UK to Warsaw, inspect the vehicle and pending the outcome, exchange the currency with the seller present. Once complete, I'll drive back to the UK via Germany and France, taking the ferry from Dunkirk on the Sunday.

The last piece in the puzzle is sorting the currency exchange at the Warsaw-end, hence me asking for your help :)

Thank you to all so far...
jon357 67 | 16,835
11 Apr 2016 #16
There is one in the underground passage between the Marriott hotel and the Warsaw Central Railway Station. I think it's called 777,

That one is OK - I use it often, as is the other one a few yards away. I always check both since there's often a small difference in their exchange rate.

The last piece in the puzzle is sorting the currency exchange at the Warsaw-end

Important to do it at the Warsaw end.

If you have a larger amount, they will often lay on a scurity guard for you.
OP DriftJ 1 | 19
11 Apr 2016 #17
I use it often, as is the other one a few yards away.

Do you have the details of the other Kantor?

Important to do it at the Warsaw end.

Absolutely, but up and until this morning I hadn't even considered it!

The predicament I was in, was that an international bank transfer could only happen midweek and so if I decided upon viewing it that I wanted to proceed I needed to have cash to be able to complete that weekend. Changing this in the UK would result in a significant loss as I've now found and also if I decide not to take the car, then there's further loss on the exchange back from PLN > GBP. Managing the currency exchange at the Warsaw-end is definitely how this needs to be done.

Many thanks...
jon357 67 | 16,835
11 Apr 2016 #18
I'm not sure - I know it by its location rather than by name, however it might be this one:
kantorylombardy.wix.com/kantor-lombard#!kontakt/c2q4

A couple of people I know (Brits in Warsaw) swear by this one, though I haven't personally used it:
kantor-intraco.pl

Also worth having a look at WorldFirst. It's an online exchange service, UK based and quite good. Banking hours only but more or less instant. I use this one every month since my salary comes in dollars.
OP DriftJ 1 | 19
11 Apr 2016 #19
kantorylombardy.wix.com/kantor-lombard#!kontakt/c2q4

Wow! Just looking at their rates now and they're pretty good!
jon357 67 | 16,835
11 Apr 2016 #20
I looked too, and wonder if the rates are up-to-date. Usually the two close to each other under the Marriott hotel (777 and the other) are almost identical, maybe a couple of pence different per pound.

Looking at the exact address of Lombard, I'm fairly sure that's the one near 777, but as I say, the exchange rate might be out of date.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
11 Apr 2016 #21
Wow! Just looking at their rates now and they're pretty good!

For the amount you're talking about, you should get within 2gr either way of the interbank rate.

By the way, try this service - quantor.pl

You can reserve the currency online, and you can negotiate with them directly.
OP DriftJ 1 | 19
11 Apr 2016 #22
I looked too, and wonder if the rates are up-to-date.

Yeah, having just checked, they have a "new" website, which can be found here:
akokantor.pl

Shame that :(

By the way, try this service - quantor.pl

Awesome, thank you for that :) Just running some quotes now...

Well, I've had 1 e-mail reply from 8 Kantors so far...

The one reply has said that the amount is no problem, I just require identification (as to be expected).
Ziemowit 13 | 4,484
12 Apr 2016 #23
Notice that the zloty has strenghten to the euro and the dollar over the last two weeks (I haven't checked its rate to the sterling, however).
OP DriftJ 1 | 19
12 Apr 2016 #24
I've managed to secure a deal with a Kantor, which is great news. They are also open until late on the day I will arrive, which is perfect.

Sadly however I've just spoken with the seller and there's a viewing scheduled for this Saturday... fingers crossed it doesn't sell as I've been planning this for ages now!
Talc
13 Apr 2016 #25
When I sold my Warsaw apartment I used a currency broker (currenciesdirect.com) to convert the PLN to £ and transfer from my Polish account to my UK bank. The whole process was painless I simply rang them up, was given a quote to which I agreed. (it was to within 5 gr of the NBP rate)

You will need a Polish bank account (try Citibank which is friendly to foreigners)

I would never carry 150,000 of PLN (or £ equivalent) in cash. Insane.
Joseph4
13 Apr 2016 #26
Neighbor owns an exc office, good people. Send me your email address and I can connect you so you can contact them directly, son speaks English and is in the business with them. My addy is blockimages@gmail
OP DriftJ 1 | 19
19 Apr 2016 #27
A quick thank you to all that have contributed to this thread.

I believe I now have (almost) all the information I require to make an informed decision on this.

I do need input however, on the laws of bringing cash into Poland. Having reviewed the following website, it appears that there are no resitrctions when travelling within the EU:

iatatravelcentre.com/PL-Poland-customs-currency-airport-tax-regulations-details.htm

Best regards...
Ziemowit 13 | 4,484
19 Apr 2016 #28
Formally, you are obliged to declare money and cheques in the amount exceeding the limit of 10,000 euro when entering Poland from EU or non-EU countries.

Let us be informed about your transaction when it is done.
OP DriftJ 1 | 19
19 Apr 2016 #29
Thank you for your reply.

I have e-mailed mofnet.gov.pl for further advice and currently awaiting their response.
jon357 67 | 16,835
19 Apr 2016 #30
t appears that there are no resitrctions when travelling within the EU:

That is correct - within the EU there is free movement of capital. Poland does have cash controls, however this is not enforced within the EU and the general rule is that you have to declare only if asked to do so by a customs officer. You don't have to seek them out and inform them.

when entering Poland from EU

Poland is in the EU - there is no requirement to declare cash - in fact there is nobody at the land borders to actually declare it to.


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