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Posted by Mathilde on February 21, 2017
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Living in Poland as a foreign person means to get used to and to pay with the local money: zloty. Which also means to understand and try to get the best out of the exchange rate, depending on your home currency. Here are some useful advice for you not to encounter any huge fees when paying and withdrawing cash in Poland.

Check out the 3 best ways to withdraw money in Poland, when you do not have a Polish bank account.

If you feel too lazy to read it in details, you can also just have a look at the small summary of the best practice to withdraw money in Poland. 😉

3 best ways to withdraw cash in Poland

1) Ask your home bank for a deal!

First of all, check with your home bank if you can contract a deal for your stay in Poland. For instance, some banks agree to allow you a certain number of cash withdrawals without charging you with fees, and allow you to pay with your credit card without any fee.

Also, some banks have partnerships with foreign banks, so you can withdraw money from these affiliated banks’ ATM’s without being charged any fee. In few words, it would be a shame not to talk about it with your home bank before you go to Poland!

2) Go with exchange currency offices

If you cannot contract anything like this with your home bank, do not worry. All you need to remember is that in most cases, currency exchange offices will offer unbeatable exchange rates for major currencies.

Indeed, even if there is a good exchange rate on ATM’s (by the way, always select the “withdrawal without conversion” option), your bank may charge you a lot for every withdrawal.

In Poland, these moneychangers are pretty everywhere in the streets and are denominated by “KANTOR”. They, most of the times, provide you with the best exchange rate for major currencies. Before to go to this office, check the current rate on the internet, to get a good idea about the rate.

The best way to be sure to get the best exchange rate is, simply, to check the rates in the different exchange currency offices. So walk around, because these rates can vary a lot from one exchange currency office from another. Even if it can be annoying to check few different places, I can guarantee you that the traditional banks’ fees are higher. So it is worth it for your money.

How to withdraw money in Poland

Now that you know that you should go to an exchange currency office, let’s talk about how it works.

“Skup” or “kupno” mean “buy” whereas “sprzedaz” means “sell”. There are two exchange rates that these places use: buying rate and selling rate. If you want to know how much zlotys you will get for one euro (or other currency), just check the “buying rate”.

But you can wonder why the exchange rates that they offer will differ from the ones on the Internet?

Simply, as these offices are real businesses competing, they are not able to sell their currency for the same amount as they have bought it. But the more the amount of exchange is bigger, the better the exchange rate will be.

3) Beware of scamming

Unfortunately, some of these exchange currency offices love to rip people off.

To identify a honest “kantor”, always make sure that TWO rates for each currency are showed – selling and buying rates. If only ONE rate is showed for a currency, it means that it is more likely to be a scam. Indeed, without knowing the rate means that you can lose a lot of your money.

Moreover, if you can, avoid the exchange currency offices located in the airports at your arrival, as the rates are really not favorable.

Quick summary of the best practice

  • No ATM’s fee:  Check with your bank the possibilities of partnerships or contracts with a Polish bank, so your home bank does not charge you any fee when you withdraw money.

  • No supplementary exchange rate fee in ATM’s: Always use the option “no currency conversation” when withdrawing money at an ATM.

  • Good exchange rate: When you want to exchange some money, first check online to get an idea about the current exchange rate. Compare exchange rates in different currency exchange offices to find the best one. Always check that the buying AND the selling rates are showed. Avoid changing your money at the airports since they usually have bad rates.

To conclude, the best solution to make, if you’re going to stay in Poland for a little while, is to open a bank account in Poland. Check out our top 3 best banks in Poland here!

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