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ATM in Prague

I will be flying into Prague. I have some questions regarding money in Prague. I have watched videos by "Honest guy" from Prague, and he mentioned multiple times that people can just use credit cards in Prague. When I was in Stockholm. That was the case. They even accepted credit cards in street food stands. I was actually regret I withdrew cash from ATM when I was in Stockholm. So, here are the questions;
1. Can I use credit cards only, no cash at all in Prague?
2. If I do need some cash, where is the ATM at the airport to get some cash. Again, the "Honest Guy" video also mentioned some ATM in Prague "force" people using foreign card to withdraw large amount of cash. Also, it is kind of tricky to use them because some of them charge percentage for fees instead of the "standard" bank fee.
3. If anyone knows the "good" ATM that runs by "good" banks, please let me know.

Thanks in advance
Calvin

Posted by
15566 posts

First, there is a world of difference between Sweden and Czech Republic. Sweden is working its way to being a cashless society. Other countries not so much. Germans love cash, and often add processing surcharges for credit card payments, or, if you like, discounts for cash payments. Czech Republic will be a little more to cash for casual purchases, but you can certainly use credit cards for things like hotel bills, bigger restaurants, large ticket purchases. I always get some cash in the local currency, maybe 100 USD equivalent and see how it goes. As far as ATM's, stick to Czech bank ATM's and you should not have too much difficulty.

Posted by
5449 posts

Been a number of years since our Prague visit, but credit cards were accepted for my larger purchases - lodging, resturants, attractions etc. I was less experienced with foreign exchange. I took too many Koruna (from Prague ATMs) and ended the trip to Prague with too much left over Koruna. Our next stop was Norway and I had wanted to exchange the Czech Koruna to Norwegian Krone. The currency exchange kisok would only "excange" CZK to USD or EUR, and would have then done a second "exchange" to NOK. I took USDs and learned a lesson. Be careful to spend down your FX before departing. Foreign cash can be expensive.

Posted by
1169 posts

Watch out in particular for Euronet machines. These are springing up all over Europe. They charge 15% which is way above the usual rate. There is one of these at Prague airport so give it a wide berth!

Oh, despite the name they are actually based in Kansas!

Posted by
408 posts

I was in Prague a few weeks ago. I definitely recommend getting some local currency, as some restaurants and stores were cash only. Depending on how long you will be there, I think Sam’s idea of $100.00 USD (2,300 Crowns?) worth of money from a reputable (attached to a bank) ATM is a good start.

You could get the Crowns from AAA or you bank before your trip, if it will be less worrisome upon arrival at the airport.

Posted by
35 posts

We found KB and Raiffeisenbank ATMs were best to use for us. Airport one cost us heaps but we had to get some money out to pay our Shuttle driver as they dont take a card.

Posted by
83 posts

Thanks again. I still have some Euro left from last trip which I can use that when I first get to the airport. According to the "Honest guy" video, I will take the Bus 119 connecting metro to downtown, and I can pay the fare with cards. I know it will take a bit longer, but it is cheap. It is only 32 crown.

By the way, anyone "test out" places recommended by "Honest Guy" video? Is he really an honest guy? He seem to be, but, just want to find out from fellow travelers.

I also heard there is a restaurant at the airport called "Restauce Praha" , you can use credit cards there. This restaurant has pretty good reviews. I can also get something to eat there before heading to downtown.

Question, is it easy to spot those ATM by KB and Raiffeisenbank in "Old Town" or Downtown area?

Thanks
Calvin

Posted by
408 posts

The airport restaurant on the second floor is cheap and has excellent meal choices. My family had six different meals (there were six of us) and everyone agreed that their food was great.

There is an outdoor dining area where you can eat. Lunchtime was extremely busy with airport workers. Lines moved fast, cafeteria style. You tell the server what you want and they load up your plate. Credit card worked fine.

Posted by
16608 posts

There are lots of bank-owned ATMs in Prague. It is true that many of them charge withdrawal fees (which will be disclosed during the transaction, so you don't need to proceed if you prefer to cancel), but as long as you don't opt to have the transaction recorded in dollars, you don't have to worry about the ATM using a bad exchange rate. I used a Raffeisen Bank ATM myself, but it was not near the Old Town.

You can go to the Google map of Prague, zoom in on the Old Town area, and type Raffeisen ATM in the search box. You'll see several locations amd can figure out which one is nearest your hotel. However, there's no harm in trying other ATMs that are closer to where you are when you decide you need money; just watch for fee notifications.

Posted by
35 posts

There are quite a few of these banks around. Typically you find them when not looking for them.

Posted by
2417 posts

just back from a trip to Prague with a friend from Kansas , we both used ATMs at least once and checked charges we may have received.
CSOB and Uni Credit banks had no charges for either of us,

Ceske Sopritelen charged 100kc, Raiffeisne bank 150kc ,and Moneta 195 kc.
so charges vary and we had to try a few to find ones with no charges.

Posted by
8 posts

What "tax"??
You don't need to worry about the ATM too much. Just try it, and if it wants to charge you, you will see it on the screen - just cancel and try the next one. There are still plenty of those that do not charge.
Honest Guide is a great channel, even though he focuses more on the budget travelers.

Posted by
2417 posts

I too would like to know what "tax", The charges that banks make is for non Czech cards seems to be a fairly new thing and certainly has only be introduced in the last year or so.I am in Prague several times a year and don't always take cash out the ATM but certainly there were no charges a few years ago.

Posted by
16608 posts

Alas, more and more bank ATMs are now charging fees. It's worse in some countries than in others, but I've seen it in at least seven countries since May 2016. And it's never just one bank. It's like an infection; it spreads rapidly.

Posted by
2417 posts

I think that is a way for banks to pull in even more money.I use a Halifax Clarity Credit card which has no fees for transactions outside my own country and no conversion fees,I only pay interest on money taken from ATMs from day one .I pay the amount as soon as it comes into my account and last week ended up paying 2pence in interest. I am sure when this card expires they will change the conditions and I will end up having to pay something.

Posted by
166 posts

When I was in Prague in 2017, I used an ATM in the Palladium shopping mall adjacent to Republic Square. Very easy, and the machine even let you choose the denominations you wanted.

Posted by
1286 posts

I was in Prague in April. I used credit cards virtually everywhere with no problem.

The only issue is that restaurant tips (which are expected, it seems, about 10%) need to be in cash. They generally won't add it to the bill, and there won't be a line for you to add it as there is in the US. You can pay the bill with a credit card, then hand the tip to the server. So it's good to have some cash, and you will probably want to break your large bills so you can tip appropriately.

I also found that servers, tour guides, etc., were happy to accept euros and USD for tips.

Posted by
173 posts

I dealt with a lot of this on https://livingprague.com/prague-life/cash-card-prague/ and specifically for a Raiffeisen bank if you have "location services" enabled on your phone it will guide you to the closest branch. It also gives advice on how to withdraw or exchange cash. On this forum I have recommended Raiffeisen as you can choose the denomination of notes. From the airport you can use a card to buy a ticket but that either requires a "chip and PIN" card or a "tap and pay" card. Otherwise you need cash. Also note that the CZK32 ticket is for you so if you have large luggage you also need a CZK16.

Posted by
16608 posts

Jason, Unclegus's recent experience (per this thread) is that Raiffeisen Bank ATMs now have fees.

Posted by
35 posts

Its a recommendation forum we are giving our own experiences thar we have had. We are all from different countries and all have different fees in different banks.

Posted by
2417 posts

I think the charges may vary depending on your own card issuer and what arrangement they may have with various banks , but my experience is just as I have stated.
BTW I had a few beers with Jason last Wednesday.

Posted by
83 posts

Agree with Albert. We might have to pay some sort of fees based on the banks we use. After watching the "Honest Guide" video and some videos about money exchange in Prague, I got the idea that getting money from ATM in Prague is tricky. It seems to me some of the ATM in Prague even set their own exchange rate such as Euronet ATM. Paying the "standard fee" is ok. What I mean by "Standard fee" is like "transaction fee" each time using ATM by a bank different from the bank of the debit card. That is a fixed fee like $2-$4 each transaction no matter how much is withdrawn. But, the conversion rate should be the market rate of that day (buying rate).

After reading all your value input, can I say it is safe to use ATM by Prague banks to withdraw cash as long as I will deny the option of using "their conversion". That way, the ATM bank will have to go by the market rate?

Calvin

Posted by
208 posts

I was in Prague in March, watched the Honest Guide videos too, and as long as you use a bank ATM and not one of the currency stores you will be fine. And when using your card for a transaction, always decline the dynamic currency conversion. Do not feel pressed to tip and when you do tip, ten percent is generous. Prague is beautiful and affordable. Also the Honest Guide advice about using public transportation to get from the airport to the city center is spot on, a very easy and inexpensive way to get to town. Have fun!
Cynthia