Travel Money Guide: Greece

Rates and Fees verified correct on October 26th, 2016

How to save on travel fees when you’re holidaying in Greece

Since the euro crisis in 2007, Greece's economic instability has been televised globally and has left many travellers uncertain about the best way to take money to Greece. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Which option is right for your next trip?

Flight Centre Key to the World Currency Card

Flight Centre Key to the World Currency Card

The Key to the World Currency Card is a prepaid travel card from Flight Centre, which lets you load up to 10 currencies in just one card.

  • Pay no card issue fees, initial load fees and inactivity fees.
  • This card lets you transfer between currencies, load more funds and check your balance and transactions online.
  • You can choose up to 10 currencies to load onto your card.

    Compare travel cards for Greece

    Rates last updated October 26th, 2016
    Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Reload Fee Initial Load Fee
    Flight Centre Key to the World Currency Card
    Flight Centre Key to the World Currency Card
    AUD, USD, SGD, NZD, JPY, THB, GBP, EUR, HKD, CAD USD 2.50, EUR 2.50, GBP 2.00, NZD 3.50, THB 80.00, CAD 3.50, HKD 18.00, JPY 260.00, SGD 3.50, AUD 3.50 1.1% of the total amount $0 Go to site More
    Travelex Travel Card
    Travelex Travel Card
    AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD Travelex does not charge an ATM withdrawal fee when you use your Travelex Multi-currency Cash Passport to withdraw currencies that are loaded on the card at overseas ATMs where MasterCard is accepted. The greater of 1.1% of the initial load / reload amount or AU$15.00 $0 Go to site More
    Rates last updated October 26th, 2016
    Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC) Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (VISA) Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Annual fee
    Bankwest Zero Platinum MasterCard
    An introductory offer on balance transfers with $0 annual fee. Complimentary travel insurance & 24/7 Concierge service and $0 foreign transaction fees.
    0% of transaction value $0 $0 p.a. Go to site More info
    28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard
    Benefit from no international transaction fees on purchases, no currency conversion fees and no annual fee.
    0% of transaction value $0 $0 p.a. Go to site More info
    Bankwest Qantas Platinum MasterCard
    Receive 50,000 introductory bonus Qantas Points when you apply before 30 November 2016. Earn 0.50 rewards points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
    0% of transaction value $0 $160 p.a. Go to site More info
    Rates last updated October 26th, 2016
    Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
    Westpac Choice
    $0 Overseas ATM fee when you withdraw from the Global ATM alliance network.
    Mastercard $0 $2,000 No ATM fees when using St.George, Westpac, BankSA or Bank of Melbourne ATMs in Australia. Deposit at least $2,000 per month and enjoy no monthly service fee. Open More
    St.George Complete Freedom Account
    $0 Overseas ATM fee when you withdraw from the Global ATM alliance network.
    Visa $0 $2,000 No account keeping fees, if you deposit $2,000 per month plus no minimum balance required. No ATM fees when using St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. Open More
    Bank of Melbourne Express Freedom
    $0 Overseas ATM fee when you withdraw from the Global ATM alliance network.
    Visa $0 $1,000 No ATM fees when you use Bank of Melbourne, St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. No monthly fees if you deposit $1000 into your account each month. Open More
    Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
    No overseas ATM withdrawal fees (charged by Bankwest), 3rd party ATM fees and international transaction fees may still apply.
    Mastercard $0 $2,000 No monthly fees when you deposit at least $2,000 into your account each month. Free access to Bankwest and CommBank ATMs in Australia. No overseas ATM withdrawal fees (charged by Bankwest) though third party fees may apply. Open More
    Citibank Plus Everyday Account
    No international transaction fees and no overseas ATM withdrawals fees if you use a Citibank ATM overseas.
    Visa $0 $0 No ATM fees using Citibank, Westpac, BankSA and St.George branded ATMs in Australia. Use overseas Citibank ATMs for free. More

    How many euros do I need to take to Greece?

    Travellers frequently look for advice and estimates about the cost of a holiday in Greece, or want to know how much money they should take. The answer is relative. Greece can be a great budget travel destination if you know how to do it. It can also be very expensive if you come with a short time to enjoy and a mood for indulgence.

    Greece on a budgetInbetweenGreece in luxury
    eat-in-greeceOn the street. Gyros will keep your tummy full, your spirits high and set you back only about $2-$3.Traditional greek food and wine at one of the many restaurants. Estimate around $20-$30 dollars for a meal for two, and two glasses of wine.Overlooking the sea at an upmarket fine dining establishment. The cost will depend on what you order, of course, but count in hundreds.
    tours-in-greeceWalk around the fascinating ruins, wander through seaside towns and lounge on the beach. It’s free!Get a ferry ticket for an island hopping adventure, tickets are around $15- $50 depending on the length of the journey.The mediterranean in real-time and retrace the voyages that defined seafaring ancient civilisations. Luxury cruises from Athens to Istanbul for around $3500.
    accomodations-in-greeceIn one on Greece’s many hostels targeted to young travellers on a budget. Prices vary depending on the season, and of course the location, but expect around $15 dollars for a dorm bed per night.Some of the warmest hospitality you will find in Greece exists in the homely, cosy and authentic tavernas, low cost hotels. Costs will depend on the season and location but the price for a room is generally around $30 to $80 per night.A suite with a sea view and a private pool in one of the 5 star hotels in Mykonos will set you back a cool AU$2500.00 a night.

    While there is no limit to the amount of cash you can bring into Greece, you must declare anything over 10,000 euros. Traveller's cheques, bank bills, personal cheques and money orders are all considered ‘cash’. There are restrictions on the amount of money you can take out, but the majority of people don’t need to worry about this limit.

    Exchanging cash at Greek banks

    Banks tend to have the best exchange rates and are open from 9am to 2pm. Come prepared for a wait; long lines are a frequent occurrence in Greek banks. Automatic foreign exchange machines are also a common feature in tourist centres. They can be a convenient and wait-free way to change your cash but be advised: they charge a sizable commission.

    Exchange rate history

    Greece is currently experiencing a period of unstable deflation and inflation. This is a result of the current economic crisis. The price of goods and services relative to the value of the currency is likely to change marginally in the future as the economy corrects itself.

    YearAverage annual exchange Australian Dollar (AUD) to Euro (EUR)

    Travel card debit card or credit card?

    Greece is a European Union member, euros have been the official currency of Greece since 2001. All travel cards let you load and spend using euros. The advantage of a travel card is you avoid the fee for international transactions. Some debit cards and credit cards also give you this feature — Travel cards aren’t your only travel money option for Greece. If you have booked a holiday on a particular island that is a little more off the map, do a quick search before you go to see if it has an ATM. It will be a tiring first day if you need to take a boat back to the mainland so you can pay for your hotel or apartment.

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    How each travel money option works in Greece

    You can pay your way in Greece a few different ways, so start comparing some of the options available on the Australian market to find the right combination for you:

    Using a prepaid travel card

    Travel cards let you load Australian dollars, transfer them to euros to spend in Greece. You can avoid currency conversion fees for purchases and ATM withdrawals, just watch out for reload fees and ATM fees (some travel cards waive these fees). Travel money cards make sense in a place like Europe. With so many countries so close together all using the same currency, a travel card gives you the freedom to explore Greece and the rest of the European continent without needing to change finance products.

    Using a debit card

    When you choose a debit card, currency conversion fees and foreign ATM transaction fees should be among the features you compare. The Citibank Plus Transaction Account cuts out a lot of the international charges so common among different personal finance products. For example, Citibank won’t charge you for currency conversion, they don’t charge for international ATM withdrawals and you can avoid the local ATM operator fee by using a Citibank ATM in Greece — In and around Athens and Thessaloniki, you should be able to find a Citibank ATM easily enough.

    • Tip: Bankwest waive the international ATM fee for cardholders, local ATM operator fees may still apply.

    Using a credit card

    Look out for cards that don’t charge a currency conversion fee. If you only use your credit card to pay for over the counter purchases, use another type of card (debit or travel) to withdraw money from the ATM — cash withdrawals on credit are quick way to end up in debt. If you pay your balance off each month to take advantage of interest free days, credit cards can be a great travel money option for Greece. Some credit cards give you complimentary travel and purchase protection insurance when you meet conditions too. A credit card is also a good idea to have as a backup for a large or emergency purchases. Compare travel insurance policies for Greece.

    • Tip: Bankwest platinum credit cards don’t charge for currency conversion or international ATM fees.

    Using a traveller's cheques

    Don’t worry about traveller's cheques, the days of carrying a physical cheque are pretty much done. Credit, debit and travel card providers all give you a money back guarantee if you’ve genuinely been the victim of card fraud, such as skimming, and there are fewer places than ever where you can actually cash your cheques. Check our guide here on how to get your money back if you’ve been the victim of card fraud.

    Paying with cash in Greece

    Greece is a nation of a thousand islands famous for history, hedonism, nature and nightlife. Given the current economic climate, take heed of the following:

    ATMs running dry

    Reports during the peak tourist season of ATMs running out of cash on the weekend, and not being restocked until mid-week are common.

    • Always have an emergency supply of cash with you in Greece, and a back-up card you can use over the counter in case of emergencies.
    • Don’t be afraid to try the ATMs that don’t have signs written in english. Often, especially during tourist season, ATMs with english signs will run out of money first, and, even if the machine is in Greek, when you insert a foreign card, the ATM display will usually pop up in English.
    • Tip: Whether genuine or not, vendors in small shops that cater to tourists seemingly never have any change. If you are out to purchases little souvenirs, presents or other bits and pieces, better take a collection of smaller denominations with you to avoid the 'no-change situation'. You can change larger notes at banks, although even banks will sometimes be less than gracious about changing 500 euro notes.
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    Things to consider before traveling to Greece

    • Australian credit cards, debit cards and travel cards will work in Greece. The government has assured travellers capital control measures do not apply to transactions made with a debit or credit product issued in Australia.
    • ATMs may be short of cash. It’s advised to take cash from Australia (Australian dollars or euros) so you don’t run out.
    • Take a combination of travel money options to Greece. A combination of cash, credit, debit or travel cards is the best approach. You can compare these options on this page.

    Find out more about the financial crisis in Greece and how to plan your holiday.

    Find cash and ATMs in Greece

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    Buying euros in Australia

    Economic uncertainty is the word in Greece at the moment. Euros in your pocket when you land can give you peace of mind for the start of your trip. Your bank will be able to give you euros in cash, but have a look at Travelex and Australia Post. Both these providers don’t charge a commission and offer competitive rates of exchange. These providers even have outlets at Australia’s major airports where you can grab your cash right before you hop on the plane.

    Why you need a combination of travel money options

    A combination of travel money products is the best way to finance your Greek trip, especially since there may be times when you can’t get cash from an ATM. If this is the case, you’ll need to rely on making over the counter purchases — a no currency conversion card is best in this situation. If you want to avoid paying ridiculous charges, never use your credit card at an ATM to get cash. This is a cash advance and there are fees and immediate interest charges to think about.

    Interview with Jessica about travel money and her trip to Greece

    Where did you go? Jessica visited Athens, the Greek capital and a large Greek island, Ios.

    What cards did you take with you?

    Why did you take these cards? Jessica took these two cards with her because they were the credit card and debit card she used in Australia. She also exchanged Australian dollars to euros before she left the country so she had a little money to pay for immediate expenses when she landed.

    What about ATM withdrawals? She used her debit card to withdraw money from ATMs in Greece. Her Visa card worked at every ATM she tried to use. She looked for the Visa (Cirrus) logo on the front of the machine. Jessica says she didn’t encounter any instances where the ATM was out of cash, although she had heard to watch out for this by other travellers she met along the way. She was charged an international and local ATM fee of about $10 each time she made an ATM withdrawal in addition to a currency conversion fee of 3%.

    Where could you use your credit cards? Excluding her airfares to and from Greece, Jessica says she only used her credit card a few times during her holiday: to book a ferry ticket to and from Ios, to pay for her accommodation (Farout Beach Club) and to pay for dinner at a restaurant. She didn’t try to use her card to pay for drinks while she was out, she paid cash and left her credit card at home. She describes these island clubs and bars as party focused and didn’t want to take her credit card on a night out.

    What do you think is the best travel money for Greece? She explains that she didn’t have time to apply for a travel friendly account before she left on her holiday — her trip was a bit last minute. If she had her time again, Jessica says that she would have applied for an account which waives the currency conversion fee, international ATM fee — preferably both. She calculates she spent approximately $60 - $70 on international transaction and ATM charges over the course of a three week holiday.

    Do you have any Greek travel money tips? Jessica says she got a better price paying cash in some places, especially on the smaller islands.  She also recommends keeping €10 and €20 notes handy for shopping, she had a little trouble getting change for €50 when she was buying souvenirs in Ios.

    Get travel insurance quotes for your holiday in Greece

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    Greece is a magical destination with much to discover for any kind of traveller. If you are planning a trip to Greece, do some research, have a think about what kind of trip you would like and choose a travel money product that suits you. You’re going to have to take multiple cards so you can really relax on your trip to Greece. Just a travel card or credit card isn’t going to cut it. If you have a questions about the best way to take money to Greece, we can help steer you in the right direction. Get in touch with us using the form at the bottom of the page.

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    Greece is a magical destination with much to discover for any kind of traveller. If you are planning a trip to Greece, do some research, have a think about what kind of trip you would like and choose a travel money product that suits you.

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    This page was last modified on 23 June 2016 at 11:58.

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    14 Responses to Travel Money Guide: Greece

    1. Default Gravatar
      Leanna | June 9, 2016

      Hi I’m going to Zante am I best to change my money into euros before I go or would I get a better exchange rate over there?


      • Staff
        Sally | June 10, 2016

        Hi Leanna,

        Thanks for your question.

        This depends on whether you’re using a prepaid travel money card or if you’re taking cash. It’ll also depend where you’re planning on exchanging your funds (e.g. airports tend to have less competitive offers than foreign currency exchange offers in Australia and Greece). Unfortunately, as exchange rates are constantly changing, we’re unable to recommend a specific time that’s best for you to exchange your cash.

        However, at the very least, you’ll want to make sure you have some Euros handy for when you arrive. This will help cover any costs such as food, taxis or anything else you need before you get a chance to withdraw funds or exchange more cash.

        I hope this has helped.



    2. Default Gravatar
      Marie | April 22, 2016

      Hi there, we are mainly travelling to Crete and Rhodes and was wondering if cash would be better than travel card for restaurants and shopping and should it be in smaller denominations

      • Staff
        Sally | April 22, 2016

        Hi Marie,

        Thanks for your question.

        Cash can be a good idea if you’re travelling in Greece and planning to make regular purchases in cafes, restaurants and markets (especially if they’re outside the major cities). To be safe, though, you should prepare a few travel money options. If you have cash, you might want to consider taking a travel money or debit card that has low foreign currency conversion fees and international ATM withdrawal fees so that you can access your cash easily without incurring too many costs.

        If you’re planning on making larger purchases or would like to have some financial security by the way of line of credit, a credit card with low or no foreign transaction fees is another option.

        Consider how you’ll be spending your money, where you’ll be travelling and try to pick out a few different travel money options so that you’re not leaving all of your eggs in one basket.

        I hope this has helped.



    3. Default Gravatar
      FTB | August 22, 2015

      if you purchase in one of your locations can we pay with cash ?

      • Staff
        Sally | August 24, 2015

        Hi FTB,

        Thank you for your question.

        If you’re referring to purchasing a card, the loading process will depend on the card and the provider you’re with.

        Typically you can load funds in the bank at the time of purchase, via an online or telephone Bank Transfer or with BPAY.

        I hope this has helped answer your question.



    4. Default Gravatar
      FTB | August 22, 2015

      if you pay using a debit or credit card does that create a hold either on your card or the card you used to pay with ?

      • Staff
        Sally | August 24, 2015

        Hi FTB,

        Thank you for your question.

        In order to answer your question correctly, you may need to clarify where you intend on using the card and the type of card you’re using.

        For example, if you’re using a prepaid debit card, a regular debit card or a credit card at a hotel, you may find that the amount may be held on your card.

        I hope this has helped.



    5. Default Gravatar
      lin | May 25, 2015

      i have read some damning reviews on qantascash cards not being accepted at some overseas locations. do you know if they work in greek atm’s?

      • Staff
        Sally | May 25, 2015

        Hi Lin,

        Thank you for your question.

        As the Qantas Cash Card supports Euros, you should be able to use your Qantas Cash Card to make purchases and withdrawals in Greece.

        The Qantas Cash Card is a MasterCard and is accepted at over 32 million locations worldwide, including 1.9 million ATMs throughout more than 60 countries, including Greece.

        Therefore, you should have no problem accessing ATMs or EFTPOS terminals that accept MasterCard in Greece.

        I hope this has answered your question.



    6. Default Gravatar
      Beck | March 5, 2015

      Hi, Will my MasterCard and Visa debit card from commonwealth bank work in Greece?

      • Staff
        Shirley | March 6, 2015

        Hi Beck,

        Thanks for your question.

        Your Commonwealth Bank Travel Money card should work at any retailer or ATM that accepts MasterCard worldwide.


    7. Default Gravatar
      joe | December 11, 2014

      My daughters are going to Greece next year and I wanted to give them some money as a Xmas gift. Can I get a debit card in Euros intheir names to give them some money?

      • Staff
        Shirley | December 12, 2014

        Hi Joe,

        Thanks for your question.

        Most transaction accounts in Australia only hold AUD unless you opt for a multi-currency account.

        Multi-currency accounts also have a linked debit card, if this is something you may be interested in. Alternatively you may want to opt for a travel card instead, but just be mindful that inactive fees and expiry dates apply.


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