Travel Money Guide: Greece

Rates and fees last updated on

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?

ANZ Travel Card

ANZ Travel Card

  • Load up to 10 currencies
  • Lock in your exchange rates
  • No overseas transaction fees

ANZ Travel Card

The ANZ Travel Card is a prepaid card that can be loaded with up to 10 currencies to make purchases overseas at over 38 million merchants and over 2.3 million ATMs worldwide.

  • Lock in your exchange rates and know how much money you have to spend
  • No transaction fees for electronic purchases when using foreign currency
  • Multiple reload options - online, over the phone or in person
  • Manage your money online or over the phone 24/7
  • Spare card if in case one is lost or stolen

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Compare travel cards for Greece

Rates last updated September 24th, 2017
Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Reload Fee Initial Load Fee
ANZ Travel Card
ANZ Travel Card
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD AUD 3.50, USD 2.50, GBP 2.00, EUR 2.20, NZD 4.50, CAD 3.00, HKD 20.00, SGD 4.00, THB 95, JPY 260 1.1% $0 Go to site More
Qantas Cash
Qantas Cash
AUD, AED, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD AUD 1.95, CAD 2.00, EUR 1.50, GBP 1.25, HKD 15.00, JPY 160, NZD 2.50, SGD 2.50, USD 1.95, THB 70.00, AED 6.50 $0 $0 Go to site More
NAB Traveller Card
NAB Traveller Card
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD

Overseas: $0 per withdrawal via international ATMs

Domestic: $3.75 fee applies

$0 $0 Go to site More
Cash Passport Mastercard
Cash Passport Mastercard
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD 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 $0 $0 Go to site More
Australia Post Multi-currency Cash Passport
Australia Post Multi-currency Cash Passport
AUD, NZD, USD, EUR, GBP, THB, SGD, CAD, HKD, JPY Overseas: $0

Domestic: 2.95% of the amount withdrawn

$5 $0 Go to site More
Rates last updated September 24th, 2017
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC) Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (VISA) Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
The greater of 2% or $4
$0 p.a.
Receive complimentary international travel insurance, access to a 24/7 concierge service and 0% foreign transaction fees.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
0% of transaction value
$0
$225 p.a.
Receive 40,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $500 on eligible purchases in the first three months.
28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
3% of the cash advance or $4 (whichever is greater)
$0 p.a.
Designed for travel, benefit from no international transaction fees on purchases and no currency conversion fees.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
Greater of 2% or $4.00
$99 p.a.
Offers an introductory balance transfer rate of 0% p.a. for 13 months with a 2% BT fee, plus platinum perks.
Bankwest More Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$5
2% or $4, whichever is greater
$160 p.a.
No fees on overseas ATM withdrawal, no foreign transaction fees and earn 75,000 bonus More rewards points.

Compare up to 4 providers

Rates last updated September 24th, 2017
$
Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
$0 Overseas ATM withdrawal fees charged by Bankwest. Third party ATM fees and international transaction fees may still apply.
Mastercard $0 $2,000 $0 account keeping fees when you deposit at least $2,000 into your account each month. Otherwise, a $6 monthly fee applies. Unlimited Free withdrawals at Bankwest and CommBank ATMs in Australia. Go to site More
Westpac Choice
$0 Overseas ATM fee when you withdraw from the Global ATM alliance network. International transaction fee still applies.
Mastercard $0 $2,000 $0 account keeping fees if you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Otherwise, a $5 monthly fee applies. Unlimited free withdrawals at St.George, Westpac, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA ATMs. Go to site More
St.George Complete Freedom Account
$0 Overseas ATM fee when you withdraw from the Global ATM alliance network. International transaction fee still applies.
Visa $0 $2,000 $0 account keeping fees if you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Otherwise, a $5 fee applies. Unlimited free withdrawals at St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. Go to site 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 budgetIn betweenGreece 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 $3,500.
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$2,500 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)
20120.806041
20130.728778
20140.679508
20150.677914
20160.672243
20170.690959

*Exchange rates are accurate as of 3 September 2017

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 4 September 2017 at 6:38pm.

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16 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    BrendaSeptember 15, 2017

    Is it ok to take english currency to greece

    • Staff
      GruSeptember 16, 2017Staff

      Hello Brenda.

      Yes, you may take English currency to Greece and have it changed to Euros there, but you may also take Euros. As to what you should bring is all up to you.

      You may continue reading up on the information we have on this page to assess what would be best to bring. Please also note that exchange rates vary on a daily basis, also depending on the travel money provider or exchange bureau.
      Alternatively, you also have several other options to choose from aside from taking cash. You may use your debit or credit card, a travel card, or traveller’s cheque. Again, choosing what would best suit you and what you would be comfortable with is all up to you.

      Hope this helped.

      Cheers,
      Gru

  2. Default Gravatar
    LeannaJune 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?

    Thanks

    • Staff
      SallyJune 10, 2016Staff

      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.

      Cheers,

      Sally

  3. Default Gravatar
    MarieApril 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
    Thanks

    • Staff
      SallyApril 22, 2016Staff

      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.

      Cheers,

      Sally

  4. Default Gravatar
    FTBAugust 22, 2015

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

    • Staff
      SallyAugust 24, 2015Staff

      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.

      Thanks,

      Sally

  5. Default Gravatar
    FTBAugust 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
      SallyAugust 24, 2015Staff

      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.

      Thanks,

      Sally

  6. Default Gravatar
    linMay 25, 2015

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

    • Staff
      SallyMay 25, 2015Staff

      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.

      Thanks,

      Sally

  7. Default Gravatar
    BeckMarch 5, 2015

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

    • Staff
      ShirleyMarch 6, 2015Staff

      Hi Beck,

      Thanks for your question.

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

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  8. Default Gravatar
    joeDecember 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 in their names to give them some money?

    • Staff
      ShirleyDecember 12, 2014Staff

      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.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

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