Travel Money Guide: Poland

Want to know how you can organise your travel money before your trip to Poland? This guide is for you.

Passport: Check. Winter coats: Check. Extra baggy jeans for after you’ve overindulged in hearty Polish cuisine: Check. Now all that’s left to do is organising your travel money. Poland has been a member of the European Union since 2004 and a member of the Schengen area since 2007. As Poland isn’t a Eurozone member, zloty is the national currency. If you’re one of the increasing number of travellers visiting Poland each year, it’s a safe bet you will be also visiting another European Union member state. If this is the case, a card which waives the currency conversion fee for transactions in both euros and zloty is preferable. Even better if you can find a product which also waives international ATM withdrawals fees — you’re going to need cash on your trip. Unlike other European member states, Polish ATMs charge an operator fee if you make a withdrawal. Be up to date with your options for travel money and get the most out of your trip. Spend your time enjoying Poland, and not worrying about spending money.

Compare travel cards for Poland

Rates last updated October 20th, 2018
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
2% of transaction amount or $4 (whichever is greater)
$0 p.a.
Offers a $0 annual fee, 0% foreign transaction fees, complimentary international travel insurance and a balance transfer offer.
28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
3% of the cash advance or $4 (whichever is greater)
$0 p.a.
No foreign transaction fees on international purchases including international purchases online, together with a no annual fee.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
2% of transaction amount or $4 (whichever is greater)
$99 p.a.
Receive a 0% p.a. interest rate on purchases and balance transfers for 13 months, complimentary travel insurance and 0% foreign transaction fees.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
0% of transaction value
$5
$0
$225 p.a.
Receive 40,000 bonus Velocity Points, 2 yearly Virgin Australia lounge passes, plus enjoy $0 overseas purchase transaction fees.

Compare up to 4 providers

Rates last updated October 20th, 2018
$
Name Product Product Description Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Monthly Account Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Eftpos Fee
ING Orange Everyday Account
Receive a rebate on any international transaction fees and international ATM fees when you deposit at least $1,000 a month and make at least 5 card purchases.
Visa
$0
$2.50
2.5%
NAB Classic Banking with Platinum Visa Debit Card
$10 cashback on contactless purchases, $0 foreign transaction fee and complimentary travel insurance.
$10 monthly account fee.
Receive $10 cashback when you spend $1000 on contactless purchases. Complimentary travel insurance, transport accident insurance, purchase protection insurance and more when you meet eligibility criteria.
Visa
$0
$5
0%
HSBC Everyday Global Account
No foreign ATM or transaction fees.
$0 monthly account fee.
Enjoy no minimum ongoing balance or transaction requirements and the flexibility to hold up to 10 currencies. Apple Pay and Google Pay available.
Visa
$0
$0
$0
Citi Global Currency Account
Hold up to 10 currencies.
$0 monthly account fee.
Enjoy one linked debit card to hold up to 10 currencies and receive foreign currencies for free. Earn up to 2.25% p.a. interest on your AUD balance.
Mastercard
$0
$0
$0

Compare up to 4 providers

Rates last updated October 20th, 2018
Name Product Description Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Reload Fee Initial Load Fee
Hold up to 10 currencies and lock in your exchange rate. No load, reload or transaction fees on purchases and part of a worldwide ATM alliance.
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

0%
$0
Earn up to 15,000 bonus Qantas Points when you load foreign currency onto your Qantas Travel Money card before 31 October 2018.
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

1%
$0

Compare up to 4 providers

Rates last updated October 20th, 2018
Name Product Description Minimum Order Amount Maximum Order Amount Delivery/Pickup Method Commission Fees
Order over 60 currencies online at the best price against the Australian dollar and collect at one of over 130 locations across Australia.
$500
$10,000
In Store or At Airport
$0
Travelex makes it easy to exchange and get the best rate on over 40 currencies so you can be prepared for your next holiday.
$500
$5,000
In Store or At Airport
$0
Order multiple currencies in one transaction and have it delivered directly to your door anywhere in Australia.
$9,000
In Store or Home Delivery
$0

Compare up to 4 providers

How much zloty do I need to bring Poland?

Poland is still cheap compared to Western Europe and Australia. How you choose to travel will dictate the final cost of your trip. If you eat out (and drink out) every night and stay in nice hotels, your trip will be much more expensive than somebody who rents a bed in a dorm and cooks with food from the market.

Krakow Budget Midrange Expensive
to-sleep $15 - $30 per night 2 star hotel
$40 - $80 per night
5 star hotel
$150 - $250 per night
to-eat Zapiekanki (Polish pizza)
$3
Pierogi (Polish dumplings)
$5
Restaurant and wine bar
$10 - $20 per dish
plus wine
$20 (500ml)
5 star restaurant traditional set 3 course menu plus drinks
$80 a head
camera 1 hour river cruise
$15 Bike tour of Krakow
$35 per person
Auschwitz-Birkenau guided tour from Krakow plus museum entry
$60 per person
Private wine tour of Krakow over 2 nights with accommodation
$250 per person

*Prices are approximate and for one guest in summer.

Exchange rate history

Following a period of economic instability as a result of the global financial and European debt crisis, in recent history, the Australian dollar has been worth about 2.6 - 3 Polish zloty.

Year Average annual exchange Australian Dollar (AUD) to Polish złoty (PLN)
2012 3.370230
2013 3.057843
2014 2.843892
2015 2.834151
2016 2.854570
2017 2.83735

*Exchange rates are accurate as of 5 September 2017

Which travel card, debit card or credit card?

You won’t have a problem using your Visa or Mastercard debit card, credit card or travel money card at point of sale terminals and Polish bancomat machines. Like in Australia, American Express is not accepted in as many places as Visa or Mastercard. Card payments are the norm in supermarkets, shops, petrol stations, restaurants and more, especially in major towns and cities such as Warsaw, Krakow, Lodz, Wroclaw and so on. There are two charges to worry about: compare products which waive the currency conversion fee when you spend in zloty and compare cards that let you withdraw from Polish ATMs without paying the international ATM withdrawal fee.

Travel money options for Poland at a glance

Travel money option Pros Considerations
Debit cards for travel
  • No currency conversion, international ATM withdrawals or both
  • ATMs are the common feature of the public spaces in Krakow
  • There is a fee for ATM cash withdrawal (approx. $3) from bankomats
Prepaid travel money cards
  • Convenient and safe
  • Prepaid travel cards can be used to spend and withdraw (fees may apply)
  • No Australian travel money cards support Polish zloty
  • There are cheaper travel money products to use than a prepaid travel card
Credit cards for travel
  • Credit cards are widely accepted, especially Visa and Mastercard
  • Some cards have no annual fees, no foreign exchange fees and they perform currency exchanges at the best possible interchange rate
  • Credit cards can usually only be used in larger cities and tourist areas and you may be charged to use them
  • Smaller businesses and out-of-city areas credit card acceptance might not be so common
Traveller's cheques
  • Security
  • Traveller's cheques can be exchanged at the larger hotels
  • Only accepted by main banks and hotels
  • They are not accepted by kantors.
Cash
  • Greater payment flexibility
  • Convenience
  • More difficult to manage expenses
  • Higher risk of theft

This table is a general summary of the travel money products in the market. Features and benefits can vary between cards.

How travel cards, debit cards, credit cards and more work in Poland

Using Australian debit cards

Transaction accounts with travel features don’t charge for currency conversion, international ATM withdrawals or both. Because Poland is not a Eurozone member, you’ll pay a local ATM operator fee when you withdraw cash (approx. $3) from bankomats. You can avoid the international ATM withdrawal fee using the Citibank Plus Transaction Account (the currency conversion fee too). You can save even more money using your Citibank Plus Visa Debit Card to withdraw from Polish Citibank ATMs. Cardholders can withdraw for free from all Citibank ATMs in Poland and all over the world.

  • Tip: If you’re a Westpac, St.George, Bank of Melbourne or BankSA cardholder, use Deutsche Bank ATMs in Poland and you won’t pay the international ATM withdrawal fee.

Using credit cards

Travel credit cards let you spend in zloty without paying the additional 3% charge to convert Australian dollars into a foreign currency. This is a handy feature when you’re overseas as it allows you to use you credit card in Poland for approximately the same price as Australia. In Poland, as in most developed countries, credit cards are widely accepted, especially Visa and Mastercard. However, be mindful that in smaller businesses and out-of-city areas credit card acceptance might not be so common.

Exchange rates. When you make a transaction in zloty using your credit card or debit card, the Visa or Mastercard (or American Express) foreign exchange rate applies. This rate is usually better than the rate you’ll get on a travel card and is pretty close to the market rate.

Using travel prepaid cards

No Australian travel money cards support Polish zloty. Unless you’re using a no currency conversion fee travel card, you’ll pay an additional fee when you use your travel card to spend and withdraw. The cards which don’t charge for currency conversion charge for ATM withdrawals and vice versa. While travel cards may be suited to take to trips to Eurozone member countries, there are cheaper travel money products to use in Poland than a prepaid travel card.

Using traveller's cheques

Traveller’s cheques are a travel money dinosaur. These products have been replaced by debit cards and travel cards and you will have trouble finding a place where you can get your traveller’s cheques cashed. Taking traveller’s cheques to Poland is not advised. Learn more on this guide how to get a refund if you're a victim of a fraudulent transaction.

Paying with cash in Poland

You will find that you can pay using your card in Poland in a similar number of places to Australia. The difference is the time it takes for the transaction to process. It can be minutes rather than seconds with some merchants, and you may get the odd look while a line builds up behind you. Some stores will only take cards for transactions over the Polish equivalent of $20 Australian dollars. Pubs and clubs are frequently cash only as with some restaurants. Of course, markets are cash only.

Poland-zloty1

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East meets West Top Deck Tour: One day in Krakow

For her 19th birthday, Kacey visited Poland as part of a 13 day Top Deck tour. The tour started in Budapest and finished in London. She spent a day travelling from Vienna to Poland and one day in Krakow before continuing to the Czech Republic.

What cards did you take with you? Kacey took these cards with her on her trip.

Why did you take these cards?

Her parents paid for her trip for her birthday. They recommended she open the Citibank Plus Transaction Account before she left Australia, which she was to use as her travel account. The Citibank Plus account doesn’t charge for international ATM withdrawals, currency conversion and has no account keeping fee. She spent the majority of her trip in the Eurozone (Germany, the Netherlands & Austria) where she could make free ATM withdrawals (Eurozone ATMs don’t charge local ATM operator fees). She used the card to pay for over the counter expenses when she could, which was quite often during her 13 day tour. ANZ is Kacey’s bank in Australia. She took her Access Advantage Debit Card with her in case something happened to the Citibank Card (the Access Advantage has no account fee for under 25’s) and she used the Low Rate Card for emergencies. She’s happy to report there were no ‘emergency situations’. She transferred lump sum amounts from her Access Advantage Account to her Citibank Plus account as she needed it.

Where could you use your cards?

She didn’t have a problem with card acceptance. When she arrived in Poland, she made one ATM withdrawal of about 200 Polish zloty (about $80AUD), which was more than enough to cover her for a day and a half — the tour paid for breakfast, but not lunch, dinner, drinks or activities for the day. She didn’t want to withdraw too much money as they headed to the Czech Republic the next day, and she had to make another ATM withdrawal so she could get Czech Koruna.

What about ATM withdrawals?

Kacey made a withdrawal from a Bank Polski bancomat around Krakow’s main square and was charged a fee of 5PLN, which is about $2. She says that the ATM offered an English language option and displayed exactly what she would be charged before she accepted the transaction.

What travel money recommendations do you have for Poland?

She says the Citibank Plus was a great card to use around Europe. Not only are there plenty of Citibank ATMs in different countries, Eurozone ATMs don’t charge a fee, so she paid nothing to withdraw cash using this card.

Do you have any travel money tips?

  • Reload time. Kacey says it took at least 2 or 3 days to transfer money from her ANZ Access Advantage Account to her Citibank account. She says watch out for weekends, she tried to make a transfer on a Friday and the funds didn’t clear until Wednesday (5 days).
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Buying currency in Australia

If you want to purchase zloty in Australia, banks and foreign exchange providers can sell you cash before you leave. The following banks and foreign exchange providers can sell you zloty in Australia. Banks charge a commission, Australia Post and Travelex. You can even order your foreign cash online with Travelex and Australia Post and collect the money from Australian international airports.

There’s no limit to the amount of foreign cash you can bring with you to Poland. If you’re carrying more than the foreign currency equivalent of €10,000, and you’re entering Poland from a non-EU member state, you must declare your cash when you enter the country.

Exchanging cash

Aussie dollars, euros, pounds and US dollars can all be easily changed at Polish ‘Kantors’ or exchange offices. Kantors can offer a very good exchange rate. Always use a Kantor which displays a ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ rate, if there is only one rate on display, there’s a good chance it’s a dodgy exchange office and you may get ripped off. In Krakow, head to Slawkowska Street close to the main square of the city to find a decent place to exchange cash. There should be no commission but double check before you start the transaction. Avoid changing money at the airport. If you find yourself in smaller villages, banks will usually change foreign currency, but come prepared with enough Zloty beforehand.

  • Tip: Some towns near the border of Eurozone member states may accept euros as a form of payment. Always pay in the local currency to avoid an unfavourable exchange rate.

Finding cash and ATMs in Poland

Contactless payments

Contactless payments are extremely handy when you’re overseas. This form of payment eliminates the minimum transaction limit so common among merchants. Poland has had an enthusiastic uptake of contactless payment technology and is currently the biggest market in Europe for Visa PayWave. Almost half of all Visa payments in Poland are contactless and all Visa point of sale terminals will support contactless payments by 2017.

Why you’ll need a combination of travel money options

The best advice for how to carry and use your travel money while in Poland is to split up your travel funds between cards, always have access to cash to make small payments, and carry enough cash on your person to get you through any small emergency. In larger cities like Krakow and Warsaw, pulling out your card to pay for lunch is not likely to raise an eyebrow; paying with card is perfectly normal. There will definitely be some situations where cash is the preferred, if not the only way to pay. That’s why it makes sense to keep your options open, and have easy access to both cash and cards. If you are planning a trip to Poland, or are considering traveling to Europe, compare the travel money options before you leave. If you have any other tips for traveling wisely and using travel money in Poland, leave a comment in the forum. If you have any questions, ask us using the form below.

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6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    lucasMay 25, 2016

    Hello,

    I was initially travelling around Europe on a pre loaded commonwealth bank travel money card, which was great for withdrawing euro’s and pounds from atms. Now I have since settled in Poland and I’m considering staying. As noted on your page, it isn’t a eurozone country and consequently I have noted that it is quite pricey withdrawing cash through my comm bank travel card as the zloty is not a supported currency.

    Is there an alternative that is more cost effective and better suited to my circumstances considering I may well be based in Poland for some time longer?

    Kind regards,

    • finder Customer Care
      SallyMay 25, 2016Staff

      Hi Lucas,

      Thanks for your question.

      In this case, it might be better if you look for a prepaid card from a Polish bank. You could transfer your zloty onto this card and hopefully withdraw your cash without incurring high fees.

      You might need to visit some Polish banks to discuss your options and determine which product is best for your trip.

      Cheers,

      Sally

  2. Default Gravatar
    SanOctober 30, 2015

    Hi Team,
    I have arrived in Warsaw, Poland with a pre loaded EURO card.
    Here i am unable to find any ATM which dispenses EURO. Trying to withdraw local currency is too very expensive on bank ATM’s. Please do let me know if there is any facility to withdraw EURO in Warsaw Poland.
    Regards,
    San

    • finder Customer Care
      SallyNovember 2, 2015Staff

      Hi San,

      Thanks for your question.

      As mentioned on our Poland Travel Money Guide, the local currency Zloty is used in Poland. As such, the majority of ATMs will only allow you to withdraw Zloty currency.

      You may be able to withdraw Euros at some airports, but still the majority will be in Zloty.

      Sorry we couldn’t be of more service.

      Cheers,

      Sally

  3. Default Gravatar
    ReniJune 22, 2015

    Hello,

    I have a cash passport loaded but the card has been stolen how I could get the money now while on holiday in Poland?

    Kind regards
    Reni

    • finder Customer Care
      SallyJune 22, 2015Staff

      Hi Reni,

      Thank you for your comment and we’re sorry to hear about your stolen card.

      In the event that you no longer have access to your card, you will need to contact the Card Services team directly. I’ve emailed you their contact details.

      They will either send a secondary card to you or organise for emergency funds (of up to the available balance on your card) to be sent to you.

      I hope this has helped.

      All the best,

      Sally

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