Travel Money Guide: Serbia

Rates and Fees verified correct on October 26th, 2016

Travel cards, debit cards, credit cards to take on holiday to Serbia

Serbia is home to mountains, monasteries, vampires (well, maybe), raspberries and an edgy nightlife scene. The Balkan nation is growing as a destination for tourists and is very much cash based compared to other countries in Western Europe. Visa and MasterCard credit cards are widely accepted by merchants with point of sale card payment facilities as well as ATMs. Banking services and facilities in Belgrade and other large cities are modern and safe; however, you may have problems using your cards for purchases in towns and rural areas. ATM access may be limited in these places, too. The currency of the Republic of Serbia is the dinar (RSD). We compare products you can use to spend in RSD without paying international transaction fees.

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 Serbia

    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 much dinars do I need to bring to Serbia?

    Serbia and the Balkans are cheaper than Western Europe and you can find prices to suite both shoestring and unlimited budgets.

    BelgradeBudget Mid-range Expensive
    to-sleepHostel dorm bed:
    $7–20 per night
    3 star hotel:
    $20–40 per night
    5 star hotel:
    $150–300 per night
    to-eatLunch at a small Serbian grill:
    $3–6 per item
    Lunch at a pizza & pasta restaurant in the city:
    $6–12 per dish
    Fine dining. 5 star restaurant:
    $20–30 per main
    to-seeDowntown Belgrade walking tour:
    Section 1 seats for the opera at the Serbian National Theatre, Belgrade:
    Private guided food tour:
    $150 per person

    *Prices are approximate and are subject to change.

    Exchange rate history

    The Aussie dollar peaked against the Serbian dinar in 2012 when 1 AUD was equal to 100 dinars – over the past few years the average rate has been about 80 dinars. Travel cards and traveller’s cheques let you lock in a rate; however, no travel cards support RSD and Serbian dinar traveller’s cheques are not available from American Express or Thomas Cook.

    YearAverage annual exchange Australian Dollar (AUD) to Serbian dinar (RSD)
    2014 84.72551

    Which should I opt for: travel card, debit card or credit card?

    Visa and MasterCard can be used at most merchants – look for the Visa/Electron MasterCard/Maestro symbol at the point of sale or on the front of the ATM. You’ll need cash for smaller purchases and when outside the major cities: Belgrade, Nis, Novi Sad and Zemun for example.

    There are no travel cards which support spending in Serbian dinars. A travel card can be used throughout Europe; just look for a card that waives the currency conversion fee if you want to use a prepaid travel money card in Serbia. There are debit cards and credit cards on the market which waive currency conversion fees – you can compare these cards below. Some products even waive international ATM charges, too.

    A quick summary of travel money options for Serbia

    Travel money optionProsConsiderations
    Prepaid travel money cards
    • Lock in exchange rates
    • Convenience to spend money overseas
    • Additional card is available
    • A fee may be charged upon card purchase, loading of funds or when card has been inactive for more 12 months
    • Exchange rates are lower than credit cards and debit cards
    Debit cards for travel
    • Can be used at ATMs and over the counter
    • Waived currency conversion fees for purchases
    • Waived overseas ATM withdrawal fees
    • No account keeping fees
    • Only one option: Citibank Plus Transaction Account
    Credit cards for travel
    • Waived international ATM fees
    • Waived currency conversion fees
    • Interest-free days on purchases
    •  Won't be covered for card's no liability guarantee
    Traveller's cheques
    • Exchange traveller's cheque to banks
    • Security
    • Widely-acceptance
    • Cannot be used in-store
    • Convenience
    • Greater payment flexibility
    •  Security

    How cards, cheques and cash work in Serbia

    Travel prepaid cards

    The CBA Travel Card, the Qantas Cash and the STA CashFlex Travel Card are some products that could be used in Serbia due to their lack of currency conversion fee. These products can be a convenient way to spend your own money overseas with the security of an additional card. Using any other travel card will cost you at least 3% extra. The American Express GlobalTravel Card also doesn’t charge for currency conversion; however, you may encounter issues with American Express acceptance in Serbia.

    Depending on the card, you might be charged a fee when you purchase a travel card, load the card with funds or when the card has been inactive for more than 12 months. Prepaid cards often let you lock in the exchange rate that’s in place at the time of loading your funds, but they often don’t charge as competitive exchange rates as credit cards and debit cards.

    Debit cards

    Travel debit cards can be used both over the counter and at ATMs. Our comparison of travel friendly debit cards includes just one transaction account suited for overseas spending. The Citibank Plus waives the currency conversion fee for purchases and ATM withdrawals, it waives the international ATM fee and there’s no monthly charge to keep the account. It comes with a Visa Debit Card. You can also use the account to make free Citibank Global Transfers to international Citibank accounts.

    Serbs have been able to make contactless payments for years; Australian debit cards (and credit cards) with a CHIP can make contactless payments in Serbia. However, the limits may be different. For example in Australia, you can tap and go for purchases under $100. The Citibank Plus Visa Debit can be used for contactless payments up to about $20 in Serbia. You may need to enter your PIN if you want to make a larger purchase.

    Credit cards

    The GE Money 28 Degrees MasterCard, Bankwest Platinum cards and Coles Rewards MasterCard waive the 3% fee for spending in a foreign currency. The Bankwest Platinum cards waive the international ATM withdrawal fee as well as the currency conversion fee. However, using your credit card for a cash advance is an expensive transaction. These cards give you interest free days on purchases when you pay your balance off in full each month; there are no interest free days when you use your card for cash withdrawals. While it is possible to transfer your own money to one of these credit cards to avoid interest charges, you won’t be covered by the card’s no liability guarantee.

    Traveller’s cheques

    You can change traveller’s cheques at banks; however, there’s no guarantee the bank will accept traveller’s cheques and they can’t be used in-store. This form of travel money has largely been replaced by travel cards and debit cards. Using a Visa or MasterCard product to make an ATM withdrawal is a reliable way to get foreign cash and the card schemes offer no liability guarantees which means you’ll get your money back if someone gets your card and uses it.

    Exchanging money

    You must declare cash (including traveller’s cheques) over the amount of $10,000 when you enter and exit Serbia. If you’re planning on bringing cash you can exchange Australian dollars for dinars at most banks and exchange offices. Banks offer a worse rate than exchange offices; there should be no commission on the transaction other than a small margin on the rate.

    Using cash

    Travel, debit and credit cards are accepted in the cities but you’ll more than likely need cash if you’re shopping for food, clothes or souvenirs at markets, buying bread and baked goods from bakeries, cigarettes, beer or wine, lunch at a hole in the wall restaurant and so on. You will need dinars in Serbia; petrol stations near the borders may take euros at an unfavourable exchange rate.



    ATMs are common throughout the cities; however, availability can be a problem in villages. The local post office may be able to give you a cash advance if you find yourself in an area lacking ATM and banking facilities. Bank ATMs do not charge a local ATM operator fee.

    Finding cash and ATMs in Serbia

    Victor and Salome's travel tips to Serbia

    Victor and Salome went to Serbia’s famous EXIT electronic music festival in the Petrovaradin Fortress, Novi Sad, near Belgrade. They’d just come from Hungary and the festival was only a short stop on a longer trip through Europe. They arrived in Belgrade and took a train to Novi Sad.

    What card did you take with you?

    Victor says he had his St.George Visa Debit Card and St.George Vertigo Platinum Visa credit card.

    Salome says she took the Citibank Plus Transaction Account Visa Debit Card and the Citibank Clear Platinum Visa credit card.

    Why did you take these cards?

    VIctor paid for their flights using his Vertigo Platinum Visa to take advantage of the complimentary insurance benefit. Salome was also covered by the insurance because Victor is her husband and they were travelling together. The Citibank Plus is Salome’s transaction account in Australia; it doubles as her travel account because she doesn’t pay any international transaction fees or withdrawal fees. She says there’s no monthly fee either.

    Where could you use your cards?

    Victor didn’t have any trouble using his credit card when he needed it. He took Salome out to dinner in Belgrade when they arrived and bought some supplies for the festival. They visited Kalemegdan Park to see Belgrade Fortress – Salome says there were lots of stalls selling souvenirs and they only accepted cash.

    What about ATM withdrawals?

    Salome didn’t pay ATM fees when she made a withdrawal from an ATM operated by a bank. She used a Banca Intesa ATM in Belgrade. Citibank didn’t charge her for currency conversion or an international ATM fee and the Serbian bank didn’t charge a fee either, she says.

    What’s your travel money recommendation?

    The couple says it’s hard to look further than the Citibank Plus Transaction Account if you’re conscious about saving money on overseas bank fees.

    Do you have any tips?

    Have a look at the Belgrade Pass. It gives you discounts on admission to museums, discounts on dinner at selected restaurants, hotels, hostels, car rental and a comprehensive city guide for €19, says Victor. Salome adds that you should always tell your bank when you’re leaving the country, otherwise they may block your cards if they see an overseas transaction.

    Buying dinars in Australia

    Your options are limited if you want to purchase dinars in Australia. It’s better to wait till you arrive in Serbia to buy them. Due to the exotic nature of the currency, dinars can be hard to find here and the rate and commission applied by institutions in Australia is much higher than in Serbia.

    Compare travel insurance for your next trip to Serbia

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    Find out more about international travel insurance

    Choose a combination of travel money options

    Pick a mixture of ways to access and spend your money when you’re in Serbia so you have options if a card goes missing. A credit card is a convenient line of credit you can use on holiday, while a debit card or prepaid travel card is a good option when you want to make an ATM withdrawal.
    If you have any questions about travel money for Serbia, get in touch with us using the form at the bottom of the page.

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    This page was last modified on 22 June 2016 at 12:05.

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