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Dealing With Money In Ukraine
Do I need to show my passport in a Currency Exchange office?
No. There are numerous little offices where you can exchange dollars for gryvnas everywhere in central cities. Passport is never requested.
Can I bring Traveller's cheques and cash them in Ukraine?
Traveller's cheques can be cashed only in a few banks, and the process may be very time-consuming. Client's services in banks are provided only in the limited hourd during the day, only on the working days of the week. The process itself takes a while filling out some papers, and waiting while the bank managers carry out the necesary operations. Thus, cashing the travellers cheques may be somehow stressful.
How much can I withdraw from an ATM in one-time transaction?
There are really many ATMs everywhere in central cities now. The ATM takes appr 1-1,5% of the sum for each withdrawal, or a fixed sum of 5 gryvnas (appr.$1) on every 500 gryvnas (appr.$100). Most of the ATMs allow you to withdraw amouts of 1000 gryvnas (appr.$200) a day. Some ATMs let you withdraw as much as $400, but only in 2 portions of $200 each time. In most cases, it is more practical to withdraw money in Gryvnas; the bank charges more money for withdrawing dollars than for withdrawing gryvnas.
The specific thing about majority of ATMs is that they do not provide information on how much money is left on your card account.
Can I use American Express card in ATMs in Ukraine?
No. You'd better have a Visa or a Master card ? these cards are accepted by all ATMs. American Express is very unpopular here, and we have heard about many foreigners having difficulties, or being absolutely unable to cash the American Express cards in Ukraine.
Do they accept credit cards anywhere in Ukraine?
This method of payment is still very unpopular in Ukraine. Be ready to pay cash everywhere. Some prestigious restaurants, hotels and shops may accept other ways of payment, but in majority of places they will prefer payments by cash.
Funny, but, though many people rate the electronic translators very highly before coming to Ukraine, they are mostly used as a psychological tool, to make sure you can ask a question if you absolutely need to do this. In most cases, foreign guests have English-speaking friends or interpreters at hand. The electronic translator may be used as an ?ice-breaker? at a first date with a lady, just to entertain yourselves. You can take it out in a hotel and use the voice option to ask how to find your room. In other similar situations, it may be helpful for short conversations with people. But, certainly, it is not as helpful as people.
Serious communication must be done via a good interpreter. Especially at a personal level ? when you want to establish a good contact with a person, which will last in future.
This is especially true for those gentlemen who come to Ukraine seeking for marriage with local women. Unfortunately, there are too many situations when people misunderstood each other because of the lack of personalized translation. Eectronic tools can never convey the non-linguistic components of communication process.
It is realy very entertaining to use this little thing for communication when you are meeting a lady face to face. But people get tired of having to use it longer than half an hour, and start communicating with the help of mimics and gestures.
If you bring a translator with you, you'd better bring a Russian-English one. All Ukrainians understand Russian, while some Russian-speaking people have difficulties speaking Ukrainian.
Is it safe to carry cash and make payments by cash in public?
Overwhelming majority of people and companies in Ukraine are used to cash payments. All stores, supermarkets and markets prefer cash, in gryvnas. Apartment owners prefer cash in dollars; hotels majorly accept cash in gryvnas.
Many foreign guests bring about a $1000 cash in dollars, and go to currency exchange offices to exchange it to gryvnas. If this sum is over, they go to ATMs and withdraw cash in gryvnas from their Visa or Master cards. (There are practically NO ATMs accepting American Express).
If you do not display all your cash money in the middle of a noisy, crowded bazar (local market), there is practically no risk of being pick-pocketed. In central cities, it is quite safe. Situations with foreigners being pick-pocketed happen rarely.
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