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JVRR
03-01-2011, 20:18
When I arrive in Moscow I have some fees owed for rent and such. As such I need to bring a reasonable amount of cash with me. I was about to order a lot of roubles and some GBP for my layover-quick-tour of London. But I did a quick Google conversion and see that my bank is using a horrible rate, it is going to cost me about $150-$200 more than the conversion rate Google (and other sites) are reporting.

But, there is no transfer fee. If I exchange at the airport, I assume I will get the better rates, but is there a limit on how much I can exchange, and are there fees? Heathrow has a converter, and they seem to be using the better rates, but, they mention fees are a downside to exchanging at airports- but they do not mention their fees.

I think 250USD in GBP might be a lot for 14 hours- but I have a short amount of time to see the city, and do not want to get stuck trying to figure out how to pay for an expensive cab ride tour or something :D.

Thanks, I have only flown international once, and that was just tourist dollars nothing this significant- so this is new territory.

martpark
03-01-2011, 20:30
When I arrive in Moscow I have some fees owed for rent and such. As such I need to bring a reasonable amount of cash with me. I was about to order a lot of roubles and some GBP for my layover-quick-tour of London. But I did a quick Google conversion and see that my bank is using a horrible rate, it is going to cost me about $150-$200 more than the conversion rate Google (and other sites) are reporting.

But, there is no transfer fee. If I exchange at the airport, I assume I will get the better rates, but is there a limit on how much I can exchange, and are there fees? Heathrow has a converter, and they seem to be using the better rates, but, they mention fees are a downside to exchanging at airports- but they do not mention their fees.

I think 250USD in GBP might be a lot for 14 hours- but I have a short amount of time to see the city, and do not want to get stuck trying to figure out how to pay for an expensive cab ride tour or something :D.

Thanks, I have only flown international once, and that was just tourist dollars nothing this significant- so this is new territory.

If you have no rubles, change a little at a Moscow airport for taxi or food. The rates in Russia, esp. city centres, are better and there are numerous locations. Also 250GBP is not much and there are no fees, in general.

tvadim133
03-01-2011, 21:02
Good advice!

You will land in Domodedovo or Sheremetievo.

In case your arrival is not too late at night, there are two affordable trains (40 minutes to Moscow), which come to the metro station (Domodedovo to M. Paveletskaya; from Sheremetyevo to M. Savelovskaya or M. Belorusskaya).

Cost per ticket is around 10 USD.

Taxi can cost from 70 USD up to .... to come to Moscow (they are alike Gypsi taxi, to my mind and I never use taxi from airport, because they are robbers, bandits and so on (I mean, their prices are unreasonable).

You can exchange any ammount of money, that is there is no limit (in airports rates are a bit higher than in the city).

Metro will cost you around 1 USD/trip (no matter how many stops you are going).

It is better to buy a ticket for 10 trips (around 10 USD).

Well, may be you will need some cash for the night and the next day:

meal is around 50 USD (average bill in the majority of affordable cafes)+ for this or that.

So if you change 100 USD in the airport it will be more or less enough for the first day or night.

JVRR
03-01-2011, 22:46
More than that.

I am supposed to be paying for over a month's rent, plus some fees I incurred for visa support. I just emailed the school and said I do not really want to take that much cash with me, so assuming that works out okay I will not have quite that much... but I am talking over $1,000USD.

They pick me up at the airport and receive payment so I will not be walking around with it (or need to find a taxi or such).

I basically just need enough to pay these fees, and then some extra for food and anything that pops up I need urgently, then I can work out how to handle money.

sis
03-01-2011, 23:19
in Domededovo airport there is a nice big red sign that says something like "dont trust the taxi drivers"
there should be another one that warns about theses bandits changing money. They will alwas give you a lousy rate. Get the money out of the ATM machine...

martpark
03-01-2011, 23:23
More than that.

I am supposed to be paying for over a month's rent, plus some fees I incurred for visa support. I just emailed the school and said I do not really want to take that much cash with me, so assuming that works out okay I will not have quite that much... but I am talking over $1,000USD.

They pick me up at the airport and receive payment so I will not be walking around with it (or need to find a taxi or such).

I basically just need enough to pay these fees, and then some extra for food and anything that pops up I need urgently, then I can work out how to handle money.

Taking money out of an ATM here will most likely be better than changing money abroad. BTW, you can bring $3000 undeclared.

JVRR
03-01-2011, 23:35
ATM will have a limit on how much I can draw, it would probably take two weeks for me to get the money I need lol!

I was just going to do the exchange at Heathrow, they will hopefully speak english there, which always makes things easier :D.

My concern is, are they going to have a limit on what I can exchange, and are there fees? My bank uses some horrible rate that screws me, but if I am going to pay some horrible fee that screws me... makes no difference :D.

Thanks!

tvadim133
03-01-2011, 23:46
I was just going to do the exchange at Heathrow, they will hopefully speak english there, which always makes things easier :D.


Do they speak English there?

tvadim133
03-01-2011, 23:48
When do you arrive?

Do you have any other acquaintances here in Moscow besides the agency and the school?

Has the school already found the flat for you?

martpark
03-01-2011, 23:55
ATM will have a limit on how much I can draw, it would probably take two weeks for me to get the money I need lol!

I was just going to do the exchange at Heathrow, they will hopefully speak english there, which always makes things easier :D.

My concern is, are they going to have a limit on what I can exchange, and are there fees? My bank uses some horrible rate that screws me, but if I am going to pay some horrible fee that screws me... makes no difference :D.

Thanks!

You have a lot of doubts, young James.;) I was in Heathrow recently and the exchange rate is terrible. 53 rubles (plus fee) compared to 50 rub in Moscow. You will lose thousands of rubles but the choice is yours. Good luck!

JVRR
03-01-2011, 23:55
When do you arrive?

Next Monday!


Do you have any other acquaintances here in Moscow besides the agency and the school?

Not really.


Has the school already found the flat for you?

Yes, they set it up.

JVRR
04-01-2011, 00:01
You have a lot of doubts, young James.;) I was in Heathrow recently and the exchange rate is terrible. 53 rubles (plus fee) compared to 50 rub in Moscow. You will lose thousands of rubles but the choice is yours. Good luck!

The Heathrow website, which uses some service, converts 1USD to 30ru, compared to 27ru at my bank.

tvadim133
04-01-2011, 00:04
The Heathrow website, which uses some service, converts 1USD to 30ru, compared to 27ru at my bank.

in Russia it is 30,35 rur for 1 USD today ??????

JVRR
04-01-2011, 00:23
in Russia it is 30,35 rur for 1 USD today ??????

Statement, or question :D?

Are you shocked by that conversion, or are you saying that is accurate even in Moscow?

tvadim133
04-01-2011, 00:40
Statement, or question :D?

Are you shocked by that conversion, or are you saying that is accurate even in Moscow?

Neither ...nor

I guess, that there is a mistale somewhere, but in Russia the rate is 30.35 rur.

JVRR
04-01-2011, 01:01
Neither ...nor

I guess, that there is a mistale somewhere, but in Russia the rate is 30.35 rur.

Oh yes, well I rounded :D. The three ru difference though between the current rate and my bank is shocking, to me at least. Three ru is not a ton, but you add up the amount of money I want to exchange and it sort of is!

DavidB
04-01-2011, 01:45
JVRR,

Today's buy rate for US Dollars in cash in Moscow is about 29.85 to 30.15, depending on which bank you go to.

There are thousands of banks in Moscow, so you won't have any problems finding one. Actually, I think it would be difficult to find a street in Moscow without a bank. Have a look at this Google Maps search for "bank": Google Maps - Banks in Moscow (http://maps.google.ru/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=ru&geocode=&q=%D0%B1%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%BA&sll=55.759626,37.613239&sspn=0.025354,0.077162&ie=UTF8&rq=2&ev=zi&split=1&hq=%D0%B1%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%BA&hnear=&ll=55.762233,37.618303&spn=0.025353,0.077162&z=14)

My advice, if you're worried about not having cash for the first few hours, is to exchange $50 or $100 before you arrive, and exchange the bulk after you arrive.

You may also be able to arrange for the person who meets you to take you to a bank and help with translations.

Remington
04-01-2011, 02:49
Avoid the exchange kiosks by the street since some of them charge 2% if you change less than $1000. You're better off going to the banks to change the money until you learn which exchange kiosks or banks have the best rates near your flat or work. Remember this advice... Do not leave the kacca until you count all your money. Cashiers do make mistakes and some do it on purpose to take your money. It happened to me twice and I had to get police involved to get the rest of my money back.

sis
04-01-2011, 09:45
I didn't think aabout the bank, but i will second this. Probably the best way to change the money. stay away from the kiosks.

With the atms, the limit your bank sets will probably not be the issue. The problem in russia, is that the russian banks limit the ammount of money you can take from their ATM in one session. In moscow it is usually 15000rub, but if you go out of moscow, you will sometimes find that you can only take 6000rub. When you take money out of an ATM you are usually charged a percentage (1-2%) and a fixed fee, ($5). But I did some calculations, and came to the decision that if you dont need more than 60 000 rub, it is the cheapset way. For larger sums, a bank transfer is better, because there is not this fixed fee ($5) every time you take a portion of the money. But some recieving banks also take a cut.

DavidB
04-01-2011, 10:02
With the atms, the limit your bank sets will probably not be the issue. The problem in russia, is that the russian banks limit the ammount of money you can take from their ATM in one session. In moscow it is usually 15000rub, but if you go out of moscow, you will sometimes find that you can only take 6000rub. When you take money out of an ATM you are usually charged a percentage (1-2%) and a fixed fee, ($5). But I did some calculations, and came to the decision that if you dont need more than 60 000 rub, it is the cheapset way. For larger sums, a bank transfer is better, because there is not this fixed fee ($5) every time you take a portion of the money. But some recieving banks also take a cut.

I agree with sis too.

For example, I surveyed today's cash rates for AlfaBank, Sberbank, Raiffeisen, UniCredit and Bank of Moscow. The best rate out of those banks for USD->RUB is AlfaBank, which is offering 30.08 RUB for $1.

However, if you open an account with Raiffeisen and then wire USD to the account, they offer 30.40 RUB for $1. But there are also some charges - your foreign bank will charge from $15 to $30 for a wire transfer (depends on your bank), and Raiffeisen will charge $6 to receive the payment.

FatAndy
04-01-2011, 14:44
Hi Vova,
Remington is right, avoid kiosks until last chance, use banks instead.

Regarding sis note about cash limit - it can exist, but depends on your bank account agreement/contract. In Moscow I have no limit of cash withdrawal with local Sberbank Master Gold (and 50K rub/day in regions or eq. abroad, plus some fee if I'm out of Moscow region), and local PSBank Visa limits me with 50K rub/day in Moscow and 30K rub/day or eq. in regions + abroad, also some fee for non-Moscow region).

DavidB gives a good advice too - check rates in advance (for example, via cash.rbc.ru) and keep in mind they update them usually at ~11:00 AM.

Kiosks can change their rate at any time, usually they do it also at 11:00 but they also can set "night tariff" sometimes. :D

There are also duty banks, which work late or 24h but they're located usually at not very convenient places.

sis
04-01-2011, 17:53
cash limit - it can exist, but depends on your bank account agreement/contract. In Moscow I have no limit of cash withdrawal with local Sberbank Master Gold (and 50K rub/day in regions or eq. abroad, plus some fee if I'm out of Moscow region), and local PSBank Visa limits me with 50K rub/day in Moscow and 30K rub/day or eq. in regions + abroad, also some fee for non-Moscow region

that is probably correct, but if you try to use a foreign card in Russia, the withdrawal limit is set by the russian bank, or somehow associated with the ATM... on some cash machines you can get 15 000r, on others, you can get only 6000r. Never been able to get 50 000r, even though the option is there. The irritating part is that they let you take 6000r 5 times, until home bank limit is reached, but each time you take money you are charged a fixed fee.

FatAndy
04-01-2011, 18:09
Probably yes, sis, I've just made my notice to point that cash withdrawal limits may vary, and it depends on the bank. If foreigner has long-lasting visa or TRP, then, probably, it can be worth to make local bank account+card in addition to existing foreign ones, to get more flexibility (and more headache with taxes ;)).

onlygod
23-02-2011, 21:41
I'm after a friendly hint, which banks have the best exchange rates?

Also, I always exchanged my money on a kiosk and never got cheated (and they had better rates than a bank (for amounts over 10k$). If you exchange money in a bank, do you need to show your passport and registration? will they exchange the money if you don't have an account with them?

Remington
23-02-2011, 21:58
I'm after a friendly hint, which banks have the best exchange rates?

Also, I always exchanged my money on a kiosk and never got cheated (and they had better rates than a bank (for amounts over 10k$). If you exchange money in a bank, do you need to show your passport and registration? will they exchange the money if you don't have an account with them?

You're better off staying with the one you have or find a different kiosk that can do any amount with a reasonable rate. Banks normally have worst rate than kiosks. Some banks will ask to see your passport and you don't need to have an account with the them to do the exchange. They won't ask for registration unless if you open an account there.

FatAndy
24-02-2011, 10:37
I'm after a friendly hint, which banks have the best exchange rates? - see http://cash.rbc.ru/

I always exchanged my money on a kiosk and never got cheated (and they had better rates than a bank (for amounts over 10k$). - lucky you. Sometimes $h!t happens though.

If you exchange money in a bank, do you need to show your passport and registration? - below $300 or 10K RUB usually not

will they exchange the money if you don't have an account with them? - of course.

Swordfish90293
24-02-2011, 12:20
Get on good terms with your controller or payroll officer at work...