Payments in Russia

ATM cards, credit cards and cash

Payments in Russia

Payment methods in Russia include cash, credit cards and travellers’ cheques. Once you've opened an account with a Russian bank you can apply for an ATM card.

At ATMs, you can use your card to withdraw money from your current account. While withdrawing money from your bank's ATM is free, a charge of several euros is customary for using another banks' machine. The ATM card also allows you to pay bills such as telephone, cable TV and other utilities.

Credit cards

Credit cards are accepted in many large stores and restaurants, especially in large cities like Moscow and St Petersburg. However, most small business do not usually accept credit cards. You can call the credit card company before you leave and check if you will be able to use you credit card in Russia. You can also ask them to increase the daily amount to withdraw.


Outside of major metropolitan cities, credit cards will probably obsolete, so your best bet will be to pay for everything in cash. Bring an ATM card from your home country and withdraw rubles from trustworthy bank locations. This is possibe almost everywhere.

When using foreign money, it is easier to exchange euros than dollars. However, if you leave the big cities, it is better to take cash in rubles. Change your cash in banks or exchange offices at the airports instead of changing money in small exchange offices on the street.

Travellers' Cheques

Travellers' Cheques are a very secure way of keeping your money. However, in Russia you can only refund them in banks which charge a 2-3% commission.

American Express cheques are the most widely accepted in Russia. You cannot pay with travellers' cheques in Russia- you can only withdraw money in bank with them. Additionally, you have to declare the cheques when you enter Russia.

Further reading

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