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exchanging Euros in Czech republic and switzerland

27 Jan 2010 Annalise said

Hi guys, im off on my european vista tour in a 12 days and im a little confused about the currency in czech republic (prague) and switzerland. I am taking a commonwealth travel money card with me, where i can load uo to 6 currencies onto the one card, which will be euros and pounds (im staying in London for a few days) Am i able to use euros at all in Switzerland and Prague? If i cant, how difficult is it to exchange my money to the local currency? because i am taking the travel card i wont be able to use their ATM's and pull out the local curreny because i wont have it available on the card. if that makes sense... any advice is very welcome!!
  • Read the responses 8 responses so far
  • 27 Jan 2010 ashleigh_911 said


    you can still use the travel card in those countries, youl just pay an exchage rate from euro into the currency of those countries. also id take some local cash, just so you dont have to go on a ATM hunt as soon as you get there

  • 28 Jan 2010 Annalise said


    Oh really? i thought you could only get out the currency that you preloaded onto the card. That’s good to know! have you used the comm travel card in Europe? I have used it in Ireland with no problems so im hoping i wont have any trouble in Europe. im assuming the conversion rate if you pull out the local currency that you haven’t preloaded would be pretty pricey, and i want to carry around as little cash as possible.

  • 28 Jan 2010 DasheR said


    Hi Annalise,
    You can withdraw currencies that aren’t preoloaded on you commbank travel card however they will use the market conversion rate on that date and then also charge you a conversion fee.

  • 31 Jan 2010 Kelsey said


    When I was in Switzerland last summer I paid in Euros at some places and they just gave me my change back in Swiss Francs.

  • 1 Feb 2010 DasheR said


    The Euro is an unofficial currency in both czech and switzerland. So many places do accept. However the exchange rate you get back in change is quite poor.

  • 2 Feb 2010 gig08 said


    When we were in Switzerland we had no trouble paying with Euros in most of the shops, and getting Francs back for change… just the smaller places that may not. In Prague I took out some money from the bank machine, but a lot of places still accepted Euros as well.

    Word of Warning… be cautious of how much currency you have left when you leave— a lot of people had a hard time finding an exchange that would convert it back to Euros!

  • 2 Feb 2010 Explorer1147414 said


    I have been told that the other countries who use Euros dont like that Switzerland and Prague dont use it so charge crazy rates to swap from Euros to there currency! I would take it as cash (especially if you dont need much!)

  • 4 Feb 2010 fleaguit said


    I recommend splitting your money up so as not to have all of your eggs in one basket. You should exchange some dollars for Euro’s at home so that you have some cash on you for when you first arrive. I’d also recommend exchanging for some sterling as well since you’ll need it in London pre-tour. The exchange rates will kill you on the prepaid cards like cash passport, so you do NOT want to be paying the exchange twice.

    The cheapest way to get money in europe is to use your atm card. You will be charged a small fee for making the ATM transaction by your bank, and the bank will give you a far more favorable exchange rate than the currency stands.

    When I did my trip, I divided my money into three sources :

    1. Cash – Euro’s and Pounds for when I first arrived.

    2. Cash Passport Card – Loaded with Euro’s since that was what I would be using through most of the trip, purchased at a time when the exchange rate was as favorable as possible.

    3. Atm/Debit Card – I used this to access money in countries that were not using the Euro, namely Switzerland, Czech Republic, and England.

    If you use a cash passport pre-loaded with Euro’s to withdraw another currency, you will have effectively paid the exchange fee twice. Once, to convert your dollars to euro and load them onto the card, and secondly, to convert the euro into swiss franchs, crowns, or pounds. DO the smart thing and use an atm/debit card in countries that don’t use the euro, and you’ll only pay this fee once.

    Check out my travelogue for more tips on Contiki and enjoy your trip!

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