You will find the basics of foreign currency exchange on this website as well as detailed explanations and practical advice for exchanging foreign currencies and Czech crowns.
We have divided the content into five chapters:
Learn about the currency used in the country you are visiting.
The Czech Republic uses its own currency, the Czech koruna (Czech crown). Banknotes are available in the value of CZK 5000, 2000, 1000, 500, 200 a 100 and coins in the value of CZK 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. The sign of the Czech koruna is Kč and its code is CZK. We recommend that foreign tourists familiarize themselves with the appearance of the banknotes and coins used in the country they are visiting. You can find a presentation of Czech currency on the website of the Czech National Bank or a mobile application.
Avoid unpleasant surprises. Learn about your rights.
Currency exchange in the Czech Republic has its own specific features, which are not very common in developed countries. Unfortunately these are not even remotely considerate to the customers. The most common flaws include confusing exchange rates when advantageous and disadvantageous rates are mixed up, hidden fees, providing false information before the exchange and not issuing a receipt for the transaction after the exchange. Although the Czech National Bank is, as the supervisory authority, trying to fight against bad practices, an uninformed tourist can often lose a significant amount of money when exchanging money. Since 2013, exchange offices are obliged to issue so-called "pre-contractual information", a document describing in writing the process of the transfer, which is given to the customer for approval before he or she hands money over to the officer. This document is binding for the currency exchange office.
Pre-contractual information is a document which can save you a lot of trouble.
Exchange money only in designated foreign currency exchange offices.
Conduct the exchange only in dedicated exchange offices and always read carefully all the information on the exchange ticket.
Never conduct an exchange with people on the street and do not believe passers-by who offer an exchange (often claiming very favorable terms).
The "purchase" and "sale" rates apply for the exchange of foreign currency for Czech koruna and vice versa.
The terms "purchase" and "sale" and their corresponding rates are always used from the perspective of the exchange office. If you are exchanging foreign currency to Czech koruna, the rate is marked for you as "purchase/nákup". If you are exchanging Czech koruna to foreign currency, the exchange rate is marked for you "sale/prodej". The purchase rate is always less than the sale rate.
Sometimes, the exchange rate includes a number of rates and it is unclear which rate will be used for the exchange. It is illegal for exchange businesses to inform clients in this way and you should avoid such an exchange office. If you need to use the service of such an office, insist that the office issues the pre-contractual information (see point 5).
Each exchange office determines its own rates and fees. These can vary immensely.
Each exchange office determines its own exchange rate and fees. They can vary even among the subsidiaries of one office. The exchange rate can be different for different customers, but it can never be less favourable than the one listed on the exchange rate information board visibly placed in the office. Moreover, the office cannot charge fees which are not listed on the exchange rate information board.
If you are not sure if the office offers good rates, compare the lowest and highest rate of the currency you want to exchange. The smaller the difference, the more the favourable that rate is offered.
Each exchange office must make public exchange rates with the least favourable rates.
The exchange office is obliged to make public the least favourable rate. Some offices allow agreeing on a more favourable rate before beginning the transaction, when, for instance, meeting a minimum amount to be changed.
Always take the worst published rates as the basis. If you are not satisfied with the rate, check with the exchange office staff if you can get a better rate.
The office is obliged to provide pre-contractual information prior to the commencement of the exchange.
The office is obliged to provide, prior to the exchange, the pre-contractual information concerning:
Read the pre-contractual information and check if the listed rates, fees and other details correspond to the exchange rate ticket and other information displayed in the exchange office or are more favourable for you. If you are required to sign a copy of this information, do so only in case you agree to the terms. Keep a copy of the pre-contractual information for possible future complaints.
The exchange office is obliged to observe the conditions listed in the pre-contractual information, but only for a limited time. Five minutes from the provision of information to the client is considered a reasonable period of time. Information must be provided in such a way as to prevent it from being subsequently changed, that is in written form on paper.
Do not give the cash to the officer before fully understanding the terms of the exchange.
Never hand over cash for exchange before receiving the pre-contractual information before the transaction itself and agreeing to the information provided (see section 5).
After handing the cash to the officer, the transaction is deemed to be commenced and it is usually too late for arguing about the rate and fee.
Always insist on issuance of a receipt for the provision of services.
After the service is completed, always insist on issuance of the receipt for the provision of services. The currency exchange office is obliged to give one to you.
Sometimes the officer can give you only a slip of paper with the amount. Always insist on issuance of a real receipt which contains the same information as the pre-contractual information including the registration number of the document.
An exchange conducted according to pre-contractual information cannot be canceled.
If the transaction was conducted in accordance with the conditions listed in the pre-contractual information (particularly exchange rate, fees and paid amount), the office is not obliged to cancel the transaction.
The information on the receipt must conform to the pre-contractual information or can more favourable for you. Immediately compare if all conditions listed in the pre-contractual information were observed. If you find any non-conformities, insist that the conditions be followed or that the transaction be canceled.
Any complaint must be resolved immediately after the transaction in the office.
If you were not satisfied with the exchange, complain immediately after the transaction in the office. If you were not provided with the contact information for the person listed as responsible in the pre-contractual information, ask for this contact information and resolve the complaint with this person.
Use the information given in the pre-contractual information to observe your rights. The office is not allowed to give you damaged or invalid banknotes. Do not take such banknotes.
Direct any complaints to the Czech National Bank or Financial Arbitrators.
If the office does not recognize your claim, you can:
According to available information, a complaint sent to the Financial Arbiter seems the better alternative. According to the published results of the proceedings, the arbitrator will decide within a reasonable time and can order the exchange office to pay the any damages caused. Even in the event of failure, the client bears no risk of additional costs.
A complaint sent to the Czech National Bank leads to prolonged proceedings, which may end with a severe punishment imposed on the erring currency exchange office, but usually it proves difficult to prove that this was not an isolated mistake, so the aggrieved client does not get any refund or compensation.
If you are in the center of Prague and need to exchange money, you can visit our office at Franz Kafka Square 2. The branch is open every day from 9am to 8pm, including weekends and holidays. You can exchange foreign currency at the most favourable rate completely free of charge!