ATMs are widespread, even in small towns. Credit cards are accepted at most hotels and restaurants.
- Cash machines/ATMs are more common than in some Western countries and can be found in the same sorts of places.
- ATMs limit withdrawal amounts depending on which bank they belong to. This can be as low as 2000uah.
- The best way to manage your money here is to take it out of your account in hryvnya.
- Cirrus, Plus, Visa, MasterCard/EuroCard and other global networks are all recognised.
- ATMs are often slow and clunky. The English translations of the instructions can be unclear.
- Your own bank will charge you a small fee for taking out foreign currency.
- Some ATMs also distribute euros and US dollars.
- When possible, try to avoid street ATMs and use those inside bank offices to avoid card-number theft.
Exchanging currency is still very much a part of everyday life for many locals. Hoarding hard currency is still common. Rip-off rates are unusual.
- US dollars, euros and Russian roubles are the easiest currencies to exchange.
- The British pound is harder to exchange, except in Kyiv.
- In western Ukraine, Polish zloty and Hungarian forints are widely accepted.
- Banks and currency exchange offices will not accept old, tatty notes with rips or tears.
- US dollar bills issued before 1990 cannot be exchanged.
Credit Cards & International Transfers
Credit cards are accepted by most restaurants and shops, but much of the Ukrainian economy is still cash only. Also, be alert to possible credit-card fraud.
With so many ATMs, asking a bank for an advance is unnecessary unless you've forgotten your PIN. The process can be long and rather bureaucratic.
Western Union and many similar services will receive money wired from anywhere in the world.
- The Ukrainian hryvnya (uah) is divided into 100 kopecks.
- Coins come in denominations of one, five, 10, 25 and 50 kopecks and one hryvnya.
- Notes come in one, two, five, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 hryvnya.
- Kopecks have become virtually worthless and prices are often rounded up or down.
- There is a chronic shortage of change throughout the country – try to give the correct money whenever you can.
- In Russian-speaking regions, people may still quote prices in roubles instead of hryvnya from force of habit.
- It’s virtually impossible to buy any hryvnya before you get to Ukraine and it doesn't make a lot of sense to do so.
For current exchange rates see www.xe.com.
Some hotels have an exchange office and there are numerous exchange kiosks (обмін валют) scattered along main streets and within markets (though not as many as there once were). Rates vary very little and none charge commission.
Tipping is rare in Ukraine. Round up the price to the nearest 10uah or 50uah if you want to give a little extra. Leaving 10% of the bill would surprise many waiters and your money might be returned in the belief you had inadvertently overpaid!