Warning and Dangers in Moscow Money & Exchange
Money can be a difficult topic in Moscow or the rest of Russia. Because of endemic corruption and lax judicial oversight, there are any number of ways that an unwary visitor or citizen could lose their money or their access to their account.
ATMs abound in the city of Moscow. They can be found almost anywhere and provide a safe and reliable source of rubles when they are needed. However, skimmers and other scams are as much of a problem in Russia as they are anywhere else. There have been reports of ATMs that took the money from the account and did not dispense any cash back to the user, and contacting Russian ATM corporations for a refund can be daunting at best. Exchange rates at an ATM can be less favorable, especially if that machine is located at the airport.
The currency exchanges in the city will have the fairest rates available, and they are easy to find. However, it is still necessary to stay on guard and look for unfair exchange rates. Once the transaction has been completed the visitor will have very little chance of getting their money returned. There have also been reports of smaller scams, such as currency vendors who use sleight of hand and other tricks of misdirection to steal some part of the traveler’s funds. This is more notable near the airport or other transportation hubs. It is never a good idea to exchange currency with private individuals who approach you at the train station or airport. They have a wide variety of tricks and scams that they will use, and they may take ruthless advantage of the foreigner’s unfamiliarity with the currency and customs. Since they are simply private citizens on foot, they find it easy to evade prosecution or retribution even when they commit outright crimes.
Credit Cards and Cash
Credit Cards and CashCredit cards are quite functional in the city of Moscow, although the vast majority of transactions are made in cash. Visa cards are especially widely used, and even smaller restaurants will be able to accept them for payment. Cash is accepted everywhere, and many places will even accept American currency. However, be forewarned that those places sometimes have arbitrary rules they apply, such as refusing to accept banknotes less than $50 in value.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about Money and Exchange in Moscow and Other Dangers and Warnings.