Even though the Czech Republic has been a member of the European Union for fifteen years, the country uses its own currency – the Czech crown. Therefore, tourists sometimes struggle when navigating prices in stores and restaurants, and it is sometimes difficult to choose the right bank or foreign exchange office at which to exchange money. This article provides information about your rights under Czech law and what to pay attention to when withdrawing money from an ATM or when exchanging money so that you have a trouble-free and pleasant stay!
Your Rights When Exchanging MoneyRight to withdraw from a transaction: If you exchange euros for Czech crowns at a specific exchange rate in a foreign currency exchange office and you find out after the exchange that the exchange rate is unfavourable for you, you have the right to withdraw from the transaction within three hours. What do you need to do? After the exchange, keep the receipt and check that it includes the correct date and time of the transaction. Then you need to go back to the same foreign exchange office with the receipt and demand a cancellation and a refund. The foreign exchange office is only obligated to return amounts of up to EUR 1,000. Unfortunately, the exchange of larger amounts cannot be cancelled. Therefore, we recommend that you do not exchange larger amounts. The information that you can withdraw from the contract within three hours has to be stated on the exchange rate sheet as well as on the receipt for the transaction, at least in Czech and in English. The time for the refund includes only the time when the exchange office is open. Therefore the time stated on the receipt is important: if the exchange clerk closes the shop one hour after the transaction, the remaining two hours of the three-hour limit resume on the following day when the office is open again. The clerk may either return the money to you or offer the exchange rate stated by the Czech National Bank on its website in order to even up the difference. If the clerk does not want to return the money, you can contact the Czech National Bank with the receipt and a request for remedy within six months after the transaction.
No transaction fees: Foreign exchange offices are not permitted to charge any fees for their services. All the commissions must be included in the offered exchange rate so that you can immediately calculate and compare the prices and choose the most favourable foreign exchange office at your discretion.
No double exchange rates: A single foreign exchange office is permitted to use only one exchange rate. It is no longer possible to use preferential VIP rates. The whole exchange procedure must be transparent and clear.
What to Pay Attention to When Exchanging Money or Withdrawing Money from ATMsThe first thing you need to pay attention to is the exchange rate between the Czech crown and the currency you want to sell. We recommend checking the current exchange rate on the internet prior to the transaction, for example at the website of the Czech National Bank. Then you can choose a nearby foreign exchange office, or the one that offers the most favourable exchange rate. Also pay attention to the receipt and check that it contains the correct date and time of the transaction. Then, keep the receipt in case you are not sure whether or not the offered exchange rate is favourable. You can cancel the transaction with the vendor within three hours of the initial transaction with the receipt.
You can also get Czech crowns by withdrawing money from a local ATM. We recommend withdrawing crowns from ATMs located inside banks and avoiding some private ATMs that do not necessarily offer favourable exchange rates. You should know what amount you need to withdraw before you start the transaction. Some ATMs offer large basic amounts when they detect that you are withdrawing money from a foreign account. You might be able to spend all that money during a few days in the Czech Republic, but people often withdraw much more money than they need due to this small trick. You can pay by debit or credit card at many places of interest and in most shops.