Practical Life in Moscow

Bank services in Moscow

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Banks are usually open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 till 18:00.

Alfa Bank: (8.30am-8pm Mon-Sat) has many branches around Moscow that usually change travellers cheques. ATMs at the branches listed dispense either rubles or US dollars.

A few of the main branches:

  • Arbat District (ul Arbat 4/1; Arbatskaya)
  • Petrovsky District (Kuznetsky Most 7; Kuznetsky Most)
  • Tverskoy District (Marriott Grand Hotel, ul Tverskaya 26;Mayakovskaya)

Bank of Moscow: located at 8 Tverskaya ul and 13 Tverskaya ul, The Bank of Moscow was established in 1995 and has since been majority-owned by the city government. Its website features Russian, German, and English.

Citibank: ZAO Citibank is one of the leading banks in the country with 2000 Citibankers in the Moscow and St. Petersburg branches of the bank serving over 1200 corporate customers.

More banks and information can be found at


Automatic teller machines (ATMs) are usually linked to international networks such as AmEx, Cirrus, Eurocard, MasterCard and Visa. Common throughout Moscow, look for signs that say bankomat. Using a credit or debit card, you can obtain rubles and often US dollars.

Changing Money

US dollars and Euros are widely accepted at exchange bureaus around Moscow. Other currencies, older currency, and tattered bills can be much more difficult to exchange.

At the exchange office, there is usually a lot of paper work to be completed. Your passport must be shown. A receipt is given for personal records as customs officials no longer require documentation of your currency transactions.

Currency exchange spots are everywhere and usually display the daily rates in large yellow letters. Read the terms carefully as there are often fixed-sum commissions on top of the advertised rates. The rates might also only apply to large transactions (USD1000 and up). Always check the change returned to you and do not say yes to anything you do not understand.

Credit Cards

Credit cards have recently become more widely accepted, especially Visa and MasterCard. Credit cards can be used to get a cash advance at most major banks in Moscow. However, there are still many smaller stores, restaurants and kiosks that do not accept credit cards. Also, showing ID like driver's license or passport is often required.

Travellers Cheques

Travellers cheques are relatively difficult to change. The process can be lengthy and complicated. AmEx, Thomas Cook and Visa are the easiest to change. Commission runs between 1% to 2%.

Update 10/07/2009


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