The local currency in Greece is the Euro and has been since 2002.
By law, both cash and cards are accepted at all establishments. Although cash is frequently preferred, don’t be afraid of asking to pay by card. When coming on holiday it is considered good practice to bring a mixture of cash and more than one card, just in case of an emergency.
All ATMs in Greece charge for withdrawing cash no matter who you bank with and costs vary between €2.50 and €3.00 depending on which banks machine you use. From experience it is normally better to use an ATM from one of the big 4 Greek banks if you can (Pireaus, Alpha, National Bank & Eurobank).
You will be presented with 2 choices when you are withdrawing cash using a UK card:
- Let the local bank do a conversion for you – this has the benefit of letting you know exactly how much in £’s your € withdrawal will cost, but can work out more expensive.
- Let your UK bank carry out the conversion for you – unless your bank stings you for using your card overseas, this will usually be the better option as you will get the daily rate as set by the card issuer (Visa/Mastercard).
Before you travel, it is well worth finding out from your bank how much it costs to use your card for non-sterling transactions and if you have accounts with a few banks, try to use the one which gives you the best deal.
There are both debit and credit cards that are great for using abroad – a good site to compare them is Money Saving Expert.