Cost trap Croatian exchange offices: Who would like to change in Croatian exchange offices euro into Croatian Kuna, which does not believe often its eyes, since high commissions and/or fees pull the money literally from the bag to the holiday-makers. Recently, a case from the Istrian Pula went through the media, in which a tourist who wanted to change 300 euros into kuna, received only 1,821 kuna for it, which corresponds to an exchange rate of 6.07, while the official exchange rate of the Croatian National Bank was 7.50 kuna. So instead of 1,821 kuna, the tourist should have received about 2,250 kuna. For the difference of maximally 429 Kuna, converted 57,20 euro, already a normal dinner in one of the good istrian restaurants would have been possible. Commissions in this amount can be rightly called a rip-off.
Official exchange rate of the Croatian National Bank (1 Euro)
Look for the seven before the decimal point…!
SeaHelp editors spoke with Sanja Korotaj, head of the Tourism Center Pula. The first gave the all-clear: “In an immediately carried out query of the commissions in the exchange offices has shown that this is an unfortunate isolated case, other exchange offices in the region of Pula would require significantly lower commissions. Nevertheless, tourists should always inquire before exchanging money: The simple rule of thumb: if there is a seven in front of the decimal point, it fits halfway. In general, however, our guests should look more closely just at the exchange rate at the private exchange offices.” Once the money has been paid out and booked, complaints are no longer possible.
Exchange offices can freely determine fee
The legal requirements in force in Croatia for the operation of exchange offices do not define how much commission is allowed and how much they leave to the market, that is, to pricing via supply and demand. Thus, companies justify their decision with a provision of the Foreign Exchange Act, which allows them to freely determine the exchange rate. Especially for vacationers who are spending their vacations in Croatia for the first time, this behavior of the Croatian exchange offices has a bitter aftertaste. But on the other hand, you can avoid overpriced exchange offices.
Caution is also required at ATMs
That for the change of euro in Kuna of course a certain commission must be required, is more than understandable. Only one should not exaggerate it. How it can go also differently, SeaHelp has already made clear in the last year: the contribution “Cost trap Croatian ATMs” shows how one can avoid the payment of unnecessary fees also there.
Higher fees on weekends
Nevertheless, the rip-off of the private exchange offices has partly system: Especially on weekends and holidays, when the banks are closed, the exchange offices increase their prices sometimes even drastically, as you can read in the example at the beginning of this article. Holidaymakers are advised to provide themselves in good time with cash or immediately switch to ATMs.
But: Not all exchange offices rip off
However, a list of “fair exchange offices” as already contemplated in Pula does not seem to be necessary, at least not in the Pula region, because after the publication of the grievance in the local media, many exchange offices rowed back significantly with regard to the amount of commissions they charge. The regulators of the market, especially when there is transparency in the form of media coverage, still seem to work.
Always look at the prices beforehand
Nevertheless, Croatia vacationers should be on their guard and check before exchanging money: In other regions, other handling of commissions at Croatian exchange offices may well be the order of the day. In any case, however, a look at the prescribed price table creates much more clarity.
ATMs are sometimes fairer
And boat and yacht owners are unlikely to be “ripped off.” Most marinas have ATMs that settle at reasonably fair rates unless you insist on a guaranteed exchange rate.