Currency and Money Matters in Finland

1. What is the official currency of Finland?

a. Finnish krona
b. Euro
c. Danish krone
d. Swedish krona

b. Euro

2. Are there any restrictions on foreign currency transactions in Finland?

There are no restrictions on foreign currency transactions in Finland. Foreign currencies can be freely bought and sold, and there are no limits on the amount of foreign currency that can be exchanged or transferred. However, banks may require identification and may report transactions over a certain threshold to the authorities for anti-money laundering purposes.

3. What is the current exchange rate for local currency to US dollar in Finland?

As of September 2021, the current exchange rate for the Finnish euro (EUR) to US dollar (USD) is approximately 0.8458 EUR to 1 USD. This means that 1 USD is equivalent to approximately 0.8458 EUR.

4. Is it better to use cash or credit cards for purchases in Finland?

It really depends on personal preference and the circumstances. In general, using a credit card is more convenient as most places in Finland accept card payments and it eliminates the need to carry large amounts of cash. Additionally, many credit cards offer perks such as cash back or travel rewards, which can be beneficial for frequent travelers.

However, there may be some instances where using cash is preferable. Some smaller businesses may only accept cash, especially in rural areas. It’s always good to have some cash on hand for emergencies or situations where cards are not accepted.

Ultimately, it’s recommended to have a mix of both cash and credit cards when traveling to Finland. Make sure to inform your bank about your travel plans to avoid any issues with your cards while abroad.

5. Do businesses in Finland typically accept US dollars or do they prefer local currency?

Businesses in Finland typically prefer to be paid with the local currency, which is the euro. While some tourist areas or larger shops may accept US dollars, it is recommended to exchange currency before traveling to Finland.

6. Are there any hidden fees or charges when exchanging money in Finland?

It is not common to encounter hidden fees or charges when exchanging money in Finland. However, some exchange offices may include a commission fee in their exchange rate, so it is important to compare rates and fees between different providers before making a transaction. Additionally, some banks and ATMs may charge a foreign transaction fee for using your debit or credit card abroad, so it is advisable to check with your bank before traveling.

7. Can I use ATMs from my home country bank in Finland to withdraw money?

It depends on the specific ATM and your home country bank. Some international banks have partnerships with Finnish banks that allow for international ATM withdrawals without additional fees. However, if your bank does not have a partnership or if the ATM is not part of an international network, you may be charged a fee for using your foreign debit or credit card to withdraw money. It is always best to check with your home country bank before traveling to confirm their policies on international ATM withdrawals in Finland.

8. Is it necessary to tip service workers and what is the customary amount in Finland?

Tipping is not necessary in Finland as service charges are typically included in the total price. However, if you feel that the service was exceptional, it is common to leave a small tip of 5-10% on the total bill. It is also common to round up the bill to the nearest whole number as a gesture of appreciation. Tipping is not expected in all industries, so it’s always best to check with locals or ask the establishment directly about their tipping policy.

9. Can I purchase traveler’s checks before traveling to Finland, and are they widely accepted?

Yes, you can purchase traveler’s checks before traveling to Finland. They are accepted at many locations, including banks, hotels, and tourist attractions. However, they are not as widely accepted as credit or debit cards. It is always a good idea to have a combination of payment methods when traveling to ensure you have access to funds in case one method is not accepted.

10. Are there any restrictions or limits on bringing foreign currency into or out of Finland?

There are no restrictions or limits on bringing foreign currency into or out of Finland for residents of the European Union. Non-residents may bring up to 10,000 euros or its equivalent in another currency without declaring it. Amounts exceeding this limit must be declared to Finnish customs officials.

11. Do major hotels and restaurants accept credit cards, and if so, which types are most commonly accepted?

Major hotels and restaurants in developed countries typically accept credit cards as a form of payment. The most commonly accepted types are Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. Some businesses may also accept other credit card brands such as Discover or Diners Club, but these are less common. It is always best to check with the specific hotel or restaurant beforehand to confirm which types of credit cards they accept.

12. Are there any unique features of the currency used in Finland, such as coins with different values or special designs?

Yes, the currency used in Finland is the euro, which is divided into coins and banknotes. The coins have different values and sizes: 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, €1 and €2. The front side of each coin features a design specific to Finland and the common side has a standard design shared by other euro countries.

There are also special commemorative coins released by the Finnish Mint that celebrate important events or anniversaries in Finland’s history. These coins may have different designs or features compared to regular coins and are often collector’s items.

The banknotes in circulation in Finland are €5, €10, €20, €50, €100 ,€200 and €500. Each note has unique security features such as watermarks and holograms to prevent counterfeiting. The designs on the notes feature famous figures from Finnish culture and landmarks.

One notable feature of Finnish currency is the inclusion of braille dots on all euro banknotes. This allows visually impaired individuals to easily identify the value of each note by touch.

In addition to traditional physical currency, Finland also utilizes a widely popular mobile payment system called “MobilePay”. Users can make payments using their smartphones at participating merchants with just a few taps on their device.

13. Is haggling acceptable when making purchases, especially in markets and smaller shops?

In some cultures and settings, haggling is an accepted and expected practice when making purchases. This is especially common in markets and smaller shops in many countries, where prices may not be clearly marked or are subject to negotiation. In these cases, it is often expected that customers will engage in some degree of haggling to try and get a better price. However, it is important to approach haggling respectfully and avoid being too aggressive or disrespectful towards the seller. In Western countries, haggling is less common and may be seen as rude or inappropriate in certain situations, such as in large department stores or with fixed prices.

14. Can I pay for goods and services with a mix of both local currency and US dollars?

It depends on the policies of the specific merchant or establishment. Some may accept mixed currency payments, while others may only accept one form of currency. It is best to ask before attempting to pay with a mix of currencies.

15. What is the most convenient way to exchange money while traveling through different regions of Finland?

The most convenient way to exchange money while traveling through different regions of Finland would be to use ATMs or to exchange currency at a bank or currency exchange office. Many businesses in larger cities also accept major credit and debit cards, so it is always a good idea to have these on hand for purchases. It is recommended to avoid exchanging money at airports or train stations, as they often charge higher fees.

16. Are there alternative forms of payment in addition to cash and credit cards, such as mobile payments or digital wallets in Finland?

Yes, mobile payments and digital wallets are widely used in Finland. Some popular options include:

1. MobilePay: This is a smartphone app that allows users to link their bank account or credit card to their phone and make payments by scanning a QR code or entering a unique payment code.

2. Pivo: Developed by some of the biggest Finnish banks, this app allows users to link multiple debit and credit cards to make contactless payments at participating merchants.

3. SmartumPay: This is a mobile payment option specifically for paying for sports and cultural activities, as well as using employee benefits such as lunch vouchers.

4. Siirto: A real-time payment service that enables peer-to-peer transactions between individuals’ bank accounts using only their mobile phone numbers.

5. Apple Pay and Google Pay: These are both available in Finland, allowing users to make contactless in-store payments with their smartphones linked to their bank accounts or credit cards.

6. Digital wallets: Most major Finnish banks offer their own digital wallets, such as Nordea Wallet and OP-mobile wallet, which can be used for various types of purchases online or at physical stores.

7. Blockchain-based cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin can also be used for payments in Finland, though they are not yet widely accepted at mainstream merchants.

17. Is tipping expected during taxi rides, at hotels, or at other specific locations like spas or salons in Finland?

Tipping is not generally expected in Finland, as the service charge is usually included in the bill. However, it is common to round up the total amount or leave a small tip, especially at upscale restaurants or for exceptional service. Tipping at hotels, spas, and salons is also not expected, but you can leave a small tip if you are satisfied with the service provided.

18. Are there certain stores where tourists can receive tax refunds on their purchases before leaving Finland?

Yes, tourists can receive tax refunds on their purchases at stores that are part of the national tax-free shopping system in Finland. These stores will display a Tax-Free Shopping logo. Tourists must always ask for a tax-free form when making a purchase, and they can then request a refund at the airport before leaving the country.

19..How should I handle my leftover foreign currency when departing from Finland, including coins and smaller bills?

1. Exchange it at the airport: Most airports have currency exchange counters where you can easily convert your leftover foreign currency into your home currency.

2. Use it for future travels: If you plan on traveling to another country that uses the same currency, you can keep your leftover money and use it for your next trip.

3. Donate it: You can donate your leftover foreign currency to various charities or organizations at the airport before departing from Finland.

4. Sell it online: There are many websites and apps where you can sell your leftover foreign currency to travelers who need that particular currency.

5. Keep it as a souvenir: Some people like to keep foreign coins and bills as souvenirs from their travels. If you want to do the same, make sure to keep them safely and separate from your regular currencies.

6. Spend it at Duty-free shops: If you are traveling within the EU, you can use your leftover euros at duty-free shops while waiting for your flight. However, note that prices may be higher than in regular stores.

7. Exchange it with friends or family: If you know someone who is traveling to a country that uses the same currency, you can exchange your leftover money with them before leaving Finland.

Remember to check the conversion rates before exchanging or using your leftover foreign currency so that you get the best value for your money.

20. Is there a limit on the amount of local currency I can withdraw from ATMs in Finland each day?

Banks and ATMs in Finland may have their own limits on the amount of local currency that you can withdraw in a single day. This limit will vary depending on the bank or ATM provider, but it is typically around €300-€500 per day. It is always best to check with your bank or ATM provider for their specific limit before attempting to make a withdrawal. Additionally, your own bank may also have a daily withdrawal limit for transactions made abroad, so it is important to be aware of this as well.