Currency and Money Matters in Macedonia

1. What is the official currency of Macedonia?

The official currency of Macedonia is the Macedonian denar (MKD).

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

There are restrictions on foreign currency transactions in Macedonia. According to the Law on Foreign Exchange Operations, individuals can freely purchase or exchange foreign currency for personal or business purposes, as long as they have sufficient supporting documentation. However, certain types of transactions, such as sending funds abroad without a valid reason or transferring funds between local and foreign bank accounts without a proper declaration to the National Bank of Republic of Macedonia, may require additional documentation or approval from the central bank.

Moreover, there are limits set by the authorities on the amount of foreign currency that can be taken out of the country without declaration or authorization: up to 2,000 euros equivalent in cash and up to 10,000 euros equivalent in other forms (such as traveler’s checks) per border crossing. Any amount above these limits must be declared and approved by the customs authorities.

Additionally, non-residents who wish to sell Macedonian denars for foreign currency must provide supporting documentation for the purpose of their transaction. Non-residents are also required to submit a certification from the tax authorities showing that they have no outstanding tax liabilities in Macedonia.

3. Can foreigners open bank accounts in Macedonia?

Yes, foreigners can open bank accounts in Macedonia. Many banks allow non-residents to open accounts with them as long as they provide proper identification documents and proof of their residence address.

However, some banks may require additional documentation and information from non-residents before opening an account. These requirements may vary depending on factors such as the type of account being opened and the individual’s country of origin.

4. Is there any limit on how much money a foreigner can transfer out of Macedonia?

There is no specific limit on how much money a foreigner can transfer out of Macedonia. However, all outgoing international payments must be declared to the National Bank of Republic of Macedonia if they exceed 200,000 euros or its equivalent in other currencies. Additionally, transfers above this amount may be subject to additional checks by the authorities to prevent money laundering and other illegal activities.

Individuals are also required to provide supporting documentation for the purpose of their transaction and may need to obtain approval from the tax authorities for certain types of transfers, such as dividends or sale proceeds from investments in Macedonian companies.

5. Can foreigners exchange Macedonian denars for foreign currency at banks or exchange offices?

Yes, foreigners can exchange Macedonian denars for foreign currency at banks or authorized exchange offices in Macedonia. However, they may be subject to additional requirements and checks depending on the amount and purpose of their transaction.

Non-residents must also provide supporting documentation for their exchanges, such as proof of residence and a tax certification showing no outstanding liabilities in Macedonia. Some banks and exchange offices may also require individuals to provide identification documents and fill out a declaration form before completing the transaction.

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

As of September 2021, the current exchange rate for local currency to US dollar in Macedonia is approximately 1 Macedonian denar (MKD) to 0.019 US dollars (USD).

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

It depends on the situation and personal preference. Both cash and credit cards are widely accepted in Macedonia.

Using cash may be beneficial for smaller purchases, as many small businesses may not accept credit cards or may charge an additional fee for using them. Additionally, having cash on hand can be helpful in case of emergency situations.

However, using a credit card can provide benefits such as earning rewards points or cash back, as well as added security and convenience of not having to carry large amounts of cash. Some credit cards also offer no foreign transaction fees, which can save money when traveling abroad.

Overall, a combination of both cash and credit cards may be the best option for purchases in Macedonia. It is important to inform your bank or credit card company of your travel plans to avoid any issues with using your card abroad.

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

Businesses in Macedonia typically prefer to be paid in the local currency, the Macedonian denar (MKD). While some larger businesses may accept US dollars as a form of payment, it is always best to have the local currency on hand when making purchases in Macedonia. It may also be more cost-effective to use the local currency, as businesses may offer better exchange rates for using MKD over foreign currencies.

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

It is possible that there may be hidden fees or charges when exchanging money in Macedonia, such as a commission fee or an unfavorable exchange rate. It is important to check with the exchange bureau or bank beforehand to understand their fees and rates. Additionally, some ATMs may also charge a withdrawal fee for international transactions.

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

It is not guaranteed that all ATMs in Macedonia will accept cards from banks in other countries. It is best to check with your home bank about their international ATM network and any fees or restrictions that may apply. Alternatively, you can also consider using a credit or debit card for purchases instead of relying solely on ATM withdrawals.

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

Tipping is not necessary in Macedonia, but it is appreciated for good service. The customary amount for tipping is usually 10% of the total bill in restaurants and cafes. For other service workers such as taxi drivers or hotel staff, rounding up the bill or leaving a small tip is also considered polite. However, tipping is not expected and should only be done if you are happy with the service received.

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

Yes, you can purchase traveler’s checks before traveling to Macedonia. They are widely accepted by banks and some businesses, but it is recommended to have a mix of cash and credit/debit cards as well. Be sure to check the specific acceptance policies of your traveler’s checks before purchasing them.

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

There are no restrictions or limits on bringing foreign currency into Macedonia. However, if the amount exceeds 10,000 euros (or equivalent in any other currency), it must be declared upon entry. There are also no restrictions on taking foreign currency out of Macedonia, but amounts exceeding 10,000 euros must be declared upon departure.

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

Major hotels and restaurants in India generally accept credit cards, especially in larger cities. Some commonly accepted credit card types include Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Diners Club. However, it is always recommended 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 Macedonia, such as coins with different values or special designs?

Yes, the currency used in Macedonia is the Macedonian denar (MKD). Some unique features of this currency include:

1. Denominations: The Macedonian denar is available in banknotes of 10, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 MKD, while coins are available in denominations of 1, 2, 5 and 10 denars.

2. Images on coins: The coins of Macedonia feature various designs such as famous historical figures (like St. Clement), cultural monuments (like the Monastery of St. Naum), national symbols (like the Macedonian flag) and important flora and fauna.

3. Bimetallic coins: Two bimetallic coins were issued in Macedonia in celebration of their country’s independence in 1993 and membership with United Nations in 1995. These have a silver-colored outer ring and copper-nickel center.

4. Polymer banknotes: In recent years, all the banknotes have been replaced with polymer versions that are more durable and resistant to wear and tear.

5. Replacement notes: The Macedonian central bank issues replacement banknotes for damaged or defaced notes that are pulled from circulation.

6. Limited edition commemorative coins: In addition to regular circulation coins, limited edition commemorative coins have also been released by the National Bank of Republic Macedonia for various occasions such as national anniversaries or special events like inclusion into European Union values.

7. Electronic payment methods: Alongside physical cash payments, most people in Macedonia use electronic payment methods such as credit cards or mobile payments through apps like Google Pay or Apple Wallet.

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

Haggling or bargaining is acceptable in some cultures, particularly in markets and smaller shops. It is seen as a normal and expected part of the purchasing process. However, it may not be acceptable in all cultures, particularly in more formal or upscale establishments. It’s important to observe the customs and norms of the culture you are in and follow suit accordingly. In some cases, haggling may be seen as disrespectful or uncomfortable for the seller, so it’s always best to approach it with kindness and consideration.

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

It depends on the specific country and the policies of the merchant or service provider. In some countries, dual currency transactions are allowed and accepted, while in others only the local currency is accepted. It is best to check with the merchant beforehand to determine their accepted forms of payment.

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

The most convenient way to exchange money while traveling through different regions of Macedonia is by using local ATMs, which can be found in major cities and towns. Another option is to exchange currency at banks or authorized exchange offices, which are also commonly found in tourist areas. It is advisable to have some local currency on hand for small purchases, as not all businesses may accept credit cards.

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

Yes, there are alternative forms of payment in Macedonia. Some common ones include:

1. Mobile Payments: Many banks and financial institutions in Macedonia offer mobile payment options, allowing customers to make payments using their smartphone or tablet. This is typically done through a mobile app linked to the customer’s bank account.

2. Digital Wallets: Popular digital wallets like PayPal and Skrill are widely accepted in Macedonia. These enable users to make online payments without sharing their credit card information directly with the merchant.

3. Contactless Cards: Contactless payment cards, also known as tap-and-go cards, have become increasingly popular in Macedonia. They use NFC (Near Field Communication) technology to allow for quick and secure transactions by simply tapping the card on a contactless-enabled device.

4. Bank Transfers: Many merchants and service providers in Macedonia accept direct bank transfers as a form of payment. This can be done either online or at a physical bank location.

5. Prepaid Cards: Prepaid cards are another option for making payments in Macedonia. These cards can be loaded with a specific amount of money and used for purchases just like credit or debit cards.

6. Cryptocurrencies: While not as widely accepted as traditional forms of payment, some businesses in Macedonia do accept cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin for transactions.

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

Tipping is generally not expected in Macedonia, but it is appreciated for exceptional service. Taxi drivers do not expect tips, though rounding up the fare is common. Tipping at hotels is not necessary, but leaving a small amount for housekeeping may be appreciated. At spas and salons, a tip of 10-15% is customary if you are satisfied with the service.

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

Yes, tourists can receive tax refunds on their purchases before leaving Macedonia at designated Global Blue or Tax Free Worldwide offices. These offices are typically located at major airports, border crossings, or in the city center. Tourists must present their receipts and completed tax refund forms to receive a refund on the value-added tax (VAT) paid on eligible purchases made in Macedonia.

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

When departing from Macedonia, you can handle your leftover foreign currency in the following ways:

1. Exchange it at a bank or currency exchange: The easiest way to get rid of your leftover foreign currency is to exchange it for your home currency at a bank or currency exchange. Most major banks and exchange offices in Macedonia will buy back foreign currency.

2. Use it for future travels: If you plan on traveling to another country that uses the same currency, you can save your leftover money for your next trip. This will save you from having to exchange it again.

3. Spend it at the airport: Many airports in Macedonia have duty-free shops and restaurants that accept foreign currency. You can use your leftover money to buy souvenirs or other items at the airport before leaving.

4. Donate it: Consider donating your leftover foreign currency to a charity or organization that accepts foreign donations. This is a great way to give back and make a positive impact in the community.

5. Keep it as a souvenir: If you have a small amount of coins or bills, you may want to keep them as souvenirs from your trip. They can serve as a reminder of your travels and add to your collection of currencies from different countries.

Remember, most places in Macedonia only accept Macedonian denars as payment, so it’s best to exchange or use up any leftover foreign currency before leaving the country.

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

Yes, most ATMs in Macedonia have a daily limit on the amount of local currency that can be withdrawn. This limit varies depending on the individual bank and may be anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 Macedonian denar per day. It is advisable to check with your bank or the specific ATM prior to making a withdrawal to ensure you do not exceed this limit.