Using Swedish Banks as an American Tourist

Do you plan visiting Sweden as a tourist, a foreign student or a business person? Then you will need to engage in financial transactions using your American currency, especially if you have no account with the banks. Sweden’s monetary unit is Krona/ Kronor (plural), although Euros are also acceptable at much bigger stores. The bank notes come in printed denominations of 20, 50,100,500 and 1000 Kronor. It is advised to stick to lower denominations, as the higher ones are prone to counterfeiting. This article talks about the options that a tourist is exposed to, while using Swedish banks. Endeavour to plan the different ways through which you intend to access cash while still in your own country. Since you may not be inclined to open a Swedish account for the brief period you will be visiting for, the only way you will use a Swedish bank is by utilizing some of their products even as you are not an account holder with them. There are different forms: travelers check, foreign exchange, credit cards and debit cards. In Sweden, only Chip or PIN cards can make payments or be used to withdraw cash.

CREDIT CARDS

These are accepted almost everywhere and are among the most common form of payment in Sweden. This has helped boost Sweden’s reputation as one of the countries with an almost completely cashless economy. It is however important to check with your bank in your home country whether the use of your card abroad would be the most cost effective way to make purchases. The use of Credit is an expensive way to spend money abroad, as the shops would surcharge every transaction, because they would also be surcharged by your home bank. You are advised to be observant each time you use your card, as some criminal minded store tellers might swipe your card severally when you’re not paying attention.

 

DEBIT CARDS (ATMs)

ATM or cash machines are quite numerous in cities and ports of attraction; this is quite favorable to tourists, as ATMs would probably always be within reach. There are basically two types of ATMs, Swedbank (gray) and the others (Blue). Banks in Sweden have an agreement that allows that an accountholder with the Swedbank may withdraw from the blue coloured ATMs. VISA and MasterCard are the most commonly accepted debit cards. It is important however to note that each banks concerned (your home bank and the Swedish bank) would charge extra fees on your transaction. A prior knowledge of the rates will be a plus.

 

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Besides some popular exchange offices such as Forex, much of the banks in Sweden also do foreign exchange. It is important to do a survey and determine the bureau offering the best exchange rates.

TRAVELLERS CHEQUES

It is quite rare to use cheques in Sweden. It is advised to use bank transfers instead. This is because Swedish banks charge a large surcharge on foreign cheque deposits and the time of processing might be prolonged. However, traveller’s cheques are fairly accepted and can be exchanged in Swedish banks, most post offices and bureau de changes. More sophisticated shops also accept traveller’s cheque for payment, although Cheques issued in Pounds sterling, US dollars and Euros are more preferred.

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