Financial

Money

Since 2002 Greece has used the euro, although if you do still have any left over drachma notes you can exchange them until March 2012 at the Bank of Greece. Visa and Mascard are accepted widely by the larger restaurants, hotels, travel agents etc; American Express and Diner’s card are far less common.

Banks

Greek banks are normally open Monday to Friday from 8.30am-2.30pm, although they may close early on Friday. Your passport will usually be required as proof of identity. There are cash machines (ATMs) all over the island, including the airport. The most common are those of the National Bank (Ethniki Trapeza), Bank of Piraeus (Trapeza Pireaos), Alpha Bank, which mostly accept Visa, Mastercard, Plus and Cirrus cards. Using a UK debit card via Plus/Cirrus/Maestro will result in transaction and commission fees of a few percent.

There are no British banks on Rhodes, though some, such as HSBC, have headquarters in Athens.

Transfer of Capital

It is an offence to send cash, cheques etc. by mail from Greece to another country without obtaining the prior permission of the Greek authorities. Currency controls affecting a large number of currency transactions have recently been lifted. It should be noted that at all times EU Nationals who wish to transfer funds abroad will be required by their commercial bank to prove that the transaction falls within permitted categories. Those interested should seek advice from a local bank or alternatively from the relevant section of the Bank of Greece in Athens.

Importation of foreign exchange in any form is not limited. However a person who is carrying more than the total equivalent of 10,000 EURO when entering the country, which he/she intends to take out again, should declare the amount on arrival.

Travellers leaving Greece are permitted to export:

a) Amounts up to € 10,000 EURO freely.
b) Amounts over € 10,000 EURO provided a declaration is submitted on departure to the Customs Authorities which will include (for residents) a Greek Tax Office certificate that taxes have been paid in Greece, or (for tourists) evidence that this amount had been declared on arrival. Note that for amounts over € 10,000 EURO further arrangements from a commercial bank may be required.

To transfer money from a UK banks to a Greek one you will need the Bank Identifier Code (BIC) and the IBAN (international bank account number). A percentage or flat fee of a few pounds will be charged.