Banks and Currency
All shops, restaurants and authorities use the same currency for payment – the Russian ruble (RUB). Only this currency can be used for payment on the territory of the Russian Federation.
Students who have budget and state-funded places can get / will receive bank cards for student scholarship transfer. To do this, students should fill out an application form at Accounting Office in the beginning of their studies. You will receive your scholarship on bank card with payment system MIR. If a student has a fee-based place he/she needs to apply to a bank office to obtain a bank card.
To become a bank customer, you must have a passport and its translation into Russian (if necessary), as well as a migration card and registration. Please read the bank card terms and conditions carefully. A fee is charged for using bank cards.
As Visa, Mastercard and American Express have announced they will suspend all operations in Russia now all payments are possible only with cards issued on the territory of the Russian Federation, as well as with cards of the MIR and UnionPay payment systems or with cash (rubles).
You are able to open the Russian bank account and have the card with payment system MIR. You can also ask in the bank about cobaging card (it is card combined MIR and UnionPay systems) but it is quite expensive and as foreigner you cannot have the virtual card. It is better to have MIR card.
From April 18, 2022 banks will be able to sell cash currency to citizens, but only the one that arrived at the cash desks of financial institutions from April 9, 2022. It concerns not only dollars and euros, but also any other currencies. Moreover you can exchange foreign money for rubles without any restrictions. Non-cash conversion is allowed.
Currency can be exchanged at any branch of the bank in the city, but you need to submit your passport.
For those who are in a hurry or just forgot their passport, the easiest way to transfer money to rubles is at ATMs. All ATMs have a menu for selecting the language, and rubles can be withdrawn using card issued on the territory of the Russian Federation, as well as with cards of the MIR and UnionPay payment systems.
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