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Which cashpoints should you use in Poland?

To end this saga about the doubts surrounding the best possible way to withdraw money (best, well, the most economical); where not to take it out and avoid paying more (well, avoid getting robbed is more like it); I'll be talking about, now you've got your Evo Banco card I recommended, whether it matters which cashpoint you use to take our your money.

Isn't it the same thing taking out money from WBK or from Santander?

Well the answer is no, but if it was as simple as that I obviously wouldn't be writing about it at 2 minutes past midnight on the 18th of February. What I'm trying to say is that as soon as you get here, you're not going to see all the cashpoints in the same way; but in fact, you're going to assign them to the three different groups that I'm now going to explain to you.

1. The enemies

Basically, the ones we don't want to take money out of, only in a desperate situation when you simply don't have any other choice. These cashpoints have an exchange rate between 3. 90 and 4. 00, nearly as much as they would offer if we had a Polish account. They are enemies, yes, but not nearly as hated as the next group.

Among these 'enemies' are WBK and Santander, as well as many others you shouldn't even worry about, not worth mentioning. It's the green one I mentioned before, WBK, with their favourite little Chuck Norris picture, it's the number 1 bank in Poland and you'll find them everywhere.

As there are so many, you'll be tempted to avoid all this nonsense and just take your money out there. Don't do it as you'll never know if that day will be the day they are going to rip you off and you're going to fall victim to an awful exchange rate, despite being able to withdraw for free with Evo Banco.

I repeat, there are exceptions: but as a general rule never take money out of these banks, and if I don't mention any you see, they apply to this group.

2. The ones we hate to see

Even with the subtitle, I want to be clear, never never ever take money out from one of these. They will rip you off like you've never been ripped off before, I've seen exchange rates as low as 3. 50, as well as about 20% commission... it's so expensive it hurts to even think about it.

I remember it like it was yesterday, it was the morning, the weather was amazing for Poland and I went to the closest cashpoint (I thought it was) to my halls in Lumumby. What did I find next to Biedronka, the supermarket we had there, these banks that we hate to see, they're placed strategically, near supermarkets, shopping centres, cinemas, all the places you have to spend a bit of money in, meaning you have to either take money out from them, or face walking a long way out of your way to find another.

I think taking money out in one of these places could be one of the worst things you could ever do on your Erasmus, not just because I'm warning you, but because doing so means you've falling prey to this dirty game they play with you, but by being aware, we don't need to play it anymore.

Don't learn the hard way and if you're unsure, do the obvious thing... I hope I haven't gone off topic: if you're in doubt don't take out money and go to another bank nearby or even better, go for a little walk, walk off the food you've eaten and even if you haven't eaten, walking is good for you; every cloud has a silver lining and it's better to be safe than sorry. But what are you looking for? The banks that make up group number 3.

3. The ones we want

To my knowledge there are two main banks you want to find. I'll give you the worst of them first and finish with the best.

So, as your second best option for getting money out in Poland we have 'Polski Bank', which is all red and easy to spot. Their exchange rate is always above 4, around 4. 10, which makes it much better than the hated banks and even slightly better than the first group; not a bad option by any means and as well, you'll find one nearby or might even live close to one; and even if they are far away, it's worth going to as they are the best. For example, in Lodz there's only one of these red banks, along the main street, Ptrokoskwka, about half way up around number 60.

Here too is where you'll see the 3 letters you'll learn to love when going to get some money out: PKO.

This is the name of the bank and I've put the logo at the end of the article so you can remember it. If you see these three big letters and sometimes even a little bull, you know that this is the good bank. For you very proud Spaniards, you'll see it as the bull not leaving your side, a sign if you've ever seen one; and even for those not so patriotic, you don't see these sorts of things all the time. The important thing though is that PKO's exchange rate isn't that much different from the others and you'll get it at about 4. 20 most of the time. Get a lot of money out when you see them as it might be a while before you see another.

For example, in Lodz there's a PKO in Lumumby, the university halls, just in front of number 3, an absolute miracle for Erasmus students. Also, it's the 'village bank' so it helps you out and gives you the best exchange rate.

Moral of the story?

Evo Banco + PKO is your magic formula to get the most out of the money you get out.

Which cashpoints should you use in Poland?


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