Currency of Ukraine
The Hryvnia, also spelled sometimes as Hryvna or Grivna (UHR) was introduced September 2, 1996 by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU). It replaces the old 'Coupon' (or 'Karbovanets') which was a temporary currency used in Ukraine during the period of separation from the rouble zone.. Rate of exchange is about 5.3 hryvnia (plural - hryvni) to US$1.00 (see the right top corner of window).There are bills for 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Hryvnias. There are coins called 'kopiyka' for 1, 2 ,5 10, 25, and 50 kopiykas. (1 kopiyka is equal to 1/100 of Hryvnia.) Alo there are 1, 2 and 5 Hryvnia coins as well as some commemorative collectible coins. Under the latest regulations, most stores can no longer accept foreign currency for purchases. Exchange kiosks are plentiful in all larger towns and cities and in all hotels. If traveling into the countryside, exchange dollars prior to leaving the city. Travelers checks are very rarely accepted, however credit cards can be used at larger hotels, stores and restaurants. USA dollars and Euros are the most readily accepted western currencies.
Downtown you will find ATMs at every building, shop, department store, hotel, etc. Please note that you will receive money in UAH currency according to the National Bank of Ukraine Rate. But we were eyewitnesses of situations when the machine could not process the request, but the money requested disappeared from the card-holder's account. To avoid this, please keep all receipts from the ATMs with you; if the withdrawal was "unsuccessful" you can present the check at your bank branch and after a request to the Ukrainian bank the money will be returned to your account. Ukrainian banks explain the reason as interruption of Internet connection between an ATM and the account at your bank. Please mind that via ATMs you are not able to take more than US$ 200 of cash per day from your account.
If you want to avoid any risk, go to any bank branch and withdraw the money from your account right there. You will pay 6% for the operation, but it's worth it. All you need is the ATM card and your passport.
The most service-oriented banks for today are AVAL, PRAVEXBANK and PRIVATBANK.
Currency can be exchanged at airports, banks, hotels and exchange offices. You will find exchange booths at almost every shop, supermarket and department store and just along the street.
You will be able to pay by credit card in restaurants, hotels and many shops. Be sure to bring your Visa and Master Cards, as American Express is not accepted in ATMs around Ukraine.
Western Union branches are scattered around the city in banks, railway/ bus stations, department stores, etc.