Iran’s currency can be confusing for foreigners. First of all, Iran’s currency is the Rial. It is recommended that you carry Dollar to Iran. You can exchange your dollars to Rial but you may not need to do that. Because Iran is not connected to the western banking system, your first choice is to bring cash with you. But don’t worry there are some other ways to spend money in Iran without any trouble. In this article, we are going to talk about Iran’s currency.
10.000 Rial / 1.000 Toman
As we said, Iran is not connected to western banks so you cannot use your credit cards here. There are plenty of ATM’s and banks but you cannot withdraw cash with your credit card because there is no connection between Iran banks and foreign banks. Therefore, one way is to bring all your travel money with you on your arrival in Iran. So, you need to calculate how much to bring first. Another way is using Mah Card. recently, some hotels have been adding Master Cards to their payment system.
Mah Card is an Iranian prepaid credit card designed by Mah Card Startup for tourists and foreigners. You can add your funds to this card, from any currency you want and convert it to Iranian Rial. Mah Card is first to provide card services to tourists in Iran. Helping tourists to access electronic payments in Iran.
Shetab is the Iranian digital and electronic payment system. You can use Mah Card anywhere that accepts Shetab Cards. Nowadays almost all hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, entertainment venues, e-commerce websites, and some taxis, accept Shetab Cards. ATMs are very common in Iran and are found everywhere on the streets.
Mah Card Website: https://www.mahcard.com/
The exchange rate for converting USD or Euro to Rial is volatile. So, at the time you want to travel to Iran search for the “Iranian Rial exchange rate” and visit converting websites for today’s rate.
Money converting in Iran is not that hard. Look for any sign saying “Currency” or “Exchange”. For example, if you are in Esfahan, in Ostandari Street there are numbers of money exchangers on the streets. There are some currency converting offices on that street too and it is recommended that you visit those offices instead of money changers on the street. Google search “money exchange office address in …”. fill in the blank with the name of the city you are at.
Banks for Money Exchange
Banks can exchange foreign currency up to 2000 USD or it’s equivalent to other major currencies for each passport holder and each companion of the passport holder or up to 2000 Euro for the same purpose per transaction.
List of these Banks: Melli Bank, Mellat Bank, Saderat Bank, Sepah Bank, and Tejarat Bank.
Rial or Toman?
Here our story gets a little confusing. Rial is Iran’s currency. But what is Toman? Toman, in general, has 1 Zero less than Rial. Iranians use Toman. It is not an official currency but prices and costs are all indicated in Tomans unless told otherwise. But you can’t exchange your money to it because Toman is not coins or banknotes, it is just a name and a way for money. Confused? Well, it is what it is.
If you ran out of money or were robbed or lost your money, you have to seek Melli Bank with your passport and visa and call a friend or family in your country to make a money transfer to that particular branch of Melli Bank using Swift code, your full name and passport details. Melli Bank has branches in London, Hong Kong, Paris, Moscow, Dubai, Hamburg, Baghdad, Muscat, Baku, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Kabul, Bahrain, Ras-Al-Khaimah and Sharjah. Many European, Indian and Japanese banks provide service to Iranian banks including Melli Bank.
How Much Money for Travelling to Iran?
Average Daily Cost (per person): 2.000.000 Rial
Average Cost for One Week (per person): 14.000.000 Rial
Average Cost for One Month (per person): 60.000.000 Rial
Average Cost for One Week (for a couple): 28.000.000 Rial
Average Cost for One Month (for a couple): 120.000.000 Rial
Typical Hotel or Hostel Cost for One Person (per night): 1.500.000 Rial
Typical Hotel or Hostel Cost for a Couple (per night): 3.000.000 Rial
Average Meals Cost for One Day: 1.000.000 Rial
One Bottled Water Cost: 15.000 Rial
Average Taxis, Local Buses and Subways cost (per day): 300.000 Rial
Entrance Tickets for Monuments, Shows Cost: 1.000.000 Rial
Tips and Handouts for Tour Guides or Service Providers: 1.000.000 Rial
Average Cost of Bus Travelling Between Cities: 400.000 Rial
You may find cheaper or more expensive costs so Average costs for one day, one week and one month is not stable.
Rial banknotes come in 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and the 100,000 Rial note, which is too small for substantial purchases.
In recent years a useful method also has been adopted which reduces needs to carry lots of Rial in your pocket. It is called “check pul” and works like a traveler’s check but doesn’t have a name written on it. The most common denominations of chek puls are 500000 and 1000000 Rials.