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16.03.12 / The 46th International Tourism Fair, «ITB Berlin 2012», which took place from March 7 to 11 in Berlin, once again confirmed its status as the world's biggest tourism and services exhibition.
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The Belarusian currency is called "rubel" though Russian variant of the name "ruble" can be (and is) used with relation to Belarusian money.
Currently there are notes ranging from 1 to 100,000 rubles. No coins are used in Belarus for circulation. Only a small amount of commemorative coins is produced.
For the use in metro there are special plastic cards and tokens. Smart cards (plastic cards with microchips) are used for public payphones.
There are not many vending machines in Belarus and if there is one — it would accept paper notes (as do coffee machines at many commercial centers) or tokens will be sold somewhere at a nearby newspaper stand or other small retailer.
There are numerous currency exchange offices in Belarusian cities to change foreign currency to Belarusian rubles and back. Normally there should be no problems with exchanging US dollars, euros and Russian rubles.
Credit and payment cards hadn’t been used until the 90-es of the XX. Though today plastic cards are not in great use the largest hotels, restaurants, shops and service offices accept Visa and MasterCard. The other types of cards are of a very low usage. (Attention: Discovery and American Express Cards are not accepted in Belarus!)
American Express and Thomas Cook travel cheques are accepted in major exchange offices and banks but not by the retail trade centres and shops.
Sending money to Belarus
If you need to send money to Belarus (to friends, relatives or to a foreign person on a visit to Belarus) the easiest and fastest way (though not the cheapest one) to do it is Western Union. There is a possibility to send money via the Internet using a credit card a receiver can get the money in one of the numerous bank filials of Belarus.
One more way is to send international money order or money cheques. Though it is more difficult and takes much time it saves quite a sum of money. However one should know at first that not all the types of cheques are accepted (for instance signed by a private person) and at second commission fees for the encashment varies from bank to bank on general it is 1-5% but not less than 10 USD).
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