A 10 rupee coin is prohibited

India Money, Currency & Credit Cards 2019


Money in India - practical tips for travelers 2019

Ornate palaces, breathtaking landscapes, friendly people, the Buddhist religion and many other attractions make India a popular travel destination. Many tourists marvel at the famous Taj Mahal every year or be enchanted by the scent of the spices in the markets in cities such as Jaipur or Mandawa. The trip to the most populous country in South Asia must be well prepared. Especially when it comes to money. What does a trip to India cost? How much money do I need for my trip?

(Last update March 2019)

A valid passport, good international health insurance and the possibility of money supply are particularly important. Cash, on the other hand, is becoming less and less important.

How can I pay? What currency does India have? Is electronic payment by debit or credit card accepted in India? Where is it better to change the money, on site or at home at the house bank before leaving? What is the EUR exchange rate? What are the travel costs in India?

The Indian currency & the exchange rate - the rupee

In India, the currency is the Indian rupee (INR). One rupee has 100 paises. There are coins and bills. The coins have a value between 5 paise and 10 rupees. Banknotes / notes are available as 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 2000 rupees. Since November 10, 2016, the 1,000 rupee note has become invalid, instead there is a 2000 rupee note.

The banknotes contain a watermark and are embossed on the edge with the portrait of Gandhi. There is also a silver ribbon with an inscription on the banknotes. This becomes recognizable when you hold it up to the light. The face value of the bill glows under UV light. Converted, one euro is equivalent to around 75-80 rupees, depending on the daily rate.

Danger: The import and export of the Indian rupee is prohibited!

Foreign exchange regulations

In India, the import and export of the national currency is prohibited. Tourists traveling to India must exchange their money locally or withdraw money with a credit card from an ATM. Travelers are not allowed to enter with more than $ 5,000 in cash. They also have to declare the money. When making an exchange in India, tourists receive a signed certificate that they must keep if they want to exchange the remaining money when they leave the country. Practical tip: Exchange offices offer a better exchange rate than banks.

India does away with cash!
The largest democracy in the world is abolishing cash. That is the plan of the ruling BJP party. She wants to digitize the administration of the country and bring the majority of the population to the Internet, so far only about a third has access. The banknotes should go thanks to illegal work, corruption and bribery!

When Premier Modi in a televised address in November 2016 declared all 500 and 1,000 rupee bills to be invalid - around 86 percent of Indian cash in circulation - the idea was not entirely exotic.

Travelers checks - old school 2019!

Travel and traveler's checks are time-consuming and expensive. Tourists in Germany have to have their checks made out in US dollars, as banks in India prefer this currency to the euro and accept it more often. The travelers checks can be exchanged in banks and hotels, but there is a service fee of 10 percent. You don't use it anymore today!

Withdraw money with debit card and credit card

Travelers can withdraw money with the EC card at Indian ATMs that have a Maestro logo. However, banks charge high foreign transaction fees. These amount to between five and ten euros per withdrawal. Since the machines have a daily availability limit, tourists are forced to withdraw money several times. This is also recommended for security reasons. Therefore, it makes sense to look around for a free alternative. So-called travel visa cards are available to tourists for free cash withdrawals in India, which can be applied for at various German banks. They can be used to withdraw money free of charge at any ATM in India. They are available without deployment costs and travelers can use the travel visa to pay in numerous shops, restaurants and hotels. One of them is e.g. the free DKB VISA card.

Interesting facts about money in India

Travelers should take care not to accept torn bills. Damaged notes are not accepted by any shop or dealer in India. There is a chronic shortage of change in India. It is advisable to stock up on small bills and coins. During the trip to India, tourists need change for tips, entrance fees, taxi and rickshaw drivers as well as for shopping for food, clothing and many other everyday items. In addition, it is good form to give beggars and the needy a few coins at the temple entrances.

Banks in India are usually open between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, and post offices between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Exchange offices have longer opening times and are open daily.

Since many people in India live in poverty, the crime rate is high. Travelers should be careful when handling payment methods in India and be careful in busy places. You should only withdraw money from guarded ATMs such as a shopping mall or a bank. Tourists should always carry the valuables on their body and have their EC and credit cards blocked immediately in the event of theft. It is advisable to only take small amounts of cash with you on trips inland.

Further travel information is available from the Federal Foreign Office.

Tip in India

Tips are not given for transportation by taxis, rickshaws or tuk-tuks, as this is part of the price. In many small eateries, you pay at the cashier's exit and you don't tip either. In better restaurants you give 10% of the amount. At the hotel you can give 50 to 100 rupees in bills at your own discretion, depending on how long you were there and how comfortable you felt.