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Money & Currency

The Iranian rial (﷼ in Persian) but symbolized internationally as IRR is the currency of Iran; however, prices are often quoted in Tomans (تومان). One Toman is equal to ten rials.
• Coins are issued in values of 50, 100, 250, 500, 1,000, 2,000 and 5,000 rials with banknotes produced in 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 , 50,000 and 100,000. If you remember that a yellow IRR 50,000 note was approximately equal to a euro you wouldn’t be used to get confused.
• Although Iranians often express amounts of money and prices of goods in “Tomans”, however despite the usage of “toman” verbally, amounts of money and prices of goods and services are frequently written in rials.
• ATMs in Iran do not accept foreign (non-Iranian) cards except some which accept those from state banks, so bring all the money you might need in cash, preferably in US dollars or euros.
• Banking hours: Sat-Wed 0730-1430, Thurs 0730-1230.
• Rates in exchange offices, the so-called secondary market, are much more favorable than those in a bank. Exchange offices can be found in major cities, their opening times are usually Saturday to Thursday from 08:00-16:00.
• US dollars and Euros are by far the most useful, though other currencies can at times also be exchanged.
• It is not possible to exchange traveler’s cheques.
• Credit and debit cards are useless in Iran due to US sanctions, so bring enough hard currency for the duration of your stay.
• The import of foreign currency is unlimited, provided declared on arrival. The export of foreign currency is limited to the amount declared on arrival.
• There is a possibility to get a pre-paid no-name gift card from most of the banks in Iran if you are concerned with carrying too much cash on you. These cards have no service fee and surcharge and you get the exact amount of money you put in the card. All ATM and POS terminals support Persian and English languages. Make sure the one you get has ATM Withdrawal Feature. Ask about ATM withdrawal and POS transactions daily limit in advance. Keep your receipts and treat your gift cards like cash as in the case of missing them, it is less likely to get a replacement even with paperwork. Paperwork may help you to receive a new password in case of forgetting it but expect bureaucracy. Cash your left over cards one business day before your departure to avoid any problem caused by Iranian interbank network SHETAB failure.
• Purchasing gift cards have no surcharge or service fee, and you can withdraw or spend all the money you put in your gift card. Some of the gift cards don’t have an ATM withdrawal feature and are only for using in shops and stores POS, so make sure you get ATM enabled gift card before purchasing it from the bank. There are a 2,000,000 rials (65USD) daily withdrawal limit for most of the Iranian bank cards, so purchasing several cards lets you withdraw more money from ATMs per day. Some gift cards usually are not re-loadable. Some are pre-loaded in designated amounts, but some banks let you load them for your desired amount when you purchase. As they are no-name, there is almost no way to report stolen card and get a duplicate. Always keep passwords and cards in a safe place.
• There is no cash-back feature in Iranian POSs, but in the case of emergency and having no access to ATM, you may ask a shop owner with POS to give you cash-back.

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