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Hungary - Banking

Hungary's largest banks are OTP and Postabank, but expatriates tend to use the foreign-owned retail banks such as Általanos ÃâEURdegreesrtekforgalmi Bank Rt (ÁÃâEURdegreesB), Magyar Külkereskedelmi Bank Rt (MKB), or CitiBank Rt. To open an account you will be required to show your passport or other form of identity.

Depending on the individual bank's policy, foreigners can open a forint-based account or a hard currency account, and it is likely that a minimum deposit will be required. In order to obtain a credit card you might be asked to make an up-front deposit of up to 80% of the card's spending limit.

Banks in Hungary are usually open on Mondays to Friday from 8.30 a.m. until 12.30 p.m., and on Saturdays from 8.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m.

Major credit and charge cards (Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, American Express) are accepted at many restaurants, hotels and larger shops in Hungary but small shops mostly just accept cash.

Visitors are advised to change currency only at accredited organizations such as banks, bureaux de changes and travel agencies, not through illegal money changers on the streets. Many ATMs now provide a currency exchange service.

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