LEK

The currency used in Albania is the Albanian LEK.

Most banks in Albania offer accounts in different currencies, such as USD, EUR, GBP, CHF, AUD, and CAD.

The exchange rates are established daily by The Bank of Albania. Banking in Albania is quite easy.

Most of the banks do offer a bank (ATM) card with the contactless feature like most metropolitan cities within Europe.

OLD LEK vs NEW LEK

Sometime before 1990, Albanian LEK was revalued by Bank of Albania introducing new notes and coins. The new value was 1 New Lek for 10 Old Lekë. If you had 10,000 Lekë in the bank it suddenly had a value of 1,000 Lekë.

Albanians being stubborn and to keep the ‘old’ value going, continued to refer to Old Lek but would accept the New Lek value (as they had to) Example: If a street vendor says “100 Lekë” they would take 10 Lekë. If a shopkeeper said, “1000 Lekë ” he would accept 100 Lekë.

When in doubt ask to see the receipt, it will always refer to the ‘new lek’ thus the correct amount.200, 500, 1000, 5000 lekë is still commonly referred to as 2000, 5000, 10,000, 50,000 OLD lekë

 

Albanian Banknotes

Albanian banknotes come in denominations of 200, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000 lekë.

There are five, 10, 20, 50 and 100 lekë coins.

November 2019, Albania introduced the new banknotes listed below though the old ones are still in circulation.

Euro ATM’s

Most ATM’s in Albania offer both LEK and EURO cash withdraws, but not all of them. Please find out at your Bank’s branch more specific information regarding the locations of EURO dispensing ATMs nearest to you.
BEWARE! of the withdrawal fees which are often in euros. The ATMs located at Taiwan Center and Twin Tower in Tirana will provide Euro.

Money Exchange in Albania

The exchange rates of Albania are established daily from Bank of Albania & all other banks and exchange offices follow it. Below we have listed the most popular Money Exchanges offices in Tirana. You can exchange money at  MoneyGram or Western Union but the exchange rates are not the best & the fees are high.

NOTE: The Black Market Money Exchange is located beside the Bank Of Albania building, at the intersection of Rr. Kavaja & Rr. Ibrahim Rugova.  Various men will approach vehicles or pedestrians passing by offering exchange services. Be cautious & trade at your own risk!!

Exchanges

ILIRIA’98 Money Exchange

You can find online Exchange Rates at Iliria ‘98 and money exchange locations in Tirana listed below:

1.Rruga Myslym Shyri & crossroad
2.Near KESH, 3 min from Skanderbeg Square
3.Rr. Elbasanit & Lana (on the first block South)
4.Avni Rustemi Square, Pazari I Ri (Roundabout)
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 8:00 to 20:00 / Sunday: Closed
5. Rr. Ibrahim Rugova, Taiwan Center
Opening Hours: Monday 8:00 to 20:00 / Tuesday to Sunday 8:00 to 22:00

ABI Exchange

You can find the money exchange locations in Tirana listed below:

1. Bulevardi Zogu 1, near Conad
2. Komuna e Parisit, near Ironbrush Tirana
3. Don Bosko, near the “Catholic Church of Our Lady of Assistance”
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 8:00 to 20:00 / Sunday: Closed 

MONEY TRANSFER

MoneyGram
Ria Money Transfer- Easy Payment
UnionNet- Western Union 

NOTE: Money Transfer points also offer bill payment and exchange services.

Banking in Albania

Bank of Albania

Bank of Albania is the central bank of the Republic of Albania. This status is sanctioned in Article 161 of the Constitution of Albania and Law 8269/1997 “On the Bank of Albania”, which defines the objectives, duties, relations with the banking and state system, organization, and management, ownership of the capital, financial statement and distribution profit.

The Bank of Albania’s main objective is to achieve and maintain price stability. It is autonomous and independent of any other authority in the realization of its principal objective and other objectives and tasks. The Bank of Albania is a fully state-owned bank and reports to the Parliament of the Republic of Albania. It is chaired by the Supervisory Council, which is chaired by the Governor, who also acts as its Chief Executive Officer.

BKT (Banka Kombetare Tregtare)

Account Currencies you can choose from: LEK, USD, EUR, GBP, CHF, AUD, CAD

All ATMs: LEK and EURO (you can also deposit in their ATM to avoid waiting long lines)
BKT ATM’s do not charge for money withdrawal or deposit.

Branches Opening Hours:  Monday to Friday:  8:00 to 15:00 / Saturday and Sunday:  Closed*

*Note: Kristal Center and Concord Center’s Branches are open on Saturdays from 9:00-16:00, and on Sundays from 10:00 to 14:00.

Debit Card: MasterCard /  VISA Electron

Credit Card: Prima Extra – All cards usable around Europe.

Other Services: Money Transfer, Exchange, and Online Banking.

You can link your card to PayPal if your account is in Euro or other currencies beside LEK.

RAIFFEISEN

Account Currencies you can choose from: LEK and EUR

ATMs: LEK and EURO (you can also deposit in their ATM to avoid waiting long lines)

*Note: Raiffeisen ATM’s charge commission for money deposit and withdrawal, depending on the currency and the amount.

Branches Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 8:00-9:00 to 15:30 / Saturdays and Sundays: Closed*

*Note: ETC and Rr. Sami Frasheri Branches are open on Saturdays from 9:00 to 12:30.

Debit Card: VISA Electron, VISA Contactless, MasterCard Contactless.

Credit Card: MasterCard. Usable all around the world.

OTHER BANKS IN ALBANIA

ALPHA BANK

INTESA SAN PAOLO BANK

PROCREDIT

UNION BANK

TIRANA BANK

AMERICAN INVESTMENT BANK

FIBANK

OTPBANK

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