How to pay abroad and transfer money now

How to transfer money now? Does the Mir card work abroad? How to pay for foreign services? Is it possible to receive a salary in dollars? Now all these tasks look like a quest that you did not intend to participate in. We have collected information and life hacks so that you can get out of the maze of news and rules without loss.


In March, Visa and MasterCard suspended operations in Russia. Now it is no longer possible to use Russian cards of these payment systems to pay abroad. With SWIFT transfers and paying for usual services on a smartphone, everything is also not easy. The time when almost all financial issues were solved with one compact piece of plastic is over. Now for each task and payment it is worth looking for its own optimal solution. We have figured out several situations that our students may encounter and have compiled a collection of ways to pay for foreign services, use cards outside the Russian Federation, travel and accept transfers in foreign currency.

How to pay abroad

Is it possible to bring cash from Russia?

The easiest way is to travel with cash. Before traveling abroad, you can buy currency at a bank and also withdraw it from your account. The maximum limit is 10 thousand dollars or the equivalent in euros. Important: you can withdraw no more than the amount that was in your foreign currency account on March 9 at 00:00. This restriction is valid until September 9.

Does the World card work?

You can pay for goods or services, as well as withdraw money from the Mir card at ATMs in Turkey, Vietnam, Armenia, South Korea, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Keep in mind that Mir accepts only those terminals and ATMs that have the logo of this payment system. For example, in Turkey the banks Turkiye Is Bankasi, Ziraat Bank, VakifBank work with Mir, in Vietnam – banks BIDV, VRB, in Kazakhstan – Sberbank, VTB, People’s Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Center-Credit Kazakhstan.


Can I pay with a UnionPay card?

Chinese UnionPay is the same international payment system as Visa and MasterCard. The UnionPay card is useful for making purchases and withdrawing cash abroad. It is accepted in 180 countries, but not all terminals and ATMs. Look for the red, blue and green logo of the Chinese payment system.

In Russia, UnionPay cards are issued in these banks:

Bank Cost of opening a card Card service
Gazprombank 15,000 ₽ 0 ₽
“Solidarity” 0 ₽ registered – 3000 ₽/year
unnamed – 2500 ₽year
Bank “Saint-Petersburg” 10,000 ₽ 5,000 ₽/year
Rosselkhozbank instant card — 7,500 ₽
personal card — 9,500 ₽
0 ₽
(virtual card only for bank clients)
0 ₽ 0 ₽
MTS Bank 5,000 ₽ 0 ₽ (subject to conditions)
Russian Standard Bank (credit card) 0 ₽ 499 ₽/month
Primsotsbank 3,000 ₽ 6,000 ₽/year
Post Bank (virtual card) 0 ₽ 0 ₽
The information is current at the time of publication of the article.

But even with a UnionPay plastic card issued in Russia, you cannot be 100% sure that you will be able to withdraw money from it abroad or pay in a local store. You can find out whether compatriots managed to do this in a particular country from the table – it was created by the owners of Russian UnionPay cards themselves.

How to open a foreign bank card

The most convenient option for traveling, booking hotels, and making cashless payments in restaurants and shops is a card from a foreign bank. The easiest way for Russians to open an account is in the CIS countries. However, states are gradually tightening the requirements. If you need to open a foreign account, you should hurry. Let’s talk about three popular and fairly budget-friendly areas of card tourism.

Open a card in a bank of Uzbekistan

To open an account, you will need a foreign passport and temporary registration in Uzbekistan – it can even be issued at a hotel. In addition, a local SIM card will come in handy. Issue of a Visa or MasterCard card will cost $3–5. On average, production time is two working days.

Open a card in a bank in Kyrgyzstan

For registration you will need to provide a passport. If you arrived only with a Russian passport, you will also need a migration card. The cost of opening an account, for example, in Demir Bank is 300 soms (about 230 rubles). The card is made within 10 days. To have the card produced in one day, you need to pay an additional 1,300 soms (about 900 rubles).

Open a card in a bank of Tajikistan

It is more difficult to open an account in this republic. In addition to your passport and temporary registration, you will need a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), which must be obtained from the local tax authorities. Various intermediary companies are already offering Russian travelers assistance with registration. In Tajikistan, you can save on opening an account. For example, Sitamen Bank opens accounts for non-residents free of charge.

To top up a foreign bank card, you can make a transfer through the Zolotaya Korona payment system service from a Russian card or deposit cash through an ATM.

Important: within a month from the moment of opening a bank account in another country, you will need to notify the tax office at your place of registration. The notification form can be found on the Federal Tax Service website. You can submit it in person, by mail or online.

How to receive a salary in dollars if you work from Russia?

If you work for a foreign company, then your salary in Russian jurisdiction is regarded as a payment. You can receive it in any currency. But now there are some restrictions on receiving dollars, euros and pounds. Some banks do not accept incoming currency transfers, others charge high fees.

For example, now you cannot receive incoming currency transfers to your account at Sberbank, Alfa-Bank, VTB, Otkritie, MKB, RSHB, Sovcombank, PromSvyazBank, since these banks are under sanctions. Here are several options for credit institutions that accept incoming currency transfers to customer accounts:

  • Gazprombank (under partial sanctions): does not charge a commission.
  • Tinkoff Bank: charges a commission of 3% of the amount, but not less than $200 and not more than the transfer amount.
  • Raiffeisenbank: commission – 500 rubles.
  • “Unicredit”: no commission.
  • AkBars: no commission.
  • “Russian Standard”: no commission.

“We need to consider the risks that exist with holding currencies – namely dollars, euros and pounds sterling. There is a possibility that at some point it will be impossible to change it . ”

Sergey Zhdanov, Head of Finance, Repafi.

If you receive income in foreign currency, you need to declare it so as not to violate the legislation of the Russian Federation. There are three options for receiving payments from a foreign employer:

  1. As an individual. Then at the end of the year you will need to independently calculate the amount of tax and submit a 3-NDFL declaration to the tax authority.
  2. As a self-employed person. In this case, declaring income is easier – the My Tax application automatically does it for you.
  3. As an individual entrepreneur. For entrepreneurs, the income declaration procedure is more complex and depends on the chosen taxation system.

How to pay for applications on your smartphone

If you have an iOS smartphone , you can pay for applications and subscriptions in the AppStore using the methods from the table. All of them are definitely available to Beeline and MTS subscribers. If you use another operator, you can negotiate with friends who are subscribers of Beeline and MTS and use their number for payment.

If you have an Android smartphone , then the following methods will help you pay for services and applications on Google Play.

How to pay for online courses from foreign companies

For example, you can pay for a marathon or intensive at Repafi by credit card or via PayPal. If you are in Russia, then select rubles in the payment window and pay with a card from any Russian bank.

How to pay for a trip to a language school

Payment for the language course takes place in two stages: prepayment and balance. You can make an advance payment using any Russian card. This way you will book a place at the language school and receive documents from it to apply for a visa.

The balance is the cost of the course minus the prepayment. To deposit the balance, you will need to make a cross-border transfer to a foreign legal entity. Therefore, transfer the balance from a card of a Russian bank that is not subject to blocking sanctions and is not disconnected from the SWIFT system.

The situation with currency and transfers is ambiguous, so the conditions that we discussed in the article may change. If you have a question about paying for a language course or traveling to a language school, write to [email protected] . Our experts will help you understand all the nuances. Repafi students continue to travel to language schools around the world.

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