Visitors to Tallinn should compare currency exchange rates and service charges before changing money. A study conducted by the Estonian Consumer Protection Board showed that differences can be quite large.
It is a good idea to find out before you leave whether it is cheaper to change money in your own country or on a ship rather than in Tallinn. In Tallinn you can change money at a bank or a private bureau de change.
The study compared how many Estonian crowns (EEK) a visitor can get for 50 euros at different money changers. At banks and most bureaux de change a customer can get about EEK 800. The most expensive place to change money was OÜ Monex, where 50 euros will get you only EEK 575.
Some banks collect a service charge for changing money. For example, Hansapank, SEB Ühispank and Sampo Bank charge EEK 15 (about 1 euro) if you do not have an account. OÜ Monex is the only private bureau de change that applies a service charge. This ranges from EEK 50 to EEK 99 depending on the amount exchanged.
Tourists who need to change money easily come across a Monex branch first. The firm has branches at key places in Tallinn such as harbour terminals, the airport, the Viru Centre, Viru Tänäv and the Town Hall Square.
The Estonian Consumer Protection Board and the European Consumer Centre in Estonia have both received complaints about Monex's exchange rates from Estonians and foreigners. Consumers have considered Monex's exchange rates and service charges unfair, even though they have been aware that it is generally more expensive to change money at an airport or harbour than at other places.