As soon as I arrived in Kolkata airport, the first thing that I did was to exchange a few dollars to pay for the cab ride to Kolkata City Center. I only exchanged $20 and was surprised with the additional charges it incurred. The current exchange rate was at $1 = R52 as of the time of writing but I only got R48.60. There was also a service charge of R100 and R31 Service Tax for the amount that I exchanged.
As soon as we got out of the airport, I noticed an ATM near the departure gate. I suggest that you just withdraw from this instead to avoid surcharges from money exchange shops.
If you don’t want to withdraw money from the ATM in the airport, you could wait until you arrive at Kolkata City Center. There’s quite a handful of ATMs in Park Street and money exchange shops in Chowringhee Area.
Here are some tips that could help you in getting money in Kolkata:
1. If you are going to exchange foreign currencies in money exchange shops, check the rates as it varies per shop and also make sure that you’re clear with the service fee that they charge.
2. Most ATMs has a limit of R10,000 per withdrawal.
3. There are local and international banks in Park Street where you could withdraw money.
4. Don’t put your all your money in one pocket.
5. If you’re going to withdraw money at night, make sure to go to ATMs that are well lit.
Care to share your experience in exchanging money or withdrawing money in Kolkata or in other places in India? Share them in the comments below. Thanks!