Monzo in the Stans (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan)

Has anyone used their Monzo in any of the Stans? Going in a few months so wondering if anyone’s got any feedback on it?

I lived in Dushanbe (Tadjikistan) for seven months in the late nineties, and used to transit through Tashkent and Samarkand quite regularly. Although technology and banking there will obviously have dramatically changed since then, I’d be surprised if some fundamentals had changed, and I’d highly recommend you research on other sites as well.

  1. You’ll probably be able to get cash and pay in the metropolitan areas. However, outside of the big cities, most places won’t accept bank cards. In fact, there’ll be some places where people hardly know what they’re for

  2. Monzo exchange money at the official MasterCard rate. When I was there, there were tight rules about locals being able to buy hard currency, which led to a thriving currency black market. That rate was actually four times better, meaning you got four times as many Soms (Uzbek currency) than you would if you did so at the official rate. Large denomination dollar notes, new, clean and crisp, without any folds or tears, were worth more than other notes

Those fundamentals may have changed - it has been 20 years after all - but it’d be well worth your researching further.


Actually, just had a look out of pure interest. It looks like all that changed just two years ago (apart from the notes needing to be crisp and clean):

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Thank you very much Justin!

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