Rials or Tomans?
Iranian money, Rials or Tomans? Usually, this is what confuses almost every traveler in Iran. Yes, we have two common currencies in Iran.The first and the official currency is Iranian Rial (Rls or ریال) and the currency people use informally, is Tomans. Basically, each Toman is equal to 10 Rials. So, 1000 Tomans equals to 10,000 Rials.
Iranians use Rials in banknotes, coins, official deals and use Tomans informally. Rials are the printed and Tomans are the discussed currencies. So, when you want to buy something at a store, pay for taxi and shopping, you are facing Tomans, not Rials.
When a taxi driver says the price from getting here to there is 500, he means Tomans, which means that you’ll be paying using a 5,000 Rial note. Since we have too many zeros in our bank notes (Check out Iran banknotes below), sometimes people even don’t bother to say 3000 or 5000 Tomans and prefer saying 3 or 5 Tomans! Thus, whenever you are paying something you can ask them and check it again to see if it’s the right price.
Iranian Rial (IRR, symbol Rls):
Currently, we use eight different banknotes (100,000, 50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 2,000, 1,000 and 500 Rials) and five different coins (5000, 2000, 1000, 500 and 250 Rials).
If they’re not falling apart, Iranian banknotes are easy to read as the numbers and names are printed in Farsi and English. However, coins are only marked in Persian (Farsi).
Credit Cards and Travelers Cheques
Due to the sanctions against Iran even common major credit cards like Visa and MasterCard are not accepted in Iran; so bring cash or try credit cards issued by local banks in Iran,It’is not possible to exchange travelers’ cheques neither.
What type of cash is acceptable? It is not important; US dollars; Euro; GBP are all accepted in Iran. You should change your money in a currency exchange offices, and you will have no problem finding them all around the country. Use Iranian Rials when you are wondering out and shopping or eating (most places only accept Rials) .Make sure you check the exchange rate it may change during your stay.
Although Iran has a functioning network of ATMs (cash point machines) all around the country and POSE machines even in many supermarkets, but you can only use credit/gift cards issued by local banks in Iran.
The import and export of local currency is limited to Rs 500,000. Any amount larger requires authorization from the Central Bank. The import of foreign currency is unlimited, provided that it is declared on arrival. The export of foreign currency is limited to the amount declared on arrival.
The quickest and easiest way to change cash is at an official money-exchange office, where the whole deal is done in seconds, unlike in most banks where half an hour is considered fast. Exchange shops can be found in most cities, usually signed in English. Changing money in an exchange shop is much safer than doing so with a street money change.