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Sweden is becoming cash-free – Here’s the currency guide for the tourist

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There are many things you’ll find on your trip to Sweden – invigorating air and sparkling lakes, majestic forests, beautiful cities, scenic landscapes, friendly citizens and more. What you might not find, in so much abundance, is cash or currency notes.

Yes, you heard right. Sweden is a front-runner in the global race to go cash free. According to the BBC, from 2010 to 2016, the percentage of cash payments in the country – particularly in the retail sector – dropped from 40 percent to a staggering 15 percent. Two-thirds of Swedes now claim that they handle all their transactions via card instead of cash. Even when it comes to payments that are under 100 kronor.

So, how does that impact you as a tourist?

Plan for a cashless trip to Sweden

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When you’re planning an international trip, getting your budget and finances together is just as important as packing the right clothes and planning where you want to go. You need to buy forex (foreign currency) in advance. In this case, you need to buy enough kronor (kr) to sustain you on your trip to Sweden.

Get a great exchange rate

Planning in advance helps you choose the best foreign exchange rate. With Thomas Cook, you can download the app and track the live updates of the kronor-rupee exchange rate. However, if you’ve got a full day at work and don’t have time to check the foreign exchange rate every day, you can tap on the “Rate Alerts” option and get alerts via texts and emails.

Also read: Which is Better: Prepaid Forex Card or Traditional Solutions

Once you’ve settled on a rate, you can block the rate that you want* in order to avoid currency fluctuations.

Choose the right forex card

The next decision to make is the percentage of cash you want to carry, and how much you need to load in your card. This decision is important for Sweden, considering you’ll be swiping your card for most transactions.

You can buy a One Currency Card or a Borderless Prepaid Card from Thomas Cook, load the card with 80-85% of your trip budget and the remaining amount can be carried as cash.

Now, why are we asking you to carry cash when Sweden is a largely cash-free economy? It’s simple. You need to be prepared in case any situation arises. Although small businesses in Sweden have started accepting cards as well, there might be a few purchases that require cash. Perhaps you’ll require it at the airport, or if you want to tip a good waiter at a restaurant. It’s situations like these where the cash you are carrying is significant.

You can order your cash and card to be delivered to your doorstep or pick it up from the closest Thomas Cook branch in your city.

Now that we’ve dispensed with the planning half of your trip, how can we help you manage your Swedish krona on your trip abroad? Here’s how:

How the One Currency Card Can Help During Your Trip to Sweden:

Since you are heading to a largely cashless country, your Forex card will become your greatest ally. At Thomas Cook, we’ve got one such card that is packed with exciting features.

The One Currency Card Prepaid Card, in collaboration with Mastercard Worldwide, gives you access to over 2.2 million ATMs and is accepted by over 35.2 million merchants – this is especially an advantage in countries that prefer cash over the card.

What is unique about the One Currency Card is that it is exclusively for the dollar. Thanks to this, you will be able to exchange it against any currency, no matter where you go.

Suggested Read: Forex Card vs Debit Card vs Cash

How does this impact your trip to Sweden?

The Swedish Krona is a currency that is rarely available outside Sweden. It’s not easily obtainable. While you might be able to purchase a certain amount of Swedish krona, it might not meet your full budget. You can supplement the krona for your trip by loading dollars onto your card.

Once you arrive at Sweden, you can exchange your dollars for the krona. The dollar is one of the most preferred currencies in the world and might get you a better exchange rate than INR would.

Furthermore, it’s unusual to book a direct flight from India to Sweden. When you’re in transit, having dollars on hand can be the advantage. Particularly if you’d like to indulge in duty-free shopping. You could also use your One Currency Card at hotels or pay for transport internally within the Scandinavian countries.

Another advantage of using the dollar is that it will be accepted in a country like Sweden, which is one of the most popular tourist spots in the world.


benefits of using the One Currency Card

In addition to these factors, the One Currency Card is highly beneficial when you’re travelling to a cashless country.

  1. You can reload your card as many times as you like*, which is handy in case of an emergency.
  2. The card both CHIP and Pin protected, which allows you to carry out your transactions securely.
  3. If you do run into any trouble, Thomas Cook agents are available 24/7 to lend their assistance.
  4. You can carry a backup card in case you’re worried about losing your card or theft.
  5. If you do lose your card or if it is stolen, Thomas Cook will provide a free replacement.

While Sweden is an incredible country to visit, navigating the currency can be tricky if you’re not well prepared. Before you plan your trip, keep these factors in mind, prepare for different scenarios and protect yourself with Thomas Cook.

Happy Travelling! Or as the Swedes say, “glad resa”.

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