If you are reading this article, it means that you have your own motives. Therefore, let me not explain now what bonuses the presence of a foreign card gives. The only thing I want to emphasize is that I am a travel blogger, not a financial consultant. In this article, I will share my experience and give you some ideas for your next steps. But then you are on your own…
Let's start with it, since it is easiest for a citizen of Belarus to open an account in a Russian bank. For example, you can easily get a Black card from Tinkoff Bank. To do this, you just need to apply on the site. And go with a passport to the nearest Russian city. The card is delivered by a courier. You can choose any time and place of the meeting. This may be the nearest cafe or station building. Therefore, everything is very convenient in this regard.
In addition, if you register here using this link, you will receive a nice bonus from the bank and me personally. Usually this is a free card service and small souvenirs. For example, in November 2022 they gave such a nice cardholder.
As for the minuses, there is only one drawback here – these are the sanctions imposed on Russian banks. Cards are issued on the basis of the Mir payment system, and they will not work in Europe in the foreseeable future. But in Belarus they function without problems (both in stores and in various establishments). There is a convenient application and a good course. Belarusian rubles can be withdrawn without commission in almost all ATMs of the Republic of Belarus. And on the card, you can accumulate quite a serious cashback. It could be 10% for taxi rides or 15% for drugstore purchases. Belarusian banks, of course, also have similar features. But the scale of cashback there is completely different.
For more information on how to open a Tinkoff Black card and how to use it in Belarus, read the article at the link below.
It is much more difficult for Belarusians to open accounts in Turkish banks. But it is also absolutely real. Just get ready that you will have to walk around – first to banks, and then to translation agencies. I'm not joking: here a lot really depends on which employee you get. They don't have seven Fridays in the week. They have seven Fridays there during the day.
You will have the highest chance of success in two banks in Turkey. This:
- Ziraat Katılım;
- And Vakif Bankası.
By the way, do not confuse Ziraat Katilim and Ziraat Bankasi. They are somehow related to each other, but it's still not the same thing.
If the stars in the sky stand up correctly, and your karma shines with some amazing purity, then you can still open the card in two private banks — Türkiye Finans and Deniz Bankası.
The conditions for obtaining cards are different for everyone. In the summer of 2022, Vakif Bank charged $50 to open an account. And Türkiye Finans simply blocked 2000 lira ($107) on the card for 6 months. But I emphasize: everything changes there in the breath of the Mediterranean wind. The wind blew to the right – the rules are the same. Blowed to the left – others. The general condition for all was only the translation of passports into Turkish and it was with a local (!) translator.
However, its advantages are also obvious here.
Me and my daughter Alice
Turkey is a visa-free country. There are large Russian speaking communities in Alanya, Antalya and Istanbul, so you always have the opportunity to ask someone for advice. Turkish cards work in all parts of the world. And bank employees often speak good English.
You can see tickets from Minsk to Istanbul here on this website. And here you can look for hotels if Booking and AIRBNB are no longer talking to you.
To open an account in the Republic of Lithuania, you need to be somehow officially connected with this country. You must have a residence permit and be registered as a resident of Lithuania. In some cases, you may be asked for other documents – an employment contract, a study certificate or proof of residence. In short, everything here is confusing, like in the best Scandinavian detective stories.
Besides, Lithuanian banks often charge a fee for opening accounts. And it can reach up to 200 euros. Especially greedy guys ask for money even before a decision is made, without promising you a positive decision on the application.
Read more about opening accounts in Lithuania on the website of the local migration service renkuosilietuva.lt.
Everything is plus or minus the same. Therefore, I will honestly say that I did not open accounts in the EU myself. My friends living in Tarnow and Białystok issued cards at PKO bank branches. But I don't know any nuances.
Revolut (British card for European residents)
If you legally live in Europe, then you have another way to simply and most conveniently apply for a European card. We are talking about the service Revolut. It works with residents of all EU countries. Therefore, if you live, for example, in the same Poland, then you can issue this card with home delivery. It will come to you in a regular letter.
The only condition here is that you have a residence permit or a national visa of one of the EU countries .
The delivery of the card costs 5.99 euros. You can withdraw money without commission at all ATMs, but only 200 euros per month. Further, the commission will be 2%.
See the Revolut website for all the details. They also have a Russian version.
You can open a Georgian card in at least four banks:
- And Bank of Georgia.
First two banks open accounts for free. For the other two, it costs 10 and 50 lari, respectively. At the same time, as in the case of Lithuania, no one promises you a positive answer to your application. They refused to open an account – the money was burned.
Mobile branch of Liberty Bank.
I also did not find banks offering free card service. Credo Bank asked for 25 lari ($9) per year. And this is the smallest offer I know of. The most greedy of all was Liberty Bank. These comrades asked for 300 lari per year ($110) and did not even pour me a glass of wine before disclosing such amounts.
Before opening an account in all banks in Georgia, you need to fill out a special Know Your Customer form, which needed to verify the client's identity.
You will also need to provide a translation of your passport and various financial documents. Someone asks for a tax certificate, someone for an employment contract, someone for an extract from your valid card on the movement of funds on the account. The point is to show that you are not a poor student and you have money. But I repeat again – everyone has different conditions.
As a rule, all bank employees in Tbilisi and Batumi speak excellent Russian. Therefore, in terms of communication, everything is simple.
The cards themselves are opened fairly quickly. Usually the answer comes to e-mail within a day. Remote opening of accounts (as far as I know) is currently not possible.
It is easiest now to open an account in Russia. All you need is to go here and spend 2 minutes to complete the application. There is a free service, and cashback, and good exchange rates. BUT! These cards will work only in Belarus, the Russian Federation and literally in several other countries.
As for international cards, Georgia and Turkey remain the simplest options here. You can open a bank account there in just a few days. But the trip itself, of course, will cost you dearly. Therefore, it is more logical to combine the design of the map with the rest. 6-stran-na-vybor-7722587.jpg” alt=”How a Belarusian can open a foreign card: 6 countries to choose from” />
I personally prefer Turkey. But this is a matter of taste. You can just open Aviasales and see which trip will cost you less. At the moment there are direct flights from Minsk to both Tbilisi and Istanbul.