This article is from the Bulgaria FAQ, by Dragomir R. Radev email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
(by Plamen Bliznakov)
During my two-week stay in Bulgaria I tried to check how cash could be obtained
from a cradit card account or by cashing a traveller's cheque.
First, there was an office of American Express recently established in Sofia.
It is located at Batemberg square, at the former office of Yugoslavian airlines
JAT. One can obtaing emergency cash from his/her account in this office. I am
not sure what is the commission they take for that service. Almost $ 1000 were
available to me.
Second, Balkantourist is a travel representative of AMEX, offering many
services in their office on 1, Vitosha Blvd., including traveller's mail,
cashing traveller's cheques, getting cash from AMEX credit card account, etc.
They charge 1 % commission + 10 BGL per traveller's cheque for cashing the
latter. If you want to use your AMEX charge card, it will cost you 4.5 %
commission, and you can get cash only in Bulgarian leva, according to
Several other exchange bureaus also can give you Bulgarian leva charging
your credit card account (AMEX, Visa, Mastercard), but all I have seen
charge 8 % commission.
AMEX traveller's cheques can be cashed in some banks as well. One of them
is the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which has
an office on the 3 floor of EuropaPalace Hotel (former Hotel Rila) in the
center of Sofia. First Private Bank also cashes AMEX as well as Mastercard
traveller's cheques. You can check with Balkan Air Tours (the office of
Balkan Airlines at Sofiyska Communa St.) for cashing AMEX and Eurocheques.
Credit cards are accepted for payments of airline tickets at offices of
Balkan Airlines, as well as by many travel agencies. Yoy can also use
major cards for purchases at CUM and some other stores (e.g., Boujour chain
of Stambouli brothers - Cyprus). You can certainly use a credit card at the
duty free shops (e.g., at Sofia airport). In a TV interview they also said that
a chain of private gas stations now under construction will also start
accepting credit cards.