Malta’s currency is the Euro and it was adopted on the 1st of January in 2008, 4 years after the country joined the European Union. The majority of countries in the EU use the Euro with eleven of the member states adopting it when it was first introduced on the 11th of January in 1999.
Malta’s Euro Coins
Any country that has adopted the Euro utilises the same standardised set of banknotes. However, when it comes to coins each country has its own set of coins with unique designs and engravings. Malta’s currency, consists of three basic designs spread across 8 denominations. The 1, 2 and 5 cent coins have a depiction of the entrance of the Tarxien Temples as a reference to Malta's long history. The 10, 20 and 50 cent coins feature Malta's coat of arms, which is a common choice made by many countries. The 1 and 2 Euro coins depict the Maltese cross, a symbol that is currently associated with Malta but was in fact first introduced to the country by the Knights of Malta.
Currency Exchange in Malta
There are various different currency exchange and transfer facilities within Malta. The most common is to use a bank or a dedicated service provided by another financial institution such as a post office. These places will accept bank notes and will offer competitive exchange rates. It is uncommon for any service to exchange coins from another currency. The easiest currencies to exchange to Malta’s currency are GBP and USD, though some locations will be able to exchange other currencies such as AUD.
It is advisable to check what the current exchange rate is before accepting any offer by using an online currency converter. There are dedicated websites that offer these services and often a simple search engine result will display the most up to date information. Bear in mind that no matter what the online currency converter says, the financial institutions will offer a slightly worse exchange rate. The key lies in finding the best possible.
Other Payment Methods
Carrying around a lot of cash can be an unnerving prospect since misplacing your wallet or purse could lead to an irreparable loss. Fortunately, most businesses will allow you to use your debit or credit card the same way you would if you were in your own country. Commonly accepted card types include VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Maestro. However, when using these your bank may charge a flat fee per use, or possibly a currency conversion fee so it is always best to check with them first before using a card like you would at home. This also applies to using your card to withdraw cash from an ATM. Also, not all ATMs will accept foreign cards though, in general, any that are part of a bank will do so.