Tuesday, April 23, 2013
This is play money.
We just spent a few days in Croatia with a brief side trip to Bosnia & Herzegovina - trip log and photos to come! Bosnia & Herzegovina have their own currency, the convertible mark, which isn't used anywhere else. We didn't think anything of having some marks left over when we left the country, as it happens a lot and we either keep it for future trips or exchange it. Turns out it's not easy to exchange! We had a layover in Frankfurt and took it, along with some leftover Croatian kuna, to a currency exchange there. They happily took the kuna (at a horrible rate) but immediately refused the convertible marks. Actually, he looked at us like we were offering him Monopoly money and said we were going to be stuck with it - no one was going to take it. Whaaat? It's a legit currency. I didn't heed his words and took it to our bank today. The teller there thought he was going to be able to take it, but after much clicking around on his computer, he also told me that he couldn't take it and said we could try the post office. There's no post office near home so I looked it up online and discovered the post won't deal with them either. So, we're stuck with these convertible marks....at least until we (hopefully) visit Sarajevo or some other yet-unexplored Bosnian/Herzegovinian locale someday. Thankfully it's really not worth that much - about 20 pounds.
If you go to Bosnia & Herzegovina and can get Euro beforehand, most places in tourist areas will gladly accept Euro. Sometimes they'll take Croatian kuna. Between those two and credit/debit you may be able to get away with never using the local currency. The local ATMs only dispense convertible marks, though. If you do get convertible marks, be sure to exchange any you have left over before you leave the country!