The Norwegian currency is the krone (plural: kroner), written as NOK. There are 100 øre in 1 krone. Bank notes are issued in denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 kroner. Coins are issued in denominations of 50 øre, 1 krone, and 5, 10, and 20 kroner.
At press time, faced with some of the greatest fiscal instability since before World War II, U.S. and Norwegian currency experts held widely varying opinions about the 2-year outlook for the interrelated values of the kroner, the dollar, the pound, and the euro. With that in mind, we compiled the following chart as a very rough guide for how the Norwegian kroner might stack up against other international currencies.
For American readers: At the time of this writing, US$1 = approximately 5NOK (or stated differently, 1NOK = approximately 20¢). This was the rate of exchange used to calculate the simplified dollar values provided throughout this edition.
For British readers: At this writing, £1 = approximately 10NOK (or 1NOK = approximately 10p). This was the rate of exchange used to calculate the pound-designated values within the chart below and throughout this edition.
Regarding the Euro: At the time of this writing, 1€ = 10NOK (or stated differently, 1NOK = 10 eurocents).
These monetary relationships can and probably will change during the lifetime of this edition. For more on exact ratios between these and other currencies, check an up-to-date source at the time of your arrival in Norway.
Banks offer the best rates for performing currency exchanges. Most hotels will exchange money but usually at an unfavorable rate.
Many hotels in Norway simply do not accept a dollar- or pound-denominated personal check; those that do will certainly charge for making the conversion. In some cases, a hotel may accept countersigned traveler's checks or a credit or charge card.
If you're making a deposit on a hotel reservation, it's cheaper and easier to pay with a check drawn from a Norwegian bank. This can be arranged by a large commercial bank or by a specialist such as Ruesch International, 700 11th St. NW, Fourth Floor, Washington, DC 20001 (tel. 800/424-2923 or 202/408-1200; www.ruesch.com), which performs a wide variety of conversion-related tasks, usually for about $15 per transaction.
If you need a check payable in a Norwegian currency, call Ruesch's toll-free number, describe what you need, and write down the transaction number. Mail your dollar-denominated personal check (payable to Ruesch International) to the Washington, D.C., office. When it's received, the company will mail you a check denominated in the requested currency for the specified amount, minus the $3 charge. The company can also help you with wire transfers, as well as converting VAT (value-added tax) refund checks. Information is mailed upon request.
In England, contact Ruesch International Ltd., Lower Cookham Road, Maidenhead Berkshire SL6 8XY (tel. 0845/880-0400).
PLUS, Cirrus, and other networks connecting automated teller machines (ATMs) operate throughout Norway. The easiest and best way to get cash away from home is from an ATM. The Cirrus (tel. 800/424-7787; www.mastercard.com) and PLUS (tel. 800/843-7587; www.visa.com) networks span the globe; look at the back of your bank card to see which network you're on, and then call or check online for ATM locations at your destination. Be sure you know your personal identification number (PIN) before you leave home, and be sure to find out your daily withdrawal limit before you depart. Also keep in mind that many banks impose a fee every time a card is used at a different bank's ATM, and that fee can be higher for international transactions (up to $5 or more) than for domestic ones. On top of this, the bank from which you withdraw cash may charge its own fee. To compare banks' ATM fees within the U.S., use www.bankrate.com. For international withdrawal fees, ask your bank.
You can also get cash advances on your credit card at an ATM. Keep in mind that credit card companies try to protect themselves from theft by limiting the funds cardholders can withdraw outside their home country, so call your credit card company before you leave home. And keep in mind that you'll pay interest from the moment of your withdrawal, even if you pay your monthly bills on time.
Important note: Make sure that the PINs on your bank cards and credit cards will work in Norway. You'll need a four-digit code (six digits won't work); if you have a six-digit code, you'll have to go into your bank and get a new PIN for your trip. If you're unsure about this, contact Cirrus or PLUS. Be sure to check the daily withdrawal limit at the same time.
Emergency Cash -- the Fastest Way -- If you need emergency cash over the weekend, when all banks and American Express offices are closed, you can have money wired to you from Western Union (tel. 800/325-6000; www.westernunion.com). You must present valid ID to pick up the cash at the Western Union office. However, in most countries you can pick up a money transfer even if you don't have valid identification, as long as you can answer a test question provided by the sender. Be sure to let the sender know in advance that you don't have ID. If you need to use a test question instead of ID, the sender must take cash to his or her local Western Union office rather than transfer the money over the phone or online.
Credit cards are a safe way to carry money. They also provide a convenient record of all your expenses, and they generally offer relatively good exchange rates. You can also withdraw cash advances from your credit cards at banks or ATMs, provided you know your PIN. If you've forgotten yours, or didn't even know you had one, call the number on the back of your credit card and ask the bank to send it to you. It usually takes 5 to 7 business days, though some banks will provide the number over the phone if you tell them your mother's maiden name or some other personal information. Keep in mind that when you use your credit card abroad, most banks assess a 2% fee above the 1% fee charged by Visa, MasterCard, or American Express for currency conversion on credit charges. But credit cards still may be the smart way to go when you factor in such things as exorbitant ATM fees and higher traveler's check exchange rates (and service fees).
You can buy traveler's checks at most banks. They are offered in denominations of $20, $50, $100, $500, and sometimes $1,000. Generally, you'll pay a service charge ranging from 1% to 4%.
The most popular traveler's checks are offered by American Express (tel. 800/528-4800 or 800/221-7282 for cardholders). At the latter number, which accepts collect calls, services are offered in several foreign languages, and Amex gold and platinum cardholders may be exempted from the 1% fee. Other popular traveler's check providers include Visa (tel. 800/732-1322; AAA members can obtain Visa checks for a $9.95 fee for checks up to $1,500 at most AAA offices or by calling tel. 866/339-3378) and MasterCard (tel. 800/223-9920).
American Express, Thomas Cook, Visa, and MasterCard offer foreign currency traveler's checks, which are useful if you're traveling to one country, or to the Euro zone; they're accepted at locations where dollar checks may not be.
If you carry traveler's checks, keep a record of their serial numbers separate from your checks in the event that they are stolen or lost. You'll get a refund faster if you know the numbers.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.