North East Connected

Post Office is ‘on the ball’ for the World Cup: Russian rubles available at all branches

Football fans set to benefit from sterling’s strength against the ruble: 15 per cent up on June 2017 and 68 per cent up compared with five years ago

The weak ruble means prices for food are drink are half that in France, which hosted Euro 2016, and 40 per cent lower than in Brazil, the last World Cup host

Football fans planning trips to the World Cup are set to get far more ‘bang for their buck’ than in the venues for recent soccer championships thanks to the collapse of the Russian ruble and the low cost of food and drink in Russia, according to Post Office Travel Money. The UK’s largest provider of foreign currency says that it is offering nationwide access to the Russian currency for pre-order and next day delivery at all 11,600 Post Office branches.

At a rate of 76.885 Russian rubles to £1 on a £500 currency transaction, England fans will get £66 more cash than in June 2017 and £202 more than five years ago, before sterling began its sharp rise against the ruble. This is because the pound is over 15 per cent stronger than a year ago and is worth almost 68 per cent more against the ruble than in June 20131.

The good news for England fans travelling to Russia is that the cost of living is much lower too. City Costs Barometerresearch by Post Office Travel Money reveals that prices in Russia are less than half those in France, which hosted the Euro Championships in 2016, and 40 per cent lower than in Brazil, which staged the last World Cup2.

At £1.69, the cost of a Big Mac in Russia is less than half that in either Brazil (£3.76) or France (£3.53), while prices for beer, wine and soft drinks are also significantly lower. Coffee is the only beverage that is more expensive in Russia at £1.64 compared with £1.59 in Brazil and £1.34 in France.

Food and drink costs at the World Cup 2018 compared with Brazil 2014 and Euro 2016

ITEM RUSSIA World Cup 2018 BRAZIL World Cup 2014 FRANCE Euro 2016
Big Mac Burger £1.69 £3.76 £3.53
Coffee £1.64 £1.59 £1.34
Bottle of beer 330ml £1.91 £3.42 £5.37
Coca-Cola 330ml £0.63 £2.05 £4.29
Glass of Wine 175ml £4.03 £5.69 £5.37
Total £9.90 £16.51 £19.90

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money, said: “We recommend that football fans travelling to the Russian cities where the England team are playing their group matches make sure they carry some rubles. Although credit and debit cards can be used in big cities, they may not always be accepted in smaller ones.

“We advise fans to budget carefully and ensure they don’t run out of money, especially as the best rates we offer are for currency transactions of over £500 – the average that fans are likely to need if England progresses in the competition. However, we also offer the flexibility of allowing customers to change small amounts of sterling into rubles.

“The important thing is not to leave changing money until it is too late to get a decent exchange rate. Rubles are not routinely stocked in exchange bureaux so fans need to order rubles for next day delivery to their nearest Post Office branch or to their home and allow enough time for this or they could end up getting far less for their pounds at a UK airport.”

Russian rubles are among up to 80 currencies available for pre-order at over 11,600 Post Office branches or online at for next day branch or home delivery. Post Office Travel Money will also buy back left-over currency when fans return from the World Cup, provided they keep their sales receipt.

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