FAQ: Finance Office
1. I am a Hungarian citizen. How will I receive my stipend?
You can collect your first stipend at the Cash Desk, but from the second one it will be transferred to a given account. The account can be in your name or in somebody else's. Please inform us in writing about the account number, the name of the account holder and the bank name (you can send this information by e-mail to Edina Mandoki, mandokie [at] ceu [dot] hu).
2. I am a NOT a Hungarian citizen. How will I receive my stipend?
You can collect your first stipend at the Cash Desk a day after you filled in the online matriculation form. From the second one it will be transferred to a given account. You can open convertible forint account in any Hungarian bank - CEU can assist you in opening one at CIB Bank -, the stipends will be transferred to the newly opened account. Bank cards offered by CIB: Visa Electron and MasterCard Unembossed, that will enable you to withdraw money from your account at any ATM that has the Visa, Electron or MC logo. You can also use it to pay for goods and services in places where the card is accepted (the card is also accepted outside Hungary). The procedure takes time, because hundreds of applications arrive at the same time, but if your application was completed until the beginning of September, the process will be finished in time. The bank account contract and the card will be handed by the representatives of CIB Bank in a given time and place during the second finance orientations. If you are unable to attend and receive them, you have to go to CIB Bank in person.
3. When is the stipend paid?
The Finance Office guarantees that the stipend will be in your account on the 4th of each month. It may be in the account 1-2 days earlier (if the 4th is on a weekend or on National Holiday), but do not count on it. Try to plan your spending so that you still have money left on the 3rd.
4. What is the role of the Finance Office?
The Finance Office is the place where various payments to students are disbursed. No payments are initiated from the Finance Office. If you expect to receive money, please check first that the payment was initiated by the Financial Aid Office or your department.
5. What are the opening hours of the Cash Desk in the Finance Office?
The Cash Desk is open from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 m., and from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. every weekday (Closed between 12:00 m. and 1:00 p.m and after 3:00 p.m.)
6. Does CEU recommend CIB Bank?
CEU does not endorse or recommend the services of CIB Bank or of any other bank in Hungary. Recognizing that it will be difficult and time consuming for scholarship students to open an account in Hungary, CEU assists them in opening convertible accounts for stipend disbursement purposes. It has contracted CIB Bank for this purpose.
7. Where is the CIB Bank office dealing with CEU located?
The address is Szabadsag ter 15, 1054 Budapest. Take Oktober 6 utca towards Arany Janos utca (the opposite direction from the Deak ter metro station) until it ends in Szabadsag ter. The bank building is on the other side of the square. The left door will lead you to the retail customer service where you should select number 3 to get an English speaking Account Officer.
8. Can I go to another CIB Bank location?
Yes, you can go to any CIB bank, for example you wish to withdraw money or just want to make a transfer, but with the main issues (opening an account, applying for bank card, etc.) please use only the office at Szabadsag ter 15.
9. Is there any telephone service?
If you have any problem, you can call CIB24 – the 24 hour telephone service from Hungary: 06-40-242-242 or (06-1) 399-88-77, from abroad only 00-36-1-399-88-77 is working. Press 3 for the English speaking Operator.
10. Is there an internet banking service?
Yes, you can check your balance and do transactions through the internet.
11. Who is the contact person for CEU students at CIB Bank?
The contact person is Regner Viktor: regner.viktor.gabor [at] cib [dot] hu
12. What does ATM stand for?
ATM stands for Automatic Teller Machine. It is a very expensive equipment that disburses money.
13. The ATM in the lobby of CEU is not working. Where should I go?
The machine in the CEU lobby is a courtesy machine from CIB Bank. If the ATM is out of order, the bank and its information technology provider will do their best to repair it. In the meantime, please use one of the ATMs located close to CEU:
- CIB Bank, Szabadsag ter 15
- K&H Bank, Arany Janos utca 20
- OTP Bank Headoffice, Nador utca 16 (on workdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
- OTP Travel (OTP ATM), corner of Nador utca and Arany Janos utca
14. What does PIN stand for?
Personal Identification Number. It is a secret number that you received with the card. This password is requested whenever you want to use the card at ATM or in a shop. Nobody can use your card if he does not know your PIN. Consequently, do not carry or store the PIN in the same place with the card. Do not provide the PIN to devices other than an ATM or the card-reading devices used in stores. If you enter an incorrect PIN three times, the ATM will block and withraw your card. You will then need to contact the bank administrators for getting information about the further steps you should take.
15. What can I do if I am outraged by some of the fees charged by the banks in Hungary?
Nothing. The fees reflect the market conditions in Hungary. Please ask BEFORE you request any service from the bank how much it will cost and then decide accordingly. We always suggest you to use your cards for shopping, as it is free of charge.
16. Where and how can I use my Visa Electron / MC Unembossed card?
You can use the Visa Electron or MC Unembossed card wherever you see the Visa, Electron or MC logo.
17. What is the daily withdrawing limit from a CIB Bank ATM?
Please check the conditions list of the bank on its website for the current terms and conditions.
www.cib.hu / bottom right English version / bottom: Useful Tools / Conditions / CIBEZZ Account Package
The base daily limit for ATM is
50,000 (fifty thousand) HUF for Visa Electron, and
100,000 (one hundred thousand) HUF for MC Unembossed card
If you need more money log into your internet bank to increase the limit of your card, or visit the bank office at Szabadsag ter 15 with your passport for the same purpose.
18. What are the purchase limits?
The base daily shopping limit is:
100,000 (one hundred thousand) HUF for Visa Electron card, and
250,000 (two hundred and fifty thousand) HUF for MC Unembossed.
If you need higher limit, log into your internet bank to increase it, or visit the bank office at Szabadsag ter 15 with your passport. It is highly recommended to shop with your card since it is free of charge.
19. Do I need to handle my bank card with care?
You need to handle it with great care. All the information on the card is stored on the black magnetic strip on the back. Do not store it near objects/devices that have a magnetic field: mobile phones, speakers, refrigerators, conveyor belts in stores, etc. If the magnetic strip is damaged the card is invalid and the card needs to be replaced. That will cost you 1,041 HUF for Hungarian Forint debit cards.
20. What should I do if I lose my card?
Call the CIB24 Service immediately when you notice the loss and have the card canceled (CIB24 – the 24 hour telephone service from Hungary: 06-40-242-242 or (06-1) 399-88-77, from abroad only 00-36-1-399-88-77 is working. Press 3 for the English speaking Operator). Cancelling the card will cost you 1,041 HUF for Hungarian Forint debit cards. Blocking USDor EUR card is HUF 10,410.-. Then contact the bank and ask for a replacement card: USD card is 7.29 USD, EUR card is 6.25 EUR. Handle the card with care - losing it will have costly consequences.
21. What are the most common fees associated with the card?
Replace the card: 1,041 HUF. New PIN code: 521 HUF. Card blocking fee: 1,041 HUF. There are higher fees for the USD and EUR cards, please check question number 19 and 20 above for blocking and replacing. New PIN code is 2.08 USD (USD cards) and 1,56 EUR (EUR cards).
22. When is CIB Bank open?
CIB Bank is open on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., on Wednesday 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m and on Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This is subject to change by the bank, so please check it in advance.
23. Should I open a hard currency account (US dollar, EUR, etc.) with CIB Bank?
- Not necessarily, if you receive your stipend in HUF. See what the conditions are and compare with other banks before deciding (see also previous answer). CEU does not endorse the services of any bank.
- Definitely if you receive your stipend in EUR.
24. Can I get a Visa (classic) or a Mastercard from a Hungarian bank?
Yes, but you might find the conditions difficult to comply with. Please study their terms and conditions carefully.
25. I need to pay for something with a check. What should I do?
CIB Bank can give you a check in USD drawn on a US bank. This service will cost you 5 USD plus the transfer fee wich is 0.2%, minimum 10 maximum 350 USD.
26. I received a check. How can I cash it (get the money)?
You must go to the bank personally with your passport and select the Cash Desk at the qeue number machine. You will not receive the money immediately because the bank has to send the check to the issuing bank and wait for the money to be transferred. This will take between four to six weeks, but it can be quicker for extra costs. CIB Bank will cost you 0.321%, minimum 32.27 USD maximum 114.1 USD, plus foreign bank cost and DHL costs. Therefore, it might be more advantageous for you not to receive payments/money by check. Find out about fees and conditions if you have an account with another bank.
27. How can somebody send me money?
The most rapid way is by bank transfer to your hard currency account. They will need only to specify your name, your IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and the SWIFT code of the bank. For CIB Bank the SWIFT code is: CIBHHUHB. See also previous answer for checks.
28. What should I do if I think money disappeared from my bank account?
Money cannot disappear from your account. There must be an error somewhere and you should demand the bank to fix the problem. First please contact CIB Bank at Szabadsag ter 15 with your passport and bring any documentation that describes the problem. Always check the transaction on the Internet Bank first. Please contact the Budget and Finance Office with any problem arising.
29. Can I change the forint in my CIB Bank account in hard currecy (US dollars, EUR, etc)?
Yes, any amount. You have two options. Use the spot (cash, in Hungarian "Valuta") rate and you get the hard currency immediately. Or, alternatively, ask for a change at the currency rate ("Deviza" in Hungarian). You can make this conversion in the bank, or through your internet banking service. You will get the money the next day if you make the conversion before 2:00 p.m. The exchange will take place at that very day’s currency rate (you can check the rate on the internet or at the bank). On any day the currency rate is better than the cash rate by approximately 3-8 HUF. For example on August 18 you could buy USD on the spot rate at 230 HUF, but if you initiated a currency exchange on August 18 until 2:00 p.m. the money would be changed at the rate of 225 HUF. Be aware: the exchange rate fluctuates from one day to another significantly, sometimes even more than 7 forints. The rates are also different from bank to bank.
1. Who is considered Non-Scholarship Student?
A student who does not receive stipend from CEU (s/he might be either fee-paying or have a partial or full tuition waiver).
2. What do I need to open an account in Hungary?
You will need to have your passport (and the CEU student card if possible) with you to open an account.
3. Do employees in Hungarian banks speak English?
Not always but in most of cases there should be someone available who does. If you feel uncomfortable about their English skills, try another bank where your questions are answered better.
4. When I wanted to open an account, they gave me a lot of papers in Hungarian to sign. Is that safe?
If you feel uncomfortable signing papers in Hungarian, ask for a form translated into English. If they cannot provide one, consider another office of the same bank.
5. Which is the best bank in Hungary?
It depends. Seriously speaking, please do not ask such a question. Finance Office employees are forbidden to answer this kind of question. Nobody knows all the various conditions and fees of all the banks and no one can predict what they will do in the future. Try to make an educated choice given the limited information environment you are in: study the bank brochures with fees and conditions, ask local friends and colleagues, choose a bank that you know and are comfortable with that also operates in your native country, etc.
6. Can I get a credit card in Hungary?
Practically no. Credit cards' conditions are restrictive (various certificates, a minimum balance on your account), so it is not worth trying to obtain one. Almost all cards issued in Hungary are the type known in US as debit cards - charges are immediately deducted from the bank account.
7. Can I have a bank card from my Hungarian bank?
Yes. It can be tied to the foreign currency or the forint account opened at the bank, and all charges on the card are deducted immediately from the account.
8. In Hungary, can I use the card I have from a bank in my home country?
Yes, but you will be able to take only HUF from ATMs. Compare if this is more advantageous for you than changing cash in the bank or at an exchange office. Get information from your home-country bank about the cash withdrawal fees.
9. Which is better: to have money transferred into my Hungarian account or to use the card I have from my home country?
You will have to try both in order to find out - fees and exchange rates vary a lot between banks internationally.
10. Where do I pay tuition?
Cash, personal check, bank transfer, on-line payment, payment with your card at the Cash Desk are acceptable methods of payment. The Cash Desk of the Finance Office located in the Nador u. 15, 1st floor. Opening hours: every weekday (workday) from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 m., and from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Closed between 12:00 m. and 1:00 p.m., and after 3:00 p.m.)
11. Can I pay tuition in a currency other than EUR?
Yes in HUF or in USD, but at the exchange rates that you can find at the Cash Desk in the Finance Office. Usually it is more advantageous for you to pay in that currency, which is indicated in your Enrollment Confirmation Form: General Deposit, Tuition fee in EUR, Student Enrollment fee in HUF.
12. I received a check. How can I cash it (get the money)?
Checks are not used in Hungary and clearing them takes four to six weeks. You can ask for this service only at the bank where you have opened an account.