I've read that it's not possible to pay for stuff by international credit card like debit cards. What do you recommend to do in such a situation? As far as carrying a lot of money is not safe at all.
One option would be to bring cash with you, convert it to Iranian currency and then buy something called "Gift Card" from a bank. You can easily obtain them from most of the well-known banks without having an account. You can use these cards to buy stuff almost anywhere within the country. They are also password protected and only the owner can use them. In case you lose them or get them stolen, you can contact the issuing bank to block the missing card and get another one.
Update: A new card has recently been introduced called Tourist Card:
And here is the official website of Iran Melli Bank, which has fully introduced this new card:
Specifications of Tourist Card:
No Visa, MasterCard, etc do not work in Iran. There is a national debit card system called Shetab. And all the Iranian banks and many credit unions are members of Shetab. So basically if you buy a Shetab card from any bank, you will be good. Bank Pasargad is one of them. And here is a page that shows a bank Pasargad gift card.
However, You cannot buy it online. Once you land in Iran, you may exchange your foreign currency to IRR (Iranian Rial) and buy a gift card either at the airport or ask your hotel reception to help you get one.
With the latest sanctions against Iran (i.e.: SWIFT disconnecting them), cash would be your safest bet.
protected by mindcorrosive♦ Sep 13 '13 at 15:05
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