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Using a credit card in Croatia

Can you use your credit card in the land of Game of Thrones?

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To enjoy all that Croatia offers, you’ll need a combination of cash, debit and credit cards.

Plastic is accepted throughout major cities and tourist destinations like Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik. Smaller cities and establishments on the mainland and island — especially konoba or family inns sprinkled across the country — accept cash only.

Compare cards used in Croatia

If you’re planning on applying for a new credit card before your trip to Croatia, look for a credit card that charges no foreign transaction fees. Although the fees seem low, they can add up if you use your credit card often.
Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Benefits with this card Description
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®
19.9%
22.9%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($149 thereafter)
$80,000
Earn 3% in travel rewards on all eligible travel purchases (6 Points per $1 spent) and earn 1.5% in travel rewards on all other eligible purchases (3 Points per $1 spent).
Earn up to 40,000 Points ($200 travel value), plus a full annual fee rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year ($149 value). Apply by March 29, 2021. Conditions Apply. This offer is only available to residents of Canada other than the province of Quebec (Quebec residents eligible for separate offer).
BMO U.S. Dollar Mastercard
19.99%
22.99%
$35 USD
$15,000
Receive an annual fee rebate with a minimum yearly spend of US$1,000. Plus, spend in US Dollars with no exchange rate surprises.
When your purchases total US$1,000 or more in a year, the next year's annual fee (US$35) is rebated to your card.
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
19.99%
22.99%
$120
$12,000
Earn 5 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible grocery, dining and entertainment purchases, 3 points per $1 spent on eligible gas, transportation and select streaming services, and 1 point per $1 spent on eligible purchases elsewhere.
Earn 25,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points when you spend at least $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months. Apply by February 28, 2021.
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card
19.99%
22.99%
$139
$60,000
Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points for every $1 spent on eligible grocery store, dining, entertainment and daily transit purchases, and earn 1 Scotia Rewards point for every $1 spent elsewhere.
Earn up to 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points (up to a $300 travel value) in your first year. Apply by February 28, 2021.
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Canadian Visa and Mastercard credit cards are widely accepted abroad. Check with your bank before traveling to Croatia to confirm whether or not you’ll be able to use your credit card during your trip.
Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Benefits with this card Description
BMO World Elite Mastercard
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
$80,000
Get 3 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible travel, dining and entertainment purchases (up to $50,000 spend annually), and get 2 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases (and once you reach the $50,000 annual spend).
Get up to $575 in value in your first year. Get a bonus of 40,000 BMO Rewards points ($285 travel value booked on bmorewards.com). Plus, get the $150 annual fee waived in the first year.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
1.95% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.95% thereafter
19.95%
$0
$12,000
Earn 2% cash back in two categories of your choice (or three categories if you open a Tangerine Savings Account and directly deposit your cash back into the account), and 0.5% cash back on everything else.
Get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening).
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
12.99%
12.99%
$20
$15,000
Take advantage of an introductory balance transfer offer, annual fee waiver in the first year, and low purchase and cash advance interest rates.
Get a rate of 3.99% on balance transfers for 9 months with a 1% transfer fee. Plus, get the $20 annual fee waived in the first year.
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite
20.99%
23.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
$60,000
Earn 5x the BMO Points for every $1 spent on groceries, dining in and out, gas and transit.
Get up to 40,000 points and the $120 annual fee waived in the first year. Earn 25,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months and get 15,000 points on your first anniversary.
Shell AIR MILES Mastercard from BMO
19.99%
22.99%
$0
$15,000
Get 3x the AIR MILES for every $25 spent at eligible AIR MILES partners, and get 1 AIR MILE for every $25 spent elsewhere.
Get 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles (enough for $80 towards purchases with AIR MILES Cash).
HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®
11.9%
11.9%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($25 thereafter)
N/A
Earn 2x the rewards on eligible dining and entertainment.
Earn 30,000 Points ($150 travel value), plus get a full annual fee rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year ($25 value). Apply by March 29, 2021. Conditions Apply. This offer is only available to residents of Canada other than the province of Quebec (Quebec residents eligible for separate offer).
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege
20.99%
23.99%
$499
$150,000
Earn 5x the BMO Points for every $1 spent on groceries, dining in and out, drugstore purchases, gas and travel.
Get up to 50,000 welcome points. Earn 35,000 points when you spend at least $5,000 in the first three months and get 15,000 points on your first anniversary.
Shell AIR MILES World Mastercard from BMO
19.99%
22.99%
$99
$60,000
Earn 1 Mile per $15 spent on all eligible purchases.
Earn 1 Mile per $15 spent on all eligible purchases.
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®
19.9%
22.9%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($149 thereafter)
$80,000
Earn 3% in travel rewards on all eligible travel purchases (6 Points per $1 spent) and earn 1.5% in travel rewards on all other eligible purchases (3 Points per $1 spent).
Earn up to 40,000 Points ($200 travel value), plus a full annual fee rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year ($149 value). Apply by March 29, 2021. Conditions Apply. This offer is only available to residents of Canada other than the province of Quebec (Quebec residents eligible for separate offer).
BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
$80,000
Earn 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases.
Get up to 10% cash back in your first 3 months and the $120 annual fee waived in the first year.
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Which credit cards are accepted in Croatia?

Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted across Croatia, with fewer restaurants and hotels accepting American Express cards.

Although credit cards are widely accepted, always travel with at least some cash. Some apartment owners might insist that you secure your room with a cash deposit, especially during the country’s peak tourist season. You might even score a discount from some vendors or landlords that prefer Croatian kuna over swiping plastic.

Does Croatia accept the euro?

Though the country became a part of the European Union in 2013, Croatia hasn’t yet adopted the euro.

To attract travellers from the EU, local Croatian businesses might accept payment in euros. Some taxis, accommodations and restaurants advertise their rates in euros – but euros aren’t legal tender in Croatia, which means no business is obligated to accept them.

Possible fees to watch out for

  • Foreign transaction fees. Usually around 2.5% to 3% of your transaction cost, these fees are charged when you use your card overseas. You can avoid these fees by choosing a credit card that charges no foreign transaction fees.
  • Currency conversion fees. If a merchant asks if you’d like to pay in the local currency or in Canadian dollars, always choose the local currency. When a merchant converts the transaction to Canadian dollars for you, you’ll incur a currency conversion fee and likely get a less competitive exchange rate.
  • Cash advance fees. If you use your credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM, you’ll face a cash advance fee. In addition, you’ll be charged interest on your withdrawn amount immediately – there is no grace period for a cash advance transaction.
  • ATM fees. Even when you use your debit card to withdraw cash from an ATM, you’ll likely be charged an ATM fee. Usually around $5, this fee can be avoided by choosing a debit card from a bank that has an international partnership with other banks. One example is the Global ATM Alliance through Scotiabank, which waives ATM fees when you use specific brands of ATMs worldwide.

Should I use my credit card to get cash?

Avoid using your credit card to withdraw cash at all costs. This is an extremely expensive way to access cash as you will incur a cash advance fee as well as interest charged from the day you withdraw the funds.

Instead, use your debit card to withdraw money from ATMs. To avoid the ATM fee that comes with debit cards, consider applying for a card from a bank that has an international partnership with other ATM providers and banks around the world.

Called Bancomats in Croatia, ATMs are easily found in banks, airports, stores and even some larger hotels.

Is it safe to use my credit card in Croatia?

You can safely use your credit card in Croatia by taking a few basic precautions.

  • Keep your PIN safe. When entering your PIN at an ATM or card reader, use one hand to cover it from hidden cameras and people with prying eyes.
  • Choose ATMs carefully. Look for machines in banks, airports or well-lit areas, and avoid ATMs in isolated neighbourhoods – especially at night.
  • Cancel your transaction if anything’s off. A card skimmer can steal your valuable card information without you even noticing. If your machine’s card slot or keypad is acting up, cancel your transaction and use a different ATM.
  • Keep your card physically safe. Crime levels in Croatia are low, but you’ll want to remain vigilant to street crime — especially during the summer tourist season. Keep an eye out in busy areas, where you could encounter pickpockets. Don’t leave your wallet or bag unattended, and watch your belongings in busy places like the beach.

How should I prepare before my trip?

As you plan to relax and unwind on the beautiful Croatian beaches, you’ll want to be sure you can use your credit cards without a hitch.

  • Get a card with no foreign transaction fees. This is one fee you can easily avoid, provided you apply for a no foreign transaction fee credit card prior to your trip.
  • Keep your credit card provider in the loop. Banks don’t like losing money to fraud, and so they won’t hesitate to block your card temporarily if they see unexpected overseas purchases. Avoid this by informing your provider of your travel plans.
  • Carry important phone numbers. Lost and stolen cards aren’t uncommon while travelling. Have important provider numbers handy so that you can call should you find yourself in a financial emergency.
  • Know where you’ll get cash. ATMs are abundant across Croatia. You can exchange US or Canadian dollars for Croatian kuna at banks or currency exchange kiosks. Consider applying for a debit card with a bank that has an international ATM alliance.

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