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Using a credit card in Ireland

Credit cards are widely accepted in Ireland – but you'll want to avoid these common overseas card fees.

As a member of the European Union, Ireland is as safe as it gets for credit card use. Mastercard and Visa are widely accepted in the country, but you can also find some merchants who accept American Express cards. Unfortunately, you can’t pay taxis directly with a credit card, but you can get a mobile app that allows you to do so.

ATMs are widely available across Ireland for cash withdrawals but beware of additional fees that come with using a Canadian debit or credit card.

Compare cards for use in Ireland

If you’re planning on applying for a new credit card before you head to Ireland, look into a credit card that charges no foreign transaction fees. Although the fees are relatively low, they can add up if you use your credit card often.
Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
Brim World Mastercard
Up to $300 worth of bonuses
1.5 points for every $1 spent
19.99%
$99
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to $300 worth of bonus points when you shop with Brim retailers for the first time through the Brim mobile app. 
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®
70,000 Points
Up to 6 points per $1 spent
19.9%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($149 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Get a Welcome Bonus of 20,000 Points ($100 travel rewards). Plus, earn an additional 50,000 Points and get a 1st year annual fee waiver. Apply by September 27, 2021.
BMO U.S. Dollar Mastercard
N/A
N/A
19.99%
$35 USD
Min. recommended credit score: 725
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.
Brim World Elite Mastercard
Brim World Elite Mastercard
Up to $500 worth of bonuses
2 points per $1 spent
19.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($199 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Collect up to $500 worth of bonus points when you shop with Brim retailers for the first time using your Brim World Elite Mastercard.
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
40,000 points
Up to 5 points per $1 spent
19.99%
$120
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 40,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year (that’s up to $400 towards travel) Apply by August 31, 2021.
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card
40,000 points
Up to 2 points per $1 spent
19.99%
$139
Min. recommended credit score: 750
Earn up to 40,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year (that’s up to $400 towards travel). Apply by July 1, 2021.
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Canadian Visa and Mastercard credit cards are widely accepted abroad. Check with your bank before traveling to Ireland to confirm whether or not you’ll be able to use your credit card during your trip.
Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
Tangerine World Mastercard
Balance transfer offer
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 680
Get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening).
BMO CashBack Mastercard
5% cash back
Up to 3% cash back
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 5% cash back on all eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership (up to max. spend of $2,000). Plus, get a rate of 1.99% on balance transfers with a 1% balance transfer fee for nine months.
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
Balance transfer offer
N/A
12.99%
$20
Min. recommended credit score: 660
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.
Scotiabank Value Visa Card
Balance transfer offer
N/A
12.99%
$29
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Get a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with a 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Apply by July 1, 2021.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
Balance transfer offer
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 680
Get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening).
HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®
20,000 Points
2x points per $1 spent
11.9%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($25 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 630
Get 20,000 Points (up to $100 in value), plus get a 1st year annual fee waiver. Apply by September 27, 2021.
Refresh Financial Secured Card
N/A
N/A
17.99%
$12.95
Min. recommended credit score: Any score
Take advantage of a low annual fee, with no credit check and guaranteed approval once you secure your card with some funds.
BMO Rewards Mastercard
10,000 points
Up to 2 points per $1 spent
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 725
Get a bonus of 10,000 BMO Rewards points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. Apply by October 31, 2021 . Plus, get a rate of 1.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. A 1% fee applies to transferred balances.
BMO World Elite Mastercard
30,000 points
Up to 3 points per $1 spent
20.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 760
Get up to 30,000 points and the $150 annual fee waived in the first year. Apply by October 31, 2021
Home Trust Secured Visa
N/A
N/A
14.90% - 19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: Any score
Choose from three card options: No Annual Fee ($0 annual fee, 19.99% purchase rate), Low Interest Rate ($59 annual fee, 14.90% purchase rate) or a Low Monthly Fee ($5 monthly fee, 14.90% purchase rate).
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Potential credit card fees in Ireland

  • Foreign transaction fees. Each time you use your credit card overseas, you could pay a foreign transaction fee of 2.5%. This fee is charged for each transaction you make overseas, which means you could pay up to $30 for every $1,000 you spend in Ireland. You can easily avoid this fee by applying for a no foreign transaction fee credit card.
  • Currency conversion fees. A merchant could offer you the option to pay in Canadian dollars instead of euros. This is known as a dynamic currency conversion (DCC), which often has a poor exchange rate and fees. You can avoid this fee by paying in the local currency only.
  • Cash advance fees. Using your credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM will result in a cash advance transaction. This type of transaction comes with a fee as well as an immediate interest rate – there is usually no interest-free grace period with a cash advance transaction. You can avoid these fees by using your debit card to withdraw cash from an ATM.
  • ATM fees. Even when you use your debit card to withdraw cash from an ATM, you’ll be charged an ATM fee. This fee can easily be avoided by applying for a debit card from a bank that has an international ATM partnership, such as Scotiabank or Tangerine.

Can I incur both foreign transaction and currency conversion fees on a single transaction?

Yes, you can. To avoid this, get a credit card that charges no foreign transaction fees and always make sure to pay in the local currency.

Which credit card issuers are accepted in Ireland?

In Ireland, American Express cards aren’t as popular as Mastercard or Visa, but some merchants – especially in big cities – may still accept Amex. If you want to make a cash withdrawal with an Amex card, look for the Bank of Ireland or Centra ATMs.

Merchant acceptance
ATM acceptance
Visa
check mark iconHigh
check mark iconHigh
Mastercard
check mark iconHigh
check mark iconHigh
American Express
cross mark iconLow
exclamation point iconMedium

Should I use my credit card to get cash in Ireland?

No, you should avoid using your credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM unless it’s an emergency. Withdrawing cash using a credit card will have you facing two different fees: a cash advance fee and the cash advance interest rate. Unlike a purchase interest rate, cash advance rates are typically charged from the day you withdraw the cash – there is no interest-free grace period.

So, how should I get cash?

To avoid cash advance fees and interest rates, use your debit card to withdraw cash from an ATM. If you’re looking to avoid ATM fees, which usually sit around $2.50 to $5 per withdrawal, you can apply for a debit card from a bank that waives ATM fees. Both Scotiabank and Tangerine offer debit cards with no ATM fees – but you’ll have to use specific branded ATMs that belong to the Global ATM Alliance.

While most cities and towns will accept debit and credit cards, you’ll want to carry some cash on you if you’re heading into the countryside.

Do taxis in Ireland accept credit cards?

Some do, but most of them don’t accept credit cards. If you want to pay for your ride with a card, download the Mytaxi app for iOS and Android devices. With the app, you can also book a cab a few days in advance to pick you up from the airport. You could additionally use a rideshare service like Uber, which allows you to add your credit card as a payment method.

Is it safe to use my credit card in Ireland?

As far as safety goes, you can freely use your credit and debit cards in Ireland. However, there are some precautions you can take for increased security, such as:

  • Use an ATM inside a bank. If for some reason the ATM eats your card, you’ll be able to quickly retrieve it. Also, ATMs within banks are less likely to be tampered with. Should you use one outside of a bank, check for skimmer devices attached to the reader or keypad.
  • Take two credit cards. You can use your primary card for payments and keep your backup card in your hotel room safety deposit box. That way, you’ll never be left without money if you lose your card or it’s stolen.
  • Keep your card in sight. Card cloning is rare in Ireland, but just in case, don’t let your card out of your sight when you hand it over at restaurants, pubs or shops.

How to prepare before travelling to Ireland

  1. Get a credit card with no foreign transaction fees. If you travel often, avoiding the high foreign transaction fee can save you a lot of money. Consider getting at least one credit card that charges no foreign transaction fees.
  2. Opt for a Mastercard or Visa branded card. These brands are more universally accepted, and Ireland is no exception. That isn’t to say you can’t still use your American Express in some locations.
  3. Get a backup card. Try to always carry a second card when travelling overseas, given you don’t know what could happen to your primary card.
  4. Get some cash. In general, you can pay with plastic almost anywhere in Ireland, but you’ll want to carry a bit of cash on you just in case.
  5. Inform your bank that you’re travelling to Ireland. If you don’t let your bank know ahead of time the dates you’ll be gone and where you’ll be, it may block your card if it suspects the charges are fraudulent.
  6. Get your bank’s phone number. If you lose your card or have payment issues, you’ll be able to reach your bank easily and resolve any problems quickly.

Bottom line

If you travel to Ireland, you can safely use your credit and debit cards to make payments and withdraw cash. With the right credit card, you can avoid paying foreign transaction fees, and by simply declining paying in Canadian dollars when offered, you’ll also avoid a poor exchange rate and additional fees.

If you decide to make cash withdrawals, a debit card could be your best choice, since you’ll avoid paying cash advance fees and a cash advance APR. Consider applying for a debit card from a bank that has an international ATM partnership so you can avoid overseas ATM fees.

Frequently asked questions

How to use a credit card in…

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