Our pick for travel credit card
American Express® Gold Card
Finder rating: 4.6/5
Belgium is considered the heart of the European union. The country is a world leader in financial services and has the highest rate of card payments in the world. For your trip to Belgium, you’ll need a product that lets you spend euros minus the extra international transaction fees — there are a few on the market and it will pay to look beyond prepaid travel cards.
Read our Belgium travel money guide for a comparison of travel friendly credit cards, debit cards and travel cards as well as tips for using and spending money in Belgium.
Our pick for travel credit card
American Express® Gold Card
Our pick for multi-currency debit card
Our pick for 0% transaction fee debit card
If you had to pick one country where you could get around just using your card, it would be Belgium. More than 90% of all transactions in Belgium are handled with plastic. In the past, the Belgians have placed an emphasis on automating payment systems. Today, Visa and Mastercard can be used to pay for almost everything; while American Express and Diners Club are accepted in fewer places.
A combination of travel money products is going to give you peace of mind, preparing you for any financial surprises. Credit card will give you money in an emergency or if you blow your budget. But beware — it’s easy to rack up a big balance while traveling in Europe, so use it sparingly.
A travel debit card or prepaid travel money card helps you manage your money while traveling in Belgium. Save some money in fees by finding a card that waives foreign transaction fees. It’s up to you which mix of products you take — the important thing is you have more than one way to access your travel funds.
Belgium offers travelers a chance to experience the charm of old-world continental Europe in a highly modern setting. It’s important that you have more than one way to access your money anytime you travel.
Using a credit card in Belgium is easy to do. Find yourself a credit card that waives foreign transaction fees. Carrying a credit card gives you the added benefit of travel insurance and discounts, depending on your provider. For added savings, take advantage of the interest-free period by paying your balance in full each month.
Cards that offer travel perks and waive fees often charge an annual fee, so make sure the fee is worth it before you bring it along on your travels. If you’re ever in a jam, credit cards also offer cash advances, though we don’t recommend it. You’ll pay high fees and interest rates apply the moment you get your money.
A travel debit card provides the following features: no charge for currency conversion when you transact in euros and no international ATM withdrawal fee.
Travel cards let you load American dollars, exchange American dollars to euros and lock in a rate so you can spend without paying an additional cost for currency conversion (3% on most credit cards and debit cards). Although you miss out on the currency conversion fee, you’ll pay when you first load the card with money, for each subsequent load thereafter or when you make a withdrawal from an ATM. Just so you know, some of these cards even charge you for ‘inactivity’. There are a number of countries in Europe which have not yet adopted the euro, for example Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland. Compare other travel money products if you’re traveling to these countries as well as Belgium. The fee for currency conversion can be almost double what’s charged on a credit card when you spend using a currency not loaded on a prepaid travel card.
While it’s true that the majority of payments in Belgium are made with cards, it’s always a good idea to have some euro cash. You will find some smaller vendors that only accept cash.
Traveler’s checks used to be a popular way to take money overseas; however, ATMs have largely replaced them. It’s possible to get local currency at a good rate 24/7 by using one of the many ATM machines located throughout Belgium — it’s typically cheaper too! If you want to take traveler’s checks to Europe, you can purchase checks at banks — American Express and Thomas Cook are popular providers. Checks can be cashed at Belgian banks, you’ll pay 1% to 4% commission when you do.
You’ll be able to cash foreign currency in banks, hotels, at airports and train stations and in a number of exchange bureaus located in Belgian cities. Rates and commission charges are reasonably priced in Belgium compared with other destinations. For the best rates, stick to banks and exchange offices in the center of town. Exchange offices at the airport will have poorer rates than those located in the city center. Banks are open from about 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Credit card and debit card transactions often use the lender (Visa, Mastercard etc.) exchange rate. This rate is usually better than what you’ll get using a travel card and is pretty close to the market rate.
Refreshing in: 60s | Sat, Jul 31, 12:13AM GMT
Common Euro banknotes:
Belgium prices are indicative of the cost of travel throughout Western Europe. Like all places, you’ll find a range of prices to cater to the budget of all travelers. All prices are in US dollars.
|Brussels||Budget||Mid-range||A royal experience|
|Meals||Sausage and onion baguette (street food)|
Cream filled chocolate kisses (street food)
$350 per person
$20–$30 per night
$100 per night
$210–$500 per night
|Activities||See a movie at Cinematek|
|Beer tasting tour|
$80 per person
|Chocolate tour and workshop|
$90 per person
*Prices are approximate and based on summer seasonality and are subject to change.
Following the European debt crisis and global financial crisis, $1 will buy you about 0.80 to 0.90 euros. It’s difficult to predict which way the currency pair will move; however, you can lock in an exchange rate using a prepaid travel card if you have reason to believe euros will become more expensive to purchase during the course of your trip.
Belgium was on Lincoln’s must-visit list for a while. On his trip to Europe, he made sure a stop in Bruges and Ghent were on the itinerary. He visited the battlefields of Flanders in the city of Ypres first. And it wasn’t hard, Belgium is sandwiched between France and the Netherlands and only a couple of hours on a train from either Paris or Amsterdam.
What are your travel tips?
A bank account that intelligently divvies up your money where you need it for a monthly fee.
A high-yield savings account that supports multiple currencies.
From your marketing strategy to financing and insurance, we’ll walk you through how to start a career behind the lens.
Axie Infinity is an RPG game that is currently dominating the NFT sector. Discover what Axies are, what makes them unique and how you can earn money simply by playing.
Want to buy bitcoin but don’t know where to start? This comprehensive guide provides step-by-step instructions on how and where to buy BTC in the US.
What you need to know to start building your retirement nest egg.
Your Pen Air Level Up Spending account requires a membership that’s not location-based, so it can follow you nationwide.
Fast-track your child’s financial literacy by learning how to teach your kids about money.
5 cannabis-friendly banks whose membership depends on where your business is located.
Most cash management accounts offer a combination of checking, savings and investing features.
finder.com is an independent comparison platform and information service that aims to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions. While we are independent, the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which finder.com receives compensation. We may receive compensation from our partners for placement of their products or services. We may also receive compensation if you click on certain links posted on our site. While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn't influence our assessment of those products. Please don't interpret the order in which products appear on our Site as any endorsement or recommendation from us. finder.com compares a wide range of products, providers and services but we don't provide information on all available products, providers or services. Please appreciate that there may be other options available to you than the products, providers or services covered by our service.