Travel money guide for Croatia | finder.com

Travel money guide: Croatia

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Find out which cards to use in Croatia so you can have cheap and convenient access to your money.

When visiting Croatia, you’ll be spending in kuna, the national currency. The exchange rate for the kuna is fixed to the euro — this allows the Government to make kuna more expensive during the summer tourist season, which it does every year.

ATMs are widely available all over the country, and you can pay with your Visa or Mastercard card almost anywhere. All you need is a debit, credit or travel card with a chip and a four digit PIN number.

Our pick for travel

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2x points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
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Promoted

Compare travel cards for Croatia

Before packing your bags for Croatia, take a look at your credit cards. If you don’t have a card that waives foreign transaction fees, consider the top travel cards below. Most will reward you for travel purchases while also offering perks to assist you overseas.

Updated December 15th, 2018
Name Product Currency Conversion Fee Annual Fee APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases
None
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.99% to 24.99% variable
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
None
$450
17.99% to 24.99% variable
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
None
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.74% to 26.74% variable
30,000 bonus miles after you use your new card to make $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
None
$250
See Rates & Fees
50,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months Rates & Fees
None
$0
17.74% to 26.74% variable
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & Fees

Compare up to 4 providers

Promoted
Travelex Money Card

Why we like: Travelex Money Card

Load GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD, JPY or MXN onto this prepaid travel money card and use it at millions of locations worldwide.

  • Not linked to your bank account for safety.
  • Convert currency with a 5.50% foreign exchange fee
  • Contactless payments
  • Reload, withdraw, or replace your card for free.

    What should I budget for my trip to Croatia?

    During the summer season, along the coastal stretch, prices are much higher than the rest of the year. This can’t really be avoided, but if you are on a tight budget, you can scrape by staying in hostels and cheap hotels. On the other hand, if you have money to spend, Croatia is an excellent place to let loose and live a glamorous life, even for just a week.

    Basic costs Mid-range A luxury experience
    bldg One night
    Dorm: $25
    Campsite: $6
    Hotel

    $95 per person

    4-star hotel

    Double $135

    utensil Basic meal at a small restaurant
    $8
    Meal at a mid-range restaurant
    $15
    Fine dining
    $45 per person
    camera Walk around the city
    Free
    A local city bike tour
    $25 per person
    Private sailing trip
    $160 per person

    *Prices are approximate and subject to change.

    Exchange rate history

    Over the past 12 months, $1 will get you about 7HRK. While it’s extremely difficult to predict where forex rates will move in the future, over the past couple of years, changes in value between the two currencies will have had little or no significance for Americans visiting Croatia.

    How to send money to Croatia

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    Travel card, debit card or credit card?

    You shouldn’t have any trouble using your Visa or Mastercard in Croatia. American Express is also accepted, just in fewer places. To help avoid extra bank fees in Croatia, use a variety of cards and use each one for a specific purpose. Try to use a card that doesn’t charge a currency conversion fee and another that has no fee for ATM withdrawals — even better if you can find a card that has both features.
    How to use a credit card in Croatia

    A quick summary of travel money options in Croatia

    Travel money option Pros Considerations
    Debit cards
    • PIN code protection
    • Widely accepted
    • Access funds from an ATM
    • Save on overseas ATM fee when you withdraw
    • Unlimited free withdrawals at selected banks
    • Currency conversion fees on foreign transactions
    • Lost debit cards while overseas can be easily paused, but not easily replaced
    • No emergency cash
    • No backup cards
    Prepaid travel money cards
    • Protected by PIN & chip
    • Preload and lock-in exchange rate
    • Accepted worldwide
    • Emergency card replacement and backup cards
    • Ideal for managing your travel budget
    • No travel card allows you to preload kuna
    • Reloading time
    • Currency conversion and international ATM fees
    Credit cards for travel
    • Protected by PIN & chip
    • Access to money specified by your credit limit
    • Accepted worldwide
    • No currency conversion or transaction fees
    • Benefits include reward points on spending, 0% purchases, frequent flyer perks, complimentary travel insurance
    • Emergency card replacement
    • Can charge high withdrawal and cash advance fees
    • Higher spending limit (depends on your approved credit limit)
    Traveler’s checks
    • Secure and can be easily replaced if lost or stolen
    • Photo ID needed to cash checks
    • Initial purchase charges
    • Not accepted everywhere
    Cash
    • Payment flexibility
    • Convenience
    • difficult to manage expenses
    • Higher risk of theft

    This table is a general summary of the travel money products in the market. Features and benefits can vary between cards.

    How travel money products work in Croatia

    The best way to spend in Croatia is to use a card with low or no currency conversion fees and no foreign ATM transaction fees — this allows you to withdraw, spend and use kuna.

    Using debit cards

    Banks that waive foreign ATM fees and currency conversion fees will save you the most on your trip to Croatia. You’ll find plenty of ATMs in Croatia, but you’ll be charged a user fee from the Croatian banks.

    • Tip: When you’re making a purchase with your card, if you’re asked whether you want to pay in US dollars or kuna, always pay in the local currency. You’ll lose out on the exchange rate otherwise.

    Using prepaid travel cards

    There are no travel cards on the market which allow you to load, withdraw or spend kuna. So even if your travel card is loaded with a major international currency, currency conversion fees still apply (there are a few travel cards that don’t charge for currency conversion).

    Using credit cards

    There are a handful of credit cards which let you spend in another currency without paying the extra 3% foreign transaction fee. 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. Watch out for cash advance fees and extra charges if you make a withdrawal on credit, it’s one of the most expensive ways to get cash.

    • Tip: Some credit cards offer complimentary international travel insurance when you charge the cost of your travel ticket to your card.

    Compare credit cards with low cash advance rates here

    Using traveler’s checks

    Don’t concern yourself with traveler’s checks, it is more hassle than it’s worth. Card payments are the norm in Croatia and card providers offer money back guarantees if you’re the victim of fraud.

    Using an ATM

    ATMs, called Bankomats, are easily found all over Croatia. When withdrawing a large sum of money, you may get stuck with large bills. The 500 kuna and even rarer 1,000 kuna will be tricky to change, especially from smaller shops. Try getting larger notes changed at a post office or in the bank of the ATM you used to make the withdrawal.

    Paying with cash

    Travelers to Croatia need to be prepared to spend the kuna. Even though euros are widely accepted, using euros rather than kuna will almost certainly leave you short-changed. Use kuna either by exchanging foreign currency, withdrawing from an ATM or by using credit or debit cards to make purchases.

    If you’re concerned about exchanging money overseas, check out the option of sending cash to Croatia before your trip with an international money transfer service.

    • Exchanging cash. Exchange booths (Mjenjacnica), banks and post offices are where you’ll be able to exchange currency — post offices and banks will be the most dependable.
    • Exchanging currency. It is best to exchange foreign currency into kuna on the mainland. Tourist agencies and exchange offices are plentiful on the islands, but the rate is often poor.
    • For road-trippers. One of the first things you see once you cross the border will be exchange booths. Only change enough to get you to the nearest town as these exchange booths are notorious for poor exchange rates. Make sure you have euro to change, it is by far the most accepted foreign currency for exchange.
    • For jet-setters. Don’t get your money changed at the airport. If you need cash and don’t have kuna, just change a small amount to get you into town.
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    An interview with Phil on the Croatian Coast


    Croatia_Dubrovnik_view_Shutterstock
    What cards did you take?

    Why did you take these cards?

    • Barclaycard. The Barclaycard is his favorite card for travel. With no foreign transaction fees and rewards for hotel and flight purchases, he gets the most value from using this card on his travel. He used it mostly while he was on the TopDeck Croatian Sailing Cruise.
    • Charles Schwab. He used this card because of it didn’t charge for using international ATMs and it waived foreign transaction fees. It even reimbursed him for ATMs that charged him a service fee.

    Did you withdraw from ATMs?

    He says he made multiple ATM withdrawals over three weeks and probably paid about $70 in ATM fees. But because his Charles Schwab account reimburse him, he was glad to get that money back. He says it was easy to find an ATM that accepted Visa and gave instructions in English.

    Where could you use your cards?

    There was no problem shopping at larger establishments such as supermarkets, restaurants and hotels. Phil and his friends did have to pay cash when they rented an apartment in Split. It was a private rental and the owner required cash in hand. Phil couldn’t use his card at markets, small restaurants and bars.

    What do you think is the best way to take money to Croatia?

    Phil says a debit card and a credit card combination are a good way to fund your vacation. He didn’t bother applying for a travel card because he says they’re pretty useless to use in Croatia.

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    Getting familiar with Croatian kuna

    Why you’ll need a combination of travel money options

    There are debit cards and credit cards that waive both the currency conversion and international ATM fees. Having a combination keeps you covered if you need credit or cash when you need it. Make the most of your trip in Croatia and organize your finances before you go. Compare the travel money products available to you to decide on the best way to take and spend money in Croatia.

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    Get travel insurance quotes for your vacation in Croatia

    Croatia offers travelers a chance to look into history. From the seaside castle walls of Dubrovnik — or the site of Kings Landing in Game of Thrones — to the old world charm of Zagreb, Croatia has many sights for tourists to see.

    However, just like traveling anywhere Croatia presents a unique set of risks, which is why every travelers needs travel insurance. Travel insurance for Croatia covers:

    • Repatriation
    • Resumption
    • Cancellation
    • Lost luggage
    • Missed connections
    • Personal liability
    Details Features
    Atlas Premium
    Atlas Premium
    Comprehensive coverage with higher limits and a range of additional benefits.
    • Trip cancellation: Not available
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $2,000,000
    • Baggage coverage: $1,000
    • Trip delay: $200/day up to $400
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Travel Max
    Travelex Travel Max
    The most comprehensive protection plan offered by Travelex. Offers optional Cancel For Any Reason upgrade.
    • Trip cancellation: 100% cost of trip
    • Emergency medical expenses: $100,000
    • Baggage coverage: $2,500
    • Trip delay: $1,000
    Go to site More info
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Essential
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Essential
    Coverage includes trip cancellation insurance, tourist health insurance and baggage insurance.
    • Trip cancellation: 100% cost of trip
    • Emergency medical expenses: $15,000
    • Baggage coverage: $750
    • Trip delay: $100/day up to $500
    Go to site More info
    STA Travel Standard International
    STA Travel Standard International
    Affordable coverage for the essentials needed when traveling outside of your home country.
    • Trip cancellation: Not available
    • Emergency medical expenses: $25,000
    • Medical evacuation & repatriation: $250,000
    • Trip delay: $100/day up to $250
    Go to site More info
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Preferred
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Preferred
    Increased limits of coverage, plus trip interruption insurance worth 150% of the trip cost.
    • Trip cancellation: 100% cost of trip
    • Emergency medical expenses: $50,000
    • Baggage coverage: $1,000
    • Trip delay: $200/day up to $1,000
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Cancel for Any Reason
    Travelex Cancel for Any Reason
    Not 100% sure you're going to make your trip? Cancel For Any Reason upgrade is available with the Travel Select plan.
    • Reimburses up to 75% of the insured trip cost
    • Must cancel within 48 hours before scheduled departure
    • Offered on trips with a maximum value of $10,000
    Go to site More info
    Atlas Travel
    Atlas Travel
    Customizable policy that balances between the basic essentials and premium coverage.
    • Trip cancellation: Not available
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $2,000,000
    • Baggage coverage: Up to $500
    • Trip delay: $100/day up to 2 days
    Go to site More info
    Seven Corners Trip Protection Insurance
    Seven Corners Trip Protection Insurance
    Comprehensive coverage for the cost of your trip, your medical expenses and your belongings.
    • Trip cancellation: 100% cost of trip
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $250,000
    • Baggage coverage: Up to $2,500
    • Trip delay: Up to $1,500
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Flight Insure Plus
    Travelex Flight Insure Plus
    Choose the coverage amount that meets your needs. Baggage and trip delay protection included.
    • Flight accident AD&D: Up to $1,000,000
    • Emergency medical expenses: $10,000
    • Baggage coverage: $1,000
    • Medical evacuation & repatriation: $100,000
    Go to site More info
    STA Travel Explorer Plus
    STA Travel Explorer Plus
    Premiere coverage for a range of travel mishaps with additional riders for sports and other leisure activities.
    • Trip cancellation: $3,000
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $100,000
    • Baggage coverage: $500/item up to $2,500
    • Trip delay: $200/day up to $1,000
    Go to site More info
    Allianz Domestic Travel Insurance
    Allianz Domestic Travel Insurance
    Make sure you're covered in case your planned trip unexpectedly goes awry.
    • Trip cancellation: $1,000
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $25,000
    • Baggage coverage: Up to $1,000
    • Trip interruption: Up to $1,500
    Go to site More info
    Allianz International Travel Insurance
    Allianz International Travel Insurance
    Customizable coverage that can give you peace of mind when traveling to popular or remote destinations.
    • Trip cancellation: $1,000
    • Emergency medical expenses: Up to $50,000
    • Baggage coverage: Up to $2,000
    • Trip interruption: Up to $1,500
    Go to site More info
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    You might also be interested in:

    Heading to other parts of Europe? Read our travel money guides for neighboring countries.

    Kyle Morgan

    Kyle Morgan is a producer for finder.com who has worked for the USA Today network and Relix magazine, among other publications. He can be found writing about everything from the latest car loan stats to tips on saving money when traveling overseas. He lives in Asbury Park, where he loves exploring new places and sipping on hoppy beer. Oh, and he doesn't discriminate against buffalo wings — grilled or fried are just fine.

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