Travel money guide for Croatia - Compare how to spend | finder.com

Travel money guide: Croatia

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.

Which option is right for your next trip?

Compare travel cards for Croatia

Rates last updated April 25th, 2018
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
0% of transaction value
$0
$10 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
$0 annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter)
Enjoy 40000
bonus miles after you spend on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase.
Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum
2%
of transaction value
$0
The Simmons Bank Visa® Platinum Card offers multiple perks, including one of the lowest available APRs on the market.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card
0% of transaction value
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants.
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
0% of transaction value
$0
Ditch the restrictions of typical airline rewards cards. Any airline, any hotel, anytime. No blackout dates.

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 costsMid-rangeA luxury experience
    bldgOne night
    Dorm: $25
    Campsite: $6
    Hotel

    $95 per person

    4-star hotel

    Double $135

    utensilBasic meal at a small restaurant
    $8
    Meal at a mid-range restaurant
    $15
    Fine dining
    $45 per person
    cameraWalk 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.

    USD to HRK for the last 10 days

    Apr 15 Apr 16 Apr 17 Apr 18 Apr 19 Apr 20 Apr 21 Apr 22 Apr 23 Apr 24
    1 USD = 6.0121 Inverse: 0.1663 5.9863 Inverse: 0.1670 5.9939 Inverse: 0.1668 5.9891 Inverse: 0.1670 6.0059 Inverse: 0.1665 6.0311 Inverse: 0.1658 6.0311 Inverse: 0.1658 6.0222 Inverse: 0.1661 6.0741 Inverse: 0.1646 6.0600 Inverse: 0.1650

    USD to HRK for the last 10 months

    Jun 2017 Jul 2017 Aug 2017 Sep 2017 Oct 2017 Nov 2017 Dec 2017 Jan 2018 Feb 2018 Mar 2018
    1 USD = 6.6249 Inverse: 0.1509 6.3681 Inverse: 0.1570 6.2834 Inverse: 0.1591 6.2637 Inverse: 0.1597 6.3557 Inverse: 0.1573 6.3366 Inverse: 0.1578 6.3594 Inverse: 0.1572 5.9693 Inverse: 0.1675 6.0506 Inverse: 0.1653 6.0424 Inverse: 0.1655

    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 optionProsConsiderations
    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
    Seven Corners Trip Protection Insurance
    Seven Corners Trip Protection Insurance
    Travel with a smile - protect your trip cost, your medical expenses, & your belongings.
    • Emergency Accident & Sickness Medical Expenses up to $250,000
    • Trip Cancellation – 100% of Trip Cost
    • Trip Interruption – up to 150% of Trip Cost
    • Political Evacuation - $20,000
    • Lost, Stolen or Damaged Baggage – up to $2,500
    • Emergency Medical Evacuation – up to $1 million
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Travel Max
    Travelex Travel Max
    TravelEx's most comprehensive protection plan for the comprehensive traveler. Offers optional Cancel For Any Reason upgrade.
    • Trip Cancellation - 100% of Insured Trip Cost
    • Trip Interruption - 150% of Insured Trip Cost
    • Trip Delay - $1000
    • Medical Expense Benefits - $100,000
    Go to site More info
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Essential
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Essential
    RoamRight’s Essential travel insurance package can be broken down into three critical parts: Trip Cancellation insurance, tourist health insurance, and baggage insurance.
    • Cancellation Cover - 100% Cost of Trip
    • Emergency Medical Expenses - $15,000
    • Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation - $150,000
    • Baggage and Personal Effects Cover - $750
    Go to site More info
    STA Travel Standard International
    STA Travel Standard International
    Get affordable cover for the essentials of options with STA's mid-level cover policy. This option will still provide up to $1500 in luggage cover and up to $100,000 in medical cover.
    • Trip Cancellation Cover - 100% of trip cost insured up to $10,000
    • Emergency Medical Expenses Cover - Up to $100,000
    • Baggage and Personal Effects - Up to $1,500
    • Trip Delay - Up to $500
    Go to site More info
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Preferred
    RoamRight Travel Insurance Preferred
    As the name implies, the Preferred package provides coverage for most trips and vacations.
    • Cancellation Cover - 100% Cost of Trip
    • Emergency Accident & Medical Expenses - $50,000
    • Emergency Evacuation and Repatriation - $500,000
    • Accidental Death and Dismemberment - $10,000
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Cancel for Any Reason
    Travelex Cancel for Any Reason
    Cancel For Any reason upgrade available with the Travel Max plan. Cancel for any reason - no questions asked.
    • Reimburses up to 75% of the insured trip cost
    • 100% cover if delayed to departure and loose at least 30%
    Go to site More info
    Atlas Travel
    Atlas Travel
    Provides customizable coverage for specific losses. Cover can be tailored to provide a balance between the basic essentials and premium cover.
    • Illness and Injury Cover - Up to $1 million
    • Emergency Medical Evacuation - Up to $1 million
    • Lost Checked Luggage - Up to $500
    • Travel Delay - $100/day up to 2 days
    Go to site More info
    Atlas Premium
    Atlas Premium
    Provides quality cover for a range of benefits with higher cover limits. Premium plan is perfect for travellers with health concerns looking for total protective cover.
    • Illness and Injury Cover - Up to $2 million
    • Emergency Medical Evacuation - Up to $1 million
    • Lost Checked Luggage - Up to $1,000
    • Travel Delay - $200/day up to 2 days
    Go to site More info
    Travelex Flight Insure Plus
    Travelex Flight Insure Plus
    Provides option to choose between different levels of flight insurance protection.
    • Flight Accident AD&D - Up to $1 Million
    • Baggage - $2,000
    • Medical Expense Benefits - $2,500
    • Medical Evacuation / Repatriation - $25,000
    Go to site More info
    STA Travel Explorer Plus
    STA Travel Explorer Plus
    Get premiere cover for a whole range of options with STA's premium policy. This option will still provide up to $100,000 in medical expense cover and up to $3,000 in cancellation cover.
    • Trip Cancellation Cover - $3,000
    • Emergency Medical Expenses Cover - Up to $100,000
    • Baggage and Personal Effects - Up to $2,500
    • Trip Delay - Up to $1,000
    Go to site More info
    Allianz Domestic Travel Insurance
    Allianz Domestic Travel Insurance
    Allianz Domestic Travel Insurance makes sure you are covered incase your planned trip unexpectedly goes awry.
    • Trip coverage - Depends on plan
    • Baggage coverage - Up to $1,000
    • 24-hour hotline assistance
    • Existing medical coverage - Up to $500,000
    Go to site More info
    Allianz International Travel Insurance
    Allianz International Travel Insurance
    If you frequently travel abroad and want extra coverage in case you get sick, injured, or need to cancel your trip, Allianz International Travel Insurance is the perfect solution.
    • Trip coverage - Depends on plan
    • Baggage coverage - Up to $1,000
    • 24-hour hotline assistance
    • Existing medical coverage - Up to $1,000,000
    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.

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