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Ireland has its own unique currency and travel money customs: Euros are the currency of the Republic of Ireland, while Northern Ireland uses the British pound. Despite this separation, you can feel safe paying with credit cards, debit cards, cash or prepaid travel cards during your trip.
A credit card is your best and simplest option in Ireland, as most retailers accept them, and some cards like the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card help save on foreign transaction fees. Read up on all your spending options to make sure you’re prepared for your trip to the Emerald Isle.
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You shouldn’t have a problem using any Visa or Mastercard product at Irish shops and ATMs. American Express can also be used but at fewer places. Diners Club is accepted in fewer places than American Express, and Discover cards are rarely and sporadically accepted.
Some debit cards and travel cards waive international transaction charges and give you free international ATM withdrawals. Use a travel card or debit card for everyday purchases, cash withdrawals when you need euros or pounds and a credit card for everything else.
If you’re in the market for a new credit card, why not apply for a credit card with travel features? Complimentary insurance can save you hundreds before you leave the country. Some cards even offer extended interest-free terms for up to a year or more.
Credit cards are great for larger purchases like travel bookings and souvenirs. Some credit cards also provide travel benefits like travel insurance or rewards. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, for example, earns miles on purchases and waives foreign transaction fees you would incur on purchases abroad.
Different travel credit cards offer different kinds of perks, so it’s wise to compare your options to find the right combination of features suitable for your travels.
In Ireland, American Express and Discover cards aren’t as popular as Mastercard or Visa, but in some places, you can still pay with them.
If you want to make a cash withdrawal with an Amex card, look for Bank of Ireland or Centra ATMs. For Discover cards, Allied Irish Banks ATMs will work.
|Merchant acceptance||ATM acceptance|
Explore top debit cards with no foreign transaction fees and travel credit cards by using the tabs to narrow down your options. Select Compare for up to four products to see their benefits side by side.
There are only a handful of debit accounts with features suited to travelers. What you want to keep an eye out for is a card that doesn’t charge for international ATM and foreign transaction fees, like from Betterment Checking — local or out-of-network ATM operator fees may still apply.
All travel cards let you load euros and pounds, the respective currencies of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Pounds are also used throughout the rest of neighboring Great Britain — most trips to Ireland also involve a trip to the United Kingdom.
You’ll be able to spend without paying for currency conversion — however, you’ll pay ATM fees, reload fees and be subject to an inflated travel card exchange rate.
In the Republic of Ireland, the official currency is the euro. Notes are €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500, while coins are 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, €1 and €2.
ATMs take the hassle out of getting local currency. Americans don’t have to pay to enter Ireland or the United Kingdom, so there’s no reason why you should need a large amount of cash right away. However, it can be a good idea to have some small bills to pay for food or a train or taxi from the airport.
US banks charge a commission to exchange funds — Travelex is a better option. There’s no commission, and Travelex has a number of locations, including airports, that make it convenient.
There is no shortage of ATMs in Ireland, with a majority of them part of the Visa or Mastercard network. American Express is less commonly accepted, and Discover cards rarely, if at all.
Optimize your savings when accessing an ATM using a debit card from a bank that waives ATM fees or foreign transaction fees, like Betterment Checking. Give your cardholder’s agreement a close look before traveling to get a sense of what fees you might incur and when they occur.
Refreshing in: 60s | Thu, Sep 28, 09:21PM GMT
In Northern Ireland, the pound sterling is the local currency. Notes are £5, £10, £20, £50 and £100, while coins are 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2.
Refreshing in: 60s | Thu, Sep 28, 09:21PM GMT
Traveling to Ireland is expensive. Even budget travelers should plan for at least $50 per day. If you’re looking to stay in nicer hotels rather than hostels or dorm beds, you’re looking at a budget of $130 to $250 a day. You’ll find Northern Ireland a bit more expensive.
All prices are in US dollars.
|Meals||Get a full Irish breakfast sandwich on Nassau Street|
|A meal at a mid-range restaurant|
$15 per head
|3-course meal at a Michelin-star restaurant|
$120 a head
|Activities||Visit the national galleries of Dublin|
|Skip the lines at the Guinness Storehouse|
$20 (early entry and first service)
|3-day tour of South Ireland starting and returning to Dublin|
From $250 per person
|Accommodation||Hostel dorm bed|
$10–$25 per night
$15–$150 per night
$200+ per night
Prices are approximate and are subject to change.
Do you have any tips?
Let your bank know about your travel plans to avoid the hassle of calling your bank to unlock your credit card. Luke says he failed to do that, and Barclaycard blocked his card once he used it in Ireland.
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