Slovenia is growing in popularity as a holiday destination and it should be simple enough for tourists to spend money using their credit card.
Visa is the most commonly accepted credit card network, but it should be no problem making payments or withdrawing cash using Mastercard, American Express or other smaller networks.
Whether you’re enjoying the beautiful capital of Ljubljana, skiing in Kranjska Gora or relaxing by the beaches on the Adriatic coast, you can expect to be able to pay for goods and services by card.
You should find it simple enough to find an ATM as there are plenty located through the country. Many of them are free to use too. You can buy public transport tickets using credit card at the local stations, and many taxis accept credit card payment as well.
All in all, the country has an extremely well-adapted card payment system.
As you’d expect, there are a few potential fees to watch out for when you’re paying with plastic in Slovenia.
Foreign transaction fees (charged by your own bank). A non-sterling fee of around 3% per transaction can apply, depending on your credit card. That’s £15 in fees for every £500 spent with your card.
Merchant currency conversion fees (charged by the merchant’s bank). Sometimes, a merchant will offer to take payment in pounds instead of in euros. This is known as a dynamic currency conversion (DCC) and it can mean higher fees than if you simply paid in the local currency. Sometimes a cash machine will offer this service, in which case the same advice applies.
Card payment surcharges (charged by the merchant). If you’re using a Visa or Mastercard from an EU bank, you won’t need to worry about card payment surcharges.
Cash advance fees (charged by your own bank). Your card issuer may charge a fee for cash advances (withdrawing cash using your card).
Cash machine fees (charged by the cash machine provider). The provider of a cash machine may charge a fee if you withdraw cash using your card, although this is rarer than in other nations.
It’s also worth noting that when it comes to cash advances and non-sterling transactions, many card issuers will start charging interest on the day your account is debited, rather than the customary “up to 55 days interest-free” that usually applies provided you clear your balance in full each month.
EU ban on credit card surcharges
In January 2018 the EU required member states to adopt the Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2) – a ban on card payment surcharges (that’s when a retailer adds a fee because you’re paying using a credit card), but it’s important to note that there are limitations and exceptions to this directive and there are other fees that may apply when you pay by credit card. If your card is from a non-EU bank, uses a network other than Visa or Mastercard or is a business/corporate card, the merchant may still levy a surcharge.
So how can I avoid the fees?
Consider taking out a credit card offering commission-free currency conversion (see table below), even if you only use it when you’re out of the country. Once you have one of these cards, if a merchant offers to take payment in pounds, say you’re happy to pay in euros, since you know that your own bank won’t add a margin.
Generally speaking, it’s not a great idea to use credit cards to withdraw cash, but some travel credit cards won’t penalise you for this either. Finally, make sure to check whether any ATM you use is going to charge a fee. ATMs near banks, supermarkets and shopping centres are generally safer bets than those located inside convenience stores or bars.
Compare cards with fee-free currency conversion in Slovenia
Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Approval for any credit card will depend on your status. The APR shown represents the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow.
Are American Express cards accepted in Slovenia?
It can be tough to find places that accept Amex payments in some parts of Europe, but Slovenia is relatively well set up for American Express cardholders. Although Visa and Mastercard are the most commonly accepted networks, Amex cardholders shouldn’t have to worry too much. However, merchants may levy a surcharge for Amex payment.
Contactless and chip-and-PIN payments
Contactless payments are becoming increasingly common in Slovenia. A December 2018 study by Mastercard indicated that more than half (54%) of Slovenians use contactless at least once per week.
Chip-and-PIN technology is more prevalent. Provided you have a four-digit PIN, you should be able to pay this way with no problems.
Is it safe to use my credit card in Slovenia?
As far as safety goes, you can freely use your card in Slovenia. It is not a place that is well known for bank card scams. However, there are some precautions you can take for increased security:
Use an ATM within 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 a bank, check for devices attached to the reader and cash return slot.
Consider taking an additional credit card. You can use your primary card for payments and keep your back-up card in your hotel room safety deposit box. That way, you’ll never be left without money.
Keep your card in sight. Card cloning is rare in Slovenia, but just in case, don’t let your card out of your sight.
How to prepare before travelling to Slovenia
Get a credit card without foreign transaction fees. If you travel often, avoiding the 3% foreign transaction fee can save you a lot of money. Consider getting a travel credit card to avoid the foreign transaction fees.
Opt for a Mastercard or Visa. They’re the most widely accepted cards and Slovenia is no exception, though you still can’t use your American Express cards in some locations. There are also enough ATMs around if you want to withdraw cash with these cards as well.
Carry a back-up card. Try to always carry a second card when travelling abroad, given you don’t know what could happen to your primary card.
Get some cash. In general, you can pay with plastic almost anywhere in Slovenia. But if you want to make a cash withdrawal, keep in mind that credit cards have additional fees while most debit cards don’t.
Inform your bank you’re travelling to Slovenia. If you don’t let your bank know ahead of time the dates you’ll be away and where you’ll be, it may block your card if it suspects the charges are fraudulent.
Make a note of your bank’s phone number. If you lose your card or have payment issues, you’ll be able to call the bank to resolve it.
If you travel to Slovenia, you can safely use your credit card to make payments and withdraw cash. You’ll just have to be careful to not incur fees you can otherwise avoid. With a decent travel credit card, you’ll avoid paying foreign transaction fees. By simply declining the DCC when offered, you’ll also avoid a poor exchange rate or commission.
Frequently asked questions
If you’re stranded without cash in Slovenia, check out our money transfer page to find the fastest and easiest way to send money.
Slovenia adopted the euro in 2007, becoming the first of the 10 nations joining the EU in 2004 to do so.
Euro notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. You can get 1 and 2 euros coins, as well as 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent.
Historical rate chart of GBP and EUR
Updated: 19 Apr 2021 15:10:03 UTC
The largest banks operating in Slovenia are Abanka, Banka Koper, NLB and Unicredit.
You may wish to check with your bank to see if it has an active partnership with any of the local Polish banks. If it does, you could save on fees for ATM withdrawals.
Chris Lilly is a publisher at finder.com. He's a specialist in credit-based products including business and personal loans, mortgages and credit cards, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their borrowing. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
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.