Using a credit card in Taiwan

Get a card without foreign transaction fees and decline "dynamic currency conversion" to avoid paying unnecessary fees.

Updated

Fact checked

You’ll find that Mastercard and Visa are more popular in Taiwan than American Express, but you can still pay with your Amex card in some places or use an ATM. Despite that, Taiwan is still mostly dependent on cash. In some places, like family restaurants or small shops, you may not be able to pay with your credit card at all.

There are a few potential fees to watch out for when you’re paying with plastic:

  • Foreign transaction fees. A non-sterling fee of around 3% per transaction can apply, depending on your credit card. That’s £30 in fees for every £1,000 spent with your card.
  • Merchant currency conversion fees. Sometimes, a merchant will offer to take payment in pounds instead of in New Taiwan dollars. This is known as a dynamic currency conversion (DCC) and often comes with higher fees than if you paid in the local currency.
  • Cash advance fees. Your card issuer may charge a fee for cash advances (withdrawing cash using your credit card). Cash machine providers sometimes charge a fee too.
  • ATM fees. The provider of a cash machine may charge a fee if you withdraw cash using your card.

It’s also worth noting that when it comes to cash advances and non-sterling transactions, card issuers will often start charging interest on the day your account is debited, rather than the customary “up to 55 days interest-free” that applies when you clear your balance in full each month.

Here’s a section of a fairly typical T&Cs document showing the charges applicable when spending abroad:

section of credit card summary box document

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 New Taiwan dollars, since you know your own bank won’t charge you for the privilege.

Generally speaking it’s not a great idea to use a credit card to withdraw cash, but some travel credit cards won’t penalise you for this either. Finally, make sure to check whether the ATM you use is going to charge a fee. Bank ATMs are generally a safer bet than those in convenience stores or bars.

Compare cards with fee-free currency conversion in Taiwan

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Data indicated here is updated daily
Name Product Purchases Annual/monthly fees Credit limits Rep. APR Incentive Link
The Royal Bank Credit Card
9.9%
£0
Min. limit £300, max. limit not specified.
9.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 9.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 9.9% APR (variable).
More Info
Ulster Bank Credit Card Mastercard
9.9%
£0
Min. limit £400, max. limit not specified.
9.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 9.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 9.9% APR (variable).
More Info
The NatWest Credit Card
9.9%
£0
Min. limit £300, max. limit not specified.
9.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 9.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 9.9% APR (variable).
More Info
Santander Zero Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 12 months reverting to 18.9%
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
18.9% (variable)
Retailer offers - 5 Welcome offers of up to 25% cashback at well-known retailers (must switch on Retailer Offers within 60 days of activating card).
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
More Info
Halifax Clarity Credit Card Mastercard
19.95%
£0
Min. limit not specified, max. limit not specified.
19.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
More Info
Nationwide Member Credit Card Balance Transfer Offer
0% for 3 months reverting to 19.9%
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit £15,000.
19.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
More Info
Nationwide Member Credit Card All Rounder Offer
0% for 15 months reverting to 19.9%
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit £15,000.
19.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
More Info
Santander All in One Credit Card
0% for 26 months reverting to 15.9%
£3 per month
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
21.7% (variable)
0.5% after £1 of monthly spend. Cashback paid Monthly into Card Account. Maximum spend for cashback purposes is limited to credit limit.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 15.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £3 per month, your representative rate is 21.7% APR (variable).
More Info
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Are American Express cards accepted in Taiwan?

American Express cards are accepted in Taiwan, but not as much as Visa and Mastercard are. If you want to withdraw cash with your Amex card, look for Chinatrust Commercial Bank ATMs.

Chip-and-PIN credit cards

You shouldn’t have any problem if you have a chip-and-PIN card. Just make sure the logo of your card matches the logo on the ATM or POS terminal.

Is it safe to use my credit card in Taiwan?

Yes, it’s safe to use your credit card in Taiwan. But for added security, consider the following precautions:

  • Use an ATM within a bank. This is particularly useful if for some reason the ATM holds your card. You’ll be able to quickly get it back with assistance from one of the branch employees. ATMs within a bank are also less likely to be tampered with.
  • Take two credit cards. You may lose your card or it may not work. By having a back-up card, you won’t be left without money.
  • Keep your card in sight. Although rare, card cloning can happen in Taiwan. To avoid this, make sure you keep your card in sight.

Do taxis in Taiwan accept credit cards?

In general, they don’t. But if you want to pay for your ride with a credit card, you can use Uber. Typically, Uber is less expensive than a regular taxi in Taiwan anyway.

How to prepare before traveling to Taiwan

  1. Get a credit card without foreign transaction fees. Most travel cards have no fees when used outside of the UK.
  2. Opt for Mastercard or Visa. They’re universally accepted, while American Express is less popular in Taiwan.
  3. Get a back-up card. If something happens to your primary card, you’ll have another card to help you out.
  4. Get some cash. If you need to use an ATM to withdraw cash, opt for one at the airport or in the city. ATMs in Taiwan have favourable exchange rates and usually have no additional fees.
  5. Inform your bank you’re travelling to Taiwan. If you don’t, your bank may consider your foreign transactions to be fraudulent and block your card. When you’re scheduling your trip, you can ask your bank if it has partner banks in Taiwan as well.
  6. Get your bank’s phone number. If you lose your card or have any other card-related issues, you’ll know who to call.

Bottom line

Credit cards aren’t as widely accepted in Taiwan as in other places, but they’re safe to use and you shouldn’t have a problem paying where credit cards are accepted. Your only issues might be the foreign transaction fees and DCC, but with the right credit card and by declining DCC when offered, you can save some money.

Frequently asked questions

How to use a credit card in…

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

More guides on Finder

  • gohenry vs Osper: Fees, features and more

    Both GoHenry and Osper are suitable for parents looking for a children’s prepaid card that comes with great parental control options. Here we compare their features and fees to help you choose the best for you.

  • Compare bank accounts for sole traders

    Do you need a business account as a sole trader? Our guide explores why you might want to open one for your everyday banking.

  • Official figures say credit card usage is down, but are some having to use their cards more?

    New research indicates that not everyone may have been using their card less throughout lockdown. The study found that over 2 in 5 credit card holders (43%) used, and are continuing to use, their credit cards more than they did before lockdown started in March.

  • Playing for keeps: The credit card sector’s fight for customers

    Download our free paper to get original research, data-driven analysis and expert commentary on the state of play within the credit card industry.

  • Best second charge mortgages of November 2020

    Second charge mortgages can allow borrowers to finance big projects, like home improvements. However they come with risk, so it’s crucial to read-up, do your sums and work out what’s right for your circumstances.

  • Best 0% purchase credit cards

    0% purchase credit cards can help cover the cost of large purchases or expenses, and are often cheaper than a personal loan. Here’s where you can get the best 0% purchase credit cards, and how you can get the best use out of your card.

  • Best credit cards for building credit

    All credit cards benefit your credit history when you use them correctly, but these picks aim to support you on your journey to better credit.

  • Best first credit cards

    If you’re looking to take out your first credit card, it can be hard to know what to look for. Here’s what you need to do to find the first credit card that’s best for you.

  • Vybe bank account review

    The latest kid on the neobank block, Vybe is a free-to-use digital account that offers perks and discounts through its range of brand partners.

  • Best international money transfer services

    Learn how to compare international money transfer services so you can get the best exchange rates and lowest fees.

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site