Using a credit card in Ireland

We explore what cards are widely accepted, how to avoid fees and more tips for traveling abroad.

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As a member of the European Union, Ireland is as safe as it gets for credit card use. Mastercard and Visa are widely accepted in the country, but you can also find places to pay with American Express and Discover cards. Unfortunately, you can’t pay taxis directly with a credit card, but you can get a mobile app that allows you to do so.

ATMs are widely available across Ireland for cash withdrawals, but beware of additional fees that come with cash advances when you use a credit card.

Our pick for use in Ireland

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

  • Earn 1.25x miles on all purchases; 10x miles on purchases made through hotels.com/venture until January 2020
  • Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 within your first 3 months when you open your account
  • Get 0% intro APR on purchases for your first 12 months, a variable APR of 13.74% – 23.74% applies thereafter
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
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Promoted

Compare cards for use in Ireland

If you travel often, getting a midrange or premium travel card could help you save money. But if you only occasionally travel, an entry-level card with no annual fee might be the better choice — you can stick to only using it when you travel abroad and it won’t cost you anything to own.

Name Product Foreign transaction fee Annual fee Purchase APR Filter values
None
$0
17.49% to 26.49% 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
None
$0
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.74%, 19.74% or 23.74% variable)
Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
None
$495
16.74% variable
Receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
None
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.49% to 26.49% variable
Earn 60,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months, plus $50 when you make a direct Delta purchase in the same timeframe. Rates & fees
None
$195
17.49% to 26.49% variable
Earn 75,000 miles and 5,000 MQMs after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months plus $100 when you make a Delta purchase in the same timeframe. Rates & fees

Compare up to 4 providers

Potential credit card fees in Ireland

Depending on your card and which currency you pay in, you may incur:

  • Foreign transaction fees. Each time you use your credit card, you could pay a fee of up to 3% of the transaction. That’s up to $60 for $2,000 spent.
  • Currency conversion fees. A merchant or ATM could offer you the option to pay in US dollars instead of euros. This is known as a dynamic currency conversion (DCC), which often has a poor exchange rate and higher fees.

Can I incur both fees on a single transaction?

Yes, you can. To avoid this, get a travel card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, and always make sure to pay in the local currency.

Which credit card issuers are accepted in Ireland?

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
Visa
check mark iconHigh
check mark iconHigh
Mastercard
check mark iconHigh
check mark iconHigh
American Express
cross mark iconLow
exclamation point iconMedium
Discover
exclamation point iconMedium
cross mark iconLow

Should I use my credit card to get cash in Ireland?

It really depends on where you’re going. You can pay with a card almost anywhere in the cities, but if you go to the countryside, you may need to bring some cash with you. Withdrawing cash with a credit card could lead to a cash advance fee of as much as 5% of the transaction. That’s a $40 fee when you withdraw $800. In addition to the fee, you’ll immediately start to incur a cash advance APR, which is usually considerably higher than purchase or balance transfer APRs.

Luckily, there’s a workaround: For payments, use your credit card; for cash withdrawals, use a debit card. Debit cards usually have no cash advance fees or APRs since you’re directly using your money and not the bank’s credit.

Do taxis in Ireland accept credit cards?

Some do, but most of them don’t accept credit cards. If you want to pay for your ride with a card, download the Mytaxi app for iOS and Android devices. With the app, you can also book a cab a few days in advance to pick you up from the airport.

Chip-and-PIN credit cards

In Ireland, you can use chip-and-PIN or chip-and-signature cards wherever credit cards are accepted.

Is it safe to use my credit card in Ireland?

As far as safety goes, you can freely use your card in Ireland. However, there are some precautions you can take for increased security, such as:

  • 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.
  • Take two credit cards. You can use your primary card for payments and keep your backup 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 Ireland, but just in case, don’t let your card out of your sight.

How to prepare before traveling to Ireland

  1. 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 card, as they usually have no foreign transaction fees.
  2. Opt for a Mastercard or Visa. They’re more universally accepted, and Ireland is no exception. That isn’t to say you can’t still use your American Express or Discover cards in some locations. There are also enough ATMs around if you want to withdraw cash with these cards as well.
  3. Get a backup card. Try to always carry a second card when traveling abroad, given you don’t know what could happen to your primary card.
  4. Get some cash. In general, you can pay with plastic almost anywhere in Ireland. But if you want to make a cash withdrawal, keep in mind that credit cards have additional fees while most debit cards don’t.
  5. Inform your bank that you’re traveling to Ireland. If you don’t let your bank know ahead of time the dates you’ll be gone and where you’ll be, it may block your card if it suspects the charges are fraudulent.
  6. Get your bank’s phone number. If you lose your card or have payment issues, you’ll be able to ring the bank up to resolve it.

Top travel cards to consider for frequent travelers to Ireland

If you travel to Ireland often, you may want to consider one of the following cards:

You’ll save money by not paying foreign transaction fees, and you’ll earn miles to redeem for airline tickets to Ireland and back.

If you don’t find any direct flights with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines or United Airlines, know that they’re all part of alliances that have partner airlines with flights between the US and Ireland. You can still earn and redeem miles on partner flights.

Bottom line

If you travel to Ireland, you can freely use your Mastercard or Visa to make payments and withdraw cash. American Express and Discover cards enjoy some acceptance but expect less purchasing opportunities. No matter which card you choose, be careful not to incur fees that you can otherwise avoid.

If you decide to make cash withdrawals, a decent debit card could be your best choice, since you’ll avoid paying cash advance fees and a cash advance APR. To fully enjoy your trip, consider carrying multiple travel money options.

See more guides on using a credit card in other countries.

Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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