Using a credit card in Taiwan |

Using a credit card in Taiwan

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Get a card without foreign transaction fees and decline DCC to avoid paying unnecessary fees.

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.

But this shouldn’t be a problem since you can use an ATM to withdraw cash with favorable exchange rates and potentially low fees — or none at all.

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Potential credit card fees in Taiwan

When you use your credit card in Taiwan, you may incur fees, such as:

  • Foreign transaction fees. Depending on your card, you could pay a fee of up to 3% of each transaction abroad. This means you would pay a $60 fee if you spend $2,000 with your card.
  • Currency conversion fees. Sometimes at an ATM or merchant, you may be offered to pay in US dollars instead of in local currency. This is called a dynamic currency conversion (DCC) and usually 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 card without foreign transaction fees and decline DCC if offered.

Compare no foreign transaction fee cards

Most travel cards come without foreign transaction fees. If you don’t have such a card, consider getting a second card that offers this perk without an annual fee. This way, it won’t cost you anything to own the card and you can exclusively use it when you travel abroad.

Rates last updated October 23rd, 2018
Name Product Product Description Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC) Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (VISA) Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (AMEX) Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee
Luxury Card Mastercard® Titanium Card™
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
0% of transaction value
Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card™
Mastercard Black Card members receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
0% of transaction value
Uber Visa Card
Get 4% points back on dining, 3% on travel, 2% on Uber rides and online shopping and 1% on other purchases, and redeem points for Uber credits, gift cards or cash back.
0% of transaction value
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card
20,000 online bonus points offer. Ditch the restrictions of typical airline rewards cards. Any airline, any hotel, anytime. No blackout dates.
0% of transaction value
HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on all purchases. See Rates and Fees
Venture® from Capital One®
Earn 50000 bonus miles once after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
0% of transaction value
Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card
Earn 50000 points when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of your account opening, and an additional 30,000 points when you spend a total of $30,000 on purchases within the first year of your account opening.
0% of transaction value
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card
Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Earn 50,000 BONUS POINTS after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening* — that's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
0% of transaction value
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X points on eligible hotels booked on
0% of transaction value
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™
Earn points every time you spend. Luxury Card enhances your purchasing power by providing you with one (1) point for every one dollar ($1) you spend. Every purchase gets you closer to the rewards you want.
0% of transaction value
United MileagePlus® Club card
Enjoy United Club membership, Premier Access® travel services, free checked bags, plus earn miles on every purchase.
0% of transaction value
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card
Buy one ticket, get one for just the taxes and fees ($0 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22) after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening. There are no blackout dates.
0% of transaction value
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
Earn 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months.
0% of transaction value

Compare up to 4 providers

Are American Express and Discover 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.

Discover cards are rarely accepted in Taiwan. At the time of writing, there are no ATMs where you can withdraw cash using a Discover card.
US Dollar to New Taiwan Dollar Exchange Rate

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

Taiwan is still heavy on cash usage, and most of the small and family-run restaurants may not accept credit card payments. In this case, you could make a cash withdrawal from an ATM. Keep in mind that you’ll likely pay a cash advance fee, which can be up to 5% — that’s up to a $25 fee for a $500 cash withdrawal. Additionally, you’ll start incurring the cash advance APR from the moment you make the withdrawal.

One way to avoid paying the high APR and the cash advance fee is to get a debit card, which usually comes without such fees.

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 anyways.

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, you should always try to:

  • 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 backup 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.

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 US.
  2. Opt for Mastercard or Visa. They’re universally accepted, while American Express is less popular in Taiwan. And if you take your Discover card with you, know that you may not be able to find an ATM.
  3. Get a backup card. If something happens to your primary card, you’ll have another card to help you out.
  4. Get some cash. You can use an ATM at the airport or in the city to withdraw cash. ATMs in Taiwan have favorable exchange rates and usually have no additional fees.
  5. Inform your bank that you’re traveling 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 they have 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.

Top travel card to consider for frequent travelers to Taiwan

If you’re a frequent traveler to East Asian or Oceania countries, you could use a card like the Asiana Visa Signature® Credit Card by Bank of America. The card has no foreign transaction fees and lets you earn miles on your purchases — which you can redeem for flights between the US and Taiwan or any other East Asian country.

How to use a credit card in…

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 if you get a travel card and decline DCC when offered, you’ll save some money.

Frequently asked questions

Kliment Dukovski

Kliment Dukovski is a writer who specializes in global financial markets and personal finance, with a focus on credit cards. His main goal is to deliver honest and accurate information to help you make the right financial decision. When he's not writing about finance-related subjects, he writes sci-fi stories.

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