Using a credit card in Croatia | finder.com
Using a credit card in Croatia

Using a credit card in Croatia

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HBO’s hit Game of Thrones has spurred on an influx tourists to gorgeous Croatia. But you’ll find so many other reasons to make your way to its sapphire shores.

To enjoy all that Croatia offers, you’ll need a combination of cash and credit cards while traveling. Plastic is accepted throughout Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik and other larger cities.

Smaller cities and establishments on the mainland and island — especially konoba or family inns sprinkled across the country — accept cash only. Some apartment owners might even insist that you secure your room with a cash deposit, especially during the country’s peak tourist season. You might even entice a discount from vendors that prefer Croatian kuna.

Which credit cards are accepted in Croatia?

You can avoid carrying large amounts of cash by relying on your credit and debit cards in larger cities.

Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted across Croatia, as is Diners Club and American Express at fewer stores and hotels.

In addition to prime spots at airports, ATMs in Croatian cities and towns are easy to find in banks and supermarkets.

Does Croatia accept the euro?

No. Though the country became a part of the European Union in 2013, Croatia hasn’t yet adopted the euro.

To attract travelers from the EU, local Croatian businesses might accept payment in euros. Some taxis, accommodations and restaurants advertise their rates in euros. But euros aren’t legal tender in Croatia, which means no business is obligated to accept them.

Should I use my card to get cash?

Called Bancomats in Croatia, ATMs are readily found in banks, stores and even larger hotels. Most accept major credit cards, but you’ll want to reserve using your card at an ATM for emergencies.

Unless your bank partners with a Croatian bank, credit card withdrawals are usually processed as cash advances that attract fees as high as $10 or 3% of your withdrawal amount — or more with some cards.

To avoid penalties that come with cash advances, use your debit card to withdraw money at ATMs. Or apply for a card that waives transaction fees internationally, like the debit card that comes with a Schwab High Yield Investor Checking Account.

Is it safe to use my card in Croatia?

You can use your credit card in Croatia without safety concerns by taking a few basic precautions.

  • Keep your PIN safe. When entering your PIN at an ATM or card reader, use one hand to cover it from hidden cameras and people around you.
  • Choose ATMs carefully. Look for machines in banks or well-lit areas, and avoid those in isolated neighborhoods, especially at night.
  • Cancel your transaction if anything’s awry. A card skimmer can steal your valuable card information without you even noticing. If your machine’s card slot or keypad raises an eyebrow, cancel your withdrawal and contact your provider.

General tips on keeping safe

Crime levels in Croatia are low, but you’ll want to remain vigilant to street crime — especially during the summer tourist season. Keep an eye out in busy areas, where you could encounter pickpockets.

Don’t leave your wallet or bag unattended, and watch your belongings especially at the beach. While you’re traveling — especially if traveling solo — wear modest jewelry to avoid attracting the eyes of thieves.

Compare no foreign transaction fee credit cards

Updated August 17th, 2018
Name Product Currency Conversion Fee Annual Fee APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases
None
$195
16.74% variable
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
None
$0
14.74%, 18.74% or 24.74% variable
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees
None
$495
16.74% variable
Mastercard Black Card members receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
None
$995
16.74% variable
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.
None
$0 annual fee for the first year ( thereafter)
16.74%, 22.49% or 25.49% variable
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.
None
$0
16.74% to 24.74% variable
20,000 online bonus points offer. Ditch the restrictions of typical airline rewards cards. Any airline, any hotel, anytime. No blackout dates.
None
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
14.74%, 21.24% or 24.74% variable
Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
None
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
17.74% to 24.74% variable
Earn 50,000 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.
None
$95
17.74% to 24.74% variable
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.
None
$450
17.74% to 24.74% variable
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®.
None
$550
None (Charge Card)
Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
None
$450
17.74% to 24.74% variable
Enjoy United Club membership, Premier Access® travel services, free checked bags, plus earn miles on every purchase.
None
$75
16.74% to 24.74% variable
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.
None
$195
17.49% to 26.49% variable
Earn 70,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles(MQMs) after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.

Compare up to 4 providers

Magstripe and chip credit cards

Much of Europe has move toward chip cards, but both chip and magstripe cards are widely accepted in Croatia.

Even if a business’s card reader is designed for chip cards, you should be able to swipe your magstripe card. Simply swipe your card, enter your PIN and sign your receipt.

What if I don’t have a chip card?

If you don’t have a chip card, you might want to ask your bank to replace your magstripe card. While credit card skimming and cloning scams are rare in Croatia, a chip card can provide stronger protection against fraud — and better peace of mind.

Where can I find a travel card that doesn’t come with fees?

Each time you swipe or dip your credit card overseas, you’ll typically pay a foreign transaction fee equal to about 2% to 3% of your purchase amount.

One way to save more money for sightseeing is to apply for a no-fee travel card. Look into these flexible travel cards that can take fees off the table for travelers — and may offer extra incentives for you to get out into the world.

How should I prepare before my trip?

As you plan to relax and unwind on the beautiful Croatian beaches, make sure you’ll be able to use your credit cards without a hitch.

1. Get a card with no foreign transaction fees. This is one fee you can easily avoid, provided you apply for a card offering no foreign transaction fees.
2. Keep your card provider in the loop. Banks don’t like losing money to fraud, and so they won’t hesitate to block your card temporarily if they see unexpected overseas purchases. Avoid this by informing your provider of your travel plans.
3. Carry important phone numbers. Lost and stolen cards aren’t uncommon while traveling. Have important provider numbers handy so that you can call in a pinch.
4. Know where you’ll get cash. ATMs are abundant across Croatia. Exchange US dollars for Croatian kuna at banks or currency exchange centers, and call your bank about partnerships it might have with networks in Croatia for free withdrawals.

By thinking ahead, you’ll be in the perfect position to relax while taking in the natural drama of Dalmatia and beyond.

Frequently asked questions

Adrienne Fuller

Adrienne Fuller leads the publishing team at finder.com. She has one goal: to deliver the accurate and transparent information she wishes she had when she made some of life's important financial decisions. When she's not helping folks save money, she's hiking with her two Catahoulas around her home in San Diego.

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