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currency exchange/ATM vs credit card

We are going to Ireland this summer. For medium to large expenditures (package tour, hotel bill, train fare, cup of coffee in a restaurant) am I better off getting cash from an ATM and paying the credit card bill when I get home, or just charging it on my credit card? What about small expenses (admission to attractions, knickknacks at the museum shop)?

TIA,
Terry

Posted by
8700 posts

In general, I think it's best to use a credit card for major purchases and get cash from ATMs for everything else. (This is particularly true if you have a Capital One credit card which does not charge a foreign transaction fee.) Keep your credit card receipts. There are some important things to do BEFORE leaving home to be sure your cards will work in Europe. Rick has a good article on the subject: www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/moneytip.htm.

Posted by
448 posts

Getting cash from the ATM is best done with an ATM debit card, not a credit card. Cash withdrawals from ATMS for most credit cards will incur the cash advance fee plus daily interest from the date of the advance. For large expenses, credit cards with low or no foreign transactions fees work fine for purchases. Cash is still best for the small expenses. Also, some places in Europe charge extra fees to use credit cards or offer a discount for cash. Many small places don't even take cards. Just check the fees on your credit and debit cards before you go.