Can You Use American Debit Cards in Ireland ?

We get several people a day from the US finding this site because they are searching on Google for some of the following things:

“Can I use American Debit Cards in Ireland?”
“What are the charges for using an ATM in Ireland”
“Exchanging Dollars for Euro in Ireland”
“Fees for using a debit card in Europe”

  • All US issued Visa Debit cards and Mastercard Debit cards should work in ATMs in Ireland.
  • All US issued Visa Debit cards and Mastercard Debit cards can be used to spend in stores in Ireland.
  • AMEX and Discover are not as widely accepted in Ireland or other European countries

Chip and PIN

Irish debit and credit cards are all chip and PIN, but some American cards are chip and signature and some still don’t have chips, but may still be usable at Irish ATMs.

If you’re unable to use your chip-less card at an Irish ATM, most shops should still be able to accept it. You’ll just have to sign a receipt instead of entering a PIN.

Fees for Using a US issued Debit Card at an ATM in Ireland

There are ATMs on the main streets of every town and city in Ireland, some outside banks and some inside (during opening hours). In Ireland, they are also called “Cashpoints” .

The Dollar/Euro exchange rate used at an ATM will be determined by your card provider (Visa/Mastercard) – and will usually be pretty close to the interbank rate.

Your bank in the USA may charge you transaction fees – sometimes as much as $5 plus 3% of the transaction.

For example :
Chase Bank will charge $5 for a foreign ATM transaction plus 3% of the value of the withdrawal.
Bank of America will also charge $5 and 3% for getting out Euros from an Irish ATM

Wise Debit Card – an Alternative to your US Bank card when Spending Overseas

Wise (Formerly TransferWise has been operating for over 9 years. Richard
Wise now has more than 5 million customers and they transact more than $4 billion dollars every month. They are registered with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) as a money service business.

With the Wise “multi-currency account ” and the Wise debit Mastercard you can spend all around the world with little or no foreign transaction fees. That includes online spending too.
ATM withdrawals with the Wise card outside the US are free on the first $250 in a month – then they charge 2%.

Comparison of Fees when withdrawing the equivalent of $250 using a US debit card in Ireland

  • Chase Total Checking: $12.50
  • Citibank Simple Checking: $10.00
  • HSBC Choice Checking: $10.00
  • Wells Fargo Everyday Checking: $12.50
  • Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking: $12.50
  • Wise debit Mastercard: $0 ($5 if you have already withdrawn $250)

The ATMs will not currently charge you any fee for using American Debit Cards in Ireland – but some of the ATMs inside shops and hotels may charge you a fee – usually in the region of €2. The ATM will display a message if there is going to be a fee. (This fee is for everyone not just foreign cards.)

Fees When Purchasing in Euros with a US Debit Card.

The vast majority of Irish retailers, hotels and restaurants will accept Visa and Mastercard debit cards from the USA.
Most US bank cards will typically charge you a foreign transaction fee of 3% of the dollar amount.

Example Fees when spending the Euro equivalent of $500 with a US debit card in Ireland

  • Wise Multi-Currency Account : $2.09
  • Chase Total Checking: $15
  • Citibank Simple Checking: $15
  • HSBC Choice Checking: $15
  • Santander (4%): $20
  • Wells Fargo Everyday Checking: $15
  • Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking: $15

That’s a saving of $12.91 on each $500 transaction if you use the Wise card.

Also – as an added bonus the exchange rate used by Wise will always be slightly better than the Visa or Mastercard rate.

Find out more about Wise here

Tip:  When paying by US card overseas – if the hotel or retailer asks you if you want to pay in US Dollars or Euros or the local currency … you should always choose Euros (or the local currency)
If you choose to pay in US Dollars – the retailer/hotel will apply their own conversion rate which will usually be a lot worse than the rate used by your card provider.

More information here for charges for Irish residents using ATMs abroad

More here on ATM charges in Ireland for Irish residents

If you are living in the USA and thinking of moving to Ireland – you might be interested in our page about the best way to Transfer Money from the USA to Ireland

Chase Bank Charges