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 my debit card in Ireland”
“What are the charges for using an ATM in Ireland”
“Exchanging Dollars for Euro in Ireland”

  • 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 the 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


Transferwise Debit Card – an Alternative to your US Bank card when Travelling

TransferWise has been operating for over 8 years . Richard Branson, and PayPal founders Max Levchin and Peter Thiel, among others, have invested in them .
Transferwise now has more than 5 million customers and they transact more than $4 billion dollars every month. With their “borderless account ” and a TransferWise debit Mastercard you can spend all around the world with little or no foreign transaction fees. ATM withdrawals 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
  • TransferWise debit Mastercard: $0

The ATMs at Irish banks will not currently charge you any fee for using your US debit card – 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.)


Spending in Ireland 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 banks will typically charge you a foreign transaction fee of 3% . The exchange rate used should be the same as that you would get at an ATM. So it will be more cost-effective to use your US card for spending in Ireland instead of withdrawing cash.

Example Fees when spending the Euro equivalent of $250 with a US debit card in Ireland

  • Chase Total Checking: $7.50
  • Citibank Simple Checking: $7.50
  • HSBC Choice Checking: $7.50
  • Wells Fargo Everyday Checking: $7.50
  • Bank of America Advantage Plus Banking: $7.50
  • TransferWise debit Mastercard: $1.12

Find out more about Transferwise here

Tip:  When paying by US card – if the hotel or retailer asks you if you want to pay in US Dollars or Euros … you should always choose Euros.
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 an American thinking of moving to Ireland – you might be more  interested in our page about the best  way to Transfer Money between Ireland and USA