Credit cards accepted in Asia?

Dec 9th, 2008, 09:21 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 16
Credit cards accepted in Asia?

Hello! I was wondering if the average store accepted credit cards in SE Asia? And if they do, would taking a discover card be ridiculous? Is it usually VISA like over here?

Inplaster is offline  
Dec 9th, 2008, 09:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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In my experience, taking a discover card would be worthless. Credit cards are accepted in many places, but not in small shops or often in small towns.

By the way, do you have any guidebooks yet? I'd highly recommend some guidebooks - the Lonely Planet series would be a good resource for you.
Kathie is offline  
Dec 9th, 2008, 11:30 AM
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Discover Card does not work in Asia. Visa and Amex are widely accepted. Not sure about Mastercard.
lcuy is offline  
Dec 9th, 2008, 12:47 PM
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You may also find that places that will take credit cards will charge you a percentage for doing so. I found this especially with cheaper hotels. As Kathie says, small shops and restaurants will want cash.
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 9th, 2008, 02:25 PM
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Used Mastercard all over Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand never had a problem.
Smeagol is offline  
Dec 9th, 2008, 05:24 PM
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I used Visa all over Vietnam, payed all the hoter bills using credit card.
Also used it in bigger stores but in the smaller stores you need cash. I used ATM machines everywhere & withdrew cash every couple of days. I spose i was paranoid about losing my wallet so i made a choice to pay the extra bank fees. It cost me about $7aud every withdrawal but i didnt care, it worked for me.
Hotels will put i think its a 3% charge on top of your bill but i tossed up a few options & decided it was the way that worked for me.
redgum is offline  
Dec 9th, 2008, 06:01 PM
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visa and mastercard are often preferred to american express....and like mentioned above there can be a sur charge for using a card while shopping especially for expensive items...

small shops often do not take cards and few street vendors take them, nor marketplaces
rhkkmk is offline  
Dec 9th, 2008, 06:11 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Check with your cc company about what charges they will add -- almost all of them have a transaction fee for foreign charges. Amex is raising theirs as of Jan.
Capital One says they have no transaction fee add on but I am wondering if they don't just compensate via the exchange rate they use -- does anyone have experience with this??
jenskar2 is offline  
Dec 9th, 2008, 11:12 PM
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when i spoke to Cap 1 they told me they charge 2%? and 2.75% for cash withdrawal Havent had my bill yet so will check when i get it but i suspect they dont show it and its absorbed in the exchange rate
Smeagol is offline  
Dec 10th, 2008, 07:52 AM
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my capital one card charges no fees....

brooks brothers mastercard also charges no fees
rhkkmk is offline  
Dec 10th, 2008, 09:52 AM
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Well, you want to use your CC for purchases, but you should never use it for cash withdrawals except in a dire emergency where you really, really needs lots of money unexpectedly. I always bring both a Visa and a Mastercard (because you never know which one might not work at any given time) for purchases at major stores and larger restaurants. However, all credit cards charge a hefty percentage for cash withdrawals so you want to only use your ATM card to get cash for smaller purchases.
PegS is offline  
Dec 10th, 2008, 12:04 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 516
I use debit cards for cash from ATM's, never any problems in Thailand, Philippines and Hong Kong. These debit cards have affiliations for Mastercard and Visa. Forget about Discover Card, I can't remember any place taking it.

For Thailand take out the most you can get from the ATM to save on fees. Some credit unions may pay for your ATM fees on their debit cards, even overseas. I have one card that allows me 5 free ATM withdrawals per month overseas and then it is around $2 per ATM use. This card is through a credit union. In Thailand you will have a chance to change your money back at the airport when you leave.

For cheap purchases in stores or restaurants use cash. The less you use your credit card for cheap purchases the less chance you have of having fraudulent charges added to your account.

Make sure you tell your bank or credit union that you will be using their card overseas. If not you may find that your withdrawals or charges might be denied because they think someone is illegally using your card.

I use my debit card(s) for cash withdrawals and keep a credit card for emergencies only. Through my credit union I can get travelers checks without any commission, get only the larger size to save on cashing fees. (Fee to cash a TC in Thailand is 33 baht, you don't want to waste a lot of fees on $5 and $10 travelers checks. Stick with $100 sizes.)

For Vietnam I brought US dollars with me. Don't leave Vietnam with their currency because no one wants it when you leave that country. Same for Lao and Cambodian money.

Good luck.

SirHalberd is offline  

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