Credit cards in Ireland

Jan 5th, 2008, 02:07 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 80
Credit cards in Ireland

My friend and her husband are going to Ireland in April. This is their first trip out of the country. Someone she knows, who was there recently, told her you can't use credit cards in Ireland and that she should get money exchanged before going. I've traveled quite a bit and I know she should not exchange her money here. And I have used my Visa card in Egypt, southern Africa, London airport, etc. I told her I'd check with fellow Fodorites on this one. I'm sure I know the answers, but don't want to give her steer her wrong. Anyone been there recently who can back me up on this?
travelingtish is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 02:34 PM
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Sorry - but that "someone she knows" is either an idiot or is just trying to send her up. Do you have a clue which it is??

Of course they can use credit cards. And no, they shouldn't exchange for € before they leave home (or not more than a very minimal amount). Credit cards and ATM cards are the way to go.

There IS one issue w/ cc's. Dynamic currency conversion is where the merchant runs the charge in $ instead of €. They should make sure they are always charged in €.
janisj is online now  
Jan 5th, 2008, 02:35 PM
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There is no reason why a foreign credit card cannot be used in Ireland, provided it carries a Visa or Mastercard logo (Amex and Diners are less widely accepted, Discover none at all). Credit card acceptance is very high in Ireland. There is the same 'chip and pin' issue as in UK, as all Irish cards now carry a chip and locals tap in the PIN number rather than sign a slip. But with a chip-less foreign card the operator only needs to swipe the card and present the slip for signature.
One thing to bear in mind is that dynamic currency conversion (DCC) is very prevalent in Ireland, whereby the merchant through their card handler convert the transaction instantly into the card's billing currency (such as US$) at a poor rate for the cardholder. You shoukd always decline DCC and insist that the transaction be run through in euro (local currency). They are supposed to give you a choice of currencies (but often 'forget').
Alec is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 02:40 PM
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As an Irish resident, I can all that Alec says. Mind you, DCC is not an issue for me: they always process my transactions in my card's billing currency!
Padraig is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 02:40 PM
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Oh - perhaps that persona isn't an "idiot" but maybe only has a Discover Card. Discover is not accepted anywhere other than North America.
janisj is online now  
Jan 5th, 2008, 04:14 PM
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travelingtish is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 12:45 PM
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I just got stung by Budget Rent a Car for an extra 23.37 Euro by this scam. I wasn't aware of this DCC thing when I picked up a car in Belfast International Airport. The price was supposed to be 311.04 pounds sterling and it ended up costing me 445.63 Euro (I have an Irish credit card). If I had just paid in pounds and let my bank convert the amount it would have cost me 422.26 Euro (based on their conversion rate for another purchase at the airport that day).
A valuable lesson learned - I will try and tell as many people about this scam as I can.
edcar is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 01:11 PM
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OK, well I don't know much about this but the person MIGHT be referring to something about a new chip in credit cards and Ireland has been using this system wherein your card need to have this chip??

Again, I said I did not know much (ok, almost nothing) about this so I am hoping someone who knows will chime in.

I was in Ireland in Sept. and used my credit cards (no chip thing) with no problem....but, I'm just saying that I've "heard" something to this nature and maybe that is what the person the first poster was referring to. Just a thought.
Shadow is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 01:52 PM
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You can still use magnetic strip only CC's in all of Europe
alanRow is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 01:58 PM
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?You can still use magnetic strip only CC's in all of Europe

As long as there is a person to swipe the card.

Many automated machines (gas stations in France) only take chip and PIN.

ira is offline  

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