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Many places don't take Credit Cards in Italy?

Many places don't take Credit Cards in Italy?

Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 02:24 PM
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Many places don't take Credit Cards in Italy?

We are leaving for Italy in less than 3 weeks. We will be traveling to Rome, Florence & Venice. I have been reading alot of travel sites and on one of them it was said that most places in Italy do not take credit cards and that you would need to pay cash. I find this hard to believe after having traveled in England, Germany, Norway, etc. and used my credit card without difficulty. However I do realize that those are different countries. I want to be prepared financially so that we have a good time & not worry more than necessary about finances. Is this person correct?
husker99 is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 02:27 PM
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Hmmm, I have used credit cards all the time in hotels, restuarants, shops etc. I do think that a merchant is allowed to decline a credit card if the purchase is under a small amount (do not know what that small amount is however) but basically you should find most businesses will accept a credit card. But do have cash on you for small purchases etc. And have a wonderful trip!!
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 02:38 PM
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Most places *do* take credit cards, but it depends on the credit card. American Express is not very widely accepted; Visa and MasterCard are.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 02:54 PM
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We were in Italy for most of June and had no problems used a US credit card for restaurants and hotels. Some of the auto ticket machines in train stations would not accept the US card. But older machines that would were available. However, have found that cash works better because you can often get a discount especially from hotels. We use cash for about two thirds of the trip.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 03:01 PM
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There are definitely some restaurants in those cities that do not take credit cards, particularly the smaller, non-tourist places. If you are choosing restaurants before you go, do a little research by googling the names of the restaurants you're thinking of tryng and make a note if they take credit cards or not. If you're just playing it by ear, most restaurants that take credit cards will have a MC/Visa sign posted on the outside of the door (and a menu too!)

If you do pay by credit card and want to tip the waiter, do it in cash as any tip on the credit card will go to the owner, not the waiter.

Some hotels, again mostly the smaller family owned places, do not take credit cards or offer a discount if you pay in cash. If you're staying at any small family owned places, you can ask if they have a discount for paying in cash.

Almost all retail places wil take credit cards. One thing to be careful of is that more places (especially in Venice) are doing this "dynamic currency exchange" thing. If you charge something and the bill/receipt is in US dollars, you will be paying an obscene "conversion" rate. Even though they will tell you it's for your convenience, it's a rip off. Insist that they redo the bill and charge your credit card in euros and let your credit card company do the conversion.

It's easy to get cash from the ATM machines, so even if you find you want to or need to pay cash somewhere, there are tons of ATM machines in all 3 cities. Relax and have a great time!
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 03:05 PM
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Maybe they were referring to smaller local business(?) some don't accept charge cards because of the expense on their side to do so.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 05:53 PM
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I have never had any place in Italy refuse to take a credit card - but have not tried to use them for very small purchases, drink in cafe etc. Some B&Bs or small family hotels may not want to take them - but would indicate so on their web site.

In any case, if you're concerned about a store or restaurant all you need to do is look at the window - it will display the cards' logos (unless it's VERY upscale - then it WILL take them).
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 06:14 PM
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Appartments usually don't take credit cards.

Uffizi and Accademia ticket window only took cash:

My language school took only cash. That was over €300, not a small change.

A Palatine hill ticket attendant threw a fit when I tried to use a €50 bill just received from an ATM. I had to go to the Colesseum ticket office.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2007, 10:16 PM
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Nov '06 had no problem using credit cards <Visa & Mastercard>. Take your debit card with you and use atm's to get Euros. You will need cash at some places so it won't hurt to have cash on you. I believe most shops etc posted credit card signs in their windows just like other countries. We used our cards in Rome, Florence, Ancona etc with no problems. At some hotels you get a better rate if you pay with cash.
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Old Oct 1st, 2007, 08:01 PM
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We've travelled many times to Europe and have never heard of the Dynamic Currency Conversion Master Card purchase.

If the merchant brings your the Master Card bill and asks you to sign it in US Dollars I would refuse to do so.

You can demand that the transaction be in Euro's or Pounds.

In a normal situation the merchant swips the card and fills in the transaction amount in the country currency. Then the Master Card / Bank receive the transaction and make the conversion based upon the exchange rate, it should never be done in dollars by the foreign merchant.
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