If you’re headed on a trip to the Emerald Isle, you can expect to be able to use most international debit and credit cards. However, it’s always a good idea to have at least a little bit of cash on hand, just in case you run into a shop or restaurant that won’t take your card.
Luckily, getting cash in Ireland is as easy as finding an ATM. Here’s where to find them and how to use them.
Ireland has a huge network of ATMS, and you’ll be able to find them all over the country — at transit centers, in grocery stores, in clubs and bars, outside banks; an ATM is almost always a stone’s throw away in Ireland.
To find a local bank ATM in Ireland, try one of these bank locators:
If your bank has an international presence, you may be in luck. A number of international banks boast a presence in Ireland such as Barclays, Citibank, Scotiabank, Wells Fargo and JP Morgan. If you bank with one of those, double check with your home branch to see if there are any services near where you’ll be in Ireland.
Most US, UK and Australian debit and credit cards should be usable in Ireland. Visa, Mastercard (Cirrus and Maestro) and American Express are all widely accepted. However, you may have a little more trouble using a Diner’s Club card, and Discover isn’t often accepted in Ireland. If these are your preferred cards, you might need to bring another with you.
To find the closest ATM that’s compatible with your card, try using these locators:
- Maestro ATM locator
- Mastercard and Cirrus ATM locator
- Visa, Plus, and Plus Alliance ATM locator
- American Express ATM locator
Most Irish ATMs only accept cards with 4-digit PINs. Irish cards typically have chips and PINs, while some American cards don’t have chips, but may still be usable at Irish ATMs. If you’re unable to use your chip-less debit/credit card at an ATM, merchants should still likely accept it. You’ll just have to sign a receipt instead of enter your PIN.
Irish ATMs don’t have daily maximum withdrawal limits, but your home bank might. If you think you might need to withdraw large amounts of cash daily on your trip to Ireland, you can contact your bank and have your daily ATM limit temporarily increased to make sure you can get enough cash to have on hand.
It’s always a good idea to let your bank know before you travel anywhere, whether it be a domestic or international trip. Before you go to Ireland, let your bank know what dates you’ll be there so your card doesn’t get shut down for what the bank thinks is suspicious activity.
Your vacation budget should be going for fun things, not ATM fees. Luckily, there are some tips and tricks you can use to reduce or even eliminate ATM fees while you’re in Ireland.
When you use ATMs in Ireland, they might offer the “helpful” service of displaying your transaction in your home currency rather than in euros. Don’t fall for this — it’s actually something called dynamic currency conversion (DCC), which allows the Irish ATM to charge you for a marked up exchange rate. Horror stories from foreign travellers can be found on many forums, some tourists in Europe citing being charged an additional 18% above the real exchange rate. Instead, always choose to have transactions displayed in the local currency. If you choose to do the transaction in euros, your home bank picks the exchange rate, which will be much closer to the real mid-market rate — the same exchange rate you see when you Google it — and without that pesky markup.
Irish bank ATMs don’t charge fees for withdrawing cash, but privately owned ATMs at grocery stores, nightclubs and kiosks might. Your home bank may also charge you foreign transaction fees for using an Irish ATM so check with them, too.
By using a local Irish bank ATM, you can avoid some ATM fees. Avoiding others may take a little more advanced planning.
Some cards will reimburse your ATM fees either immediately or by refunding the charges monthly. Some cards also have no international fees or foreign transaction fees. If you’re a frequent traveller, it might be worth looking into getting one of these cards to use when you’re outside of your home country.
If every transaction comes with a fee, obviously it makes sense to try to make fewer withdrawals. Take out one large sum of cash at the beginning of your trip, and try to make it last. Use common sense, though, and remember that carrying a large amount of cash on your person isn’t usually a good idea. Keep most of it in a secure spot, like a hotel room safe, if you can.
Tourist heavy areas like hotels, airports and attractions, are more likely to have ATMs with fees or poor exchange rates in Ireland. Try to avoid those and find a local bank ATM instead.
If you have a local bank account in Ireland (or a friend or relative who does), consider transferring money there ahead of your visit with TransferWise. TransferWise moves money at the real mid-market rate, meaning no marked up exchange rates or hidden fees. All you have to pay is a small, fair transfer fee. TransferWise also offers borderless multi-currency accounts with consumer debit cards, which allow users to send, receive and manage money in multiple global currencies, including euros.
Armed with this info, you’re ready to get the cash your need to enjoy your time in Ireland. Safe travels!