Situated in the south of Turkey, Cyprus is geographically in Asia. Yet the small island country with a population just over a million people has been a member...
Cyprus is still trying to shake the reputation of financial instability it’s had since the early 2010s. In reality, this Middle Eastern island nation has a modern, streamlined banking system, and tourists should have no problem using their credit and debit cards. Just in case, though, you should always keep cash on hand, and the easiest way to do that is to hit up a Cypriot ATM. Here’s everything you need to know about using ATMs in Cyprus.
ATMs on Cyprus are most commonly found in banks, though they can also be found in some shops. They’re common in the tourist areas of Cyprus, but can also be found in smaller villages, as long as there’s a bank nearby. Some ATMs are located in swipe-to-open lobbies of banks for added security. It’s recommended to avoid these outside of the bank’s operating hours, as the slot near the door is a common target for card skimmers. Always try to use ATMs with security cameras nearby, as they’re less likely to be targeted by thieves.
To find a local bank ATM in Cyprus, try these tools:
Greek banks also commonly operate on Cyprus. Look out for:
Most US, UK and Australian debit and credit cards will work in Cyprus shops, restaurants, hotels, rental car agencies and more. Visa, Mastercard and Maestro are most common. American Express will work in some places. Discover isn’t accepted in Cyprus.
To find an ATM that shares your card’s network, use these tools:
- Maestro ATM locator
- Mastercard and Cirrus ATM locator
- Visa, Plus, and Plus Alliance ATM locator
- American Express ATM locator
There’s some debate on travellers’ forums about whether PINs that are longer than four digits will be accepted; however, all ATMs accept four-digit PINs, so if yours is longer, it may be a good idea to change it before your trip. PIN and chip cards are starting to pick up steam in Cyprus, but magnetic swipe cards will still work in most places where cards are accepted.
There are a lot of mixed reviews about how much cash you can get daily from an ATM in Cyprus. During its financial crisis in 2013, major banks imposed a €100 per day limit on cash withdrawals in the country. While most of those restrictions have since been lifted, there doesn’t seem to be a standard maximum you can expect to be able to withdraw per transaction. If you need to withdraw a large sum of cash in Cyprus, you may need to visit multiple ATMs and make multiple withdrawals.
You should always let your bank know before you travel to a foreign country. Otherwise, you risk the bank seeing foreign activity on your card and shutting it down because it looks suspicious. This could leave you high and dry without access to your cash.
No matter how careful you are, you can still get hit with fees for using ATMs. Here’s how you can avoid and reduce them.
When you use your foreign debit card at an ATM in Cyprus, you might notice that you have the option to view the transaction in your home currency rather than in euros. Dynamic currency conversion seems like a helpful service, but it actually allows the ATM to set its own exchange rate, which may be worse than the mid-market rate. That means you end up paying for what is essentially a hidden fee. You should always choose the local currency when using foreign ATMs.
Cypriot ATMs may charge flat fees for use. Your home bank may charge a flat fee or a percentage as a withdrawal fee. You may also be subject to foreign transaction fees from your home bank, usually as a percentage.
There are a few steps you can take to avoid ATM fees. You can choose your card wisely, looking for one with lower or no fees. You can avoid ATMs at airports and hotels, as they tend to have higher fees to target tourists in those areas. You can make fewer, larger withdrawals to cut down on per-transaction fees.
Or, you can use Wise. Wise moves money internationally at the exact mid-market rate, only charging you a small, fair transfer fee. It also offers borderless multi-currency accounts that allow you to send, receive and hold money in dozens of global currencies, including euros.
Whatever it is that takes you to Cyprus, enjoy your time there and safe travels!
This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.
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