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If you’re headed on a trip to the Emerald Isle from the UK, 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. But, there are some pitfalls and fees you should be aware of.
And, if you want to avoid exchange rate markups and sneaky transaction fees while spending in Ireland, then check out the Wise card. You can also use the Wise card to spend in 175 countries, including Ireland. Your transactions abroad are automatically converted into British pounds using the fair mid-market exchange rate.
Ireland has a large, but declining, network of ATMS, with 2900 machines across the country.¹ You’ll be able to find them 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 have 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.² 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:
- MasterCard’s ATM locator (for Cirrus and Maestro)
- Visa’s ATM locator
- Discover ATM locator
- American Express ATM locator
Most Irish ATMs only accept cards with 4-digit PINs. Irish cards typically have chips and PINs, as do ones issued in the UK. 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 entering your PIN, or use the contactless option.
Irish ATMs have a daily limit of around €600 ³ to €700 ⁴, but your home bank could have a lower limit. 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 holiday 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 British pounds 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.
Instead, always choose to have transactions displayed in euros so that your home bank picks the exchange rate, which will be much closer to the 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 often outside the UK.
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.
And, if you’re looking for a transparent and safe alternative to manage your money in the UK or when travelling abroad, consider signing up with Wise. You can get a Wise card, a multi-currency card that automatically converts your pounds into local currency in 175 countries at the fair mid-market exchange rate.
Armed with this info, you’re ready to get the cash you need to enjoy your time in Ireland. Remember to check in with your home branch, ask about their partnerships in Ireland to potentially save on ATM fees, and look out for pitfalls. Here is a list of the European countries that charge the highest ATM fees. Safe travels!
- Statista – Number of cash machines in Ireland
- Discover – International use
- AIB – Withdraw cash from account
- permanent tsb – ATM banking
Sources last checked on date: 11-Dec-2022
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.
We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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