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The 6 Best Credit Cards to Use in Ireland in 2024

Jarrod Suda

Guide

Mar 25, 2024
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Getting read to wander through Dublin's streets and marvel at the Cliffs of Moher? While cash is handy for certain things like cozy pubs and local markets, having the right credit card can make your trip even more enjoyable.

In this guide, we'll explore credit cards that are widely accepted in Ireland and avoid international fees. Plus, these credit cards can earn you rewards while you spend. We'll also recommend some debit cards like Revolut and Wise to use in Ireland when you need to take out some cash for catching a taxi or grabbing a quick bite.

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Revolut and Wise offer multi-currency accounts, allowing you to convert your USD balances to Euros at the mid-market rate:

  • Revolut: Withdraw $400/mo, then a 2% fee applies (for Standard tier members);
  • Wise: Withdraw $100/mo, then a $1.50 charge plus 2% fee applies.

What Credit Cards Are Accepted in Ireland?

In Ireland, Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted, with American Express being less common but still available in some places. Just make sure to opt for credit cards that bypass foreign transaction fees. We'll outline some of the best options later in this article.

Potential Fees When Using Credit Cards in Ireland

Watch out for these four fees when spending abroad:

  1. Foreign Transaction Fee: Standard fees typically amount to 3% per transaction, which can quickly accumulate, costing $30 for every $1,000 spent.
  2. Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) Fee: This is also called a merchant currency conversion fee. Opting for payment in your home currency (USD) instead of local currency (EUR) can result in higher fees. Always choose to pay in EUR in the Republic of Ireland (or GBP if you're in Northern Ireland).
  3. Cash Advance Fee: Using your credit card to withdraw cash incurs fees imposed by the issuer due to the associated risks.
  4. ATM Fee: ATMs often charge fees for cash withdrawals. This fee is hard to avoid, but you can try finding a bank within the Global ATM Alliance that waives ATM fees.

How Can I Avoid Fees When Traveling to Ireland?

You can steer clear of fees if you prepare ahead with the right debit and credit card:

  • Opt for credit cards that waive foreign transaction fees.
  • Always pay in the local currency (EUR) to avoid merchant currency conversion fees. Alternatively, use multi-currency debit cards like Wise and Revolut to avoid the DCC process altogether.
  • Use debit cards for cash withdrawals to avoid cash advance fees.
  • For cash withdrawals, try finding banks within the Global ATM Alliance. Betterment Checking may also have low to no fees in Ireland.

The Best Credit Cards to Use in Ireland in 2024

Explore the best cards for travel spending in Ireland this vacation season. In addition to a credit card without foreign transaction fees that earns points on purchases, also consider a debit card to take out cash cheaply from ATMs.

Product

Card

Foreign Transaction Fee

Exchange Rate

APR on Purchases

Annual Fee

Offers

Points

Website

Revolut Standard Travel Debit Card

None

mid-market rate to plan limit, then Revolut rate

N/A

$0

Access airport lounges worldwide for $37

Up to 5% cash back

Visit

Wise Multi-Currency Card

None

mid-market rate, plus a fixed fee

N/A

$0

Spend your JPY balance like a local

None

Visit

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

None

Visa network rate

21.49% – 28.49% variable

$95

60,000 points after spending $4,000 in first 3 months

1x – 5x

Visit

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

None

Visa or Mastercard network rate

19.99% – 29.99% variable

$95

75,000 miles after spending $4,000 in first 3 months

2x – 5x

Visit

American Express® Gold Card

None

AMEX network rate

21.24% – 29.24% variable

$250

60,000 points after spending $6,000 in first 6 months

1x – 4x

Visit

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

None

Visa or Mastercard network rate

19.99% – 29.99% variable

$395

75,000 miles after spending $4,000 in first 3 months

2x – 10x

Visit

Data quoted 14 March 2024

Revolut Travel Multi-Currency Debit Card

Revolut is the best option to take out cash cheaply in Ireland, thanks to its favorable ATM withdrawal policy that allows for $400 worth of free withdrawals each month. By converting your USD ($) deposits to EUR (€) prior to your transaction (which you can do in the mobile app), the ATMs will recognize your Revolut card as local, bypassing the need for dynamic currency conversion.

Moreover, Revolut offers the added luxury of lounge access not only in Cork and Shannon international airports, but also worldwide, at a cost of $37 per person. This one-off cost certainly beats the high annual membership fees charged by lounge-access credit cards. If you are a paid member of Revolut's higher tiers, you'll receive discounts on lounge access and get a suite of travel insurance benefits.

While the paid tiers offer higher allowances and more perks, this is what you'll get under Revolut's Standard plan:

  • No monthly fee for the Standard Plan;
  • $400 of fee-free ATM withdrawals per month, then a 2% fee;
  • Airport lounge passes for $37 per person;
  • Supports 35 currency balances including EUR;
  • No FX fee for the first $1,000 exchanged monthly;
  • Revolut's FX rate is industry-low, usually ~0.5% (check live here).

Learn more: Read our in-depth Revolut review or watch our video review.

Wise Multi-Currency Card

The Wise Multi-Currency Account is well-suited if you just need a small amount in cash in Ireland, since Wise offers a $100 limit on fee-free withdrawals per month. Beyond this, withdrawals incur a $1.50 fee plus 2%.

If you are not going to take out cash, then card or digital wallet purchases with Wise are a great debit option because it applies the mid-market exchange rate on your purchases (Wise will instead charge an industry-low fee of around 0.5%).

However, just remember that Revolut offers a slightly better deal with $1,000 of fee-free exchanges per month, a feature that Wise does not match.

Here are benefits of the Wise multi-currency account at a glance:

  • Opening an account costs $0;
  • Offers $100 fee-free ATM withdrawals per month;
  • Supports over 40 currencies, including EUR;
  • Offers foreign bank details for 10 countries;
  • Uses the mid-market rate (check live here), with a small fixed fee.

Learn more: Read our in-depth Wise review or watch our video review.

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Do not fall for the dynamic currency conversion trap.

When prompted by ATMs abroad to pay in either USD or the local currency, always choose the local currency. At ATMs in the Republic of Ireland, always choose to pay in EUR (€); and choose to pay in GBP (£) in Northern Ireland.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a staple in my Apple Wallet, serving as my go-to card for all card transactions. Back when I earned the bonus offer, I was able to pay for a round-trip flight from Japan to California, when redeemed through Chase Travel.

For the perks that Chase offers, the $95 annual fee is very reasonable. You'll pay 21.49%–28.49% variable APR on unpaid balances, so pay your monthly balance on time in full to avoid accumulating interest.

Here's a breakdown of the card's offerings:

  • Earn 60,000 points after meeting a $4,000 spend in the first 3 months;
  • Get $50 in credits each year for hotels through Chase Travel;
  • 5x points on travel booked through Chase Travel;
  • 2x on other travel purchases;
  • 3x points on dining, online groceries, and select streaming services;
  • 1x points on all other purchases;
  • Each anniversary, get points equal to 10% of total yearly purchases;
  • 1:1 point transfer to partners;
  • Comprehensive travel and purchase coverage;
  • Uses Visa network rate (check live rate here);
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

My brother chose this card for last year for his international travels, largely for its generous bonus offer and the simplicity of earning 2x miles on every purchase. He was confident he would meet the spending threshold to secure the bonus miles, which helped him cover the entire cost of a US to EU round trip this year. The next time I plan a big flight, this will be the first card I consider to help me with the cost.

The card carries a $95 annual fee, a great trade for the value it delivers, especially for avid travelers. The 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR is similar to that of Chase. It's wise to pay off your full balance monthly to avoid interest.

Here's what makes the Capital One Venture Card a great option for travelers to Ireland:

  • Earn 75,000 miles after meeting a $4,000 spend in the first 3 months;
  • Unlimited 2x miles;
  • Earn 5x miles on hotels and rental cars through Capital One Travel;
  • If you find a better price with 24 hours, Capital One will match it;
  • Get up to $50 in travel credit if price drops within 10 days of booking;
  • Emergency replacement and cash advance if card is lost or stolen;
  • Flexibility to transfer miles to over 15+ travel loyalty programs;
  • Uses Visa (check here) or Mastercard network rate (check here);
  • No foreign transaction fees.

American Express® Gold Card

The American Express® Gold Card is an appealing option for those looking for a travel card from American Express, which is known for its points programs. This card is best for domestic spending within the USA since some spending categories can only earn extra points within the country. AMEX has the most airline points transfer partners of any major U.S. credit card loyalty program, making it an ideal card to help you pay for your flight to Ireland.

Some of the best airlines active in Ireland that also allow the transfer of AMEX points include Aer Lingus, British Airways, Emirates, Etihad, and Iberia.

With a $250 annual fee, the AMEX Gold Card is more expensive than the other cards on this list. But when compared to other AMEX cards, this one is fairly average in terms of price (The Green Card has a $150 annual fee while the Platinum Card's fee is $695). AMEX Gold charges a variable APR of 21.24% to 29.24%.

Here are the benefits that come with this AMEX credit card:

  • Earn 60,000 points after meeting a $6,000 spend in the first 6 months;
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide;
  • 4x points for takeout and delivery in the US;
  • 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year);
  • 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or on AMEX Travel;
  • 1x points on other eligible purchases;
  • $120 Dining Credit, up to $10 monthly at participating partners;
  • $120 Uber Cash, get $10 each month for Uber;
  • Receive $100 credit with a two-night minimum stay on AMEX Travel;
  • Uses AMEX network rate (check here);
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture X credit card is one of the best-priced premium cards on the market, offering exceptional benefits for frequent travelers. It has an incredible 10x reward rate on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One's portal and 5x on flight purchases, with 2x on all other purchases. The card essentially pays for itself with a $300 travel credit applicable to any booking through Capital One's travel portal.

The 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR is the same as the regular Venture Rewards card. The main up front difference is the $395 annual fee, as opposed to the Venture card's $95 annual fee.

Here are the key benefits of the Venture X card:

  • Earn 75,000 points after meeting a $4,000 spend in the first 3 months;
  • Receive 10,000 bonus miles every year starting on first anniversary;
  • $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel;
  • Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®;
  • If you find a better price with 24 hours, Capital One will match it;
  • Get up to $50 in travel credit if price drops within 10 days of booking;
  • Unlimited lounge access for you and 2 guests worldwide;
  • Hertz President’s Circle status for free car upgrades;
  • Uses Visa (check here) or Mastercard network rate (check here);
  • No foreign transaction fees.

What Are the Best Credit Cards to Use in Ireland For Travel in 2024?

Revolut stands out as the best option for withdrawing cash at ATMs in Ireland, thanks to its generous $400 monthly fee-free withdrawal limit. If you exceed this limit, Wise is a reliable backup, also doubling as an excellent debit card for international spending.

When it comes to Chase and Capital One, it's a tough call for me; I'd use both if I wanted. The great AMEX rewards program pays for itself, but also seems like a good tool to use before heading to Ireland.

Ultimately, your choice of card for your trip to Ireland will likely hinge on a mix of cash withdrawal needs, earning points while on your trip, and using accumulated points to pay for your flights:

  1. Revolut Standard Card — Cheapest way to get cash and lounge access
  2. Wise Multi-Currency Card — Best prepaid travel debit card
  3. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — Best for dining and travel points
  4. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card — Best intro offer
  5. American Express® Gold Card — Best way to transfer points to flights
  6. Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card — Best premium travel

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Credit Card to Use in Ireland

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References Used In This Guide

Revolut. Pricing Plans. Accessed 14 March 2024.
Revolut. Standard Fees. Accessed 14 March 2024.
Wise. Cost to Withdraw Cash. Accessed 14 March 2024.
Chase. Sapphire Preferred Credit Card. Accessed 14 March 2024.
Capital One. Venture Credit Card. Accessed 14 March 2024.
American Express. Gold Credit Card. Accessed 14 March 2024.
Capital One. Venture X Credit Card. Accessed 14 March 2024.

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