Credit and Debit Card 
Acceptance in Ireland

Irish money and currency exchange rates

In service establishment listings in this website, we use the following abbreviated codes to indicate acceptance of the card in question:    


Code Card Issuer
AX American Express
DC Diners Club
MC Master CardEurope / Maestro*
VS Visa  / Electron

Acceptance of credit and debit cards in Ireland

Acceptance of Visa, MasterCard, and Eurocard is almost universal for retailing and most services, including supermarkets, accommodation, railways, restaurants, gas stations, department stores, payment of parking tickets, airport parking charges, etc. American Express and Diners Club cards are also accepted by some service establishments.  Very few if any establishments accept The Discover Card.


European Debit Card / Maestro

Retailers who accept Visa and MasterCard usually also accept the Maestro and EDC (European Debit Card).


Note: All EuroCard/MasterCard ATMs also accept Visa, Plus, and Eurocheque cards.

Bank Cards and ATM Networks

Card Use this ATM/Bancomat Machine 
Visa AIB, Bank of Ireland, Cashere, National Irish Bank, Ulster Bank & ACCBank ATMs
Plus AIB, Bank of Ireland, Cashere, National Irish Bank & ACCBank ATMs
Eurocard AIB, Bank of Ireland & National Irish Bank  and Ulster Bank ATMs
MasterCard AIB, Bank of Ireland & National Irish Bank and Ulster Bank ATMs
American Express AmEx and Cashere ATMs
Cirrus AIB, Bank of Ireland & National Irish Bank ATMs

Airport ATMs: Bank of Ireland ATMs available at Dublin, Cork and Shannon Airports

Cheques (Checks)

Cheques drawn in Euro on banks located outside IRL are subject to special handling and surcharges.   Such cheques are not generally accepted in the retail environment as there is no European cheque clearing system to process them.

Reliability of Payment Networks

It is inadvisable to rely solely on a plastic card when travelling in any country. The risks include:

  • Loss or theft of the card
  • Corruption of the magnetic stripe rendering it un-machine readable
  • ATM failure*
  • Network failures affecting the authorization process

Beware when travelling anywhere that the Visa and MasterCard organizations and their member banks have a poor record in communicating and enforcing standards, and card rejection problems can arise with cards that work perfectly well "back home" - due for example, to manufacturing tolerance variations affecting readability of the magnetic stripe, security features, the use of PINs at point of sale, etc. The ideal is to bring at least two cards, (preferably issued by different banks - with one a Visa or Visa Plus and the other a MasterCard, Cirrus or AmEx), with some travellers cheques and/or cash for emergencies. Credit cards are slightly more reliable than debit cards because they can be used for over the counter (ie offline) cash advances at bank branches, whereas debit cards usually can only be used in ATMs. Over the counter cash advances often require additional identification (eg national ID card or passport) and frequently cost more than ATM withdrawals using the same plastic. Be sure to know your PINs!

*While the Dublin area is reasonably well served with ATMs, the same can't be said for smaller towns and villages where there may be at most one ATM in the locality.


Lost/Stolen card reporting from IRL from Northern Ireland
American Express 1-800 282 728 01237-696933*
Eurocard / MasterCard 1-800 557 378 0800 964 767
Visa 1-800 558 002 0800 895 082
Diners Club 1-800 709 944 0800 460 800


Calls to 1-800 numbers are free and do not require a coin deposit or card at payphones, within IRL. Calls to 0800 numbers are free within Northern Ireland and do not require a coin deposit or card at payphones. *=toll call.   Some payphones operators bar calls to 1-800 numbers, in which event you are advised to locate an "eircom" payphone.

Exchange Controls

There are no exchange controls in Ireland.





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2005-01-01 16:52   U770bis.12G.42