We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Debit Card Use in Italy

Summersville, West...
Level Contributor
1,292 posts
25 reviews
Save Topic
Debit Card Use in Italy

My bank tells me that they will not charge us a fee for using our debit card for making purchases in a store in Italy. However, they do not know if the store will charge a fee. Any words of wisdom will be appreciated.

Likely To Sell Out
Skip the Line: St Peter’s and Sistine...
22,972 reviews
from $75.90*
Likely To Sell Out
Viator VIP: Sistine Chapel Viewing...
529 reviews
from $410.40*
Likely To Sell Out
Ancient Rome and Colosseum Tour...
2,818 reviews
from $123.10*
Special Offer
Skip the Line: Ancient Rome and...
11,607 reviews
from $57.10*
$63.40
Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane
Level Contributor
11,385 posts
108 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Debit Card Use in Italy

But what exchange rate will they give you through an ATM?

Debit card use is not as common in Europe as a lot of countries ....meaning to purchase a small item will probably not be possible and will soon add up with the exchange rate. You would be better off to withdraw cash every few days for general purchases.

There are no fees from European banks but do check with your bank about their exchange rate... some will take a fair bite of your money.

pittsburgh
Destination Expert
for Rome
Level Contributor
35,118 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Debit Card Use in Italy

A lot of smaller shops in Italy prefer cash and won't take debit or credit cards. I would take out cash as needed from the ATM . This is where you'll get the best exchange rate.

Donna

Boston...
Level Contributor
734 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: Debit Card Use in Italy

Credit cards have more fraud protection that debit cards. What if you don't notice an inadvertent overcharge? With a cc, you can dispute it.

Chicago
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, East End
Level Contributor
5,901 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Debit Card Use in Italy

I have never seen debit cards used for purchase. You will see all the Europeans using a card with a PIN but that is a credit card with a chip and PIN that we cannot get in the U.S. it is not a debit cards. I would think most shops and restaurants would not have access to the banking system required to get approval. Like others have said withdraw cash and use credit cards.

B.

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
3,244 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Debit Card Use in Italy

Agreed. Credit cards or cash for purchases. Debit cards only in ATMs to get cash. (BTW, the Italian word for ATM is "bancomat.")

St Paul, MN
Level Contributor
21,164 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Debit Card Use in Italy

I only use my debit card for purchases in my home city. More protections for credit cards.

7. Re: Debit Card Use in Italy

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post has been removed at the author's request. The author may repost if desired.

Posts on the TripAdvisor forums may be edited for a short period of time. Once the edit period has expired, authors may update their posts by removing and reposting them.

To read more about editing your posts, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/help/how_to_edit_your_posts

Removed on: 6:17 pm, January 27, 2013
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
3,244 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Debit Card Use in Italy

Not sure what TABarrett means. It's the same exchange rate for debit cards as for credit cards.

Le Marche, Italy
Destination Expert
for Rome, Marche
Level Contributor
37,725 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Debit Card Use in Italy

There's some confusion about exactly what is a debit card in various countries. In the US, it's usually taken to mean a card which can be used as a credit card, with a signature, but with the money taken immediately from your account, but can also be used as an ATM card with a PIN, both for purchases and ATM withdrawals. I have such a card based on a US credit union, and it can be used in Italy just as if it were a credit card, and also for ATM withdrawals.

In Italy, there's no real equivalent to this kind of debit card. They have cards that are similar, but the money isn't immediately withdrawn from your account; once a month, the total of the previous month's purchases are paid off from your account. The merchant gets paid whether you have enough money in your account or not, and, if you overdraw, that's between you and your bank. It's sort of a hybrid between a debit card and a credit card. When an Italian merchant sees an American debit card like the ones I've described above, they consider it just like one of these pseudo credit cards, and will almost certainly accept it if they accept credit cards.

There are also ATM cards in Italy, which can only be used with a PIN, either for purchases or withdrawals. The latter is like the kind of ATM card I used to have in the US before debit cards came along. I've successfully used mine in shops in the US (supermarkets and drugstores mostly) that allow PIN based purchases.

Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
8 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Debit Card Use in Italy

I recently used the Visa Cashpassport debit card issued through my bank. I had euros put on it. i was charged 1.50 euro for ATM cash withdrawl but no fee for eftpos. It has a pin and I had no prob at all anywhere. Would def use it again