Using Money and Credit Cards in Europe
As you plan for your upcoming Christian tour with Inspiration, you may be wondering about using money and credit cards overseas. We’ve made the following recommendations to help you save money, avoid unnecessary fees and focus on an exceptional travel experience.
- Consider leaving all unnecessary debit and/or credit cards at home.
- Once you determine which cards you’ll bring, remember to notify each credit card company of your intended travel dates and locations to ensure fraud alerts and holds are not placed on your accounts.
- For each card, you’ll want to store the bank’s contact information in a separate, secure location in the unlikely event your wallet or purse is lost or stolen.
- We strongly recommend visiting your bank a few weeks before your trip to request foreign currencies (most banks need a few weeks to process this request). Doing this will save you time waiting in currency exchange lines or searching for an ATM after you arrive, and likely save you money by using a better exchange rate.
Almost all European destinations accept U.S. credit or debit cards. If you’re planning to use your credit cards, you’ll want to check with each credit card company to determine the international exchange fee for each card. Because the difference of a few percentage points could wind up costing you hundreds of dollars (depending on your purchases), we recommend using cards with lower international exchange fees. Using your credit card for large purchases gives you more protection for the items you buy on your trip (you can look at your credit card statement to verify all of your purchases). More country-specific details can be found in the list below:
The Euro (€) is the sole currency of the European Union member states (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal and Spain). U.S. dollars are not widely accepted in Europe, but you can exchange U.S. currency at banks, exchange booths, and airports. We visit very few places with ATMs on tour, so we strongly recommended you arrive with the proper currency.
The Czech Crown (CZK) is the official currency of the Czech Republic. Although part of the European Union, Euros are not widely accepted. U.S. currency is not typically accepted at most shops and restaurants, but you can exchange currency at banks, exchange booths and airports. Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted.
In Switzerland, the currency is the Swiss Franc (CHF). U.S. dollars are not widely accepted in Switzerland, but you can exchange U.S. currency at banks, exchange booths, and airports. We visit very few places with ATMs on tour, so we strongly recommended you arrive with the proper currency. Visa and MasterCard are usually accepted.
In the United Kingdom the currency is the British Pound Sterling (£), or more commonly the pound. U.S. currency is not typically accepted at most shops and restaurants. ATMs are usually available and will dispense pounds and all major credit cards are widely accepted.
For more information please call one of our Reservation Coordinators at 800 247 1899, Monday through Friday between 8:30am-5:00pm, Pacific Time.