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Mastercard / Visa Card use in Munich

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Forth, United...
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Mastercard / Visa Card use in Munich

Do many establishments in Munich take Mastercard / Visa payments?

Karlsruhe, Germany
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for Baden-Wurttemberg
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1. Re: Mastercard / Visa Card use in Munich

Some do, others don't. You'll need some cash at hand, which is best obtained from ATMs.

Gambrills, MD
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for Fussen
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2. Re: Mastercard / Visa Card use in Munich

You should tell your credit card company, and the bank where your ATM is from, that you will be using the card in Germany, so they don't block your card due to concerns about unusual activity.

3. Re: Mastercard / Visa Card use in Munich

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Somerset,England
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4. Re: Mastercard / Visa Card use in Munich

What do you mean by establishments? I think most hotels accept them but I wouldn't rely on a card for meals and the further you get away from tourist areas its better to have cash.

Cologne, Germany
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5. Re: Mastercard / Visa Card use in Munich

> Germany is very behind in terms of non cash payment technologies. They are still stuck in the good old cash manners, while the whole world uses cc nowadays.

That's not true. It is true that credit cards like VISA or Mastercard are not used that often, but there is the Maestro system (formerly "EC card") that is extremely widely used. I pay almost everything with this card and hardly anything by cash. There are also other non-cash solutions like using your phone to buy train tickets. Just because in Germany they are not using YOUR credit card system that much doesn't mean that we are still in the Middle Ages. Also, while credit cards are not accepted everywhere, I would say that they are widely accepted in places where tourists are around.

Barcelona, Spain
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for Barcelona, Berlin
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6. Re: Mastercard / Visa Card use in Munich

Maybe "the whole world" (except Germany) buys on credit now, don't think it means Germans are all old fogeys though! Careful with their money certainly, less inclined to get in debt to credit-card companies too.

However as already mentioned, payment by EC card (debit card issued by German banks) is very common. This is no help to a foreign tourist though as for them it will normally mean they have to pay cash. Incidentally places accepting only German-issued EC cards includes the likes of IKEA, i realise IKEA is not obvious shop of choice for your average tourist but a friend of mine visiting her daughter starting studies in Germany discovered the hard way that unlike at IKEA here in Spain, in IKEA Deutschland you cannot pay with a credit card, it's EC card or cash. She actually wrote to them, pointing out they had lost sales as she had had to go elsewhere for quite a lot of purchases, to a department store that accepted Visa. IKEA Deutschland's reply was precisely that:: this is Germany.

Hotels in Germany accept credit cards, department stores accept credit cards, beyond that it's anyone's guess.

Edited: 02 August 2012, 21:52
Frankfurt
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7. Re: Mastercard / Visa Card use in Munich

Not sure when they were last in Ikea but the one in Frankfurt accepts credit cards.

In general the following will accept credit cards: hotels, many but not all restaurants, department stores, supermarkets. Smaller shops and restaurants may and may not accept credit cards. Almost all establishments will accept debit cards, some only from a certain amount. It is always good to keep some cash handy.

Frankfurt
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8. Re: Mastercard / Visa Card use in Munich

Ok, just googled a bit and it appears that not all Ikea stores accept the same payment methods :-).

Southern California
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9. Re: Mastercard / Visa Card use in Munich

When you use Visa or Mastercard, the banks here in US are saying that they follow the conversion rates based on the foreign exchange for that day or the inflated bank rate. What's the experience of American travelers?

I was able to get a Citi thank you - Premier Master Card. There is no transaction rate but I don't know the actual conversion rate they apply. The word *rate is a loose terminology, for example when I buy $1 euro from the bank, it would costs $ 10 more (current rate is $1.22 but banks give it @ $ 1.32). I wonder whether such practice also applies on credit cards.

Frankfurt
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10. Re: Mastercard / Visa Card use in Munich

Most issuers will charge you a fee. 1%, 1.5%,2% of the purchase amount are common fees for usage abroad. The lower the better.

This will still be better than exchanging cash. Withdrawing cash from an ATM could be cheaper if the withdrawal fee is lower than the foreign usage fee of your credit card.