Cash or Card in Iceland: Which is the Best Payment Method for Travellers?

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Are you planning to visit Iceland and wondering if it’s better to use cash or card during your trip? It’s a valid question and one that many travelers have before embarking on their journey.

Using Cash in Iceland

Cash still has a place in Iceland. Although most transactions can be done with a card (even small amounts), there are some instances where cash comes in handy. For example, if you plan on visiting local markets, small souvenir shops, or hot dog stands, it’s best to have cash on hand as these places may not accept cards.

Another advantage of cash is that some places offer discounts when paying with cash instead of a card. This is typically seen in restaurants or tour companies, where cash payment can lead to savings on the final bill.

On the downside, using cash means having to carry it with you at all times, which can be inconvenient and even risky. Iceland is a very safe country, but any tourist destination can attract pickpockets or thieves. Furthermore, exchanging currency can come with fees or less favorable exchange rates.

Using Card in Iceland

Using a card in Iceland is incredibly easy, safe, and convenient. Almost every establishment accepts card payments, including taxis, supermarkets, and even gas stations. The most commonly used cards are debit or credit cards with the international payment symbols (Visa, MasterCard, etc.).

One major advantage of using a card in Iceland is that it saves you the hassle of carrying cash and worrying about currency exchange. You can also keep track of your expenses more easily, as nearly all card transactions are recorded electronically and can be viewed online or via a mobile app.

On the downside, using a card can come with transaction fees or foreign currency fees from your bank, depending on your account type and bank policy. It’s worth checking with your bank beforehand to see what fees you may incur and whether there are any international travel deals or options to reduce those fees.

What Should You Use During Your Trip to Iceland?

Both cash and card have their advantages and disadvantages, so the decision will depend on your personal preferences and itinerary. If you plan on visiting remote areas of the country where card payments may not be accepted, or if you want to take advantage of cash discounts, it may be worth carrying some cash. On the other hand, if you prefer the convenience of electronic transactions, using a card may be your best option.

It’s also worth considering a combination of both cash and card in case one method doesn’t work. For example, having a small amount of cash for emergencies or small purchases, and using a card for larger expenses like hotels or tours.

Ultimately, the choice between cash or card in Iceland depends on your comfort level and needs. Be sure to plan ahead, check with your bank, and be aware of the fees associated with each option to make the most informed decision.

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