Australia is a travel destination whose standards are comparable to those in Europe. When it comes to the use and acceptance of credit cards, Australians are even more modern than users in Germany, for example. Similar to the United States, you can pay almost anything, even small amounts, with a credit card in Australia. The card is often even required to conclude various contracts, for example to rent a car or to reserve a hotel room. There is no getting around a credit card on vacation in Australia.
Acceptance of credit cards in Australia
Credit cards are generally accepted almost everywhere in Australia. In restaurants, hotels, shops and also when renting vehicles or booking excursions, it is common to pay with a credit card. The system in Australia is currently being modified to introduce a higher security standard. Most restaurants and shops have already adapted their system.
The new security standard requires that the PIN is entered for every transaction. Payment is no longer possible only with the signature. This will soon be rolled out across Australia. There are no significant differences between the individual regions within Australia with regard to the acceptance of credit cards.
Which credit card makes sense in Australia?
In general, Visa and Mastercard credit cards are used and accepted most frequently in Australia . With one of these two cards you should only encounter problems during your trip in exceptional cases, for example in tiny shops or at street snacks that only accept cash. American Express and Diners Club are also accepted in the larger stores and hotels, but are far less common.
When it comes to withdrawing cash with a credit card, the secret number is always required. The respective machine provides information about which credit cards it accepts. Again, it should be noted that basically all ATMs accept Visa and Mastercard, while there are significantly fewer ATMs that accept Diners Club and American Express.
Costs when using the credit card
Because Australia is outside the dollar zone, many transactions incur fees. Some credit institutions in Germany offer credit cards where cash withdrawals abroad, or at least in many countries around the world, are free of charge. Before traveling, everyone should check with their bank about what Australia looks like and what the fees may be. They can be between 1% and 3% of the amount of money and end up being an uncomfortable burden on the travel budget.
Depending on how long the vacation should last, it may be worth thinking about applying for a credit card that does not include fees for going abroad in Australia.
The alternative is of course always to limit the use of the credit card to a few withdrawals of cash and then use Australian dollars locally as a means of payment. The use of cash is still common in Australia, even if a lot of the locals like to regulate it without cash. Traveler checks can also be exchanged at banks in Australia.