Credit Cards in Denmark

We can all admit that access to financial services globally has changed almost drastically.  From yesteryears  when people would throng banks, lenders or carry loads of cash, we now have a visa or Mastercard with electronic chip. These card are enough to help holders meet all manner of financial needs. The age we live in today is of cards and Denmark has followed along with this change.

When you need to borrow money from financial institutions in Denmark for whatever reasons, the smartest way to do it is by signing up for credit cards. These cards allow you to borrow up to a pre-set limit and spend on the go. It is like they have already given you the credit but still go ahead giving a safe yet accessible storage for the money.  

Getting started with credit cards in Denmark

For anyone visiting Denmark for the first time, being unable to make payments without cash may be a surprise. The reality in Denmark, just like many countries across Europe, points of payment and points of service are slowly but surely doing away with cash.

Even the financial institutions in Denmark that offer credits and loans will as a common practice make the money available in other ways , not in cash. Mostly, you will have to sign up for and be issued with a credit card or the loan extended to you be deposited in your registered bank account. Nothing like being paid out cash by a teller.  

Imagine arriving in Copenhagen with a briefcase full of US dollars ready to spend it for a three-month vacation. You will not only be inconveniencing yourself by carrying the heavy luggage, but also endangering your life because of the increased risk of being attacked.  Moving with a credit card can help you eliminate such risks if they are bound to happen. 

The advent of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the need of the Danish society to go cashless, considering the concerns with the exchange of physical cash. 

Overview of Credit Card System in Denmark

The use of Credit cards in Denmark is a common practice. Denmark has experienced a tremendous technological and societal development rendering it a cashless society for many years. As a foreigner, you will often notice people moving around various cities in Denmark without carrying the physical cash but credit cards. You can easily make payments for your purchases both online and various merchants simply with your credit card. 

Remember, your credit card provides you with a certain level of financial safety compared to the traditional methods that involve carrying a bunch of notes across big cities such as Copenhagen. Thus, I am here to offer you the detailed information you will need especially on how to use your credit card safely while in Denmark, the type of cards that are mostly used, the possible transactional fees involved in using the cards and how you can obtain a credit card in case you do not have one. Let’s get it started. 

Types of Credit Cards  acceptable in Denmark

The most common credit cards in Denmark are MasterCard and Visa. However, you should not have a challenge in finding other cards such as the American Express accepted by some ATMs and Cash Machines. You will have to decide on which card to choose as both MasterCard and Visa offer attractive and competitive services, thus having the highest merchant acceptance. 

Although you will generally be able to use your foreign card in Denmark, having a Danish bank account will make your life in Denmark exceedingly enjoyable. Ideally, you will eliminate any potential international transaction fees levied on any transaction you perform using your card.

So next time you decide to visit a hotel, café or a local restaurant located in Copenhagen be sure your credit card will be accepted and you will have the opportunity to tastes some of the traditional dishes such as Smørrebrød, Danish meatballs (frikadeller) and Danish beer, among others that the land of Vikings has to offer. Some merchants depending on the origin of your card might charge you a transactional fee. 

Advisably, always ask beforehand anytime you want to use your card. Also, remember to carry your PIN code and the Picture ID anytime you decide to use your credit card in Denmark. I sure hope that you will be able to enjoy your stay in Denmark in an authentically Danish way should you follow these guidelines. 

Best Credit Cards in Denmark 

Most Danish Banks provide good quality credit cards and have good customer service. In this sense, it is difficult for me to say straightforwardly the best bank and credit cards a foreigner can go for. However, you can take a closer look at credit cards from the Bank of Norwegian, Resurs Bank and N26

Requirements to get a credit card in Denmark

It is however important that you must possess certain requirements to be eligible for a credit card in Denmark. These include but not limited to being least 23 years old with residence permit to reside in Denmark. You will be required with a Danish identity number and a bank account to obtain one. 

List of Banks that Issue Credit Cards in Denmark

If you decide to have a Danish Bank account, your bank will issue you a credit card that will easily allow you to make payments without any major problem. Feel free to research and choose from the following list of banks:

  1. Sydbank
  2. N26
  3. Resurs bank 
  4. Bank of Norwegian
  5. Realkredit Danmark A/S
  6. Spar Nord Bank A/S
  7. DLR Kredit A/S
  8. Jyske Bank
  9. Saxo Bank A/S

Credit Card Fees in Denmark

You will incur a few transactional fees when paying with plastic in Denmark. These fees vary depending on a number of factors, which include the type of your card as well as its origin. If you’re paying using the card you obtained in your home country, you’re likely to be charged more compared to the card issued to you while in Denmark. The following charges generally apply: 

  • Foreign Transaction Charges. Here, this is a non-sterling fee, which is usually charged depending on your card. The fees charged can range up to 3 percent of your transactions. 
  • Merchant currency conversion fees. These fees are charged during the process of currency conversation. 
  • Card Payment surcharges. The merchants normally charge this fee. However, credit cards issued by any EU bank are not charged. 
  • Cash machine fees. The machine provider will always charge this fee, although such charges have reduced tremendously in recent times. It should not cause you any alarm therefore. 

How to Avoid Credit Card Fees in Denmark

As an expatriate, you may not be willing to incur any transactional fees when you pay using your plastic. If you want to avoid any fees on your card, you can consider taking a credit card that provides a commission-free currency conversation.

Upon acquisition of the card, you can tell your merchant that you are willing to make payment in Kroner, even if they offer to take payments in pounds or dollars (depending on the type of currency on your card). In such cases, your own banks will not add any margin. 

I sure hope now that you know about the choices and credit options available for you when you arrive in Denmark. Take your time to select the best credit cards in Denmark, but I am sure you will not find any better details and options than the one I have provided here. Good Luck.