As an expat living in or planning a relocation to Slovakia or a foreigner visiting, you have many adventures at your disposal. Whether it’s the historical castles or the beautiful landscapes that do it for you, you bet you are going to have a good time. Besides, with the relatively low cost of living and many earning opportunities, you can access some of the world-class services in the country.
However, once in a while you might want to visit a restaurant or two or purchase that beautiful dress/shirt you saw at the boutique. Carrying a little cash with you every now and then can be handy. However, you can agree that a credit card would be more convenient and safer to carry around, right? Well, luckily for you, most businesses accept credit card payments. You can also read about credit cards in Finland.
Overview of Credit Card Use in Slovakia
It might be disturbing to discover that Slovakia has not shifted to paperless spending as fast as other European countries. However, don’t let this fact kill your spirits just yet. The number of businesses accepting credit card payments in the country continues to increase over time.
If you visit Slovakia’s capital Bratislava, you will find that most establishments accept credit card payments. However, if you have your eyes set on visiting the beautiful World Heritage Site in Vlkolinec, or skiing in glorious Jasna, you will need cash.
VISA and MasterCard are the leading credit cards in Slovakia today. As the most popular cards, they also have many perks. So, you should check the rewards and benefits linked to cards offered by different banks in Slovakia.
You should note that other cards like American Express, Discover or Diners club are not as popular. These cards are not accepted in most establishments in the country. Furthermore, most businesses levy a surcharge for Amex payments. Anyway, the point remains, with or without cash, you can still make purchases in Slovakia. Also remember that you will be charged a fee for withdrawing money so better use your credit card whenever you can.
How Credit Cards Work in Slovakia
The good news for you is that unlike countries like Romania, credit card fraud is not as common in Slovakia. But it always pays to be safe than sorry. So, take every precaution you can when it comes to using your credit card. You can use your credit card to buy bus and train tickets in Slovakia.
Using a credit card in Slovakia is more or less the same as in other countries. Your credit card allows you to spend up to a set limit each month. Your provider will then send you a bill at the end of the month. I would recommend paying this bill in full to avoid interest or other charges.
You will notice that credit card providers in Slovakia charge abnormal interest rates on unpaid credit card debts. So, as helpful as using your credit in Slovakia will be, it could also come at a cost that you might not be too willing or ready to pay. Your provider will also expect you to pay an annual maintenance fee. The amount will vary from one provider to another.
One upside to using a credit card in Slovakia are the benefits that come with them. Most cards have rewards and benefits that you can get from your spending habits and other factors. So, before you choose a provider, you should see which benefits and rewards come with their card.
Getting a Credit Card in Slovakia
Like in most countries, Slovakian banks expect you to open up an account before they can offer you a credit card. Similarly, your credit must be good to get a card. This could mean that you might have to wait a while before you can apply for a credit card.
However, as long as you have a stable income, your bank will not hesitate to give you a credit card. I would recommend Visa and Mastercard if you are planning to travel to other countries in Europe. Maybe I should caution you that credit card fees might apply if you use your card abroad. So confirm with your provider before making a decision.
You will also notice that most of your new friends use these two cards. However, this does not mean that your options are limited to these two. There are other credit cards in Slovakia so shop around.
Your card’s features will depend on your bank so be careful when opening a bank account in Slovakia. Almost every bank in the country offers their customers credit cards so you have many options.
Paying Your Credit Card Bills in Slovakia
Always remember that your ability to keep your credit card spending in check will be determined by payment. Always pay your credit card bill in full every month to avoid further costs. Your best bet is to link a monthly direct debit from your Slovakian bank account to pay your credit card bill. With this, you will never miss any repayments. You are also better off selecting a bank that offers a 0% introductory interest rate to new customers.