Vienna - Post Report Question and Answers

Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Credit cards and bank cards (debit) are widely accepted. There are places that only accept cash. It's safe to use credit cards. - Sep 2022

Becoming more common (especially post-COVID) but it's always best to have some cash on you. ATMs are safe, though the ones in the first district have been known to have scanners attached to them on occasion. - Sep 2021

Credit cards are widely accepted, but always carry cash on you just in case. I always seemed to stumble upon a cafe that was cash only without any cash! - Feb 2019

Yes on all counts, though for some reason my US debit card never worked at a Bank Austria location. - Jul 2018

Credit cards with PIN are becoming more accepted; cash is still very much the preferred currency. Bankomats ("ATMs") are common and do not charge service fees. Paying bills "automatically" with IBAN transfers are also popular. In many ways, Austrian banking is more advanced than in the US. - Nov 2017

Yes. You can even use your old U.S. credit card without the chip at grocery stores. However, you have to look the cashier in the eye, show them the card, announce that it's a credit card WITHOUT a chip and they have to do something to their machine to make it work. Then you have to scan it the CORRECT WAY while you're holding-up the line and everyone (including the cashier) is giving you an evil look. Then press OKAY and sign the slip. (They prefer local Maestro swipe cards.) - Jun 2016

There are a number of stores that will only take chip/pin cards or cash. - Mar 2015

I had no problems using either, although some businesses won't take credit cards, only debit or cash. But largely, that's changing. - Jul 2014

No problem at all, with credit or ATMs. Once in a while you'll find a shop that will only take cash. - Mar 2014

Very safe to use - note though that Austria is still a big "cash only" economy where many restaurants will not accept debit or credit cards so it's a good idea to carry a bit of cash on you. - Aug 2013

My USAA credit card runs into problems sometimes because it doesn't have this special chip that European cards do. It works fine at ATMs though, so I just operate on a cash basis. Not all places here take credit cards, anyway. Most embassy personnel have a local bank account because many service providers insist on payment by bank transfer! - May 2013

I have never had a problem using either, but it's recommended to get an Austrian bank account just to make bill paying easier, and just in case you run into the one store that won't take any of your cards because they don't have a microchip like the Bank of Austria cards. - Jan 2013

They can be used extensively. We had no problems. - Aug 2011

Plan to always have cash. Always! ATMs are available near tram lines and in the city. Very few places take credit cards, even sometimes large restaurants and public places, where in the US you would expect a debit/credit card to be taken. Grocery stores are getting better. - Aug 2011

Safe. - Aug 2009

Getting an Austrian ATM card is the best thing to do (Bankomat card). Many stores do not take visa or mastercard but will take Bankomat. - Aug 2009

Whatever you want, but they arent as plentiful as in the States. Try to get to know a few in places you might frequent. As to reliability and security, there are no problems I know of. - Jul 2009

Safe and numerous. - May 2008

Your ATM card will work here, but you will need an Austrian Bank Account with a debit card for the grocery store. Most places do not take your American MasterCard or VISA. - Apr 2008

ATMs are everywhere and having a Maestro local debit card is the best since it's accepted in all stores. - Jan 2008

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More