When you travel to other countries, you’ll need to consider various factors if you want to limit the amount of stress you encounter on your trip. A possible language barrier is one point worth considering, but how you’re going to pay for items is perhaps the biggest area for consideration.
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More countries worldwide are moving away from cash, and you can often pay in many destinations with your card. Apple Pay has also expanded in multiple markets since it was originally released in 2014.
This article will provide useful information on how to use Apple Pay abroad. You’ll learn where in the world it’s available, plus much more.
Why You Should Use a Mobile-Only Bank Instead of a Normal Bank for Apple Pay
While you can use your ordinary bank card for Apple Pay purchases abroad, you should consider looking at alternatives. Mobile-only banks are popular in many countries, and they have several advantages when you’re buying goods and services in other countries.
The main benefit of using a mobile-only bank for Apple Pay when abroad is that you won’t have to deal with foreign exchange fees. Moreover, you’ll get a favorable exchange rate when traveling in other countries.
Another benefit of using a mobile-only bank is that the money leaves your account straight away. Therefore, you’ll be able to see exactly how much you have to spend for the rest of your trip.
How Can I Add My Bank Card for Travel to Apple Pay?
If you want to add a travel bank card to your Apple Wallet, the process is identical to doing so with a card you use for everyday purchases in your home country. To refresh your mind, here’s what you need to do:
- Open your Apple Wallet.
- Tap the + icon in the top right-hand corner.
- Choose Debit or Credit Card. If you previously used a card and want to re-add it, go to Previous Cards instead.
- The Apple Pay window will appear if you’re adding a new card, and you’ll need to hit the Continue button.
- Scan your the card you want to use for Apple Pay abroad. Alternatively, select Enter Card Details Manually at the bottom of the screen and fill out the necessary information.
Once you’ve added all your details, you can confirm everything and begin using the service.
Which Card Should I Use With Apple Pay When I’m Abroad?
When using Apple Pay abroad, it’s a good idea to think about using an alternative to your normal bank at home. Traditional banks often add surcharge to payments in different currencies, and you might receive a worse exchange rate than the market medium.
Several mobile-only banks allow you to pay abroad without incurring huge fees. You can usually set up an account for free, but if you want a physical card, you’ll need to pay the delivery costs. When you go on a trip, you can add money from your main bank — and another option is to create pots and save up in advance.
Which Countries Is Apple Pay Available In?
When writing in November 2023, you can use Apple Pay in over 75 countries and territories. You’ll have a trickier time using the service in Africa, as South Africa and Morocco are the only two countries offering Apple Pay here at the moment.
You’ve got a selection of options in the Asia-Pacific region – including New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, and Singapore.
Apple Pay has significant coverage in Europe. You can use the service in the UK and Ireland, along with all of the Nordic countries. The solution is also available in Switzerland, Italy, Germany, and numerous other nations – such as France, Portugal, and Belgium.
You can also use Apple Pay in Canada and the US, along with 11 Latin American countries – including Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and Brazil.
You can find a full list of the countries where Apple Pay is supported on the Apple website. Note that unlike Apple Pay, you cannot currently use Apple Card outside of the US.
Before Using Apple Pay Abroad, Check to See How Popular Cash Payments Are in Your Destination
While Apple Pay is accepted in several countries around the world, you’ll need to make sure that cash payments are common in your chosen destination. You won’t have any issues in the UK, where a significant number of payments are made by card. Sweden is another place where you’ll likely be able to use Apple Pay; some establishments in the country don’t accept cash whatsoever.
However, you will occasionally visit places where you might expect to have widespread card payments – but find out that this isn’t the case. Germany is one example; while many places in the biggest cities accept card payments, it’s still common for the locals to pay with physical money. Moreover, some smaller establishments will only permit cash payments.
Another example where Apple Pay is available, but card payments aren’t always accepted, is Spain. If you visit smaller cafés and restaurants, you may need to have some physical cash available. Fortunately, you’ll find ATMs in most countries that prefer cash payments; make sure to use an official bank, as you’ll typically pay lower fees and get better rates.
Using Apple Pay Abroad: A Convenient Way to Travel and Buy Goods and Services
Many countries have embraced cashless payments, and contactless payments are becoming more widespread. Apple Pay has made it easy to pay for items with your smartphone instead of needing to take out your card. If you traveled abroad 10 years ago, you’d have encountered several more difficulties with paying for items than today.
Depending on where you’re traveling to, Apple Pay can be a handy companion to help you purchase goods and services quicker. However, you should use a bank card that gives you a better exchange rate and doesn’t charge you for using your card in another country.
Once you’ve added your bank card to Apple Pay, you’re ready to start paying with the service. And if you’re traveling to a country that doesn’t yet use the solution, you may find that this changes sometime in the future. It’s also worth remembering that you can use Apple Pay on your Apple Watch when traveling, and not just your iPhone.
Danny has been a professional writer since graduating from university in 2016, but he’s been writing online for over a decade. He has been intrigued by Apple products ever since getting an iPod Shuffle in 2008 and particularly enjoys writing about iPhones and iPads. Danny prides himself on making complex topics easy to understand. In his spare time, he’s a keen photographer.