Travel Money Guide: Croatia

Find out which cards to use in Croatia so you can have cheap and convenient access to your money.

If you are travelling to Croatia you will be spending in Kuna, the national currency. The exchange rate for the Kuna is fixed to the Euro. The fixed rate allows the Government to make Kuna more expensive during the summer tourist season, which it does every year. ATMs are widely available all over the country and you can pay with your Visa or Mastercard card in most shops, supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, bars, hotels, hostels and when buying transport tickets. All you need is a debit, credit or travel card with a chip, and a 4 digit PIN number.

Compare travel money options for Croatia

Rates last updated August 21st, 2018
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
3% of the cash advance or $4 (whichever is greater)
$0 p.a.
No foreign transaction fees on international purchases including international purchases online, together with a no annual fee.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
0% of transaction value
$225 p.a.
Receive 40,000 bonus Velocity Points, 2 yearly Virgin Australia lounge passes, plus enjoy $0 overseas purchase transaction fees.

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Rates last updated August 21st, 2018
Name Product Product Description Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Monthly Account Fee Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Eftpos Fee
ING Orange Everyday Account
Receive a rebate on any international transaction fees and international ATM fees when you deposit at least $1,000 a month and make at least 5 card purchases.
NAB Classic Banking with Platinum Visa Debit Card
$10 cashback on contactless purchases, $0 foreign transaction fee and complimentary travel insurance.
$10 monthly account fee.
Receive $10 cashback when you spend $1000 on contactless purchases. Complimentary travel insurance, transport accident insurance, purchase protection insurance and more when you meet eligibility criteria.
HSBC Everyday Global Account
No foreign ATM or transaction fees.
$0 monthly account fee.
Enjoy no minimum ongoing balance or transaction requirements and the flexibility to hold up to 10 currencies. Apple Pay and Google Pay available.

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Rates last updated August 21st, 2018
Name Product Description Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Reload Fee Initial Load Fee
Hold up to 10 currencies and lock in your exchange rate. No load, reload or transaction fees on purchases and part of a worldwide ATM alliance.
AUD 3.50, USD 2.50, GBP 2.00, EUR 2.20, NZD 4.50, CAD 3.00, HKD 20.00, SGD 4.00, THB 95, JPY 260

Hold up to 11 currencies, with $0 reload options and get a locked-in exchange rate.
AUD 1.95, CAD 2.00, EUR 1.50, GBP 1.25, HKD 15.00, JPY 160, NZD 2.50, SGD 2.50, USD 1.95, THB 70.00, AED 6.50

Load up to 5 of 11 available currencies and pay no withdrawal fees at over 50,000 ATMs in the Global ATM alliance. Plus, instant load and reloads.

Non-partner: AUD 2.00, USD 2.00, GBP 1.50, EUR 2.00. NZD 3.00, CAD 2.50, HKD 15.00, SGD 3.00, JPY 200, THB 75.00, ZAR 20.00

Load up to 5 of 11 available currencies and pay no withdrawal fees at over 50,000 ATMs in the Global ATM alliance. Plus, instant load and reloads.

Non-partner: AUD 2.00, USD 2.00, GBP 1.50, EUR 2.00. NZD 3.00, CAD 2.50, HKD 15.00, SGD 3.00, JPY 200, THB 75.00, ZAR 20.00

Offers $0 reload options and locked in exchange rates. Use the Currency Pass to spend in up to 10 currencies everywhere Mastercard is accepted.
AUD 3.50, USD 2.50, EUR 2.50, GBP 2.00, NZD 3.50, THB 80.00, CAD 3.50, HKD 18.00, JPY 260.00, SGD 3.50
Load up to 5 of 11 available currencies and pay no withdrawal fees at over 50,000 ATMs in the Global ATM alliance. Plus, instant load and reloads.

Non-partner: AUD 2.00, USD 2.00, GBP 1.50, EUR 2.00. NZD 3.00, CAD 2.50, HKD 15.00, SGD 3.00, JPY 200, THB 75.00, ZAR 20.00

Load up to 5 of 11 available currencies and pay no withdrawal fees at over 50,000 ATMs in the Global ATM alliance. Plus, instant load and reloads.

Non-partner: AUD 2.00, USD 2.00, GBP 1.50, EUR 2.00. NZD 3.00, CAD 2.50, HKD 15.00, SGD 3.00, JPY 200, THB 75.00, ZAR 20.00


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How much money do I need to bring to Croatia?

Croatia is no longer the super-cheap holiday getaway it once was, but you can still expect to find lower prices than Western Europe. During the summer season, along the coastal stretch, prices are much higher than the rest of the year. This can’t really be avoided, but if you are on a shoestring budget, you can still scrape by saying in hostels and cheap pensions. On the other hand, if you have cash to splash, Croatia is an excellent place to let loose and live a glamorous life, even for just a week.

Basic costs Midrange A royal experience
bldg One night
Dorm: AUD$29
Campsite: AUD$8.00
One night
Hotel - AUD$120 p.p.
One night
4 Star Hotel - Double AUD$170
utensil Basic meal at a small restaurant
Meal at a midrange restaurant
Fine dining
AUD$60 p.p.
camera Walk around the city
It’s free
A local city bike tour
AUD$35 p.p.
Private sailing trip
AUD$200 p.p.

*Prices are approximate and subject to change.

Exchange rate history

Over the past 12 months, on average, AUD$1 will get you about HRK5. While it’s extremely difficult to predict where forex rates will move in the future, over the past couple of years, changes in value between the two currencies will have had little or no significance for Australians visiting Croatia (think 0.03 cents).

Year Average annual exchange Australian Dollar (AUD) to Croatian Kuna (HRK)
2012 6.065984
2013 5.525934
2014 5.190515
2015 5.161957
2016 5.065701
2017 5.135004

*Exchange rates are accurate as of 5 September 2017

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Should it be a travel card, a debit card or a credit card?

You should have little trouble with Visa and Mastercard acceptance in Croatia. American Express is accepted in fewer places than Diner Club. If you want to avoid extra bank fees in Croatia, make use of a variety of cards and use each one for a specific purpose. For example, choose a card that does not charge for currency conversion for over the counter payments and a different card for ATM withdrawals — even better if you can find a card that suits both purposes.

A quick summary of travel money options in Croatia

Travel money option Pros Considerations
Debit cards for travel
  • Protected by PIN security
  • Debit cards are widely accepted in Croatia
  • Access funds from an ATM or pay for purchases over the counter
  • Emergency cash facilities
  • Save on overseas ATM fee when you withdraw
  • $0 account keeping fees if you deposit at least $2,000 per month
  • Unlimited free withdrawals at selected banks
  • Currency conversion fees on foreign transactions
  • Lost debit cards while overseas can be easily blocked, but not easily replaced
  • No emergency cash
  • No backup cards
Prepaid travel money cards
  • Protected by PIN & chip
  • Pre-load and secure your exchange rate in multiple foreign currencies
  • Accepted worldwide
  • Emergency card replacement and backup cards
  • Ideal for managing your travel budget
  • No travel card allows you to pre-load Kuna
  • Reloading time
  • Currency conversion and international ATM fees
Credit cards for travel
  • Protected by PIN & chip
  • Access to funds up to your credit limit
  • Accepted worldwide
  • No currency conversion/ transaction fees
  • Benefits including rewards points on spending, 0% purchases, frequent flyer perks, complimentary travel insurance
  • Emergency card replacement
  • Can charge high withdrawal and cash advance fees
  • Higher spending limit (depends on your approved credit limit)
Traveller's cheques
  • Secure and can be easily replaced if lost or stolen
  • Photo I.D. needed to cash cheques
  • Can be costly with initial purchase charges
  • Not all merchants accept traveller's cheques
  • Payment flexibility
  • Convenience
  • More difficult to manage expenses
  • Higher risk of theft

This table is a general summary of the travel money products in the market. Features and benefits can vary between cards.

How travel money products work in Croatia

The best way to take travel money to Croatia is to use a card with low or no currency conversion fees and foreign ATM transaction charges fees that allows you to withdraw, spend and use the local currency, Kuna.

Using prepaid travel cards

There are no travel cards on the Australian market which allow you to load, withdraw or spend Kuna. So while your travel card loaded with a major international currency such as euros, pounds sterling or Australian dollars will be accepted in Croatia, currency conversion fees apply (there are a few travel cards which don’t charge for currency conversion). If you’re stuck on a travel card, try to find the following:

  • Travel cards which don’t charge for currency conversion charge international ATM withdrawal fees
  • Travel cards which give you free international ATM withdrawals charge more than usual for currency conversion

Using debit cards

Travel debit cards allow you to conveniently and securely access your own money in Croatia, minus the extra fees. The Citibank Plus Transaction Account is the leading travel debit account: pay nothing for currency conversion and pay no international ATM fees (local ATM operator fees are unavoidable in Croatia). The Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account is another option. Citibank and Bankwest are the two providers which won’t charge international ATM fees (AUD$5 per ATM withdrawal).

  • Tip: When you’re making a purchase over the counter with your card, if you’re asked whether you want to pay in Aussie dollars or kuna, always pay in the local currency. You’ll lose out on the exchange rate otherwise.

Using credit cards

Visa and Mastercard credit cards — the majority of cards issued in Australia — are widely accepted in Croatia. The currency conversion fee (or lack thereof) is what to look for. There are a handful of credit cards which let you spend in another currency without paying the extra 3%. Bankwest are worth mentioning: Bankwest Platinum credit cards don’t charge for currency conversion.

Watch out for cash advance fees and charges if you make a withdrawal on credit, it’s one of the most expensive ways to get cash.

  • Tip: Some credit cards offer complimentary international travel insurance when you charge the cost of your travel ticket to your card.

Compare credit cards with low cash advance rates here

Using traveller's cheques

Don’t concern yourself with traveller’s cheques, this travel money product is more hassle than it’s worth in Croatia. Card payments are the norm in Croatia and card providers offer money back guarantees if you’re the victim of fraud. These features have made traveller’s cheques redundant.

Using an ATM in Croatia

ATMs, called Bankomats, easily found all over Croatia. Croatian ATMs use the 4 digit PIN and chip system so all Australian debit and credit cards will be easily accepted. If you are withdrawing a large sum of money, you may get stuck with large bills. The 500 Kuna, and even rarer 1,000 Kuna will be tricky to change, especially from smaller coffee shops, bakeries and boutiques. If you find yourself stuck with larger notes, try getting them changed at a post office, or in the bank of the ATM you used to make the withdrawal.

Paying with cash in Croatia

Since July 2013, Croatia has been an official part of the European Union, but it’s yet neither a part of the schengen agreement, which allows border-free passage between signatory states, or part of the Eurozone. That means that travellers to Croatia will need to be prepared to spend the Croatian local currency, Kuna, during their travels.

While visitors will find that prices are often quoted in euros, and euros are widely accepted, especially in touristy areas, using euro cash rather than kuna will almost certainly leave you short-changed. Use kuna rather than euros, either by exchanging foreign currency, withdrawing from an ATM or by using credit or debit cards to make purchases.

  • Exchanging cash. Exchanging cash is a simple affair in Croatia. Exchange booths (Mjenjacnica), banks and post offices will change euros, American dollars, Australian dollars, pounds, Serbian dinar, Hungarian forint and Swiss francs. Post offices and banks are usually the most dependable places to get your money changed.
  • Exchanging currency on the Islands. If you are heading to one of Croatia’s many beautiful islands, it is best to exchange foreign currency into the Kuna on the mainland (or just use an ATM — operator fees apply). Tourist agencies and exchange offices are plentiful on the islands, but the rate is often unfavourable.
  • For road-trippers. If you are arriving to Croatia by car, one of the first things you see once you cross the border will be exchange booths. Just change enough to get you to the nearest town unless you are absolutely sure of the exchange rate. Roadside exchange booths at border crossings are notorious for poor exchange rates. Even if you are arriving from neighbouring countries that don’t use Euro, make sure you have Euro to change. It is by far the most accepted foreign currency for exchange. You will be surprised at the unwillingness of exchange booths to accept Serbian Dinar on the Croatian/ Serbian border or Hungarian Forint on the Hungarian/Croatian border, for example. In emergency situations or if you don’t have Kuna, Euro cash always speaks loudest.
  • For jet-setters. True for almost everywhere in the world: Do not get your money changed at the airport. If you need cash, and don’t have Kuna, just change a small amount to get you into town.
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An interview with Phil on the Croatian Coast

What cards did you take?

Why did you take these cards?

  • Citibank. Phil applied for the Citibank account before he left because the account doesn’t charge for currency conversion or for international ATM withdrawals. He used the card over the counter where he could and for ATM withdrawals while on he was on the TopDeck Croatian Sailing Cruise. This was his main travel account. He transferred a lump sum to this account before he left.
  • Westpac. Phil originally applied for this credit card to utilise the balance transfer feature. He used this card to pay for his airfare to Croatia because of the complimentary international travel insurance feature.
  • St.George. He didn’t plan on using this debit card in Croatia, and he didn’t, but he took it anyway to use as a backup because “three cards are better than two”. He also thought he may be able to use his St.George Debit Card to make free ATM withdrawals at Westpac Global Alliance ATMs when he left Croatia and headed to France (BNP Paribas).

Did you withdraw from ATMs?

He says he made multiple ATM withdrawals over three weeks and probably paid about $70 in ATM fees. Phil tried to budget, but the lure of cocktails and drinks on the Mediterranean (especially when paying for drinks on the TopDeck boat) blew this out a little so he had to make more ATM withdrawals than he had originally planned. He didn’t have a problem finding an ATM which accepted Visa and gave instructions in English.

Where could you use your cards?

He says he didn’t have a problem when he was shopping at larger establishments such as supermarkets, restaurants and hotels. Phil and his friends did have to pay cash when they rented an apartment in Split. It was a private rental and the apartment owner required cash in hand. The were other times when Phil couldn’t use his card too. He says it’s a common sense thing – markets, small restaurants and bars are cash only.

What do you think is the best way to take money to Croatia?

Phil says a debit card and a credit card combination was a good way to fund his travels. He didn’t bother with applying for a travel card because as he says, “they’re pretty useless to use in Croatia.”

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Getting familiar with Croatian Kuna banknotes

Buying currency in Australia

Croatian kuna is an exotic currency. Foreign cash providers such as Australia Post or Travelex don’t sell kuna as cash to collect before you go. Your bank may be able to help you; however, you’ll pay a commission for the service (you may be able to avoid a commission if you order online). Looking at the Big Four Banks, only the Commonwealth Bank publish the Croatian kuna exchange rate for foreign cash orders. NAB, ANZ and Westpac can supply kuna upon request.

Exchange rates

Credit cards and debit cards use the Visa and Mastercard (etc) exchange rate, which is the most favourable rate everyday consumers can get when dynamic currency conversion takes place (at the time of the transaction). You’ll come out on top using a credit card or debit card which doesn’t charge for currency conversion compared to a travel card.

Find cash and ATMs in Croatia

Why you’ll need a combination of travel money options

Travel cards don’t support Croatian kuna, the cards which don’t charge for currency conversion will make up the fee by charging an international ATM withdrawal fee. Note that there are debit cards and credit cards which waive both the currency conversion and international ATM fees. A combination of these products will ensure you have the right card to use for the right transaction as well as access to cash in case one card is stolen or lost.

Since the time of the Roman Empire, the glittering stretch of coastline and smattering of islands in the Adriatic sea have attracted travellers, investors and conquerors alike, all eager to experience this magical part of the mediterranean. Make the most of your trip in Croatia and organise your finances before you go. Compare the travel money products available to you to decide on the best way to take and spend money in Croatia.

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Get travel insurance quotes for your holiday in Croatia

Croatia offers holidaymakers a chance to look into a world long past. From the seaside castle walls of Dubrovnik (or as it better known these days as the site of Kings Landing in Game of Thrones) to the old world charm of Zagreb, Croatia has many sights for tourists to see.

However, just like travelling anywhere Croatia presents a unique set of risks, which is why every travellers needs travel insurance. Travel insurance for Croatia covers:

  • Repatriation
  • Resumption
  • Cancellation
  • Lost luggage
  • Missed connections
  • Personal liability

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