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Can I pay by credit/debit cards or Euro in Budapest?


In Budapest, credit and debit cards are largely accepted,  especially in tourist areas, though there's also a significant number of business that only accept cash. 

It is however more advisable to pay in cash, especially if you're there for more than a day. When paying,  you will keep getting the question "cash or card"? 

If paying in credit or debit cards, you will notice your bill often comes with a "service fee" which is often an extra 10% of your bill. This is pretty high and adds up fast. 

To avoid overpaying, withdraw cash at an ATM and pay by it instead. 

As for ATMs, there are lots of "Euronet" and other tourist targeted ATMs especially in areas frequented by tourists. 

You're better off withdrawing from a Hungarian bank such as OTP ATMs which are also common. 

The advantage of local bank ATMs is they do not offer to convert the currency for you but instead use the Visa/MasterCard rate. Euronet and other ATMs may offer "Dynamic Currency Conversion", but this tends to be at a worse rate than if you either decline the offer or use a local ATM. 

What's best? Cash is best. If you're in Hungary for more than a day or will be spending on more than a few transactions, withdraw cash from a Hungarian ATM and pay in cash. This avoids the 10% service fee that many establishments will add to your card and also means you can pay in lots of places that don't take cards.

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