I have visa debit card linked with UK HSBC account. Are these cards widely acceptable in Iceland?

  • If your card just says VISA it ought to be fine everywhere, just chip and PIN it as you're accustomed to. If it says VISA ELECTRON you will run into trouble. – Michael Hampton Oct 30 '15 at 23:40
  • @Michael Hampton what difference between VISA and VISA ELECTRON – Him Oct 30 '15 at 23:50
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  • @Michael They do not issue it in Ireland, but it will work for sure.. – Nean Der Thal Oct 31 '15 at 0:29
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    @It works in Iceland in Ireland – Him Oct 31 '15 at 18:25

Whilst I've spent a fair amount of time in Iceland, and have a UK HSBC account, I tended to put most things on my credit card. I'm pretty sure that when I used my VISA debit cards I didn't have any problems. It does help to tell them that you are going abroad to make sure they don't block the card for suspicious transactions.

One thing that surprised me was that some places used chip & PIN, some places sign and some places (for low value transactions) don't bother with either.

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  • I was back in Iceland this summer and I think everywhere we used card was chip and pin. – Phil Nov 4 '16 at 16:41
  • Might be HSBC rather than the UK that made it work. I have one from HSBC Canada and it's the only card of mine that worked everywhere in Iceland. – Itai Jan 23 '17 at 22:04
  • Over the years when I've been in Iceland we've used cards from HSBC, nationwide, lloyds, and barclaycard and never had a problem with any of them. – Phil Jan 25 '17 at 10:48

I was on Iceland in September 2014.

You ask about Visa linked cards, but for completeness sake: I have used a Dutch 'Meastro' bank card (type debit card) on Iceland and it was accepted wherever cards were accepted. My Mastercard Credit card worked fine as well.

As Phil said, not always a pin was asked for, but mostly it was.

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My wife and I were in Iceland in June 2015 and used our UK-issued Metro Bank debit card (MasterCard) everywhere, very successfully, right up until the point that it got cloned in a garage's pay-at-the-pump machine, and the bank rang us to cancel it.

The reason for using it was that Metro don't charge transaction fees inside Europe, so it was mildly annoying to have to start using a credit card halfway through the holiday (added 3.5% to the already non-trivial cost of everything).

In short: my debit card worked fine. I was glad that I had some other usable cards with me, though.

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