You are recommended to travel with a credit card, as well as a debit card, so that, in case of emergency, a student does not have to worry about how much money is in their debit account. Visa and MasterCard credit cards are recommended as they are the most widely accepted in Ireland.
You are also recommended to set up online banking before you travel to allow you to monitor your account. You are not advised to open a bank account in Ireland. Be aware that using your debit/credit card in an ATM abroad will often incur international service fees. We encourage you to research your bank’s rates concerning international withdrawals and exchange. You should inform your bank of your travel plans before your trip to ensure your cards are not denied/blocked while abroad. Confirm the phone number that you would need to call if you have any problems with your card(s).
Ireland operate on a chip-and-pin system for debit and credit cards, meaning that instead of swiping the card, the card is inserted into a machine that reads a microchip, and the user enters a pin number. Some US debit/credit cards still use swipe technology, which may not be readily available everywhere, so you should always have cash on hand. US debit/credit cards will still work in ATMs regardless of chip-and-pin technology.
If possible, you should purchase some Euro currency in advance so you have it available as soon as you arrive in case you have any problems with your card(s) upon arrival. Euros can be purchased at most major banks.