Yes, you can use your credit card in Canada, but you’ll have better luck with some types of cards than others. Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted networks, and you should be able to use their cards at any merchants that take credit cards in Canada. Discover cards have only “moderate acceptance” in Canada, as opposed to “high acceptance” in the U.S. American Express cards aren’t accepted everywhere in Canada, either, but they work at “thousands” of places, according to Amex. Fortunately, you can check where American Express and Discover cards are accepted in major Canadian cities before you travel.
You don’t need a chip card to use your credit card in Canada, either. Yes, cards issued by Canadian banks use chip-and-PIN authentication. But merchants will be able to swipe a magnetic stripe card and validate the transaction with a signature, according to EMV Canada.
Here’s where you can use your credit card in Canada:
Mastercard: Should be accepted anywhere credit cards are.
Visa: Should be accepted anywhere credit cards are.
American Express: Not quite as widely accepted as Mastercard or Visa, but over 1.5 million merchants take Amex.
Discover: “Moderate merchant acceptance” according to Discover. Accepted anywhere you see a Discover or Diners Club logo.
Store Cards: Only usable at the merchant they’re associated with. If that merchant has locations in Canada, you should be able to use your card there.
If you’re going to use a credit card in Canada, Visa and Mastercard are your surest bets. You should also make sure your card has no foreign transaction fees so you don’t pay extra. With such a card on your side, you’ll be able to save up to 11.55% on all international purchases, thanks to low card network exchange rates.
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