Discover cards are accepted by more than 10.4 million U.S. merchants. Outside the United States, you can use Discover cards in 185 countries and territories. But there are some noticeable gaps, including Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Taiwan. You can check Discover’s international-use map to see where, exactly, your Discover credit card will work.
Even in the countries where Discover Card is accepted, you’ll still find many merchants that only accept Mastercard and Visa. That’s a big reason why Discover ranks 7th out of the 10 largest credit card companies in WalletHub’s International Travel Credit Card Report.
Here are the regions where Discover is not accepted:
Caribbean: Cuba, Haiti
South America: Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Bolivia, Chile
Europe: Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, Belarus, Moldova
Asia: Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Taiwan, North Korea
Oceania: New Caledonia, Vanatu, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Brunei
Africa: All but 7 countries
Middle East: Almost all countries
The truth is, Discover cards really can’t compare to Visa and Mastercard credit cards in terms of international acceptance. You can use a Visa or Mastercard virtually anywhere on Earth that accepts credit cards. But there are plenty of countries where Discover cards won’t work, which means you’d either need to bring a lot of cash or a different credit card.
A Discover card is accepted in 200 countries and territories internationally. That includes India, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Puerto Rico, the United Arab Emirates and most other popular destinations for American business and vacation travelers. But just because a Discover card is accepted by at least some merchants in a given country does not mean you should rely on it exclusively. Even Discover classifies its acceptance as low in places like France and Russia. So, you may want to bring a … read full answerVisa or Mastercard along, too. Those two networks are accepted worldwide.
Here’s where Discover cards are most & least likely to be accepted internationally:
High Merchant Acceptance: Argentina, Dominican Republic, India, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Puerto Rico, Chile, Spain
Moderate Merchant Acceptance: Brazil, China, Canada, Costa Rica, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom
Low Merchant Acceptance: Australia, Egypt, France, Russia
No Merchant Acceptance: Bolivia, Cuba, Iran, Pakistan, most of Africa and the Middle East
There are more countries in each of these groups. And you can check out Discover’s international acceptance map for a complete breakdown. But this list will give you a good idea of what to expect in the most popular international travel destinations.
If Discover is widely accepted in your international destination of choice, you should definitely consider getting a Discover card to bring with you. Discover credit cards are well-suited to the task in the sense that none of them charge foreign transaction fees. The Discover it® Miles card is an especially good choice, giving you 1.5 miles per $1 spent and doubling the rewards you earn the first year, all with a $0 annual fee.
Discover is accepted almost everywhere in the U.S., as the network has a 99% acceptance rate among all domestic businesses and e-commerce sites that take credit cards. Internationally, Discover’s Global Network offers acceptance in nearly 200 countries and territories. Unfortunately, that number is slightly behind both Visa and Mastercard, the world’s two largest credit card networks in terms of global acceptance. You can visit the Discover international credit card acceptance page to see which countries accept Discover cards.… read full answer
You should also be aware that while around 10.4 million merchants nationwide will accept your Discover card, there are still some retailers in the U.S. that will not. For example, Costco, one of the nation’s biggest retailers, does not accept Discover cards, as it has an exclusive partnership with Visa and will only take Visa cards at its wholesale warehouse clubs. Other merchants such as small family-run businesses or major chain-restaurant franchises, may or may not accept your Discover card, depending on the business owner.
To know for sure if a retailer accepts Discover cards, look for the Discover logo at the business or online checkout area. Or, you can always ask if the merchant takes Discover cards before you use the card to complete your purchase.
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