The Republic of Ireland uses the euro (€), while Northern Ireland uses the pound sterling (£), although the euro is also accepted in many places.
Most banks have ATMs that are linked to international money systems such as Cirrus, Maestro or Plus. Each transaction incurs a currency-conversion fee, and credit cards can incur immediate and exorbitant cash-advance interest-rate charges. Watch out for ATMs that have been tampered with; card-reader scams ('skimming') have become a real problem.
The best exchange rates are at banks, although bureaux de change and other exchange facilities usually open for more hours.
Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards are widely accepted; American Express is only accepted by the major chains, and virtually no one will accept Diners or JCB. Chip-and-PIN is the norm for card transactions – only a few places will accept a signature.
Smaller businesses, such as pubs and some B&Bs, prefer debit cards (and will charge a fee for credit cards), and a small number of rural B&Bs only take cash.
Hotels €1/£1 per bag is standard; tip cleaning staff at your discretion.
Pubs Not expected unless table service is provided, then €1/£1 for a round of drinks.
Restaurants For decent service 10%; up to 15% in more expensive places.
Taxis Tip 10% or round up fare to nearest euro/pound.
Toilet Attendants Loose change; no more than €0.50/50p.
The Republic of Ireland uses the euro.
Northern Ireland uses the pound sterling.
For current exchange rates see www.xe.com.