ATMs are widespread. Credit/debit cards are accepted for any transaction.
- ATMs Widespread, even in small places. This is the best way to access cash in Scandinavia. Find out what your home bank will charge you per withdrawal before you go, as you may be better off taking out larger sums.
- Cash cards These are much like debit or credit cards but are loaded with a set amount of money. They also have the advantage of lower withdrawal fees than your bank might otherwise charge you.
- Changing money All Scandinavian currencies are fully convertible.
- Charge cards These include cards like American Express and Diners Club. Less widely accepted than credit cards because they charge merchants high commissions.
- Debit and credit cards Scandinavians love using plastic, even for small transactions, and you'll find that debit and credit cards are the way to go here.
- Foreign currencies Easily exchanged, with rates usually slightly better at exchange offices rather than banks. Avoid exchanging at airports if possible; you'll get better rates downtown. Always ask about the rate and commission before handing over your cash.
- Tax A value-added tax (VAT) applies to most goods and services throughout Scandinavia. International visitors from outside the European Economic Area can claim back the VAT above a set minimum amount on purchases that are being taken out of the country. The procedure for making the claim is usually pretty straightforward.
- Tipping Isn't required in Scandinavia. But if you round up the bill or leave a little something in recognition of good service, it won't be refused.
- Travellers cheques Rapidly disappearing but still accepted in big hotels and exchange offices.
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For current exchange rates, see www.xe.com.
Tipping isn't very usual or required in Scandinavia. Rounding up a bill or cab fare is about as far as most locals go. Tips will be gratefully received, however.