How to transfer money to Croatia from abroad (in 2021)

UPDATED: 13/5/2021

Whether you are a tourist traveling in Croatia temporarily, or you are a foreigner who has moved to Croatia, it is vital to know how you can get access to the money in your foreign bank account. Luckily, it is a lot easier to transfer or withdraw money from abroad in Croatia than you might think.

In this article, we’ll go over all of your options including currency exchange.

In this post, we cover:

Show me the money…

#1 Withdrawing money from an ATM (bankomat)

Withdrawing money from your bank account in your home country using an ATM or cash machine is the easiest method, assuming that you’ve notified your foreign bank of your trip/move to Croatia. ATMs (called “bankomat” in Croatian) and banks are prevalent and accept most major cards including Visa, Mastercard with PIN. American Express is even common here.

The limit for most ATMs is 6.000 kuna per day (about 800 EUR). Note that your foreign bank sets their own limit for how much you can withdraw in a day, so keep that in mind.

To get the best exchange rate, do not accept the ATMs’ conversion rate. Instead, decline their conversion and let your bank do it. You will always get the best rate if you let your bank do the conversion.

Sometimes, I’ve experienced cash machines that don’t recognize my foreign bank card. If this happens, do not fret. Just walk about 20 meters and you are sure to run into another bank’s ATM. You can also check out our post on Croatia’s biggest banks that includes lists of their ATM’s all across Croatia. It is available here.

In 2019, Croatian banks started charging withdrawal fees on cards not associated with their bank. This fee is usually between 12 and 26 kuna per transaction. You will be prompted to accept this fee before proceeding with the withdrawal.

#2 Withdrawing money at the post office

Hrvatska Pošta, the Croatian post office, will allow you to withdraw up to 6,000 kuna per day per card at their ATMs. For example, if you and your spouse each have a debit card for the same account, you could each withdraw 6,000 kuna totaling 12,000 kuna for one day (if your daily limit is not exceeded with your bank).

If you want to withdraw money in a post office in person, all you need is your debit card and your passport. There is no limit on the amount of money you can withdraw per day. However, in some small post offices, they may not have enough money in reserve. If seeking a large amount, contact the post office a day earlier, so that they can order the money from a bank if needed.

You can find the closest post office to you using this interactive map.

#3 Charging directly to your card

Cash is definitely king in Croatia. Locals predominantly use cash for all of their purchases. Caffe bars (almost all of them), farmer’s markets and informal shops such as the ones that surround the markets only take cash. However, department stores, supermarkets, some food suppliers with delivery, (most) restaurants, tourist agencies and tourist shops all take credit cards.

As already noted, you will get the best exchange rate from your own bank. This makes using your debit or credit card from your home country an easy and affordable option, eliminating the need to carry tons of cash around. If you plan to use your foreign bank card to make a purchase in Croatia, it is best if you use a card that doesn’t have foreign transaction fees.

Being charged for every foreign transaction can end up making this option more expensive than any of the other ones. There are a plethora of credit cards without foreign transaction fees.

There is one more important tip to know about charging to a foreign card in Croatia. Some credit card terminals will ask in which currency you want to be charged. Just like with the ATMs, you want to charge in the local currency (Croatian Kuna). If you choose your home currency, the company who manages the terminal will decide your exchange rate, not your own bank. Make sure you always let the purchase be charged in Croatian Kuna (HRK).

If you’re making big purchases at department stores or tourist shops and you are not a resident of Croatia, you can get the PDV (value added tax) included in your purchase refunded upon departure as long as you follow the rules. This tax is currently as high as 25%, so it is quite a big chunk. You can read about how to get a value added tax refund here.

#4 Transfer funds using Transferwise

If you have a Croatian bank account and you want to transfer money from your foreign bank account to your account in Croatia, your best and cheapest option is Transferwise. Their rates are usually 6x cheaper than standard wire transfer services plus you can send money between 30+ countries. You can read their reviews on Trustpilot here.

It is important to note that any deposits into Croatian bank accounts above 1000 EUR not tied to a salary trip a wire with the tax authority. It doesn’t mean you’ll hear from the tax authority, but it’s important to understand that this limit exists.

#5 Transfer funds using Xoom

Another cheap way to transfer money from your foreign bank account to your Croatian account is by using Xoom. It is a PayPal service that enables you to send money to more than 150 countries. A list of countries is available here. They offer cheaper exchange rates than banks.

#6 Exchanging foreign cash into kuna

This is the least desirable option of all, which is why it is at the bottom of this post. The Croatian word for “currency exchange” is “mjenjačnica”. You can use “mjenjačnica” or “exchange” when searching for the closest currency exchange office.

Mjenjačnica that are outside of the city center/tourist hubs will usually give you the best rates. There are stand-alone exchange offices, as well as bank and government institutions that offer currency exchange services.

When evaluating an exchange rate, make sure you compare it to the latest exchange rates published by the Croatian National Bank (Hrvatska narodna banka – HNB). You can view those rates here.

The primary downside to exchanging physical cash is that you have to carry around a lot of physical cash, which can be easily stolen or lost. You are better off withdrawing money from an ATM rather than bringing cash to exchange locally.

Do you have any tips or tricks to foreign money withdrawal in Croatia?


See other similar posts

Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. We can recommend one if you contact us.

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21 thoughts on “How to transfer money to Croatia from abroad (in 2021)

  1. http://www.uscommercialrealty.net/properties.asp?id=1
    February 26, 2014 @ 9:38 am

    Good blog. Thanks, we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well.

    {reply}

  2. Jo Dukaric
    July 28, 2016 @ 3:19 pm

    Hi Sara, 

    Apparently the Citibank debit card (and Halifax for UK) is recommended for travel. They don't charge international transfer fees or a conversion fee, but a Croatian bank will most likely add a % fee. There are no Citibanks in Croatia but it can be used wherever Visa is accepted.

    {reply}

  3. Mark Nield
    April 22, 2019 @ 12:52 pm

    In 2018, I had problems withdrawing money from ATMS in POREC – Croatia, I tried my Starling – Monzo & Revolt cards, however the ATM always asked me 1. would I like to accept the exchange rate given by the atm, and if I select no then 2. the ATM asked me if I would like to continue with this transaction with the rate given by my card issuer but there may be a possibility that I would still be charged the rate given by the ATM, and then if I still selected no my card was returned.
    I did however find one ATM that only asked me the first question, and when i selected no i was given my money & my card. I also noted that some ATMS in the Venetian part if Italy last year, had updated there Atms with newer ones, and had started to ask the same questions.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      April 27, 2019 @ 12:03 pm

      Hi Mark,

      When I use my non-Croatia bank card, I sometimes get asked by ATMs about the exchange rate. I always select that I want to be charged in local currency, as that usually gives the best exchange rate. I have encountered some ATMs that won’t even take my card, even though it is a Visa. It depends on a lot of factors: the bank, how new the ATM is, etc. I would try and get a secondary card with a bank that is more widely accepted as a back up plan if you can.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  4. Tony
    October 15, 2019 @ 10:53 pm

    Hi Sara I am looking for the best way to send money “gifts” to family in croatia for birthdays etc, from Canada. Here we can do “E-Transfers” they are instant and free do you know if the local banks do something like this?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      October 16, 2019 @ 11:08 am

      Hi Tony,

      Good question! My recommendation would be Transferwise.

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

  5. Michelle
    March 3, 2020 @ 4:21 pm

    Hi Sara,

    I have a Revolut (non-Croatian) card and noted some ATMs asking additional questions re the exchange rate / not accepting the card. Just wondering if this issue is common for ATMs in Zagreb/ Zadar/ Split and Dubrovnik?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      March 4, 2020 @ 5:12 pm

      Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for the question!

      Yes, this is common all over the country. It is recommended to NOT accept their exchange rate. Usually, the rate the ATM defines is higher than what your bank will charge you.

      With regards to the ATM not accepting your card, sometimes this happens. My American bank card isn’t accepted by certain Erste Bank cash machines, but that is the only time I’ve had a problem. Luckily, there ATMs every 2 meters so if you encounter a conflict, just go to the next machine on the block. 🙂

      Cheers,

      Sara

      {reply}

  6. Tony
    August 18, 2020 @ 11:14 pm

    Hi Sarah I’ve found the best, fastest and cheapest way to send money to a Croatia bank account is by using Xoom by PayPal, a normal transaction costs 3.00cdn and takes 3-4 days to be deposited into a bank account.

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      August 20, 2020 @ 11:07 am

      Hi Tony,

      Thanks for sharing!

      I’ve just checked their fees to transfer funds from the US to Croatia and they quoted the fees as $30.49.

      In your experience, was the fee a flat rate or does it vary depending on the amount you are sending?

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

      • Tony
        September 18, 2020 @ 3:16 am

        Hi Sarah I have sent 200-350 Canadian with XOOM to Croatian bank accounts and my fee was always 2.99 CDN plus they make a little money on the exchange rate they give you but it is alot cheaper than a bank transfer that I used to use that costed 30.00 CDN. I also checked and it looks like it’s the same cost for larger amounts.

        {reply}

        • Marija Tkalec
          May 14, 2021 @ 2:10 pm

          Hi Tony,

          Thanks for your comment, it helped a lot! Our appologies for not replying earlier, but we wanted to update our post first. We took your feedback and included Xoom into our post – see updates (:

          Warm regards,
          Marija

          {reply}

  7. Laura
    January 7, 2021 @ 5:10 pm

    Hello,
    Thank you for your information, it is very useful. I would like to know if transfer from my international bank account in a country part of the EU (European Union) to a bank in Croatia is possible without fees? or has any additional costs?. For example to pay the rent from my int. bank account to one in Croatia_?

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      January 12, 2021 @ 10:59 am

      Hi Laura,

      That is up to your outgoing bank.

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

    • Biljana
      May 19, 2021 @ 4:42 am

      Hello,
      Do you have any experience with sending money via WesternUnion?
      If yes would you recommend it/or not over the others as far as fees and exchange rates and transfer fees are concerned?

      {reply}

  8. Max Pierrepoint-Kerkhoff
    January 18, 2021 @ 6:38 pm

    Hi,

    I’ve opened an Croatian account with Erste Bank, as I was finding that any ATM I used with my UK bank card was charging 10-12% commission, bringing the exchange rate down to 7.5 kuna to the pound, when the rate is hovering around 8.5. I’ll probably use Transferwise to ease the pain, but if you can get the funds into Erste in Euros or GBP without an intermediary, then you’ll manage to avoid getting ripped off.

    Regards,

    Max

    {reply}

    • Expat in Croatia
      January 28, 2021 @ 12:11 pm

      Hi Max,

      Wowza, that is some criminal commission! Thank you for sharing! Your experience will be helpful to others. 🙂

      Regards,

      Sara

      {reply}

  9. Kristina Wood
    May 18, 2021 @ 11:23 pm

    In my experience, Revolut was much more economical to use vs Transferwise for currency exchange and sending/receiving money to other banks.

    {reply}

    • Marija Tkalec
      May 21, 2021 @ 4:12 pm

      Hi Kristina,

      Thanks for the insight! What do you think that were Revolut’s biggest advantages?

      Warm regards,
      Marija

      {reply}

  10. Boris
    July 20, 2021 @ 2:18 pm

    Hi,
    Just wondering if you have any specific advice on the best way to transfer larger amounts of money i.e. for a property purchase? We are looking at transferring Australian dollars.

    {reply}

    • Marija Tkalec
      July 23, 2021 @ 11:59 am

      Hi Boris,

      I don’t have any experience with larger transfers but examine Xoom and Transferwise (they are listed in this article). You may also ask your foreign bank for advice, they might know the answer.

      Warm regards,
      Marija

      {reply}

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