How to transfer money to Croatia from abroad: Guide for 2024

euros
Euro, a Croatian official currency

UPDATED: 24.4.2024.

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

When traveling from abroad, you can bring up to 10.000 euros to the EU/EEA Member States, including Croatia. If you are entering or leaving the EU/EEA/Croatia with 10.000 euros or more, you must submit a declaration to the customs office at the border customs office. Let’s go over all your options.

In this article, we cover:

The facts are these…

1. Withdrawing money from an ATM in Croatia

The easiest method is to withdraw money from your bank account in your home country using a bankomat (ATM/cash machine), assuming that you’ve notified your foreign bank of your trip/move to Croatia. ATMs and banks are prevalent and accept most major cards, including Visa and Mastercard with PINs. American Express is even common here.

The limit for most ATMs in Croatia is about 700 euros per day. Your foreign bank sets its 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. Check out our post on Croatia’s biggest banks which includes lists of their ATMs all across Croatia, available here.

In 2022, Croatian banks started charging withdrawal fees on cards not associated with their bank. This fee can be up to 4,80 euros per transaction. You will be prompted to accept this fee before proceeding with the withdrawal.

Note: This is the bank’s fee for ATM charges, and your bank may add an additional fee as well.

2. Withdrawing money at the post office in Croatia

Hrvatska Pošta (Croatian post office) will allow you to withdraw up to 800 euros 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 800 euros, totaling 1.600,00 euros for one day (if your daily limit is not exceeded with your bank).

If you want to withdraw money in person at a post office, all you need is your debit card and your passport. There is no limit on the amount 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.

Also, you can transfer money via post office using PostCash. This is a post office money transfer that can be used for smaller amounts of up to 1.500,00 euros. The transfer is very fast and affordable, but there is a limit to which countries you can send money this way. Currently, it is only three countries in the Balkans. The list of countries and the fees are available here.

[Read: Hrvatska Pošta – Croatian Postal Office]

3. Charging directly to your card

Cash is definitely still the 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 those surrounding 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.

[Read: All the Croatian vocabulary you might need at a restaurant or cafe in Croatia]

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 one 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 (euro). If you choose your home currency, the company that manages the terminal will decide your exchange rate, not your own bank. Make sure you always let the purchase be charged in euros.

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.

[Read: Available visas and residence permits for Croatia]

#4 Transfer funds using Wise

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 Wise. 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.

[Read: Do I need to open a bank account in Croatia?]

Remember that they have a daily limit, as all transfer companies like this. Daily doesn’t necessarily mean that you can transfer the limit every day, as there is usually a delay of 5 to 10 days for the payment to clear during which you cannot initiate another transfer.

It is important to note that any deposits into Croatian bank accounts above 1.000 euro are 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 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. Transfer funds using Revolut

Revolut has gained popularity in recent years because it has very small fees for transfers and money exchange rates. Depending on where you are transferring money too, the transfer can be instant or it can take a day or two. The money transfer via Revolut is very easy: you must join the app, enter the recipient’s information, enter the amount, and click send.

Revolut also has its own bank cards you can use internationally. Many travelers love using it because of the favorable exchange rates. It is a fully licensed bank that helps you navigate foreign currencies, invest money, or even trade cryptocurrency.

[Read: What to know about cryptocurrency in Croatia]

7. Transfer funds using Western Union

Western Union is the most commonly used money transfer company internationally. They were established more than 150 years ago, and they are a trusted company. Sending money is easy, and it can be performed online or you can visit their locations and request a transfer in person. If you send money online, there are no fees associated.

You can send up to 1.000 euros in a year without verifying your identity. After you pass the verification, you can send 5.000 euros every 3 days. What sets Western Union apart is that a receiver can pick up money in cash at the location at the destination, and you do not need the receiver’s bank account. However, the transfer will be visible within minutes if you send money to a credit or debit card.

8. Transfer funds using MoneyGram

Similar to Western Union, MoneyGram is used internationally for money transfers in over 200 countries and territories. The transfer is fast and reliable with small fees, and the money can be directly transferred to a bank account of your choosing. You can transfer money online here. With MoneyGram, you can send 10.000,00 euros every month.

9. Exchanging foreign cash into euros in Croatia

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 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 Hrvatska narodna banka – HNB (Croatian National Bank). 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.

10. Moving a large amount of money to Croatia

The above suggestions are great if you move smaller amounts of money, around 10.000 euros or less. If you need to move a large amount, like for a property purchase, then these methods aren’t going to do it.

In such cases, we recommend the old-fashioned wire transfer route. Yes, the cost is higher, but you can make a transfer of a large amount in one go – usually arriving within 3 business days. The additional cost stings, but it does save you lots of headaches in breaking up the amount into smaller pieces through Transferwise or a similar service.

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Frequently asked questions

How can I transfer money to someone in Croatia?

There are several ways to transfer money to someone in Croatia, all of which are listed above. You can do a wire transfer if the amount is larger or use services like PayPal or Western Union for lower amounts. The fastest transfers are with Revolut or Wise, but there is an option for everyone.

What is the cheapest way to send money to Croatia?

A bank transfer is usually the safest and cheapest way to send money to Croatia. Using apps like MoneyGram or Wise is also very fast and has low fees. Always check if your bank would have a cheaper option or if it is better to go with a service like Western Union.

Does Wise work in Croatia?

Yes, and you can use your Wise travel card in Croatia, which will allow you to convert money at the best rate. Another great option for a card you can use when traveling is the Revolut card, which has good conversion rates.

How do I transfer money to someone in Europe?

The options are numerous, and you can view all of them here. It is important to check that the country in Europe you are transferring money to has the same service as you have. For example, with MoneyGram, check if it is available where the person you send money to lives. Most of these services are available in every European country, but going with the popular ones like the Western Union is the safest.

Does PayPal work in Croatia?

Yes, PayPal works in Croatia, and you can use most cards issued in Croatia to transfer money via PayPal. The fee is usually 1%, but it depends on transfer options – whether it is fast or standard. Cards that work with PayPal are Mastercard, Visa, Diners Club, American Express, Discover, JCB, and EnRoute.

Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.

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