Seoul - Post Report Question and Answers

Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

Credit cards are widely accepted locally. Cash is preferred at markets. Some facilities on base require cash payment, like the spa. You will likely need to carry some cash in both USD and KRW for small purchases. - Mar 2022

Yes, everywhere. - Nov 2021

Basically everywhere takes credit cards. ATMs are everywhere and safe. - Feb 2020

I never had a problem using my credit card. Best thing to do for cast is take out USD on the army base and exchange for won just outside the gate. - Feb 2016

Credit cards are ubiquitous. Koreans rarely use cash. - Feb 2016

Widely used and available. - Jul 2015

Safe to use on the economy but our U.S. ATMS can only access the ATMs on base. - Feb 2015

Most places accept credit cards, except the outdoor markets. - Jan 2014

Electronic and card payment are used virtually everywhere here, even in the boonies. I had absolute confidence using my credit card everywhere. - Sep 2013

ATMs are very convenient on base. If you don't have access to the base, international ATMs are located at major hotels. Credit cards are widely accepted at major establishments and safe to use. However, when market shopping or bargaining in Itaewon, discounts are only available if you pay in cash. Always have cash available if traveling to smaller towns outside of Seoul. - Jan 2011

you can use credit cards just about everywhere, very reliable. For non-Korean-issued ATM cards, you need to find a "foreign" machine. On base the ATMS give local or US currency with no service charge. - Dec 2010

Credit cards are easy to use at most businesses. If you're doing business with street vendors, they prefer cash. ATMs in Seoul are primarily for Korean banks although you can get a cash advance at some ATMs affiliated with international banks. - Sep 2009

On base, credit cards are accepted and ATMs are available. Off-base, major hotels and restaurants accept foreign credit cards. Some ATMs accept foreign cards. - Jul 2008

You can use your credit card or debit everywhere on base. Credit cards are not as widely accepted in Korea as in the U.S. but are still accepted at many major locations. - May 2008

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More