How tourists can use Credit Cards in Iran

How tourists can use Credit Cards in Iran


Some of tourists are worry about using credit cards in Iran. Irantrawell is here to help you about credit cards in Iran. Nowadays, there are tons of ways of trading or transferring money. And their tons of banks as well, that make these trades easier with their financial facilities. But unfortunately, due to the political and financial conditions of some countries, foreigners cannot create a bank account or use a credit card in those counties.

Credit cards have a standard for their size, with 16 numbers and a 3-number code, name of the owner of the account, and expiration date written on it. These cards are easy to carry, safe and allow you to do online shopping.

International Credit Cards

This type of credit cards, allows their owners to trade internationally.  International credit cards are two types:

  • Travel cards, or Pre-paid cards which are mostly called credit cards
  • Debit Cards

Unfortunately, Iranian banks don’t support this type of cards and you need to travel to a neighbor country to create such accounts. So, we suggest you to create an international account before travelling to Iran.

Credit Card in Iran
Credit Cards in Iran
Travel Cards

As the name mentions, these cards are used for travelling and are sometimes referred to as cash cards. You don’t need a SWIFT code or another bank account to have these cards, and that’s why you can’t use them in some countries. Pre-paid cards are highly safe and many tourists use them in Iran. There are two types of pre-paid cards: Chargeable, and non-chargeable. Best option for those travelling to Iran is the non-chargeable prepaid credit card. These cards, sometimes called gift cards, lose their credit after the account balance is zero. You don’t need any identification, even your name, to get these cards and you can get access to many of them in a short time.

You can also get a prepaid charge card without having a support bank account. These cards will register your name and thus have less responsibility for the banks. Due to the U.S government sanctions against Iran, the card owners need to go to the banks or currency exchanges to get these cards.

It’s also worth mentioning that these cards allow you to do online shopping safely.

Credit Card in Iran
Credit Cards in Iran
Credit Cards

These cards enable the cardholder to pay a merchant for goods and services based on the cardholder’s promise to the card issuer to pay them for the amounts plus the other agreed charges. So, in fact the cardholder is indented to the banks for a specific amount and has to pay the money back in the agreed time. Some card issuers take the money back by small payments. If you want to create such accounts in a country, you need to be a citizen of that country. You also need full identification documents in order to create an account with a credit card. Credit cards are not supported by any banks in Iran, so it’s better to attain your card before entering Iran.

Debit Cards

These cards are also supported by a bank account. It is similar to a credit card, but unlike a credit card, the money is immediately transferred directly from the cardholder’s bank account when performing any transaction. These cards can be used in many banks systems in the world. One advantage of these cards is that you can get them in Iran using your passport and ID.

Other classification of credit cards is Master Card and Visa Card. Both of these type of cards are used internationally; in other words, all the banks in the world get connected to one singular system and work together. Thus, it’s possible to receive cash from any ATMs using this international system. But countries like North Korea, Sudan, Cuba, Syria, and also Iran are not connected to this system and you cant use these cards in these countries. So, it’s better to get a pre-paid Visa card instead of a Master card, in case you face some problems. In order to hold a Visa card in Iran, one must go the official agencies.

Credit Card in Iran
Credit Cards in Iran
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I think losing your travel documents, money, and your phone in a foreign country is on the top place in the list of top things you must be scared of when you go abroad. You can google the list of the cities famous for their pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Now, if you’re coming to Iran, hearing the financial news in Iran might worry you a little; and in fact, the tourist centres and crowded areas are no exception in this case. But statistics show that Iran is almost a lot better and safer than other countries in this case. But, only in case you want to travel with peace of mind, keep these points in mind: • You don’t have carry your passport with you to everywhere you go; only a copy of that would suffice. No one usually asks for it. • You will need cash, but you shouldn’t carry all the cash you have with you. • I suggest you to put your eggs in different baskets, I mean split your money and put it in different places so in case you get robbed, you will have some money left. • It’t better to use bags and handbags instead of backpack in crowded places like bazaars; so you can always watch the zippers. • And always keep an eye on your phone!