Ist eine Kreditkarte für New York und USA nötig?

Is a credit card necessary for New York and the USA?


The best
Credit cards
new York

Sanel Huskanovic, August 29, 2020

I will explain below whether you absolutely need a credit card, how it is easiest to get one and which is the preferred credit card for New York travelers, as well as how you pay with a bank card or EC card and use it to withdraw cash on site.

“Cash is King” is a thing of the past, at least in New York and the United States. The number one means of payment in the Big Apple, for large and small amounts, is the credit card.

The credit card and now Apple and Google Pay are the number one payment method in the USA and New York. The credit card is particularly practical in the fast-moving and densely populated Big Apple where everything has to happen quickly. All major credit cards are accepted as payment in almost every store, although some smaller, private stores require a minimum amount of $5 to $10 as a condition. Very few stores or service providers, such as some dry cleaners, do not accept American Express credit cards due to the high fees.

All fast food chains, department stores, boutiques, supermarkets, car rental companies and even the ticket counters for buses and the old New York subway (Metro), also with ApplePay - GooglePay, are equipped with devices for cashless payments. The famous yellow Yellow Cabs, or taxis, also have a reader and ApplePay - GooglePay installed on the back seat. In a nutshell: The credit card is standard everywhere in the USA and New York.

You can pay with your EC card or bank card in almost all shops. To do this, click on “Debit Card” on the small screen, then insert the chip on your card into the reader and give you “Credit or Debit” as Choice is offered.

Which credit card is the best for my stay in New York?

Common cards are accepted everywhere:

  • Visas
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Discover

The difference between the providers and banks is in different additional services. For example, American Express offers additional travel insurance free of charge, Visa and Mastercard have a very good insurance system that can easily reimburse you for losses in the event of theft or data misuse.

You can find out which credit card is best for you at your bank or look at online comparisons. A good choice for travelers are airline credit cards, which, in addition to airline miles, can sometimes give you cheaper flights or better seats.

Pay out
Pay out

Pay out

Hotel check-in, cash and alternative

Regardless of whether you have booked your trip or hotel online at home or paid with a tour operator, a credit card is required when checking in at every hotel in New York. If your bank card has a Visa or MasterCard mark, this will be accepted in some hotels. When you arrive at reception, it is usual for a blank deduction to be made from your credit card/debit card as a so-called voucher. It is used to be able to enter expenses retroactively, such as costs due to an unpunctual check-out, use of the minibar or if you have caused damage to your hotel room. Car rental companies also apply a similar principle.

Cash is available at all ATMs using your debit card. Foreign bank cards typically charge a fee of $3 to $4, regardless of the amount withdrawn. The most famous bank branches are TD Bank, Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Capital One Bank and City Bank.

Furthermore, in all shops and public places you will notice an ATM (ATM in English) at the entrance, unusual for Europeans but common practice in the United States. The difference to the ATMs in banks is that the withdrawal fee is about 50 cents to $1 higher than in the bank itself.

Alternative to credit card

The so-called prepaid credit cards are available in almost all stores, especially in chains such as Duane Reade, Wallgreens and CVS, in NYC and can usually be found near checkouts.

These credit cards have the special feature that they work similarly to telephone prepaid cards. You can only use the amount you load onto the card.

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