Using Debit Card of Foreign Country in India: Pros & Cons

If you plan on using a debit card from another country in India, it can be a convenient and widely accepted way to make payments. Here are some key things to keep in mind:


(1) Widespread Acceptance: Major international networks such as Visa or Mastercard issue foreign debit cards that are widely accepted in India. You can use them at a broad range of merchant establishments including shops, restaurants, hotels, and online platforms that accept card payment.

(2) Convenience: With a foreign debit card, there’s no need to carry around large amounts of cash since you can use it to withdraw cash from ATMs and make purchases and payments. It’s just as convenient as using a local debit card.

(3) Currency Conversion: When you use your foreign debit card in India, the transaction amount is automatically converted from Indian Rupees (INR) into your home currency using the prevailing exchange rate. This feature eliminates the need to carry or exchange Indian currency before your trip.

(4) Security: Your debit card comes with a range of security features for your peace of mind, such as PIN protection and fraud monitoring. If your card is lost or stolen, you can quickly contact your card issuers to stop unauthorized transactions. Informing your card issuer of your travel plans ensures uninterrupted card usage and helps you stay aware of any security measures they may have in place for international transactions.


(1) Fees for Foreign Transactions: If you use your debit card in a different country, your card issuer may charge foreign transaction fees. These fees are usually a percentage of the transaction amount and can accumulate quickly, particularly if you use your card frequently. It’s advisable to check with your card issuer about any applicable fees and consider using a debit card that provides favorable terms for international transactions.

(2) ATM Withdrawal Fees: When withdrawing cash from ATMs in India using a foreign debit card, you may encounter withdrawal fees charged by both your card issuer and the ATM operator. These fees can vary, and it’s recommended to check with your card issuer about any applicable charges and find ATMs that offer reasonable or waived fees for foreign cardholders.

(3) Limited ATM Access: While foreign debit cards are generally accepted at ATMs in India, some ATMs may not be compatible with your card or may have network restrictions. It’s recommended to search for ATMs affiliated with major banks or international networks to ensure broader access.

(4) Cash-only Transactions: In some situations, particularly in rural areas or small establishments, cash may be the preferred mode of payment, and card payments may not be accepted. It’s advisable to carry some Indian Rupees for such instances or consider using mobile payment apps if available.

Prior to utilizing your international debit card in India, it is crucial to notify your card provider of your travel itinerary, become acquainted with the fees and expenses linked with overseas transactions, and take note of any potential daily expenditure or withdrawal limitations. It is also advisable to bring along various payment alternatives, including some cash, to guarantee adaptability during your journey.


Hi, I am Nikesh Mehta, owner and writer of this site. I’m an analytics professional and also love writing on finance and related industry. I’ve done online course in Financial Markets and Investment Strategy from Indian School of Business. I can be reached at [email protected].

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