Money & Costs: Iceland’s monetary unit is the krona (sometimes abbreviated as “ISK,” but written as “kr” here), plural kronur. Coins come in 1, 5, 10, 50, and 100 kronur denominations; bank notes are in denominations of 500kr, 1,000kr, 2,000kr, and 5,000kr. Frommer’s lists exact prices in the local currency. However, rates fluctuate, so before departing consult a currency exchange website such as www.xe.com/ucc to check up-to-the-minute rates.
ATMs: ATMs are the most practical and reliable way to get cash at fair exchange rates. Upon arrival at Keflavík International Airport, you’ll easily find ATMs and the currency exchange desk, both run by Landsbanki Íslands, which has fair exchange rates. ATMs are found in most villages around Iceland, though not all are accessible 24 hours. Icelandic ATMs generally accept all major debit, credit, and cash-only cards. Cirrus (tel. 800/424-7787) and PLUS (tel. 800/843-7587) cards are almost universally accepted in Icelandic ATMs.
Traveler’s checks are still widely accepted in Iceland.
Tip: Avoid exchanging money at hotels, which tend to have high transaction fees.
Credit Cards: Credit cards are safe, convenient, and generally offer good exchange rates, though many banks assess a 1% to 3% “foreign transaction fee” on all charges you incur abroad. You’ll need a PIN to withdraw cash advances on your credit card. You will not need a PIN for most credit card purchases, but occasions may arise (particularly at automated fuel pumps).
Icelanders love credit and debit cards, and will commonly whip one out just to buy an ice cream. Most shops and tourist establishments accept credit cards; you can even charge a taxi ride. Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted, while American Express and Diner’s Club are not nearly as useful. Electron, Maestro, and EDC debit cards are sometimes accepted at retail stores.
Taxes: Visitors are entitled to a refund on the value-added tax (VAT, or sales tax) for purchases of eligible goods.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.