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cash or card whilst in Austria these days?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all, I know a number of people made it to Austria this week (wohooo, well done you guys!). Just a quick question, I usually take cash for a ski holiday, especially for Mountain lunches. But I've not used cash at home since the start of covid times, is it the same in Austrian resorts now? Do they prefer cash or cards for drinks and meals?

thanks
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Just returned from Mayophen. Most mountain restaurant bars were cash only. I would definitely take some cash with you.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Cash is still king in Austria.

To be fair, many places take cards and a lot don’t. It’s not always easy to differentiate until you ask for the bill and present a card…at which point you’ll be pointed to the nearest cash point….which isn’t necessarily helpful on a mountain. So carry cash!
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@micheleperry, Bargeld (cash) and a tip (good service) at locals places on the hill, card in town.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks all, I'll do as I usually do then, cash with a card as backup.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
A lot of places on the mountain don't have a reliable internet connection especially it the weather is bad so can't use card machines.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Maybe it's different around here, but I've found FAR more places accept card now since the pandemic, even on the mountain. Definitely worth having enough cash to cover at least one meal just in case, but probably 90%+ are fine with card now.
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@clarky999 hope thats true, been a while since i've been to Austria and i'm in St Anton next week. I have been known to walk out of places that don't accept cards Laughing
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Quote:

I have been known to walk out of places that don't accept cards

Before ordering your meal, presumably?
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Haven't been since the pandemic but at the end of the season before that in Sölden cards worked everywhere I went.
Even thinking further back, I've not used cash there for a fair while now.
ski holidays
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
In my experience if places are not taking cards then they display that by their entrance. We generally have enough cash for drinks and an inexpensive lunch with us. If on a bit of a treat and expecting to use a card I would always check that a card is acceptable.
Sometimes mountain places apologise that the machine is not working, never quite sure if that is true or that they just don’t fancy taking cards too much.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Russeh, In St Anton and Lech everywhere takes cards, the only place you may struggle is in Warth/ Schroeken.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I always carry my austrian debt card, halifax clarity credit card and a couple hundred of euros to cover all options
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
My village post office doesn't take cards, and I can guarantee that the price will be a couple of Euros more that whatever I have on me rolling eyes Luckily, the bank is in the same street.

Most huts and restaurants will take cards now, though there are certainly a few that don't, or that “prefer” cash, including some in the centre of Innsbruck. A lot of customers are still more comfortable using cash than cards, which you don't see so often in the UK.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Scarlet, I recall in one of the smaller mountain huts in Lech, the owner being asked by a Dutch group as they ordered at the table if it was OK if they paid by card, to which he gave a sigh and said well OK then, muttering under his breath. They then proceeded to order a drink and soup each, probably spend about 15€ each and then asked to pay.......all 10 of them paid individually for their meals.....lets just say he wasn't at all happy, he commented after "Where do you think you are..... Starbucks?". Laughing
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The situation with paying by card has dramatically changed since March 2020. At that point you often got a funny look from older people in the supermarket queue if you paid using contactless. Now most people do, even paying for daily semmel & brezen in the local baker most folk pay using contactless. Same in pubs. I always used to carry €50 around with me just to cover bits & pieces now it would be €20 if that. I still leave the traditional Euro or two tip in cash. I can see many of the mountain huts might be different, obviously if no internet. One slight difference from the UK is that you generally just tap your card even if you need to enter your pin.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
The last time I was in Bourg st Maurice, 18 months ago, some people were still paying using cheques (remember them). At the hotel we use in the Dolomites the owners ask if we would pay them by bank transfer rather than card since card charges are so high.

I was told that the 500€ note was introduced simply because German housewifes (why always housewifes?) prefered to use cash for their shopping. And I thought it was to facilicate criminal activity. My experience was that 500€ notes were very difficult to spend. Most retailers refused them.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
They prefer cash, I prefer card. Same reasons. https://www.oe24.at/oesterreich/chronik/salzburg/apres-ski-lokal-betreiber-hortete-ueber-3-5-mio-euro/480247471
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I think the charges on cards being high is mostly nonsense - handling cash tends to be more expensive. I'd imagine it's all related to tax
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@conor90, indeed, as the apres ski bar owner in flachau found out to his cost, handling the cash was very expensive indeed
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We tend to use cash in Austria. We have an Austrian bank account, but the banking is not “free”. We pay quarterly charges that include a fee for each time the debit card is used. Most of our Austrian friends prefer to pay in cash.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Having recently returned from Mayrhofen cash was still king
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Three of my five fav mountain huttes at Dachstein West only take cash. It’s not an Internet issue, more likely tax/cost. Bank charges and merchant fees on card transactions are much higher here than in the UK (for example).
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
In St Anton, the lift co restaurants, ie Rendl, Galzig, and Gampen, take both card and cash, but seem to prefer the former. The customer-side EFTPOS screen displays the message to insert the card - before you have said anything about how you are planning to pay.

I bet some of the smaller ones, like the Eisbar on Kapall, might still prefer cash.

Carry cash - just in case…
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In Ski Amade, far more establishments take cards as a result of COVID restrictions. Always make sure I have a couple of hundred in cash just in case though.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
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Cacciatore wrote:
Three of my five fav mountain huttes at Dachstein West only take cash. It’s not an Internet issue, more likely tax/cost. Bank charges and merchant fees on card transactions are much higher here than in the UK (for example).


What’s the tax implication? Little Angel
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@pam w, of course pam, Russeh always pays his debts. Nah i'd check before ordering anything


@Markymark29, ah thats good to hear this will be my first visit to St Anton so looking forward to it.


Yeah small quantities of currency are expensive and then you pay again if you need to convert it back. My credit card charges no fee on FX and the rate is the wholesale rate at that point in time which is always better than what the TO give you and definitely better than any place at the airport.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Markymark29 wrote:
@micheleperry, Bargeld (cash) and a tip (good service) at locals places on the hill, card in town.


Hadn't realised that - quite a while since I have been to Austria. As Austrian remains an option for me this year, I appreciate the OP's question and your advice.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
In the KitzSki area, the Covid advice includes a preference for card over cash payments, but up the hill most people were still paying cash. Our closest bakery only takes cash. I'd ended up with some surplus Euro cash that I'm slowly spending, but would otherwise use a card (I've started using the Wise multi-currency account which offers a debit card option, and I think it's the most cost-effective way to spend in Euros etc)
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
We barely used cash this time round. All the huts in Obertauern had portable card readers. But yes, carry some cash just in case.
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