Can I Use My Chase Debit Card in Dubai?

Can I Use My Chase Debit Card in Dubai?

So, you are headed to the land of Dubai, where you will find incredibly tall skyscrapers, stunning resorts, and some of the finest luxury shopping in the world. But will any of that matter if you can’t use your debit card?

Can I use my Chase Debit Card in Dubai? It is uncommon to use a card in Dubai as many vendors will expect the dirham currency (DH) or list themselves as ‘cash only.’ However, any vendor with a credit card swiper can accept your Chase Debit Card or any Visa affiliate. You will need to alert Chase Bank of your travels beforehand to guarantee an unfrozen and functional card.

This guide will cover every question you may have regarding your financial situation while traveling to Dubai. It will discuss how payment works in Dubai, the steps to alert Chase of your travels, and other important information regarding foreign transaction fees as well as currency conversions. Read on to gain a much more confident perspective of handling your money in the beautiful city of Dubai.

Steps to Alert Chase Bank of Your Travels

You will be able to use your Chase card with great ease across the world since most chase cards are Visa cards. Visa and Mastercard are the main financial corporations that are accepted globally. You may experience some trouble with a smaller card brand such as Discover (which is not readily accepted in Europe or Asia); however, Visa and Mastercard will be the most widely accepted.

Since your Chase card will be accepted in Dubai, you will need to alert Chase of your travels. You can set this up as far as a year in advance or the day before you leave. As long as Chase knows where you are going to be and for how long, they can safely guarantee that the charges being made are from you.

The steps to alert Chase of your travels are as follows:

  1. Log in to your account through Chase Online, call them directly with the number written on the back of your debit card, or call 1-302-594-8200 if you are already in Dubai when you realize the card has not been alerted for travel.
  2. If using the website, click the top left options button, and you will see ‘Profile and settings.’
  3. Under ‘Profile and Settings,’ you will see the button labeled ‘Travel.’
  4. Next, click ‘Update.’
  5. You will input your departure and return date, as well as the city. You can always update this return date if you end up staying longer.
  6. Click ‘Save,’ and check your email for a notification that your alert was saved. They will let you know when any new updates have occurred within your account, so if you don’t receive this email, you may not have saved the travel notification properly.
  7. If speaking with a representative on the phone, just let them know the dates and travel destinations of Dubai and ask for an email confirmation to be sent.

Note: Don’t take this step lightly as it could greatly hinder the ease of your trip to Dubai.

If you do not set this travel notification and alert Chase of your whereabouts, they will promptly freeze the card, causing your transactions to be denied. This is to protect you from fraudulent charges and will be a lengthier process to undo than simply alerting them in the first place.

If you don’t turn on these travel notifications, you will need to take steps to verify your identity to the fraud specialist, so prepare accordingly.

Where to Find an ATM in Dubai

Since cash is used everywhere in the world, many vendors may tell you that they accept ‘cash only.’ If you have your Chase Debit card, this is fine. You can easily retrieve more cash from the thousands of ATMs in the city.

The extensive ATM network of Dubai is a result of the country’s rapidly developing urban design. It is meant to be the shopping, dining, and luxury hub of the East. How could they achieve this without people easily being able to get more money at a moment’s notice?

Some major banks in Dubai and the links to their ‘Nearest ATM Tracker’ are as follows:

Lucky for you, you won’t experience much trouble when seeking out a nearby ATM. If you are unsure about those links or hunting down each brand’s store location, know that Dubai ATMs can often be found at:

  • All malls and most shopping centers
  • Nearby most hotels
  • Inside or outside of the airport
  • Outside of any banks
  • Metro stations or public transportation buildings
  • On all luxury shopping and dining streets
  • Nearby any city-centers, plazas, or popular tourist areas

The typical amount limit to withdraw from an ATM in Dubai is 5,000 AED (DH), which is equal to approximately $1,361. For amounts larger than this, you may have to enter the bank and talk to a representative or complete multiple transactions at an ATM.

Will There Be Foreign Transaction Fees?

You can always search for machines that say ‘Fee-Free’ to avoid high ATM foreign fees. If you do not find an ATM that says ‘Fee-Free,’ then you will incur a small fee that is comparable to most other large banks. The fee is often between $2.50 and $10.00, averaging at around $5.00 each time you take funds out of an ATM that is not a Chase ATM.

For Chase customer’s specifically, there will usually be the $5.00 fee average, as well as a 3% foreign transaction fee. 

This is normal, so don’t be alarmed if you see 2-3 fees per transaction (one from the Dubai bank, one from Chase, one as a test sample fee that is often under $1.00. This third fee is to test the validity of your account and will be removed after the other two charges have cleared).

If you want to minimize the number of foreign transaction fees you are faced with, try to get a large sum out of the ATM at one time instead of making multiple ATM stops. This will reduce the compounded fees, which can quickly add up after a few trips to the ATM.  

Final Tips for Debit Card Users in Dubai

As a final word of wisdom, if you’re headed to Dubai or a frequent traveler, talk to your chase bank about applying for a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card features ‘No Foreign Transaction Fees,’ as well as great rewards on your travel purchases.

So that you are aware of the conversion rate, 1 United States Dollar is equal to 3.67 United Arab Emirates Dirham. So, your money will go far in Dubai if you spend it wisely.

Sometimes a vendor will allow you to use the US Dollar as the currency but do not depend on this. Most vendors and official companies in Dubai will expect AED/DH or a Visa/Mastercard. Some vendors may love to see a US Dollar, so this will be a case-by-case basis.

If you do use the US Dollar in a market or small-scale capacity, be certain to compute the total in Dubai currency to guarantee you are not getting ripped off.

In Conclusion

Dubai is the most populated, advanced, and high-tech city in the United Arab Emirates! This stunning location will blow you away. So, enjoy your time, and don’t forget to alert Chase! If you have any further questions, reach out to a Chase Customer Service Representative with one the following communication methods:

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