Iran Tourist Card: The Iran Travel Debit Card for Tourists
Can I Use My Debit Card in Iran?
You are planning to travel to Iran; You have arranged your Iran tour plan and collected all your stuff and documents, including your credit card and … Hold on Here! You cannot use your credit card (Master, visa, etc.) in Iran!
Actually, due to Iran’s special economic conditions, you cannot connect to the Iranian bank system with your debit card. Consequently, as a tourist, you can’t use your credit cards for your financial transactions in Iran. Also, PayPal does not work in this country.
So, how can you pay your travel costs in Iran? You have two following options:
1) Bring your Iran travel cost in cash. But, carrying a large amount of cash is a huge concern.
2) Use Iran Tourist Card, also known as the Iran Tourist Prepaid Credit Card or Iran Travel Debit Card.
Here, we provide you with the essential information you need to know about Iran debit card for tourists, including the price, its advantages, how to buy and use it, etc. For more information, do not hesitate to contact us.
Also, if you have any experience or suggestions about using Iran tourist carts, please leave us your comment.
What is Iran Tourist Card
On your trip you Iran, you will see Iranian people widely use their local debit cards. But, tourists visiting Iran can’t use these local cards. Instead, they can use an Iran tourist card in the Iranian Rial (Iranian currency), a temporary prepaid Iranian debit card for tourists. In other words, the prepaid Iran travel debit card is a suitable replacement for Master Card or Visa Card issued by an Iranian bank for tourists in Iran. Using this debit card, foreign travelers in Iran can pay for all goods and services, withdraw cash from ATMs, and do their transactions while avoiding hidden fees and extra charges.
Accordingly, you can easily apply for this tourist card online and do all your financial transactions through ATM and Pos, like a local.
Where to Get an Iran Tourist Card
You can get an Iran tourist card from the National Bank of Iran (Bank-e Melli) at Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport upon arrival. After passing through the passport check, you can see a branch of Iran National Bank. There you can purchase an Iran tourist card by showing your visa and passport.
Moreover, there are some providers who arrange temporary rechargeable travel debit cards for foreign tourists in Iran. Among them, MahCard and DaricPay are the most famous providers who provide their clients with the best services. Notably, all Iran tourist cards, regardless of their issuer bank and provider, are connected to the national banking network of Iran (SHETAB) and recognized by the Iran Central Bank.
The Advantages of Using Iran Tourist Card
- You do not need to carry a large amount of cash around.
- You can optionally charge your card online from your country or load it with cash upon arrival in Iran.
- Iran tourist card is accepted everywhere in Iran, even in small shops.
- You can book the flight, train, hotels, etc., online while you are in Iran.
- You can instantly add money to your card and withdraw your money when you want, like a local; ATMs and EFTPOS machines are everywhere.
- You do not need to constantly look for banks and exchange offices to get Iranian currency.
- As a foreign tourist, you do not need to wait in lines to buy tickets to most tourist attractions.
- You will not be confused by Iranian banknotes and coins.
- At the end of your Iran trip, they exchange all your leftover rials in your tourist card into the same currency you loaded up the card with and pay you in cash or send it to your account overseas.
How to Get an Iran Travel Debit Card
To Get and use Iran Tourist card, you can easily go through the following steps:
- First, you should register online for an Iran tourist card with a copy or scan of your passport.
- Download your Iran tourist card mobile application that the provider will send to you. You can reload, block your card, and check your transactions through this application. The maximum card is up to 10000$ based on the provider terms and conditions.
- Pick up your card at Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) or your hotel.
- Now, you can use your Iran travel debit card on every ATM and POS machine with a swipe and enter a 4-digit pin. Besides, You can use your travel card for online purchases by getting the second PIN from the issuer bank.
- If necessary, you can reissue your tourist card immediately.
- Account balance top-up is possible through bank transfers.
- You’ll be able to receive your leftover money in cash or via online transfer.
Important note: To purchase the card, you should pay a one-time service fee (about 19€), and there won’t be any extra charges or hidden fees for using your Iranian debit card.
How to Load my Iran Tourist Card
You can load your travel debit card with the desired amount of money by the following methods:
Loading with cash: upon your arrival in Iran (at the airport or your hotel), when you want to take your tourist card, you can give the desired amount of cash (usually in euro or dollar) to the provider to load your card with. Notably, there are no transfer fees for loading your tourist card with cash.
It is important to know that the provides will take your cash in a foreign currency and convert it to Iranian Rials to deposit into your card. But some providers like DaricPay have an option to deposit euro or dollar in your card in return for getting an exchange fee. However, due to the fluctuations in Iranian economic conditions, the terms change frequently.
Loading online: You can also add funds to your card online. Please note that there is about a 7% fee for online payments.
How to Use Iran Tourist Card at ATMs and POS Terminals
You can use your Iran travel debit card at all ATMs in Iran and withdraw cash in Rial up to 2,000,000 Rials per day. All you need is to enter your card into the machine, choose the English language (All ATM devices in Iran support the English language), and follow the instruction. After getting your money, you can get your receipt in English.
On the other hand, you can use your tourist debit card at all POS terminals. When the seller asks you to swipe the card, swipe it and enter the 4-digit pin code. It is better to enter the PIN code personally, though it is not unusual in Iran that some sellers ask for the PIN code. In that situation, you can ask them to let you enter your code in person. After the purchase process is completed, the seller will give you the receipt. Usually, the receipt is in Persian.
Notably, there is no limit on the amount of shopping with your tourist card at the POS terminals and no extra fees for using ATMs and POS terminals.
On the other hand, you cannot use your Iran Prepaid tourist Card to get cash from the bank counter. It means that you can only withdraw cash from ATMs in Iran.
How to Receive Your Leftover Money in Iran Tourist Card
There are two options to receive your leftover money in your Iran travel debit card at the end of your trip:
1- Cash refunds: The provider will give you the balance left on your card in cash in euro or dollar (based on your provider terms). Notably, there is always a slight difference between the buying and selling rates of the currency.
2- Online refunds: The provider will transfer the leftover amount to your account overseas, in the same currency you had loaded up your card with. Notably, there is a transfer fee for an online refund depending on your country and the currency.
Most Frequent Questions and Answers about Iran Tourist Card
Yes, all foreign tourists to Iran who are more than 18 years old with a valid passport can get and use Iran debit cards for tourists.
Your Iran tourist credit card is active for the duration of your stay in Iran. However, If you want to stay in Iran for more than 30 days, let the provider know before the application submission. However, the validity of the card differs depending on the issuer bank.
You will receive your Iran Tourist Card upon your arrival at the airport or your hotel based on the terms and conditions of the card provider.
When the card provider delivers you the credit card, he also hands over its PIN code in a separate envelope because of security reasons.
Yes, the provider will keep your money officially and under your name in a licensed Iranian bank. And the bank guarantees to protect your money.
First of all, we should mention that nobody can use your card without knowing your PIN code. In the case of losing your card, you can go to the travel card application and block your card. You can either block your card through the bank (issuer of your card) or the provider. Then, you can ask for another card from the provider or the bank.
Yes, you can. You can optionally reload your card by cash (Euro or Dollar) or by online transferring, which includes %7 transfer fee. Notably, you can reload your Iran travel debit card with cash just in the cities that the provider covers.
No, the Iran tourist card is a prepaid debit card, and the interest is not paid.
Although both are valid for purchasing and using at the ATMs, Iran Tourist Cards have many more advantages over Gift Cards. First of all, the Iran travel credit card is issued under your name, but the gift card isn't. Also, you can add funds to your card using cash or bank transfer anywhere and at any time, but gift cards do not provide this possibility. Besides, you can refund the leftover money in your tourist in foreign currency, but it is not possible with gift cards, …
You can check your account balance and recent transaction history at all ATMs around Iran and through the card application or website. Using ATMs, make sure to choose the English language right after typing your PIN code.
Iran's Central Banking Network is called SHETAB. And since Iran credit cards for tourists are connected to the SHETAB system, you can use all the ATMs around Iran.
Actually, you should have an Iranian phone number to receive messages of your transactions. So, we recommend buying a temporary Iranian SIM card, which you can also charge it using your Iran Travel Debit Card.
Read more about: SIM Card in Iran, Which One is Better for Tourists?
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