Survey reveals where in the world credit cards are most accepted

Business travelers find Canada to be the most card-friendly, Africa least

In a May 2012 MasterCard survey, more than 200 business travelers were questioned to find out where their business credit cards were most accepted internationally -- and where they were not. According to the study, the business travelers -- who made at least four international trips over the 12 months prior to the survey -- found that Canada seemed to be the most accepting of credit cards outside of the United States, giving it a score of 4.82 out of 5. Travelers perceived Europe as also mostly accepting of their credit cards, giving it a score of 4.46. Coming in last was Africa, scoring only a 3.29.

According to the report that included the survey, most of the respondents' companies (78 percent) required their traveling employees to use a business credit card for expenses. Problematically, these cards weren't always accepted. In fact, 73 percent of respondents said some vendors declined their corporate credit cards, but accepted another card brand -- often their personal credit cards. The study's respondents reported Europe, Asia and Canada as the countries they traveled to the most for business, so even the countries rated highest for card acceptance still have vendors who are not so card-friendly.

Additionally, most of the respondents (95 percent) said they came across vendors who did not accept any credit card of any kind -- a fact that stresses the importance of having cash on hand during international travel.

Regional credit card acceptance

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Updated: 12-19-2018