Does Apple Pay Work Internationally? A Detailed Guide

In today’s increasingly globalized world, the ability to make payments while traveling abroad has become more important than ever. For iPhone users, Apple Pay offers a convenient way to pay with your mobile device both at home and when traveling overseas.

But does Apple Pay actually work internationally?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Yes, Apple Pay can be used internationally in many countries and regions around the world. However, its availability and compatibility depend on your iPhone model, bank, and the stores and services you wish to use it with.

How Apple Pay Works for International Transactions

Apple Pay is a convenient and secure method of making payments using your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Mac. While it is widely used in many countries, you may wonder how it works for international transactions. Here’s a detailed guide to help you understand.

Apple Pay uses NFC technology

Apple Pay utilizes Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which allows devices to communicate wirelessly when they are close to each other. This technology enables you to make contactless payments by simply holding your iPhone or Apple Watch near a compatible payment terminal.

When making an international transaction, Apple Pay works similarly. You can use it at any merchant that supports contactless payments through NFC technology. This means you can make purchases at various retailers, restaurants, and other establishments around the world, as long as they accept contactless payments.

Compatibility depends on your iPhone model and bank

The compatibility of Apple Pay for international transactions depends on two factors: your iPhone model and your bank. Not all iPhone models are equipped with NFC technology, which is required for Apple Pay to work. Make sure your iPhone model supports Apple Pay and is enabled with NFC capability.

In addition to your iPhone model, you also need to ensure that your bank supports Apple Pay for international transactions. While Apple Pay is widely accepted, some banks may not offer this service for international transactions or may have specific requirements.

It is recommended to check with your bank to confirm the availability and terms of international transactions using Apple Pay.

Apple Pay charges foreign transaction fees

When using Apple Pay for international transactions, it is important to be aware of any foreign transaction fees that may apply. These fees are typically charged by your bank or credit card issuer and are separate from Apple Pay itself.

It is advisable to check with your bank or credit card provider to understand the fees associated with using Apple Pay for international transactions.

Furthermore, exchange rates may also be a factor to consider when using Apple Pay internationally. The currency conversion is typically handled by your bank or credit card issuer, and they may apply their own exchange rate, which may differ from the current market rate.

It’s always a good idea to compare exchange rates and fees before making international transactions using Apple Pay.

Countries Where Apple Pay is Available

List of current countries

Apple Pay has rapidly expanded its availability worldwide, making it easier for users to make secure and convenient payments with their Apple devices. Currently, Apple Pay is available in several countries across the globe. These countries include:

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • China
  • Japan
  • France
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • Italy

These are just a few examples, and the list continues to grow as Apple Pay expands its reach.

New countries being added

Apple Pay is constantly working on expanding its services to new countries. While the specific timeline for new additions may vary, Apple has expressed its commitment to bringing Apple Pay to more regions across the globe.

Some of the countries that are expected to have Apple Pay available in the near future include:

  • Brazil
  • India
  • Russia
  • South Korea
  • Mexico

These are just a few examples, and there may be more countries added to the list in the coming months. Keep an eye out for announcements from Apple regarding the expansion of Apple Pay.

For the most up-to-date information on the availability of Apple Pay in different countries, it’s always best to check Apple’s official website (

Using Apple Pay With International Cards

Apple Pay is a convenient and secure way to make payments using your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch. While it was initially launched in the United States, Apple Pay has expanded its services to numerous countries around the world.

This means that you can use Apple Pay with international credit/debit cards, making it a great option for frequent travelers or individuals living abroad.

Adding International Credit/Debit Cards

Adding international credit or debit cards to your Apple Pay wallet is a straightforward process. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Open the Wallet app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on the “+” sign to add a new card.
  3. Choose the option to add a credit or debit card.
  4. Follow the prompts to enter your card details, such as the card number, expiration date, and security code.
  5. Once the card is verified, it will be added to your Apple Pay wallet, and you can start using it for payments.

It’s important to note that not all international cards are compatible with Apple Pay. However, major credit card providers like Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are widely accepted. It’s always a good idea to check with your card issuer to ensure compatibility before attempting to add it to Apple Pay.

Using Apple Pay Abroad with Cards from Other Countries

One of the great advantages of Apple Pay is its international compatibility. You can use Apple Pay abroad with cards from other countries, allowing you to make seamless and secure payments while traveling.

Whether you’re visiting a country that supports Apple Pay or using it in stores that accept NFC payments, you can tap your device to the payment terminal and authorize the transaction with Face ID, Touch ID, or your device passcode.

It’s important to note that while Apple Pay is widely accepted in many countries, there may still be some places where it is not yet available or supported. It’s always a good idea to check with local merchants or consult Apple’s official website for a list of countries where Apple Pay is accepted.

Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that using Apple Pay abroad may incur foreign transaction fees depending on your card issuer’s policies. It’s advisable to check with your bank or credit card provider regarding any potential fees or charges before using Apple Pay internationally.

Using Apple Pay With Local Cards When Traveling

One of the great benefits of using Apple Pay is its compatibility with local cards when traveling internationally. This means that you can easily make secure and convenient payments without the need for physical cash or worrying about currency exchange rates.

Here are a couple of options for using Apple Pay with local cards when you’re abroad:

Getting a prepaid travel card

If you’re planning to travel extensively or for an extended period of time, it might be worth considering getting a prepaid travel card. These cards are specifically designed for travelers and can be loaded with funds in your home currency.

Once loaded, you can use Apple Pay to make payments at compatible merchants while abroad.

Prepaid travel cards offer a number of advantages, including the ability to lock in exchange rates in advance, avoiding any potential currency fluctuations. They also provide an extra layer of security, as they are not directly linked to your bank account.

Some popular options for prepaid travel cards include Revolut, N26, and TransferWise.

Adding a local card when abroad

If you prefer to use your existing local card while traveling, you can still add it to Apple Pay and use it for payments internationally. Most major banks now support Apple Pay, so it’s likely that your card will be compatible.

Simply open the Wallet app on your iPhone, tap on the “+” sign, and follow the prompts to add your card.

It’s important to note that while Apple Pay is widely accepted around the world, there may still be some merchants or countries where it is not yet available. In such cases, having a backup payment method, such as a physical credit or debit card, is advisable.

Before traveling, it’s always a good idea to check with your bank or card issuer for any specific instructions or restrictions regarding using your card with Apple Pay internationally. They can provide you with the most up-to-date information and ensure a seamless payment experience while abroad.

For more information on using Apple Pay internationally, you can visit the official Apple website at

Tips for Using Apple Pay Internationally

Check compatibility before your trip

Before you embark on your international adventure, it is important to ensure that Apple Pay is compatible with the country you are visiting. While Apple Pay is available in many countries, the specific banks and merchants that accept it may vary.

To avoid any inconvenience, check the Apple Pay website or the Apple Wallet app to see if your destination is listed. This will give you peace of mind knowing that you can rely on Apple Pay for convenient and secure payments during your travels.

Know your bank’s foreign transaction fees

While using Apple Pay internationally can be convenient, it’s essential to be aware of any foreign transaction fees that your bank may charge. Some banks may impose additional fees for transactions made in foreign currencies.

Make sure to check with your bank beforehand to understand their policies and fees. It may be worth considering opening an account with a bank that offers lower or no foreign transaction fees if you plan on using Apple Pay extensively during your international travels.

Carry a backup payment method

While Apple Pay is a reliable and widely accepted payment method, it’s always a good idea to have a backup option, just in case. There may be instances where a merchant does not accept Apple Pay or where you may encounter technical difficulties.

Carrying a physical credit or debit card will ensure that you can make payments even in these situations. Additionally, having a backup payment method can provide a sense of security and peace of mind, knowing that you won’t be left stranded without a way to pay.

By following these tips, you can make the most out of using Apple Pay internationally. It offers a convenient and secure way to make payments while traveling, saving you the hassle of carrying physical cards and dealing with currency exchanges.

Just remember to check compatibility, be aware of any fees, and always have a backup payment method on hand. Happy travels!


To conclude, Apple Pay can generally be used for purchases abroad in countries where it is supported. However, there are some limitations based on your specific iPhone, bank, and travel destination. Doing a bit of planning before your trip and understanding the nuances of using Apple Pay internationally can ensure your mobile payments work seamlessly during your travels.

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