Italian Credit Cards

05/18/2009 - 13:51

Can anyone tell us if they have any experience of applying for an Italian credit card (or even if it is possible at all). We want to be able to purchase things on Ebay and our Paypal account needs to be linked to a credit card.Thank you.


Hi there,The first thing to consider is if you are legal Italian residents. If so, you can get a credit card linked to your bank account. Cards in Italy are generally not revolving cards issued by independent banks like in America (and I suppose the UK), with the notable exception of Barclays. Most cards are issued in conjuction with your current account, have a modest credit limit to start, and have the entire balance debited from your account on the 15th of the month following. So, all charges for May would be debited on 15 April. Barclays offers a true revolving card with an online application, as does Monte Paschi di Siena to their own clients (M'Honey card).As long as you have a codice fiscale, you can also get a prepaid Visa or Mastercard from several banks and Poste Italiane. I happen to know that these work with PayPal as I have one I reserve for internet use. You just charge up the card in cash at the sportello or from your online banking and use it like a regular Visa or Mastercard.I hope this helps!

your bank will issue you one... well providing you have one... and they like you... it will be most probably at least a mrning of form filling and most probabley they will want at least a blood sample... however they will then issue you one ... most probably with monthly chargeshowever funnily enough i was reading an article about buying on the net... and thay also suggest using top up cards... these are bank credit cards which allow you to pre pay an amount ... ie credit the card with 100 euro... and you then can spend it via paypal/ not sure if they charge you for this... although most things are... the article for what its worth also suggested fraud or theft of details was more likely to happen using the card in restaurants/garages or even cash machines here than by using the net... for buyin... i will look out the article and if i missed anything will let you know....anyway we have both normal bank and post bank...and they both would give us cards... but both have fees attached... i have even seen shops... Lidls for one offering cardsItaly is moving forward.. but hasnt learnt that they can make enough money without the fees...

In reply to by adriatica

Sooooo, if you register one of these "pre pay" creditcards on your Italian paypal account in order to open it - you could then theoretically just transfer money to your paypal account without ever having to top up the credit card again?This is VERY important as my OH is an ebay addict!

Thank you everyone for your advice so far. We don't have a bank account in Italy as the fees are way too high, but we have a Banco Posta account (only €39 per year fees) which only has a Maestro card attached to it. This can't be used with Paypal unfortunately. Elicat, will have a look at Barclays, thanks for the info and will definitely find out about the top-up card option - thanks Bill for the link.

If you already have an account with Banco Posta, the very easiest thing for you to do is to get a "top up" (ricaricabile) PostePay Visa there. That way you can top it up online through from your account without having to wait in line. I believe it costs €5 to get one and €1 every time you add funds. Barclays is most definitely more expensive.Good luck.

Looks like the general opinion is that the top up card is the way to go - thanks everyone - I will be off to the Post Office to find out more about getting on in the morning.

HelloWe actually use a Nationwide credit card, which is registered to our address in Italy. You get an excellent exchange rate, without any stupid charges. We also have Flex bank accounts with them, registered to our Italian address, so whether this makes a difference I don't know, but we have not encountered any problems so far and do everything on-line.Hope this helps.

Just to say having a PostePay card means too that card charges levied by Ryanair on bookings are not applicable currently.

Sarah & Mark,BCC Picena in Comunanza are very cheap for an Italian bank. I pay €3.65 a month which includes all transaction fees and online banking. My Visa credit card costs €15 a year and as someone else said, it doesn't work like a UK credit card as you have to pay it all off each month. The even speak English!

In reply to by Penny

Hi, does anyone know how easy it is to change bank accounts. Ours was set up (Bank of Ancona) when we purchased our house but the costs are pretty horrific per year. I just wondered how easy it was to transfer our exisitng DD's etc. In the UK I know the banks usually do it all, but not sure here. The BCC Picena certainly sounds much more palatable and we miss not having online access(we would have to pay even more money! Having said all that we have not had any problem, it just seems like a lot of dosh to pay...ThanksJo

In reply to by Penny

Thanks for this - I have been wondering which bank would be best for us. The charges sound quite reasonable, and I would be lost without internet banking!L