Best ways to take money to Estonia - 2024

Preparing a trip to Estonia? Planning how to manage your travel money before you leave Canada can help you save time, money, and hassle. Join us as we compare the best ways to spend in Euro, including travel money cards and cash. Whether you prefer to spend with a card, or need to know if Estonia is great for cash, this guide shows you the best money solution when you travel overseas.

Best ways to take money to Estonia - an overview

Let’s kick off with a quick summary of the travel money options we’ll cover in this full guide - click to check out the providers we’ve highlighted, or read on for more detail.

ProviderCard typeSpending feesGo to provider
Wise travel cardVisa debit cardNo fees to spend currencies you holdGo to Wise
BMO prepaid travel cardMastercard prepaid2.5% foreign transaction fee for prepaid cardGo to BMO
BMO Ascend™ World Elite®Mastercard credit card2.5% foreign transaction feeGo to BMO

Debit cards for Estonia

Debit cards can be issued by a bank or specialist provider. Your card will be linked to an account you need to top up before you can spend.

Spending and making cash withdrawals with a travel debit card in Estonia can be convenient, and if you pick a low cost provider, it could be cheap too. Generally using a debit card cuts out a few common fees compared to using credit cards, but you’ll need to have money in your account before you travel as there’s no credit facility with this option.

Ideal for: Low cost spending and withdrawals when you’re in Estonia, particularly if you choose a flexible card which has good exchange rates when you spend in EUR

Wise travel card

Delivered in CanadaDelivered in CanadaVisa/Mastercard debit cardVisa/Mastercard debit cardVirtual card availableVirtual card availableMid-market exchange rateMid-market exchange rate

Open a Wise account online or in the Wise app, to order a Wise travel card you can use for convenient spending and withdrawals in Estonia. Wise accounts can hold 40+ currencies, so you can top up in CAD easily from your bank or using your card. Whenever you travel, to Estonia or beyond, you’ll have the option to convert to the currency you need in advance if it’s supported for holding a balance, or simply let the card do the conversion at the point of payment.

In either case you’ll get the mid-market exchange rate with low, transparent fees whenever you spend in EUR, plus some free ATM withdrawals every month - perfect if you’re looking for easy ways to arrange your travel cash.

Wise features

CardFees for spendingATM feesWithdraw limitAnnual feeApp availableTrustpilot score
Visa or Mastercard Debit CardNo fees to spend currencies you hold

Some fee free withdrawals monthly, with low fees after that

7,000 CAD a month

N/AiOS & Android4.2 / 5 (200,000+)

Wise travel card pros and cons

  • Hold and exchange 40+ currencies with the mid-market rate
  • Spend seamlessly in EUR when you travel
  • Some free ATM withdrawals every month, for those times only cash will do
  • Ways to receive payments to your Wise account conveniently
  • Manage your account and card from your phone
  • ATM fees apply once you've exhausted your monthly free withdrawals
  • Physical cards may take 14 days to arrive (you can use your virtual card right away)

How to apply for a Wise card

Here’s how to apply for a Wise account and order a Wise  travel card in Canada:

  1. Open the Wise app or desktop site

  2. Select Register and confirm you want to open a personal account

  3. Register with your email, Facebook, Apple or Google ID

  4. Upload your ID document to complete the verification step

  5. Tap the Cards tab to order your card

  6. Confirm your mailing address, and your card will be on the way, and should arrive in 14 days

How much does a debit card cost?

Debit cards are usually relatively cheap to use. It’s worth checking if your bank debit card can be used in Estonia, and if any foreign transaction fees or international ATM fees will apply. Compare your bank debit cards against a specialist alternative like the Wise debit card, which is optimised for international use, to see which is cheaper.

Advantages and disadvantages for taking a debit card to Estonia

Travel debit cards are good ifConsider alternatives to cards if 

✅ You want low cost spending and withdrawals

✅ Your bank or specialist card has low or no foreign transaction fees

✅ You need ways to both spend on card and get cash from ATMs

✅ You’re happy to top up your account in advance to set your travel money budget

❌ You’d prefer to spread the cost of your trip over a few months

❌ You need a card you can use as payment guarantee when checking into a hotel or hiring a vehicle

Prepaid cards for Estonia

Prepaid cards are often issued by specialist providers, although some banks do also offer this facility.

With a prepaid card you’ll need to add money to a digital account before you can spend. The features and fees of prepaid cards can vary quite widely - some are designed for overseas use, while others may have pretty high fees when you’re overseas. Comparing a few will help you pick.

Ideal for: Setting your travel budget in advance, and then spending and making withdrawals as you travel in Estonia

BMO travel card

Delivered in CanadaDelivered in CanadaMastercard debit cardMastercard debit card

If you’re looking for a card from a major bank for spending in Estonia, you may be considering BMO. There are a few different card options which may appeal to travellers, including a prepaid card which allows you to top up in CAD and spend in EUR with a foreign transaction fee. This is a useful product when overseas as it’s not linked to your normal bank account - but the fees do push up costs overall.

Alternatively, check out the BMO credit card options - these are helpful if you want to spread the costs of your travel over a few months, but can also come with their own fees and charges.

BMO features

CardFees for spendingATM feesWithdraw limitAnnual feeApp availableTrustpilot score
Mastercard Debit Card2.5% foreign transaction fee for prepaid card

5 CAD for prepaid card

Check the details for your card in the BMO app6.95 CAD for prepaid cardiOS & AndroidNot active on Trustpilot

BMO travel card pros and cons

  • Selection of cards including credit and prepaid options
  • Not linked to your everyday account which can be more secure when spending overseas
  • Various perks available depending on the card you pick
  • Full range of banking services available
  • 2.5% foreign transaction fee for prepaid card
  • 6.95 CAD annual fee for prepaid card - credit cards are also likely to have an annual fee
  • ATM fees and cash advance charges apply

How to apply for a BMO card

Here’s how to apply for a BMO account and order a travel card in Canada:

  1. Visit the BMO website or app

  2. Select the card you want - for a prepaid Mastercard there’s no credit check, spo ordering is quick and easy

  3. Tap Apply now and complete the details as prompted

  4. Pay any annual fee required

  5. Your card will be mailed to you

How much does a prepaid card cost?

Prepaid cards which are designed for international use can offer flexibility and low international fees. It’s worth shopping around to find an option which supports low or no cost spending and withdrawals - if you’re eligible, getting a BMO Prepaid Mastercard could be a smart move, as a prepaid card with great travel features.

Advantages and disadvantages for taking a prepaid card to Estonia

Travel prepaid cards are good ifConsider alternatives to prepaid cards if

✅ You want to add money to your account in advance for overseas spending

✅ You need to make cash withdrawals as well as pay by card

✅ You’ve picked a card with flexible international features and low or no cost overseas spending 

❌ You want to earn rewards or cash back on your spending

❌ You need to be able to pay off your travel costs over a few months

Credit cards for Estonia

With a credit card you’ll be able to spend to your credit limit and then repay your bill later - fees apply if you don’t pay in full and on time.

Credit cards can come with a few extra fees compared to debit and prepaid cards, such as interest, penalties and cash advance costs. However, they’re still an attractive option if you have a travel optimised card which lets you earn rewards as you spend, or if you need a card to act as a payment guarantee when you hire a car or check into a hotel.

Ideal for: Spending now and paying back later - you may also earn rewards or cash back spending on the card you pick

BMO Ascend travel card

Mastercard network for global acceptanceMastercard network for global acceptanceExtra rewards for travel spendExtra rewards for travel spendUse your rewards for travel perks and benefitsUse your rewards for travel perks and benefits

The BMO Ascend™ World Elite® Mastercard credit card is widely accepted and issued on the Mastercard network. It’s a premium card which means it comes with a fairly high minimum income requirement - but also offers good rewards earning opportunities, particularly on overseas and travel spend. You can cash in your rewards for future travel experiences, and you get perks like lounge access, too. Annual fees, cash advance costs, and foreign transaction fees apply.

BMO Ascend features

CardFees for spendingATM feesAnnual feeApp available
Mastercard Credit card2.5% foreign transaction fee1% or 5 CAD, whichever is greater150 CADOn Android and Apple

BMO Ascend pros and cons

  • Premium card with reward points for travel
  • Extra members only benefits from Mastercard
  • Spread the costs of your purchases over months if you want
  • Lounge access available
  • Some travel and medical insurance included with card
  • 150 CAD annual fee
  • Minimum income of 80,000 CAD required
  • Interest, penalties and other fees may apply

Apply online on the BMO website with your personal and contact information, SIN, and details of your income and employment.

How much does a credit card cost?

Generally, using a credit card can be more expensive than using a debit or prepaid card. There are various fees to consider, including an annual fee, interest and penalties, depending on how you use your card. Plus for international use you might find foreign transaction fees and hefty cash advance charges for ATM use. Check your card’s terms and conditions carefully before you use it overseas.

Advantages and disadvantages for taking a credit card to Estonia

Travel credit cards are good ifConsider alternatives to credit cards if 

✅ You want to earn rewards or cash back on spending

✅ You want to spread the costs of your purchases over months

✅ You want a card you can use as a payment guarantee

✅ You can find a card with low or no foreign transaction fees

❌ You’re concerned about interest or penalty fees

❌ Your card has high cash advance costs for ATM use

Taking cash to Estonia

There are likely to be times in Estonia when cash is handy - for smaller purchases, tipping and taxis for example. Having some cash in your pocket is also reassuring in case your preferred payment card isn’t available or can't be accepted for some reason. Carrying too much cash is a security risk, so do be careful as tourists are often prey to opportunist thieves  - in Estonia and the world over. Take out cash from ATMs little and often if you can.

Ideal for: Those times when only cash will do - market purchases, tipping and taxis for example

How much cash should I bring to Estonia?

The budget you need to set for your trip depends a lot on what type of trip you’re expecting – you may be travelling or a shoestring, or you might be all up for a big blow out, with the very best of everything available in Estonia. In either case you can avoid spending money unnecessarily with a bit of advance planning, booking accommodation online before you travel, and looking out for deals and offers.

How much money do I need per day in Estonia?

While the amount of money you need depends a lot on the type of trip you’re taking, there are some things pretty much all travellers need to consider, including:

  • Accommodation

  • Meals

  • Transportation

  • Entry to tourist locations

  • Activities and entertainment

  • Tips and discretionary spend

  • Any tourist taxes or visas that apply

You can start to set your budget for different spending types long before you travel - it’s also worth taking into consideration less obvious costs like the fees you’ll pay for currency conversion.

The exchange rate between CAD and Euro changes all the time, but getting a better rate means your money goes further when you’re in Estonia. Right now, 1 CAD/EUR = 0.66777. Get familiar with the exchange rate by using a reputable online currency converter, so you know what to expect.

In Estonia, the average accommodation typically costs around 127 CAD per night, offering a wide range of options from cozy hostels to luxurious resorts, ensuring there's something to suit every traveler's budget. Local transportation, like buses, trains, and trams, provides convenient and affordable ways to explore the cities and other areas, with an average price of 34 CAD.

Dining experiences in Estonia offer many options, from fresh seafood to multicultural cuisines, with meals averaging around 48 CAD. For people seeking hassle-free adventures, organized tour packages are readily available, showcasing the country's iconic landmarks, wildlife encounters, and cultural highlights, with prices starting from 21 CAD.

Outgoings average for one dayCosts in Estonia
Accommodation127 CAD
Public transportation34 CAD
Meal48 CAD
Entertainment21 CAD

Is Estonia expensive?

The amount of money you’ll spend in Estonia depends a lot on the type of travel you like - whether that’s low cost or luxury. You can always make sure you stick to your planned budget by booking accommodation well in advance, and looking for great local places to eat rather than sticking to tourist hotspots where the prices tend to be cranked up. There are loads of great, and up to date, online resources to help you plan your trip to Estonia which include hot tips and ways to save - do some research before you go to make your money go further.

What is the best way to pay in Estonia?

It’s worth having a mixture of payment methods with you when you’re in Estonia, including cash and cards. While cards have reasonable acceptance, it’s not universal, so carrying one or more cards, and some cash means you can combine the convenience of card payments with the flexibility of having cash on hand for situations where cards may not be accepted.

Can I use my bank card in Estonia?

Generally you can use your bank card in Estonia wherever the network is accepted. However you might find you can get a better deal with a specialist provider like Wise. Using a bank card issued in Canada for spending in Estonia may come with a few headaches. You might need to inform your bank of your travel plans in advance, you could run into fees such as foreign transaction fees - and there’s a good chance you won’t get the very best exchange rate available either.

Is it better to exchange money in Canada or in Estonia?

There’s no strict right and wrong when it comes to exchanging currency in Canada versus Estonia. Ultimately, the best option comes down to the exchange rates and fees you can find both here and on arrival - and the convenience. Changing money on arrival means wasting precious time looking for a good deal, but carrying too much with you when you travel might not be the safest option.

Having some cash on hand can be very useful and reassuring, as you know you’ll always be able to pay for immediate expenses, or for emergencies. It’s also a handy back up if your preferred card isn’t accepted.

Because carrying lots of cash can make you a target of thieves, be sure to use the safety box in the hotel where you can, and split funds between a few different spots in your baggage as well. No matter whether you exchange at home or abroad, it’s also a smart idea to keep an eye on exchange rates so you’ll know you’re getting the best available deal on currency exchange.

How to buy EUR on arrival in Estonia?

If you plan on changing your money on arrival in Estonia you’ll want to research currency exchange options in advance to avoid wasting time on your trip. In many cases physical exchange offices are clustered in one area of a city, such as the CBD or financial area. Compare your options based on fees and rates available before you hand over any money. It’s also worth stressing the importance of using a licensed money changer to avoid scams.

If you don’t want to waste time changing your money to Euro on arrival, consider an alternative like the Wise card. With the Wise card you can add money in CAD and tap to pay in EUR without needing to do a manual exchange. Your money is changed using the mid-market rate and low, transparent fee - with no extra foreign transaction fee to worry about.

Does Estonia accept Canadian Dollars?

Generally it’s not possible to pay in CAD anywhere except in Canada. The official currency in Estonia is Euro - and in most cases this is the only currency you can use to pay.

Conclusion - Best ways to take money to Estonia

There’s no single best way to spend in Estonia - and for most people, having a blend of payment options gives flexibility and reassurance. Consider getting a low cost debit card from an international provider like Wise, alongside your regular bank debit or credit card, and some cash in EUR. That way you’re prepared no matter what happens.

FAQ - Best ways to take money to Estonia

What is the best way to take money internationally?

The best way to take money with you when you travel depends on your personal preferences and where you’re headed - usually having an international debit or prepaid card, alongside your bank debit or credit card and a little cash is a smart plan.

Should I exchange money before I travel to Estonia?

While you can exchange money before you travel, it’s not necessary and can eat up your precious planning time. If you don’t want to change your money in advance you can get a low cost international card from a provider like Wise, to make ATM withdrawals with low or no fees when you arrive in your destination.

Can I withdraw EUR from a local ATM?

You can’t withdraw Euro from a local ATM in Canada. You’ll need to wait until you arrive to make a cash withdrawal - ATMs are often found in airports, train stations and other travel hubs to make this easier.

Are debit travel cards a good way to take money to Estonia?

Generally debit travel cards are cheap and flexible for international spending and withdrawal. Pick a low cost international card from a provider like Wise, to get flexible international services and low overall fees.

Can I use cash in Estonia?

You can often use cash, but carrying a lot of cash isn’t a smart move for safety. Using a mix of cards and cash, and making ATM withdrawals as and when you need to can give you the best of all worlds when it comes to your travel spending.

Data sources & references

Data on the cost of accommodation, meals, travel and entertainment is kindly provided by BudgetYourTrip. The information is correct as of April 2024.

Note: “accommodation” refers to the cost of a double-occupancy hotel room and “entertainment” refers to outgoings on shows, excursions, etc.

Claire Millard
Ileana Ionescu
Last updated
May 6, 2024