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Old 11-08-2015, 05:55 AM
 
Location: Durm
5,876 posts, read 8,847,946 times
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Yikes, it's late for me to be worried about this - I have two credit cards with the embedded chip, and thought they would be fine for Europe travel, only to find after more googling that EU uses chip and PIN tech, and the US-issued chip cards are chip and signature.

Googling gives me varied info about acceptance of the US-issued cards and it seems they may not be valid at train kiosks?

Does anyone have personal experience they can share? I'm going to Paris, London and Madrid. Thanks!
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Old 11-08-2015, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Arlington VA
550 posts, read 523,128 times
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Don't your credit cards have the black magnetic strip? Then you don't have to worry about the chip.

You would just "swipe" your card at any merchant instead of inserting it in the chip reader. I lived in Germany for 5 years, and travelled all over Europe with just a plain US-issued debit VISA card with no embedded chip. And as you can guess, I've used my card at numerous restaurants, ATM machines, department stores, airports, train stations, small mom-and-pop shops, etc...

No problems.
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Old 11-08-2015, 01:23 PM
 
Location: World
3,660 posts, read 3,522,136 times
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In Europe, Cash is King. Also carry Bank of America Debit Card so that if your Credit Card is not accepted, you are able to take some cash out of ATM Machine (Cash Machine).
I dont know how you will use your Credit Card in ATM Machine if you do not have PIN?
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Old 11-08-2015, 01:23 PM
 
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I just got a new chip card the other day, and I noticed on the bank's website that I could also select a PIN number for cash advances or whatever. Maybe that would help in Europe?
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Old 11-08-2015, 01:58 PM
 
Location: World
3,660 posts, read 3,522,136 times
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With using Debit Card and ATM machine of Bank of Global ATM Alliance, one can save some money like better rates and charges for international access of machine.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_ATM_Alliance
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Old 11-08-2015, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,316 posts, read 4,162,308 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorasMom View Post
Yikes, it's late for me to be worried about this - I have two credit cards with the embedded chip, and thought they would be fine for Europe travel, only to find after more googling that EU uses chip and PIN tech, and the US-issued chip cards are chip and signature.

Googling gives me varied info about acceptance of the US-issued cards and it seems they may not be valid at train kiosks?
Your cards should work fine just about everywhere. The places where you may run into trouble are unmanned ticket kiosks in subway or train stations, and (if you're going to be renting a car) gas stations that are unmanned or require payment via credit card at the pump. Just take along some Euros and Pounds Sterling as backup for your cards, and enjoy your trip!
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Old 11-08-2015, 03:38 PM
 
15,545 posts, read 13,536,591 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorasMom View Post
Yikes, it's late for me to be worried about this - I have two credit cards with the embedded chip, and thought they would be fine for Europe travel, only to find after more googling that EU uses chip and PIN tech, and the US-issued chip cards are chip and signature.

Googling gives me varied info about acceptance of the US-issued cards and it seems they may not be valid at train kiosks?

Does anyone have personal experience they can share? I'm going to Paris, London and Madrid. Thanks!
You should be able to go onto your bank's website and create a pin for your cards.

All four of my cards have the chip and pin, some does my business issued CC.
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Old 11-08-2015, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Durm
5,876 posts, read 8,847,946 times
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So what I'm hearing is the PIN you can get from the bank is a completely different PIN than the one required at the Chip and PIN readers in Europe - and the magnetic strip is no longer effective (has been replaced with the chip). But all of my cards now have the chip - so as long as I can sign, that'll work. I did request a new PIN just in case (have zero idea of what mine is).

Munna I won't use my credit card at an ATM but I would use my debit card at one - I have that PIN

I'm referring to this:

https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-ti...chip-pin-cards

Thanks all!
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Old 11-08-2015, 05:01 PM
 
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I used a chip and signature card on my last trip to Europe (summer 2014). I was able to use without a PIN in Paris for small purchases from kiosks (i.e. Metro day pass). I was not able to use it with unmanned kiosks in Denmark, regardless of the size of purchase. I suspect/assume this is due to different policies regarding PIN/signature requirements for small purchases, like the US policy that no signature is required for small (<$50) purchases. Almost all restaurants, shops, and hotels were happy to run as a chip and signature - just insert in the chip reader, and the machine automatically prints a receipt with signature line. Still, I like to keep sufficient cash for the day on hand, just in case.

Regarding US vs. European PINs. The chip and PIN activation is separate from PIN activation for ATM or swipe transactions. Most (all?) US debit/check card holders have a PIN number that works for ATM withdrawals and point of service transactions in the US. You can use this same PIN for ATM withdrawals in Europe, as long as it is a four digit/numeric PIN. If your debit/check card happens to have a chip, you may or may not be able to use this PIN for chip and PIN point of service transactions - you need to call your bank to find out if they have enabled chip and PIN, or just chip and signature. If they only have chip and signature, then the card reader will not even ask for a PIN.

My understanding is that most chip enabled cards issued in the US are chip and signature. All of my cards have transitioned to chip technology over the past 2 years - only one is chip and PIN, and it was very clear when I activated the new card that it was PIN enabled. I think there are also some companies that issue chip and signature as the default, but will enable a PIN if you ask.
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Old 11-08-2015, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Kalamalka Lake, B.C.
3,044 posts, read 4,016,359 times
Reputation: 3898
The key in the comment above is to make sure you PIN is only FOUR DIGITS. I had to modify my Canadian card from several more and drop to my old PIN code, four digits, or it wouldn't work in the USA, either.
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