Who Should Pack A Smart Card For Traveling?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sobore, Apr 15, 2012.  |  Print Topic

    • Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

    http://articles.businessinsider.com...796_1_credit-cards-mastercard-corporate-cards

    In the year since the first major issuer debuted an EMV credit card for U.S. consumers, a handful of national banks and credit unions have rolled out their own versions.
    These credit cards, outfitted with microchips for better security and widely used abroad, aren't exactly taking the country by storm.
    But the spate of new offerings raises interesting questions for those who have lived EMV-free so far: Who should get an EMV credit card, and how would someone get one?
    More than 1.34 billion EMV cards dot the globe, according to EMVCo, the U.K.-based, industry-owned organization that manages the EMV chip standard. (EMV is an acronym for Europay, MasterCard and Visa -- the developers of the standard.)
    But the U.S. rollout of chip cards has been slow; issuers mostly have offered cards with a magnetic strip.
    But some U.S. travelers have discovered that merchants in Europe and Asia don't always accept their chipless cards and that some mag-strip cards also have failed in some overseas ticket kiosks and other unmanned machines, says Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of Smart Card Alliance, a New Jersey-based nonprofit that promotes smart card technology.
    That can cause inconvenience and frustration for travelers.
    • Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

    One time, I had a merchant in the UK tell me I had to provide a PIN for my US-issued swipe only AMEX...he did not seem to understand why I did not have a PIN.

    Fortunately, I have a Barclays account and have my debit card if I cannot avoid providing PIN and chip.
  1. aptraveler Gold Member

    Good article, I had a similar situation back in October on my trip to Morocco and Switzerland. On different occasions I was also asked several times for a PIN in order for the transaction to go through and for the merchant to get that important approval code.
    When I got home I contacted Chase about the inconvenient experiences that I had abroad trying to use my CC and that's when I learn about the EMV cards. They advised me to contact them prior to going abroad so that they could accommodate me with a new card. I was also told that they were not planning to roll these new cards to the general public until 2013 I believe.
    So that's what I am planning to do before I head down to Brazil & Argentina in the fall, get me one of those EMV cards and hopefully avoid any CC payment issues abroad!
    Laptop Nomad, jbcarioca and LETTERBOY like this.
    • Original Member

    mht_flyer Gold Member

    I can say this, 7-11s in Oslo won't take mag-stripe only cards. Luckily there was a ATM machine that did work w/ my corp card.
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    • Original Member

    FlyingBear Silver Member

    I found out that in Oslo airport they are so used to using chip cards, one guy told me that they did not accept magnetic card at all. Of course, on the second pass through the airport, same place, same machine but different clerk had no issue with it.
    jbcarioca likes this.
  2. daemon14 Gold Member

    Then what about chip-and-signature cards? I have my BA Chase card and will be in Europe with it for the first time. I called Chase and they said there's no pin on it ...
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    • Original Member

    jbcarioca Gold Member

    Luckily for you magstripe cards are accepted everywhere cards are accepted in Brazil and Argentina. That may not last forever, but now you'll have no problem anywhere. Europe is another story....
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    • Original Member

    jbcarioca Gold Member

    They are worthless in an EMV environment. they are the equivalent of nothing if they do not come with a pin. Luckily most manned environments in Europe will accpt a magstripe of pseudo-emv card like the new useless Citi pinless chip cards.
    aptraveler and LETTERBOY like this.
  3. aptraveler Gold Member

    Thanks for your advise. When I was down there last time, I had no problems using my striped CC, but that was 4 years ago! I guess you're right, Europe is another story! ;-)
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    • Original Member

    kyunbit Silver Member

    So, what is the best option for using cards at say unmanned kiosks in Europe? I was not old enough to get credit cards when Diners club shut down enrollment. Travelex charges an arm and leg
    jbcarioca likes this.
    • Original Member

    kaka Gold Member

    like Dutch train tickets? use cash....
    oh btw, many of them dont take bills...
    jbcarioca likes this.
    • Original Member

    kyunbit Silver Member

    ahh and ATMs disburse only cash..
    jbcarioca likes this.
    • Original Member

    kaka Gold Member

    yes. it's so idiotic... and only selected machines take selected credit cards at a surcharge. at those cases i usually just ask someone to help me buy...
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  4. Laptop Nomad Silver Member

    I have thought about getting one of these until I saw this post. I looked at the terms and there is no mention of a pin. They do mention the chip like they are great for having this. Maybe I should just get a capital one as I have accounts there.
    jbcarioca likes this.
    • Original Member

    lili Gold Member

    The back of my newish SPG Amex has the chip symbol on it, but I have no pin. It doesn't work in German train and sBahn machines, but works fine in Italian stations.
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  5. philatravelgirl Silver Member

    I had to call to request a pin as the rep didn't know you needed one she said "for cash advance?" I said no and then read the activation card that has a separate number to call for a pin as I am in the UK soon
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  6. daemon14 Gold Member

    I tried to use the card for the S-Bahn at FRA but without a pin, it's utterly useless.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
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    • Original Member

    jbcarioca Gold Member

    Keep in mind that if they issue the US-style pin, ie one not connected to the chip, it still will not work in the automated locations in Europe. The card must be full EMV, and nearly all the new US cards are coming with the useless pin+signature, with the old-fashioned pin for cash advance which works in atm's only. This system is designed to be confusing!
    LETTERBOY and Laptop Nomad like this.
  7. philatravelgirl Silver Member

    Thanks for update, will see what happens when I'm in the UK
  8. daemon14 Gold Member

    That said, I was still able to go inside to the ticket office since I was there at 11am, but it was still annoying not to be able to to use the machine. Pretty sure I missed a train while waiting in line and had to take a later one.
  9. yaychemistry Silver Member

    I did ok with a mag-stripe in Oslo for a few days about a month ago, but I mostly stuck to the touristy areas. The only hiccup was at the airport buying train tickets at the kiosk. There was a manned station that charged an extra fee to use, but the clerk waived the fee when we told him our cards didn't work in the kiosk.
    LETTERBOY likes this.
  10. Menashe Silver Member

    I used my Chase BA Visa (Chip and Signature) successfully in London Underground vending machines last week. It did not prompt me for a PIN. In the past, I've tried using mag-stripe cards, which do not work at all in those machines.

    It's not perfect, but these cards will work at least some of the time when the mag-stripe ones don't.

    There are minor benefits in stores too. I've never been turned down in Europe with a mag-stripe card, but I've had to explain to clerks how to use it. With the Chip and Signature, you enter it in the machine in a way they're familiar with and the machine does the rest - it prints out a slip and prompts the clerk to ask you for a signature.
    LETTERBOY and yaychemistry like this.
    • Original Member

    LizzyDragon84 Gold Member

    I was in London last month with only mag-stripe cards and had no issue using the Underground vending machines.
    tebfunk and LETTERBOY like this.

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