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Old 01-06-2015, 10:03 AM   #21
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A chip and signature card won't work this way. You really have to get a card that is explicitly a chip and PIN card. Unfortunately, the optional PIN available for the signature card to is only for cash advances.
This whole thing can be very confusing.
I specifically asked for chip & PIN cards, and I got two of them about a year ago.One is a Visa from Andrews FCU, the other is a MasterCard from USAA FSB. Sometimes (in Canada, Iceland, and Belgium) I could use them the same way the furriners do -- stick the card in, enter the PIN, remove the card when approved.
Other times, I tried to do the same, but the machine (usually carried to the table by a server) spit out a paper receipt for me to sign.

So it all depends.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:08 AM   #22
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Yes, and how often do stores actually LOOK closely at the signature on the back of one's card, and compared it with one's signature? Not often as far as I can tell.

I don't think the signature is any kind of security at all for us.
In the UK, the machines are set up to ask the human operator to check the signature. And 100% of the time they actually checked it. It is sort of silly, though, because if I had possession of a stolen card, I would practice forging before I used it, and although all of the humans that did a signature transaction checked the signature, they all are not handwriting analysts.

The UK parking machines where there is no human, the card still works, but there may be a threshold under which a signature validation is not required.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:16 AM   #23
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Audrey and Braumeister - who issued your chip and pin (that defaults to chip and signature)...

I'm heading to Europe this summer and want to make sure I have options.

I think I recall from an older thread that one of them was Penfed... is that right? How well did it work at kiosks. (We're doing a lot of train travel so kiosk use would be nice)
The PenFed Cash Rewards VISA.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:19 AM   #24
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I have a card that was supposed to be chip and signature/pin. But, in Europe when I used it in automated machines to buy bus tickets and other services, it never worked. Fortunately, there was always a machine nearby that would take Euro cash and coins.

What a mess!
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:20 AM   #25
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This whole thing can be very confusing.
I specifically asked for chip & PIN cards, and I got two of them about a year ago.One is a Visa from Andrews FCU, the other is a MasterCard from USAA FSB. Sometimes (in Canada, Iceland, and Belgium) I could use them the same way the furriners do -- stick the card in, enter the PIN, remove the card when approved.
Other times, I tried to do the same, but the machine (usually carried to the table by a server) spit out a paper receipt for me to sign.

So it all depends.
Both of those are chip and PIN cards. Different from chip and signature, although they look just the same. The former will prompt you for a PIN at an automated kiosk (if and only if the kiosk company accepts foreign credit cards). The latter simply won't work.

If you are not at an automated kiosk, the U.S. issued chip and PIN cards ask for signature instead of pin. That's how they are configured by the US issuers. It's called signature priority.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:26 AM   #26
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I have a card that was supposed to be chip and signature/pin. But, in Europe when I used it in automated machines to buy bus tickets and other services, it never worked. Fortunately, there was always a machine nearby that would take Euro cash and coins.

What a mess!
Sometimes the issue is the kiosk company. Deutsche Bahn kiosks would not acct my card. But the Vienna Metro kiosk happily prompted me for my PIN, and the transaction went through.

But that will only with a chip and PIN card. You can't use a chip and signature card in those kiosks.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:27 AM   #27
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The cards have a priority list. Most US issued cards will default to signature verification.

I have a Barclays Arrival Plus MasterCard. Most places, I had to sign with it.

But I was able to use it at some metro or train kiosks where my other chip and signature cards didn't work.

I also was able to charge like 50 Euros in gas at an unattended gas station, again where my Chase Sapphire Preferred chip and signature Visa didn't work.

It doesn't charge any fees for foreign currencies so it's really good for travel. However, it has a $85 or $95 annual fee after the first year and I'm not sure I would keep it in addition to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which also has a $95 annual fee but offers better rewards.

I'm hoping things like Apple Pay takes off, so it wouldn't matter what kind of card you have, at least for smaller sums (say under $25 or $50). But it would require all these places to update their machines to support contactless or NFC scanners.

I think old gas stations would be the toughest places. Often they don't have attendants or are closed from like 12 to 3 PM so you have to use the kiosks which only take chip and PIN cards.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:54 AM   #28
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Is there a way to check if your Visa card is a chip & PIN while in the USA?

I have a Chase Sapphire and BofA Visa. Both have chips and I thought they could handle chip & PIN. But we will be in Europe this September and it would be good to test them here.
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Old 01-06-2015, 11:04 AM   #29
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I implemented Chip and PIN for a payment services organization shortly before retirement. I left the job of puzzling through the ramifications of implementing signatures to the guy who took over. I'm sure he's still silently cursing me!


Personally, I shudder at the thought of my financial security being entrusted to some bleary-eyed clerk scrutinizing scribbles!
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Old 01-06-2015, 11:04 AM   #30
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Those are chip and signature.

And if they were chip and PIN, they'd have sent you the PIN codes. Not the cash advance PIN but PIN for the chip in them.

You'll just have to go to places with human attendants. For instance use the ticket window at the train station instead of the kiosks.
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Old 01-06-2015, 11:10 AM   #31
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You'll just have to go to places with human attendants. For instance use the ticket window at the train station instead of the kiosks.

And that is exactly the problem. Often the line at the ticket window can be a 20 or 30 minute wait. And, as mentioned previously, some places have no human interface at all. Either your card works, or you don't buy your tickets, gasoline, etc.

The banks have put us into another silly mess.
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Old 01-06-2015, 11:25 AM   #32
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Those are chip and signature.

And if they were chip and PIN, they'd have sent you the PIN codes. Not the cash advance PIN but PIN for the chip in them.

You'll just have to go to places with human attendants. For instance use the ticket window at the train station instead of the kiosks.
Maybe you are responding to my question? The problem is they may have sent me a PIN code but I always destroy the printout and write it down in a secret place. All my cards use the same PIN so I won't get confused.

The problem remains, how to test a card before the need overseas?

EDIT: I called Chase and my card is indeed the chip/signature. They are interested in chip/pin but it's not here yet.
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:04 PM   #33
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Is there a way to check if your Visa card is a chip & PIN while in the USA?

I have a Chase Sapphire and BofA Visa. Both have chips and I thought they could handle chip & PIN. But we will be in Europe this September and it would be good to test them here.
I can tell you that neither card is a chip and PIN. Neither of those banks issues a chip and PIN card.

I have the BofA VISA.

Only a few credit unions issue chip and PIN cards in the US. PenFed is one of them. Also the ones Braumaster used.

I don't know of a way to test in the US.
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:19 PM   #34
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I can tell you that neither card is a chip and PIN. Neither of those banks issues a chip and PIN card.

I have the BofA VISA.

Only a few credit unions issue chip and PIN cards in the US. PenFed is one of them. Also the ones Braumaster used.

I don't know of a way to test in the US.
Thanks. Oh well, so far we have not had problems in the UK (2013) and France (2012). I guess we'll survive in Italy and Greece.
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:47 PM   #35
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Thanks. Oh well, so far we have not had problems in the UK (2013) and France (2012). I guess we'll survive in Italy and Greece.
It's only if you want to buy a bus ticket or a train ticket and would like to avoid the long lines at the ticket windows that this becomes an issue. And out in the boonies, for tickets or gas, sometimes an automatic kiosk is the only option. In the latter case, cash may work just fine in the machine, except for the Netherlands that strives to go cashless. The othe EU countries still readily accept cash.
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:55 PM   #36
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It's only if you want to buy a bus ticket or a train ticket and would like to avoid the long lines at the ticket windows that this becomes an issue. And out in the boonies, for tickets or gas, sometimes an automatic kiosk is the only option. In the latter case, cash may work just fine in the machine, except for the Netherlands that strives to go cashless. The othe EU countries still readily accept cash.
In Italy we plan on traveling by train and bus (no car). We're not going to do too many hops though because that is just too tiring. Current plan is train from Rome to Assisi, then to Orvieto, then to Sienna. Then bus to Florence. I'm guessing we will not have that big an issue with ticket lines.
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:27 PM   #37
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Only a few credit unions issue chip and PIN cards in the US. PenFed is one of them. Also the ones Braumaster used.
I thought I read where PenFed reverted back to chip and signature for their credit cards. Perhaps I am wrong.
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:45 PM   #38
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I thought I read where PenFed reverted back to chip and signature for their credit cards. Perhaps I am wrong.
Alan, I think, was having trouble with his card. But mine, issued late Spring 2014 worked. His first card was an American Express. He later got a VISA I think.

Here is an article from Oct 2014, so it's pretty current.
9 Chip + PIN credit cards with no foreign fees | MileCards.com
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:51 PM   #39
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Yes, and how often do stores actually LOOK closely at the signature on the back of one's card, and compared it with one's signature? Not often as far as I can tell.

I don't think the signature is any kind of security at all for us.
Agreed, I signed my cards "See Identification", only about 1/2 do it.
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Old 01-06-2015, 03:18 PM   #40
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I really wanted a CHIP and PIN card and initially Penfed said they did CHIP and PIN, plus it has no foreign transaction fees. However after they sent the new card and I tried it in Canada it was only CHIP and Signature, and wouldn't work in a car park with an unattended kiosk.

I contacted them and complained, and they assured me that they did do CHIP and PIN and sent me another, however the PIN is only there for cash advances. I used it all over Australia and New Zealand and it never prompted for a PIN and I got to used to telling merchants, "It's American, they don't do CHIP and PIN". When I tried to use it at an unattended kiosk in Sydney to buy ferry tickets it didn't work without a PIN but luckily there was an attendant wandering around with a mobile CC reader for tourists like us.

We'll be back in Canada for quite a few weeks this year, and I'm resigned to having to explain that, yes, it looks and behaves like a CHIP & PIN card but when you turn away while I enter my PIN, I have only touched the approve button and there is no authorization until I sign the receipt you need to print out. I will be carrying my UK CHIP and PIN card for the few times I may encounter unattended kiosks that don't take cash.

In the UK it is worse because I have a British accent the merchants find it hard to believe a UK person has such a weird card. Places with many American tourists don't have a problem, but on Ilkley moor bar t'at it is more of an issue.
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