Originally Posted by rodi
I had no issues with my PenFed FCU chip and pin visa. I used it at unmanned kiosks in Amsterdam and Berlin. (It defaulted to signature everywhere else because there were cashiers there.)
I ran into an "invalid card" error when I tried to use my PenFed VISA at the metro ticket machine at Schiphol airport (Amsterdam). Surprise! It read my BofA VISA just fine (clearly valid), but I didn't know what to do for the PIN. So I used my Fidelity debit card which it accepted with PIN. Fortunately I'd been sure get an updated debit card with chip right before my trip.
Supposedly the card works at Amsterdam Centraal just fine. But not at the airport? These Europe automated ticket machines are just so annoyingly finicky and unpredictable.
I actually didn't use the PenFed card with PIN after that, although I did use it for a couple of signature purchases. My debit card became the new workhorse for small purchases via ticket machines. It was very reliable, so I ate the 1% fee which I considered negligible on small purchases.
When you are standing in line, and there are people behind you, and the ticket machine already makes you go through numerous screens to get what you want, you don't feel like trying cards that didn't work before - you use the card that you think is most likely to work. So I never tested the PenFed VISA with chip and PIN in an SNCF ticket machine. I also had read many places that those machines often reject US issued credit cards anyway.