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Old 07-22-2014, 03:38 PM   #221
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I just got back from a month in Italy, Germany and England. Used my Capital One (no foreign transaction fees) magnetic stripe card everywhere. Used it in automated machines to buy train tickets in Germany and England (Tube/Oyster cards), hotels, restaurants, really everywhere. Every business had a machine for swiping our US cards. The only place I had trouble (where a PIN was reqd) was the train ticket machines in Italy - I ended up using cash or ATM Debit Card there. I could have paid with the credit card at the ticket office, but the line was too long.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:19 PM   #222
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If you ever rent a car, you may have to fill up gas at unattended stations, putting on more than 50 Euro.

That is where chip and PIN will be needed.
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Old 07-31-2014, 06:01 PM   #223
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Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
I just got a chip/pin/signature card. Interestingly, the documentation that came with the card says that the card will function as chip and signature card when used internationally at a place with human clerks such as a hotel or restaurant. To use it as a chip-n-pin card overseas I must first use the card internationally as a signature card. After that the pin will work in automated devices like ticket machines and toll booths. …
It is confusing …

This is similar to what a Charles Schwab rep told me for the 2012 trip to Europe for using the magnetic strip debit card. The card first needed to be used as a signature card before using it to withdraw funds. The rep for the 2013 trip said that was nonsense.

We're just back from a month in Italy and Romania. The magnetic-strip Chase Sapphire was a life saver when buying unanticipated and last-minute Trenitalia train tickets at an unattended station. I plugged in the debit pin when queried for "the pin" and to my great surprise and relief it worked. And worked again at another Trenitalia machine in a different city. Using the debit pin also worked for making a purchase in a store when it did not default to signature. (Per the Chase Sapphire rep the debit pin was *supposed* to be useless except for cash advances.)

I wanted to test but never had a chance to whether making up *any* 4-digit code would also do the trick. At other stores (except for that one, which was a clothing store a tad off the tourist track in Treviso) purchases defaulted to signature.

A few years back an AMEX starwood rep said any combination of 4 digits could be used for their pinless card if one is required overseas. But I never tried it out since that card comes with foreign transaction fees and so wasn't used.

Sobering to hear reports of debit cards being eaten by ATMs. I always worry about that every time I stupidly withdraw cash at night right before leaving a country. Never a problem, though, with Charles Schwab (either being eaten or dispensing cash). Capitol One (before they instituted conversion fees last year) also had a good record. Opened a Citi Gold checking account (that can be converted to a non-fee account now that I'm home) to use as a back-up since it too doesn't have conversion fees but never used it on this trip.

Charles Schwab (debit, at ATMs) and Chase Sapphire (credit purchases) handled it all. Shame that Chase Sapphire is about to cut the 7% end of the year mileage bonus and eliminate double-miles for travel and dining purchases.
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Old 08-02-2014, 06:02 PM   #224
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Update from Australia.

We've been here for 3 weeks now and as expected the so called CHIP & PIN Penfed card is definitely CHIP and Signature. Any unattended kiosk such as a self service check out at a supermarket or gas station requires a signature so I have to call an attendant or go into the gas station to pay. I've been warned a couple of times that August 1st is the big switch-over day where ONLY CHIP and PIN will be accepted, and my brother has talked to his bank a couple of times including a manager as he is interested in what will happen going forward as he also can't believe they will still start turning away tourists who don't have CHIP and PIN. The bank personnel were clueless.

Yesterday we went to a restaurant where you order the food and pay at the desk and they bring food to you. There was a big sign on the desk saying they wouldn't do signatures after August 1st and the first time she tried my card it came back declined but tried again and it went through requiring a signature which she allowed me to do with no questions asked.

Earlier on the trip I also tried my ATM card which is traditional magnetic stripe and it worked just fine to get cash so no issues there, so far.
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:42 AM   #225
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So Chip and Signature worked after the supposed cutoff?
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:50 AM   #226
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I've read that the USAA cards issued now (as opposed to a year ago) are "signature priority" making them no different from the others. What a mess!
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:53 AM   #227
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Originally Posted by EveryLady View Post
It is confusing …

This is similar to what a Charles Schwab rep told me for the 2012 trip to Europe for using the magnetic strip debit card. The card first needed to be used as a signature card before using it to withdraw funds. The rep for the 2013 trip said that was nonsense.

We're just back from a month in Italy and Romania. The magnetic-strip Chase Sapphire was a life saver when buying unanticipated and last-minute Trenitalia train tickets at an unattended station. I plugged in the debit pin when queried for "the pin" and to my great surprise and relief it worked. And worked again at another Trenitalia machine in a different city. Using the debit pin also worked for making a purchase in a store when it did not default to signature. (Per the Chase Sapphire rep the debit pin was *supposed* to be useless except for cash advances.)

I wanted to test but never had a chance to whether making up *any* 4-digit code would also do the trick. At other stores (except for that one, which was a clothing store a tad off the tourist track in Treviso) purchases defaulted to signature.

A few years back an AMEX starwood rep said any combination of 4 digits could be used for their pinless card if one is required overseas. But I never tried it out since that card comes with foreign transaction fees and so wasn't used.

Sobering to hear reports of debit cards being eaten by ATMs. I always worry about that every time I stupidly withdraw cash at night right before leaving a country. Never a problem, though, with Charles Schwab (either being eaten or dispensing cash). Capitol One (before they instituted conversion fees last year) also had a good record. Opened a Citi Gold checking account (that can be converted to a non-fee account now that I'm home) to use as a back-up since it too doesn't have conversion fees but never used it on this trip.

Charles Schwab (debit, at ATMs) and Chase Sapphire (credit purchases) handled it all. Shame that Chase Sapphire is about to cut the 7% end of the year mileage bonus and eliminate double-miles for travel and dining purchases.
Good to know that PIN works with some cards in that scenario.

Did someone post that some automated machines didn't request a pin at all?
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Old 08-03-2014, 04:49 PM   #228
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Good to know that PIN works with some cards in that scenario.

Did someone post that some automated machines didn't request a pin at all?
We have found that at the supermarket sums less than ~$50 do not require a PIN at the self service checkout.

It is good that the August deadline has not changed any of the retailers yet, we have been to a couple more since my last post and they continue to accept a signature, without any explanation from me that is a USA card and I don't have a PIN card available.
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:44 AM   #229
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I can't imagine they would cut off all the American tourists and not take their credit cards.

They'd lose a lot of sales by telling them to go draw money at the ATM and come back.
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Old 08-08-2014, 12:38 PM   #230
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Apparently the great American move to chip cards is underway.

Last week Chase sent us a new Visa card with a chip in it.

Today (Costco) AmEx sent us a new card with a chip in it.

Both are chip and signature style cards, like our existing Bank of America Travel Visa we got because it was one of the few that offered chip cards at the time - and also a zero foreign exchange fee.

Too bad the American cards aren't full bore chip and pin, but this is definitely an improvement in card security.

Oh, I was chatting with my local farm stand purveyor who accepts credit cards using a Square card read attached to her iPhone and she mentioned Square was sending her a chip enabled reader next month...
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Old 08-08-2014, 12:52 PM   #231
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Too bad the American cards aren't full bore chip and pin, but this is definitely an improvement in card security.
It may be better than you think.
When I was in Iceland and Belgium back in June, I used both of my chipped cards, one Visa, one MasterCard.

They both worked as chip/signature when there was a human involved (restaurants where the server brings the machine to your table, for example), but they also worked with just the PIN at unattended locations (buying train tickets from a kiosk, for example).

It was also nice that my normal un-chipped ATM cards worked to get local cash everywhere I went.
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Old 08-08-2014, 12:59 PM   #232
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Citicard sent me a card with a chip and magnetic strip. It was the card we used in Canada. A really nice feature was that at a restaurant the waitperson inserts the card into he handheld device and you can type in the percent tip you want to give. You sign on the screen or on the receipt. The device issues the receipt at the table. Saves the wait staff loads of time and no one walks away with your card.


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Old 08-08-2014, 01:08 PM   #233
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Citicard sent me a card with a chip and magnetic strip. It was the card we used in Canada. A really nice feature was that at a restaurant the waitperson inserts the card into he handheld device and you can type in the percent tip you want to give. You sign on the screen or on the receipt. The device issues the receipt at the table. Saves the wait staff loads of time and no one walks away with your card.
I really like that feature! Your card never leaves your possession. Most POS terminals are set up so you can choose to tip by percentage or by dollar amount. You can tear off your own receipt. I never have to sign, just enter my PIN. Of course, if you enter the wrong PIN, three strikes and you're out! Then you have to go to a bank to reset your PIN.
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Old 08-08-2014, 02:06 PM   #234
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It may be better than you think.
When I was in Iceland and Belgium back in June, I used both of my chipped cards, one Visa, one MasterCard.

They both worked as chip/signature when there was a human involved (restaurants where the server brings the machine to your table, for example), but they also worked with just the PIN at unattended locations (buying train tickets from a kiosk, for example).

It was also nice that my normal un-chipped ATM cards worked to get local cash everywhere I went.
Who are your chipped card issuers? I'm getting a lot of conflicting reports.
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Old 08-08-2014, 02:10 PM   #235
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Originally Posted by EastWest Gal View Post
Citicard sent me a card with a chip and magnetic strip. It was the card we used in Canada. A really nice feature was that at a restaurant the waitperson inserts the card into he handheld device and you can type in the percent tip you want to give. You sign on the screen or on the receipt. The device issues the receipt at the table. Saves the wait staff loads of time and no one walks away with your card.


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Yes, I love the pay at the table device they use in European restaurants (or you swing by the register on your way out and use a device up on the counter).

There is nothing stopping them from doing this in the US with swipe cards. I once ate at a restaurant in a smaller city in Washington State in 2011, and they brought a device to the table for me to swipe my card. And that was the only time I ever had that happen. It sure hasn't caught on in the US, has it?
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Old 08-08-2014, 03:56 PM   #236
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Who are your chipped card issuers? I'm getting a lot of conflicting reports.
USAA MasterCard, and Andrews FCU Visa. Those were the ones I used in Europe, and worked great.

But I have also recently received a new PenFed Visa and a Citi Visa, both with chips. I would expect them to work just as well.

As mpeirce said, chips seem to finally be catching on here.
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Old 08-09-2014, 09:37 AM   #237
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Yes, I love the pay at the table device they use in European restaurants (or you swing by the register on your way out and use a device up on the counter).

There is nothing stopping them from doing this in the US with swipe cards. I once ate at a restaurant in a smaller city in Washington State in 2011, and they brought a device to the table for me to swipe my card. And that was the only time I ever had that happen. It sure hasn't caught on in the US, has it?
Actually, I'm seeing these Square devices attached either to a cell phone or tablet at small vendors, like independent contractors or food trucks.

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Old 08-09-2014, 10:38 AM   #238
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I heard the Square readers won't support PIN.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:50 AM   #239
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Who are your chipped card issuers? I'm getting a lot of conflicting reports.
My last Fidelity AMEX through FIA Cardholder Services has a chip. Walmart in this area has special readers for chipped cards, but it's only a signature validation.

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Old 08-09-2014, 12:22 PM   #240
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I heard the Square readers won't support PIN.
I don't think most American chip cards are going down the PIN path, rather they are still requiring signatures. I know my three cards all do

This list of cards A Rundown of US Credit Cards With EMV Chip Technology | The Points Guy only shows a few CHIP and PIN cards, and only one that does't sport an annual fee and/or FTFs (PenFed which I don't think I can't get).

As best as I can figure (please correct me if I'm missing something) American bank cards favor chip and signature cards because of liability issues.

From The Dinosaur In Your Pocket - Stanford University Press Blog
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In the U.S., consumers’ liability is limited by the Electronic Fund Transfer Act of 1978, and losses from fraud are generally absorbed by issuing banks rather than retailers. So it comes at little to no surprise that retailers are not especially interested in investing in more secure technology, but neither are banks, as it turns out! Card issuers can claim a 50 percent tax write-off on losses from fraud, and they can easily pass the rest of the costs incurred from unsecure cards onto consumers and merchants via increased fees and charges.
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