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Old 05-07-2015, 10:52 PM   #421
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But they're reading magnetic strip cards I think,vs. chip cards.
It's just not making a whole lotta sense that upgraded terminals handling chip cards wouldn't handle pins as well since they still have to handle debit cards with PINs. And some of those debit cards have chips now too.
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Old 05-08-2015, 02:01 AM   #422
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I got a new Amazon VISA card today, even though there was nothing wrong with my original one. I did receive a credit limit increase I asked for a few weeks ago though, so maybe that triggered a new card with security. It's now over $30,000 limit. This one has the chip and detailed instructions on how to use, including diagrams of where to find the slot, what the screens will show each step of the way, etc.
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Old 05-08-2015, 04:11 AM   #423
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I got a new Amazon VISA card today, even though there was nothing wrong with my original one. I did receive a credit limit increase I asked for a few weeks ago though, so maybe that triggered a new card with security. It's now over $30,000 limit. This one has the chip and detailed instructions on how to use, including diagrams of where to find the slot, what the screens will show each step of the way, etc.
I think this is just part of the rollout that will happen over the next year as banks convert people to chip cards.

Some of my replacement cards have come with a chip.

Chips don't prevent Internet fraud though - someone can still order online using the old style card credentials. (CVC)
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:47 AM   #424
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I thought I'd update and share my experiences with chip and pin in Europe.

I obtained a PenFed visa prior to our trip.

Everywhere I used it that had a person (gift shops, museums, restaurants) the signature thing printed out. I was convinced it wasn't working.

When we were in Berlin there was a long line to purchase tickets to the TV Tower... and there was a kiosk that seemed to be frustrating people with a very short line. I tried the kiosk (while leaving my son in the longer line, just in case) and sure enough - it prompted for a pin.

Again, in Amsterdam, when purchasing 24 hour transit passes - long line for a person, and a machine that people seemed to be cursing... I tried the machine, and voila - it prompted me for the pin and spit out the tickets.

So - as mentioned previously, the card defaults to signature but on un-attended kiosk machines it prompts for the pin.
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Old 07-14-2015, 05:00 AM   #425
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I thought I'd update and share my experiences with chip and pin in Europe.

I obtained a PenFed visa prior to our trip.

Everywhere I used it that had a person (gift shops, museums, restaurants) the signature thing printed out. I was convinced it wasn't working.

When we were in Berlin there was a long line to purchase tickets to the TV Tower... and there was a kiosk that seemed to be frustrating people with a very short line. I tried the kiosk (while leaving my son in the longer line, just in case) and sure enough - it prompted for a pin.

Again, in Amsterdam, when purchasing 24 hour transit passes - long line for a person, and a machine that people seemed to be cursing... I tried the machine, and voila - it prompted me for the pin and spit out the tickets.

So - as mentioned previously, the card defaults to signature but on un-attended kiosk machines it prompts for the pin.
Yep, that's exactly how it behaves. American style, LOL!

I'm encouraged that you were able to use it in the Amsterdam kiosks, and I'll use it next time. Not all transit authorities accept foreign credit cards at their kiosks - Deutsch Bahn at the Munich central train station doesn't. By the time we reached Amsterdam I had forgotten the PIN, LOL.
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Old 07-14-2015, 09:41 AM   #426
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My experiences on a recent trip to France:

US chip and signature (not chip and PIN) cards did not work at autoroute unattended toll booths. My UK chip and PIN card did work.

The US cards were accepted without any trouble at shops and restaurants. Everyone seemed quite familiar with the need for a signature. There was some good-natured eye-rolling on a couple of occasions! Admittedly we were in tourist locations for the most part.
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:40 AM   #427
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Thanks for the update rodi, very promising. While in Canada (outside of Vancouver which has lots of US tourists) I often have to tell the merchant that I will need to sign to authorize but it has never been a problem.

The only time I had to use cash was traveling on the seabus to N. Vancouver when the automated ticket machines wouldn't recognize the card. No problem as the machine took cash and gave change.
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:54 AM   #428
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I just applied for a First Tech Credit Union Master Card, which is suppose to have both online and offline chip and PIN support.

No annual fees, no FTF and some of them even earn rewards.

Seems too good to be true.

To be eligible, you have to work for certain companies, the state of Oregon or belong to certain associations.

I paid $8 online to join the Financial Fitness Association and then applied for the card.

Supposedly they use Experian for the credit check so I unfreeze my Experian credit lock temporarily.

Crossing my fingers.
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:10 PM   #429
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Originally Posted by rodi View Post
I thought I'd update and share my experiences with chip and pin in Europe.

I obtained a PenFed visa prior to our trip.

Everywhere I used it that had a person (gift shops, museums, restaurants) the signature thing printed out. I was convinced it wasn't working.

When we were in Berlin there was a long line to purchase tickets to the TV Tower... and there was a kiosk that seemed to be frustrating people with a very short line. I tried the kiosk (while leaving my son in the longer line, just in case) and sure enough - it prompted for a pin.

Again, in Amsterdam, when purchasing 24 hour transit passes - long line for a person, and a machine that people seemed to be cursing... I tried the machine, and voila - it prompted me for the pin and spit out the tickets.

So - as mentioned previously, the card defaults to signature but on un-attended kiosk machines it prompts for the pin.
I appreciate the update - and realized I hadn't given an update about the card I used in Europe. I have the Barclaycard arrival plus chip and pin card. Worked just like Rodi's penfed card. The handheld machines spit out receipts for signature in restaurants and shops, but the PIN feature worked flawlessly in unattended terminals. That was especially appreciated in the Spanish metro stations - a lot nicer to use a machine than stand in line to buy tickets at an attended booth.

I also made heavy use of a Schwab debit card. Really nice to be able to get cash with no foreign exchange or ATM fee!

I recommend both cards to international travelers. The Barclaycard does have an annual fee ($95) but the 2% cash back on all purchases quickly earns that back.
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:13 PM   #430
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I have the Arrival Plus and the Schwab Debit as well.

There have definitely been times when the Arrival Plus worked where my other credit cards did not.

But my Arrival Plus is coming up for renewal and I'm hoping there's another PIN priority card without an annual fee.

Supposedly the Schwab debit can be used like credit cards too, while using the PIN. But I imagine you would have to apply to get a credit line of some kind.
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:20 PM   #431
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In my recent Europe trip I used the Bank of America Travel Rewards VISA card which is a chip and signature card. This card has a 1.5% (actually 1.65% for BofA checking/savings customers) reward which really added up on our Europe trip, and no foreign transaction fee. Since the PenFed has you signing paper anyway, I'll take the nice credit rewards from the BofA VISA.

Which is why by the time we made it to Amsterdam, and I could have used the PenFed Chip and PIN VISA to recharge our OVB transit cards, I didn't have quick access to my PIN. So, I um, paid cash! LOL! I had used the card successfully before in an automated kiosk.

I also used the Schwab Investor Checking ATM card with no foreign transaction or other fees on the trip and that was wonderful!!! We used the ATMs pretty heavily, LOL! I had no trouble using it anywhere, and I had no trouble pulling out €400 or €500 at a time. I always went during banking hours to an ATM outside a bank in case I had trouble - such as the machine eating my card or some such. But I had no problems - other than having to avoid the "helpful" Parisian hanging outside the first ATM I used.
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:30 PM   #432
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All credit cards seem to impose a 1% from Visa or MC, even if the issuing bank claims zero FTF.

So you would get a slightly better rate with ATM withdrawals.

Well the Schwab debit gets better rates than the eTrade debit card.

Some ATMs in Euro are in vestibules where you have to use a valid card to get access to the ATM.
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Old 07-14-2015, 01:48 PM   #433
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All credit cards seem to impose a 1% from Visa or MC, even if the issuing bank claims zero FTF.

So you would get a slightly better rate with ATM withdrawals.

Well the Schwab debit gets better rates than the eTrade debit card.

Some ATMs in Euro are in vestibules where you have to use a valid card to get access to the ATM.
No they don't all impose 1%. There are quite a few credit cards that have zero foreign transaction fee, which means they are reimbursing you the 1% fee from VISA, and this includes the PenFed chip and PIN VISA.

I get a better rate using the BofA Travel Rewards VISA because I get 1.5% back on top of 0% transaction fee. The Fidelity AMEX too, since you still get 1% cash rewards after the foreign transaction fee, but few places in Europe take AMEX. They both beat cash, even with a fee free ATM card like Schwab.

In fact, most debit cards are going through the VISA network as well, and they get charged the same 1% foreign transaction fee and pass it along or worse. Schwab reimburses this.
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Old 07-14-2015, 02:45 PM   #434
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No they don't all impose 1%. There are quite a few credit cards that have zero foreign transaction fee, which means they are reimbursing you the 1% fee from VISA, and this includes the PenFed chip and PIN VISA.

I get a better rate using the BofA Travel Rewards VISA because I get 1.5% back on top of 0% transaction fee. The Fidelity AMEX too, since you still get 1% cash rewards after the foreign transaction fee, but few places in Europe take AMEX. They both beat cash, even with a fee free ATM card like Schwab.
+1. We have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and there's no FTF on that. Granted, there's a $95 annual fee after the first year but I figure the 50,000 sign-up bonus more than makes up for the 5 years after. Exchange rate is also better than at the money changer or bank by around 1-1.5% so when traveling, we much prefer using credit card instead of cash.
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Old 07-14-2015, 03:18 PM   #435
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Originally Posted by rodi View Post
I thought I'd update and share my experiences with chip and pin in Europe.

I obtained a PenFed visa prior to our trip.

Everywhere I used it that had a person (gift shops, museums, restaurants) the signature thing printed out. I was convinced it wasn't working.

When we were in Berlin there was a long line to purchase tickets to the TV Tower... and there was a kiosk that seemed to be frustrating people with a very short line. I tried the kiosk (while leaving my son in the longer line, just in case) and sure enough - it prompted for a pin.

Again, in Amsterdam, when purchasing 24 hour transit passes - long line for a person, and a machine that people seemed to be cursing... I tried the machine, and voila - it prompted me for the pin and spit out the tickets.

So - as mentioned previously, the card defaults to signature but on un-attended kiosk machines it prompts for the pin.

When we looked at the video on how to use the card they basically said that unattended locations would require a pin... but you could go to the window and buy from the person....

Sounds like you found out the hard way....

BTW, why did you not get your pin?
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Old 07-14-2015, 03:25 PM   #436
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Chase sapphire preferred has higher rate than my Schwab debit.
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Old 07-14-2015, 04:18 PM   #437
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When we looked at the video on how to use the card they basically said that unattended locations would require a pin... but you could go to the window and buy from the person....

Sounds like you found out the hard way....

BTW, why did you not get your pin?
He did have his PIN and used it successfully at the automated kiosk when prompted.
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Old 07-14-2015, 04:22 PM   #438
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+1. We have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and there's no FTF on that. Granted, there's a $95 annual fee after the first year but I figure the 50,000 sign-up bonus more than makes up for the 5 years after. Exchange rate is also better than at the money changer or bank by around 1-1.5% so when traveling, we much prefer using credit card instead of cash.
So this is not a VISA and uses some other foreign exchange system?
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Old 07-14-2015, 04:33 PM   #439
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So this is not a VISA and uses some other foreign exchange system?
It's VISA but there's no FTF (at least as far as the consumer is concerned). Now if there's a mandatory VISA fee for 1% that they're reimbursing behind the scenes, I have no idea.
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Old 07-14-2015, 04:45 PM   #440
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It's VISA but there's no FTF (at least as far as the consumer is concerned). Now if there's a mandatory VISA fee for 1% that they're reimbursing behind the scenes, I have no idea.
Since they are a VISA, they are using the exact same exchange rate as all the other VISAs, and as the debit (ATM) cards using the VISA system. All VISA cards, debit or credit, use the exact same exchange rate every day. You can look it up each day at the VISA web site. For an ATM card you get the same day rate. For a credit card, you get the rate for the day the transaction posts, which may be a couple of days later for overseas charges. You can look it up for a given date here: Exchange Rate Calculator | Visa USA

Now depending on the card, you may get charged the 1% fee from VISA for the exchange, plus additional fee charges from the card issuer. Many of them add a percent or two on top of the fee they pass along from VISA. The no foreign transaction cards are reimbursing the VISA fee for foreign exchange.

I just wanted to point of that one VISA debit(ATM) or credit card does not get a better exchange rate than another. It's all about the fees passed through and tacked on and the rewards a given card provides.
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