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Old 09-03-2016, 11:15 PM   #561
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This appears to be an issue specific to the Netherlands. The Maestro debit card has lower transaction fees than other cards so many places including most grocery stores accept no other card. us citizens - How can an American get a Maestro Debit Card - Travel Stack Exchange
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Old 09-04-2016, 06:06 AM   #562
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We have run into similar situations in various places. Croatia, Mexico, Bali, etc.

We shrug, tell the merchant "Sorry, I guess we won't be buying anything then."
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Old 09-04-2016, 06:25 AM   #563
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We have run into similar situations in various places. Croatia, Mexico, Bali, etc.

We shrug, tell the merchant "Sorry, I guess we won't be buying anything then."
Tough to do when you are in a remote vacation spot and none of the vendors take VISA. Fortunately we made a large ATM withdrawal before going there.
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Old 09-04-2016, 02:52 PM   #564
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We found most grocery stores (in the tourist zone) accepted our Chase chipped Visa card. But many were unable to process the NFC chip.
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Old 09-06-2016, 01:48 PM   #565
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I bought train tickets out of an SNCF machine in France today! It accepted my Fidelity Cash Rewards debit VISA card. It approved the card - and didn't even ask me for a PIN. Surprise!

The wait was long at an SNCF boutique in Lyon (likely too long to make my boat ride) and since no one was using the machine, I though to try some experiments while waiting.

Very happy it worked. Now we don't have to get up extra early tomorrow to allow time to get tickets at the station.
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Old 10-07-2016, 01:26 PM   #566
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I have just returned from visiting a few countries in Europe.

My PenFed card worked well in automated devices such as ticket machines. When asked for my PIN, I typed it in and the transaction was successfully processed.

My Barclay Arrival Card continues to be a non-starter despite having a Pin. I tried it several times in various devices (including ones that my PenFed card worked with) and each time either nothing happened, or I got a message that the card/transaction was invalid. Not so good.
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Old 10-07-2016, 01:46 PM   #567
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Arrival or Arrival Plus?

When I had Arrival Plus, it worked pretty well.
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Old 10-07-2016, 01:57 PM   #568
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Arrival or Arrival Plus?

When I had Arrival Plus, it worked pretty well.
Arrival.
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Old 10-07-2016, 02:12 PM   #569
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My Arrival card worked at the unattended Autopista booths (Spain's toll-roads). No pin required. Also worked paying for parking in the UK, with pin, I think. But these are small transactions. At restaurants, it seemed to generate what the servers thought was an extra receipt, but it was the signature thing that they usually didn't get bothered with.
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Old 10-07-2016, 02:21 PM   #570
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I think the Arrival Plus is configured differently to support offline PIN transactions.

For instance, I used it on a gas station kiosk in France when there were no humans around.
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Old 10-07-2016, 03:51 PM   #571
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Things have definitely improved at kiosks for American cardholders since my last visit to France 2 years ago. I was in Paris last week and both my PenFed Visa credit card and my Schwab ATM card worked at RER/Metro kiosks in the Paris area. I never had to enter my PIN at kiosks, though I was once momentarily prompted for it. The machine quickly completed my transaction and removed the PIN prompt message before I had entered my PIN for my Schwab card. (Normally, I wouldn't use my ATM/debit card except to withdraw cash, but I tried it at my first kiosk because I didn't expect the PenFed card to work and friends were waiting for me.)
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Old 10-07-2016, 03:59 PM   #572
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We recently returned from two weeks in Europe. Used the Penfed card successfully throughout but only once was a pin required.

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Old 10-07-2016, 04:00 PM   #573
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Things have definitely improved at kiosks for American cardholders since my last visit to France 2 years ago. I was in Paris last week and both my PenFed Visa credit card and my Schwab ATM card worked at RER/Metro kiosks in the Paris area. I never had to enter my PIN at kiosks, though I was once momentarily prompted for it. The machine quickly completed my transaction and removed the PIN prompt message before I had entered my PIN for my Schwab card. (Normally, I wouldn't use my ATM/debit card except to withdraw cash, but I tried it at my first kiosk because I didn't expect the PenFed card to work and friends were waiting for me.)
It's because newer US issued ATM cards now have chips so all of a sudden they can be used with the European metro/train machines. Totally removed the stress of buying train tickets from SNCF machines in France for me - sweet!!

The PINless operation is a little funky, but I was OK with it, because I knew the card could only be used for smaller transactions without the PIN, and I didn't have to worry about a compromised metro machine swiping my PIN for later use in ATM fraud. Of course, if I lost the card I would report it immediately!!!!
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Old 10-07-2016, 04:48 PM   #574
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It's because newer US issued ATM cards now have chips so all of a sudden they can be used with the European metro/train machines. Totally removed the stress of buying train tickets from SNCF machines in France for me - sweet!!

The PINless operation is a little funky, but I was OK with it, because I knew the card could only be used for smaller transactions without the PIN, and I didn't have to worry about a compromised metro machine swiping my PIN for later use in ATM fraud. Of course, if I lost the card I would report it immediately!!!!
The PenFed credit card I attempted to use in French kiosks 2 years ago already had a chip, but it was always rejected. See my post #79 in this thread on 5/28/2014:

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When I arrived at Paris CDG a few days ago, I tried to use my PenFed chip and pin visa at a kiosk to load up my Navigo card (electronic metro and RER pass). My card was rejected. I had to do my transaction w/ a human. I used the same card and she had me sign the receipt. Had to sign a receipt the next time I used the card.
Well, back then I thought it was chip & pin, but of course, it was chip & signature.
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Old 10-07-2016, 05:13 PM   #575
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The PenFed credit card I attempted to use in French kiosks 2 years ago already had a chip, but it was always rejected. See my post #79 in this thread on 5/28/2014:


Well, back then I thought it was chip & pin, but of course, it was chip & signature.
The PenFed Cash Rewards VISA is really a chip and PIN card even though it defaults to signature in attended situations. But that doesn't mean that every European kiosk will accept it. It is hit or miss - I've had it work in some metro kiosks (Vienna), but not in others (Schiphol airport, NL). The problem is most likely not the PIN, the more likely problem is that it is US issued credit card, and many European kiosks simply won't accept them - that's certainly what I've heard repeatedly about SNCF, the French train company. However, they often do accept US debit cards - but the debit card might need to have a chip to work. Fortunately US banks are now issuing debit cards with chips.

I can understand it - that a kiosk prefers a direct bank card instead of a US issued credit card. US issued debit cards usually work fine in European ATMs as long as they are on a regular network like VISA. I guess the European kiosks think US debit cards are OK too.

Anyway - that has been my experience. Other people have had better luck with the PenFed card used in automated kiosks with PIN. I've used it enough to know it really is a PIN card - if a given kiosk accepts it as a valid card. It's just there is always some uncertainty.

I just found things worked easy last month with my new debit card with chip at the kiosks and kept using - used it in the Schiphol metro kiosk and used it in several different SNCF train ticket machines.
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Old 10-07-2016, 07:05 PM   #576
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We just got back from over two weeks in Spain and Portugal I only had one incident where an ATM would not take my card but any global ATM works fine for all my cards. We had no issues using our credit cards with the chip and never where we were asked for a pin. The only caveat I might recommend is to make sure you use euros and not let them convert to US dollars if you have a no foreign fee card.


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Old 10-08-2016, 07:50 AM   #577
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I was asked many times this trip whether to pay the charge in Euros or USD. I think it was only in Spain. I hadn't had that happen in France or NL this year or other countries we visited the last few years.

On the ATMs I just look for a VISA logo.
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Old 10-08-2016, 08:46 AM   #578
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The only caveat I might recommend is to make sure you use euros and not let them convert to US dollars if you have a no foreign fee card.
Good point. One time, though, a waiter interrupted me and pressed the US$ button . I was on vacation, trying to have a good time, so I didn't even yell at him .
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Old 10-08-2016, 09:22 AM   #579
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Don't EVER let them have the transaction go through as USD. The foreign transaction fee will still apply AND you'll pay a fee/get worse rate as the merchant's processor will take a cut.
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Old 10-08-2016, 10:47 AM   #580
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It's called Dynamic Currency Conversion.

Seems to be a common thing in Switzerland.
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