Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-08-2016, 11:30 AM   #581
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Chuckanut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: West of the Mississippi
Posts: 5,930
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonat View Post
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.
This popped up several times in the Netherlands. I never chose to pay in dollars.
__________________

__________________
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.
Chuckanut is online now   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 02-08-2017, 06:36 PM   #582
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,423
We're spending the summer in Europe. Visiting Portugal, Spain, Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, and Netherlands (each about 1 week except 3 in Germany and only 2 days in Austria and 3 days in Amsterdam/NL).

We have Chase Sapphire Reserve with a chip and signature (as I understand it - just messaged them for a PIN). Zero foreign transaction fee so that will be the go to card.

Also have the Fidelity Cash Management ATM/Debit card with chip and PIN. That's the back up if the Chase Sapphire Reserve won't work. I think the Fidelity card charges a foreign transaction fee for debit purchases but not certain about that. And it might be a favorable 1% or so.

I'll probably take our Fidelity Visa (with chip; issued by Elan) for back up. It charges a 3% forex fee.

Am I set? Anywhere I'm likely to have problems? I'm planning on buying advance purchase train tickets for intercity/country travel to get better advance purchase rates so train ticket purchases in country might be limited. Probably a lot more subway/bus tickets and some gas refills for the rental car (maybe 2-3 weeks of our trip).
__________________

__________________
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (5, 10, and 12).
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2017, 06:48 PM   #583
Recycles dryer sheets
shortstop14's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 178
Just got back from six weeks in Germany, the Czech Republic and London. The magnetic strip on my Chase Signature Visa (Southwest Rewards) card stopped being readable just before I left, but I didn't have time to replace it. My wife has the same card, and I have a backup B of A card, so I wasn't too concerned.

But I had no trouble at all using that card once I left the US. Everywhere I went in Europe used the chip and signature, which worked fine - even the smallest street food places and various unattended transit ticket machines. I got a PIN for the card before I left, but it didn't seem to work anywhere.

Sounds like you have a great trip planned.
__________________
shortstop14 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2017, 06:57 PM   #584
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 203
I recently visited Europe with the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Fidelity Cash Management cards.

The Chase card worked fine everywhere except for some automated kiosks, as expected. Don't expect Chase to give you a PIN that works with chip+PIN transactions - they aren't set up for that.

The Fidelity card works fine in ATMs. It also works as a debit card for other transactions, but as you note, there is a 1% fee. If your Fidelity card doesn't have a chip (mine didn't initially), you can call Fidelity and ask for one that does. While a non-chip card will work in most ATMs, you will be restricted in what functions you can access.
__________________
Steve
jonat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2017, 07:01 PM   #585
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,154
Fuego -
You should be fine... the only places where I ran into a need for true chip and pin were an unmanned kiosk in Berlin to get tickets for the tv tower, and buying transit passes in Amsterdam outside the train station. In both situations there was a kiosk with no line, or a ticket counter with a LONG line. I was using my CapOne card for everything - and it worked fine when there was an attendant - but didn't work at these two, unmanned, locations... In both cases I could have used my CapOne but it would have meant a long wait in line. Since I had the PenFed chip & pin, I used it and avoided the line.

So... 9 weeks in Europe and only needed chip and pin 2 times... and even then I didn't *need* it if I was willing to wait in line.
__________________
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 7%, rental income 18%
rodi is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2017, 07:28 PM   #586
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,169
You might want a true chip and pin for driving, to pay for toll booths, pay for gas at unmanned stations.

For train tickets, because lines for ticket counters with human sales clerk can be very long.

Also if you have a smart phone, consider mobile payments. In Australia, you could go to the self checkout counters at grocery stores and just tap with your iPhone. But if you used the actual card, it would print out a receipt to sign and you'd have to wait for a clerk to come over and verify signature.

I don't know if European countries have the same level of acceptance for contactless transactions though. NZ and Oz have modern ATMs and POS systems, not just for mobile payments but contactless credit cards which they apparently are issuing routinely.
__________________
explanade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2017, 07:51 PM   #587
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,423
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
Fuego -
You should be fine... the only places where I ran into a need for true chip and pin were an unmanned kiosk in Berlin to get tickets for the tv tower, and buying transit passes in Amsterdam outside the train station. In both situations there was a kiosk with no line, or a ticket counter with a LONG line. I was using my CapOne card for everything - and it worked fine when there was an attendant - but didn't work at these two, unmanned, locations... In both cases I could have used my CapOne but it would have meant a long wait in line. Since I had the PenFed chip & pin, I used it and avoided the line.

So... 9 weeks in Europe and only needed chip and pin 2 times... and even then I didn't *need* it if I was willing to wait in line.
Thanks. I don't think we'll do the Berlin TV tower (though we are spending a week in Berlin!!). Definitely need a set of transit passes in Amsterdam since we're staying a couple of km from the city center on a tram line. But I can wait in line once during 9 weeks if that is what is required, or pay up the 1% forex fee on my Fidelity Debit (note to self: fund the account )
__________________
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (5, 10, and 12).
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2017, 07:54 PM   #588
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,423
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonat View Post
I recently visited Europe with the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Fidelity Cash Management cards.

The Chase card worked fine everywhere except for some automated kiosks, as expected. Don't expect Chase to give you a PIN that works with chip+PIN transactions - they aren't set up for that.

The Fidelity card works fine in ATMs. It also works as a debit card for other transactions, but as you note, there is a 1% fee. If your Fidelity card doesn't have a chip (mine didn't initially), you can call Fidelity and ask for one that does. While a non-chip card will work in most ATMs, you will be restricted in what functions you can access.
Good to hear! And what are the odds we have the exact same combo of financial cards?

Just got my Fidelity Cash management debit/ATM in the past few months specifically for this trip (after paying several dollars per ATM visit in the past from my local CU). And it has a chip so I'm good. Did you have any problem with ATM fee reimbursement with the Fidelity ATM card? I tried to test the ATM card last time we were overseas in St. Maarten but it wouldn't work (could be Caribbean island fraud block; could be related to Dutch issues others experience since it's a Dutch protectorate).
__________________
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (5, 10, and 12).
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2017, 07:56 PM   #589
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,423
Quote:
Originally Posted by explanade View Post
You might want a true chip and pin for driving, to pay for toll booths, pay for gas at unmanned stations.
How common are tolls? We'll be driving in Slovenia (no tolls I think, just have to buy a highway carnet/pass), Salzburg+Hallstatt Austria (highway pass required) and Germany (no clue here - we'll be around Munich/Bavaria after Austria).

And how common are attendant-less gas stations? Mostly day time driving for us.
__________________
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (5, 10, and 12).
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2017, 08:09 PM   #590
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 15,117
Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
Thanks. I don't think we'll do the Berlin TV tower (though we are spending a week in Berlin!!). Definitely need a set of transit passes in Amsterdam since we're staying a couple of km from the city center on a tram line. But I can wait in line once during 9 weeks if that is what is required, or pay up the 1% forex fee on my Fidelity Debit (note to self: fund the account )
I remember going to the Amsterdam transit (GVB) building - small white building right outside the Amsterdam Centraal train station - well, across a few tracks. And people waiting in line assured new arrivals that the machines in the building did accept US credit cards - even without chip. So that may work OK for you and would be worth trying your credit card first.

In fact, I was admonished a bit by the clerk at that desk for not using the machine to reload my OV-ChipKaart. He said they usually charge a fee for going to a clerk instead, but gave me a pass. The next year I used a machine in Schiphol to reload my ChipKaart, and that's where the Fidelity Debit card came to my rescue.

https://en.gvb.nl/klantenservice/tickets-info-balie
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2017, 08:17 PM   #591
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
sengsational's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,506
Quote:
Originally Posted by explanade View Post
You might want a true chip and pin for driving, to pay for toll booths, pay for gas at unmanned stations.
I didn't have a chip and pin card, but got-by without too much trouble.

In my experience, unattended toll booths took anything I gave it. Unattended gas stations were very picky. Also automated parking, was liberal. Public transportation was hit and miss.
__________________
sengsational is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2017, 08:18 PM   #592
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 15,117
Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
Good to hear! And what are the odds we have the exact same combo of financial cards?

Just got my Fidelity Cash management debit/ATM in the past few months specifically for this trip (after paying several dollars per ATM visit in the past from my local CU). And it has a chip so I'm good. Did you have any problem with ATM fee reimbursement with the Fidelity ATM card? I tried to test the ATM card last time we were overseas in St. Maarten but it wouldn't work (could be Caribbean island fraud block; could be related to Dutch issues others experience since it's a Dutch protectorate).
The only places that have imposed fees have been in the US, and I've always gotten my ATM fee reimbursement.

In Europe, machines in general don't charge ATM fees. I tend to go to ATMs listed on the VISA find ATM page. The only place I ran into ATM machine fees was in Spain, so I tried a few, and finally found a bank that didn't charge ATM fees. I mean yes, I would have been reimbursed, but I think the same ATM had a ridiculous withdrawal limit, so I walked.

I also ran into some machines with ridiculous withdrawal limits in France and Spain. Eventually found one that had better limits. I mean seriously, €30? €300 limit was not uncommon in France. Since we each had a Fidelity ATM card with a different number, we'd just do two transactions back to back if we needed more than €300.

You will find certain banks have certain characteristics, but once you are in a new country, new banks, new limits, etc. You learn all over again.
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2017, 09:02 PM   #593
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,154
Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
How common are tolls? We'll be driving in Slovenia (no tolls I think, just have to buy a highway carnet/pass), Salzburg+Hallstatt Austria (highway pass required) and Germany (no clue here - we'll be around Munich/Bavaria after Austria).

And how common are attendant-less gas stations? Mostly day time driving for us.
Italy, especially outside the city centers and autostrada rest stops, have mostly unattended stations... often just 2 pumps in front of a small store.
__________________
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 7%, rental income 18%
rodi is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2017, 09:41 PM   #594
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,423
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
Italy, especially outside the city centers and autostrada rest stops, have mostly unattended stations... often just 2 pumps in front of a small store.
We're sticking with public transit in Italy. 4 nights Milan, 2 nights Venice. Almost decided to rent a car to stop by Lake Garda/Sirmione en route to Venice but decided to spend an extra half day in Venice. This part of our trip is the most hectic and time constrained unfortunately.
__________________
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (5, 10, and 12).
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2017, 09:44 PM   #595
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,423
Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
The only places that have imposed fees have been in the US, and I've always gotten my ATM fee reimbursement.

In Europe, machines in general don't charge ATM fees. I tend to go to ATMs listed on the VISA find ATM page. The only place I ran into ATM machine fees was in Spain, so I tried a few, and finally found a bank that didn't charge ATM fees. I mean yes, I would have been reimbursed, but I think the same ATM had a ridiculous withdrawal limit, so I walked.

I also ran into some machines with ridiculous withdrawal limits in France and Spain. Eventually found one that had better limits. I mean seriously, 30? 300 limit was not uncommon in France. Since we each had a Fidelity ATM card with a different number, we'd just do two transactions back to back if we needed more than 300.

You will find certain banks have certain characteristics, but once you are in a new country, new banks, new limits, etc. You learn all over again.
I'm looking forward to the fee reimbursement with the Fidelity card so I won't have to withdraw a huge wad of cash. When in Mexico I would routinely withdraw $7500 or so in pesos which was almost my USD$500 limit since ATM fees could be steep (like USD$3-5 plus forex conversion rate). I'm hoping credit cards are more widely accepted in Europe but understand they aren't everywhere (like Dutch grocery stores apparently).
__________________
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (5, 10, and 12).
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2017, 10:34 PM   #596
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Kerrville,Tx
Posts: 2,457
In Europe you might see if rental companies have done like the ones in Mia to handle the tolls by putting a transponder in and charging a service fee. (varies greatly). But in Fl the Sunpass transponder is only $5 and you can register online including the license number. Check with rental car companies about this in Europe.
__________________
meierlde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2017, 04:08 AM   #597
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 15,117
Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
I'm looking forward to the fee reimbursement with the Fidelity card so I won't have to withdraw a huge wad of cash. When in Mexico I would routinely withdraw $7500 or so in pesos which was almost my USD$500 limit since ATM fees could be steep (like USD$3-5 plus forex conversion rate). I'm hoping credit cards are more widely accepted in Europe but understand they aren't everywhere (like Dutch grocery stores apparently).
In general, credit cards are very widely accepted in Europe, especially in larger cities and major tourist areas. It's just that eventually you find exceptions especially if going off the beaten path of foreign visitors. It's good to carry some cash. We tended to use cash for smaller meals, grocery, bakery, taxis, etc. and some places have a minimum amount before they will accept a credit card.

Worth noting to that cash is appreciated for tips as they often don't have a place to add it to the bill - only the fancier dining places. Tips are quite small, but it's good to have 1 or 2 euro and 50 cent coins on hand for this - or even just get rid of change. Of course tipping is completely optional and not everyone does.
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2017, 04:27 AM   #598
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 15,117
We tend to go through a lot of cash in Europe, vendors are far more fee sensitive about credit cards than in the US:
  • Small inns and bed and breakfasts will often accept only cash.
  • Mini-van tours often take a PayPal deposit but expect the balance in cash.
  • Other activities like cooking classes - cash only.
  • Taxis in general.
  • Convenience stores, bakeries, etc., where purchases tend to be small.
  • Inexpensive restaurants - it's not unusual to have a minimum for credit cards. And many of these are not chains, but small outfits.
We notice a lot of locals pay cash in many locations, especially at smaller mom and pop places which are still common in Europe. Some countries/locations more than others. Amsterdam has a few "cashless" places, but this is an exception.
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2017, 07:48 AM   #599
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 5,293
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
Worth noting to that cash is appreciated for tips as they often don't have a place to add it to the bill - only the fancier dining places. Tips are quite small, but it's good to have 1 or 2 euro and 50 cent coins on hand for this - or even just get rid of change. Of course tipping is completely optional and not everyone does.
Most places will add the amount of the tip to the total before processing it.
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2017, 10:46 AM   #600
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 203
I agree again with audreyh1 - it is very unusual for European ATMs to charge a fee. None I used did.

When you're using a credit card, do NOT let the merchant select the option to charge the amount in dollars - their bank will add a large fee for this, and you'll still pay your bank's forex fee if it has one.

Tipping in Europe is not common, though Americans tend to expect it. Rounding up the charge or adding no more than 10% for exceptional service is appreciated.
__________________

__________________
Steve
jonat is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
moving chip to a newer phone modhatter Other topics 3 03-04-2012 05:14 PM
Do credit unions cancel credit cards because of inactivity? rec7 FIRE and Money 11 12-22-2008 04:21 PM
GM bankruptcy as auto bargaining chip? pedorrero FIRE and Money 1 11-22-2008 05:40 PM
PNY Memory Chip (camera) kaneohe Other topics 1 09-09-2008 06:50 PM
Credit Cards and Credit Matuski Other topics 21 08-14-2006 12:40 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:46 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.