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Old 06-13-2014, 06:42 AM   #141
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On a recent trip to London I used my MasterCard branded ATM card issued by my credit union and I only paid a $1 service fee for using an out of network ATM on each transaction. Mind you, I was using ATMs that advertised "free" withdrawals. I wasn't really sure what that meant, but I was told to expect a 1% hit in addition to the $1 fee, so I feel like those ATM's really were free for me to use.

Note - My ATM card has the MasterCard logo, but no chip and it worked just fine in London.
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Old 06-13-2014, 08:50 AM   #142
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Some banks have a deal with various overseas banks to give reduced or no ATM fees. My bank has a deal with PNB in France for example. But, not all banks have a deal in all countries. Ask your bank or go to their website for a list by country.
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:10 AM   #143
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All our cards in Canada are equipped with an RFID chip in addition to the smart chip. These allow us to just present the card to the face of the terminal for authorization. It speeds up checkout for small totals. I use it for totals under $10 instead of cash.
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:26 AM   #144
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FWIW, Chase bank has sent me a letter saying I will be getting a new card that is 'chip and signature'. So they still have a ways to go to get to chip and pin.
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Old 06-13-2014, 12:09 PM   #145
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I have the Schwab card. Would have to move money into it though.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:54 PM   #146
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BTW, has anyone found a good ATM card that doesn't impose fees for international ATM withdraws?
Not the question that was asked (I always use my USAA ATM card to get foreign currency), but I would like to mention that the Andrews FCU Visa chip & pin card has no foreign transaction fee, so I used it extensively on my recent European trip.

Anyone can get the Andrews FCU chip & pin Visa card. You can qualify for membership with a one-time $15 dues payment to the American Consumer Council. Details on the website: https://www.andrewsfcu.org/join_andrews_federal.html

During my trip (two weeks in Iceland and Belgium), I had great results with the Andrews card, so I would recommend it to any of you. No annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and no hassles. The Andrews website is not exactly state of the art, but their service is excellent, including on phone calls.
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Old 06-21-2014, 02:09 PM   #147
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I use mostly the Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa. No forex fee and bonuses for travel and dining so I use it to pay for airfare, restaurants and hotel bills.

There is a $95 annual fee though.

It's Chip and Signature though there are rumors Chase will convert all their cards to chip and PIN later this year.

I've made it through highway toll booths and train ticket kiosks with the cards I have, which are chip and signature.

Where I would need chip and PIN would be at gas stations. There are a lot of gas stations in Europe which are unmanned and take the chip and PIN cards. Chip and Signature would not work there unless there was people around.

For now, I'm just going to wait it out, hope that the cards I have convert to chip and PIN at some point.
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Old 06-21-2014, 03:41 PM   #148
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It was a pain at times in France recently with my PenFed card which defaulted to requiring a signature. One day I had reserved tickets online for a train trip at a later date, and I couldn't pay with my PenFed Visa card online. I could hold the reservation for 24 hours, and had to find a human ticket seller to complete the transaction within 24 hours. We weren't near a train station while ticket windows were open until just a few minutes were left before the reservation expired. A co-worker had to explain to the clerk how to handle an American credit card. The transaction was completed with literally 1 minute left before I lost the reservation.

A few times, I had to tell folks that I needed to sign their copy of the receipt. They saw the chip on the card and assumed no signature was required.

I bought a French SIM card for my unlocked phone when I arrived, but I couldn't load time online with my US credit card. I had to find a shop which could do it, and I paid the shop.
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Old 06-21-2014, 04:39 PM   #149
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It was a pain at times in France recently with my PenFed card which defaulted to requiring a signature. One day I had reserved tickets online for a train trip at a later date, and I couldn't pay with my PenFed Visa card online. I could hold the reservation for 24 hours, and had to find a human ticket seller to complete the transaction within 24 hours. We weren't near a train station while ticket windows were open until just a few minutes were left before the reservation expired. A co-worker had to explain to the clerk how to handle an American credit card. The transaction was completed with literally 1 minute left before I lost the reservation.

A few times, I had to tell folks that I needed to sign their copy of the receipt. They saw the chip on the card and assumed no signature was required.

I bought a French SIM card for my unlocked phone when I arrived, but I couldn't load time online with my US credit card. I had to find a shop which could do it, and I paid the shop.
I wonder how much of your issues had to do with it being a non-French* bank issued card. As far as I know the PIN is not used in online transactions.

*or perhaps France, Benelux, Germany, or other trusted Euro nation.
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Old 06-21-2014, 05:09 PM   #150
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It was a pain at times in France recently with my PenFed card which defaulted to requiring a signature. One day I had reserved tickets online for a train trip at a later date, and I couldn't pay with my PenFed Visa card online. I could hold the reservation for 24 hours, and had to find a human ticket seller to complete the transaction within 24 hours. We weren't near a train station while ticket windows were open until just a few minutes were left before the reservation expired. A co-worker had to explain to the clerk how to handle an American credit card. The transaction was completed with literally 1 minute left before I lost the reservation.

A few times, I had to tell folks that I needed to sign their copy of the receipt. They saw the chip on the card and assumed no signature was required.

I bought a French SIM card for my unlocked phone when I arrived, but I couldn't load time online with my US credit card. I had to find a shop which could do it, and I paid the shop.

Thanks for the update, and much as I feared. Several times in Canada I had to tell folks that I needed to sign, because like good service people they look away once you plug your card into the machine and don't notice that you haven't entered a PIN.

I don't ever recall having to enter a PIN online with my UK CHIP and PIN card, although most sites in the UK require me to enter the verified by VISA password that I set up through the bank.
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:02 AM   #151
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I just got back from a trip to Dublin, where I used my PenFed Chip and Pin card. It defaulted to chip and signature the whole trip, even in the "unattended" areas. I was surprised, because I remember it working on my last trip. Perhaps I was wrong...
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:21 AM   #152
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BTW, has anyone found a good ATM card that doesn't impose fees for international ATM withdraws?

I've been using an Etrade card for years and looks like they've started imposing a 1% fee.
I use the Etrade debit card as my primary card at European ATMs. There is the 1% currency fee that they've charged for the many years I've used their card. It's nothing new. I asked about it they they claimed it wasn't a fee they charged but a requirement for the currency conversion. They do reimburse any bank ATM fees.

I have also used other cards. These have always had a fee from the bank, the currency fee and sometimes a charge from the European ATM bank. I carry a back up card when I'm traveling and will occasionally get a small amount of cash to prove the card works.

I can live with the 1% fee but I'd be interested in a bank that is truly "no fee" that doesn't bury fees in the currency exchange rate.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:28 AM   #153
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For now, I'm just going to wait it out, hope that the cards I have convert to chip and PIN at some point.
I think its a given that we'll get chip and PIN in the US because of the recurring data scandals. Target has announced they will put out new cards with the chip and PIN. That's interesting because they were leading the way when they found that customers not used to the PIN entry were taking an extra 15 seconds to check out. They dumped the chip and PIN and went back to the old technology.

I think it will take about 2 years for the US to convert the cards. Some merchants may still use signatures after that to avoid the cost of the new equipment. Eventually, banks will force the issue. Many of us will eagerly change cards when true chip and PIN cards are available in the US. I'm not sure if the credit card companies are aware of this demand.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:29 AM   #154
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I use the Etrade debit card as my primary card at European ATMs. There is the 1% currency fee that they've charged for the many years I've used their card. It's nothing new. I asked about it they they claimed it wasn't a fee they charged but a requirement for the currency conversion. They do reimburse any bank ATM fees.

I have also used other cards. These have always had a fee from the bank, the currency fee and sometimes a charge from the European ATM bank. I carry a back up card when I'm traveling and will occasionally get a small amount of cash to prove the card works.

I can live with the 1% fee but I'd be interested in a bank that is truly "no fee" that doesn't bury fees in the currency exchange rate.
That 1% is what the issuer charges them. Fee free cards are actually reimbursing the customer that 1%.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:30 AM   #155
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I just got back from a trip to Dublin, where I used my PenFed Chip and Pin card. It defaulted to chip and signature the whole trip, even in the "unattended" areas. I was surprised, because I remember it working on my last trip. Perhaps I was wrong...
So you were able to enter a PIN at kiosks?
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Old 06-23-2014, 06:02 AM   #156
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In the past we have not had any problems using our Capital One card on our foreign travels as all merchants we used had the default to signature option. We are planning a Christmas river cruise and from reading some of the cruise forums, many of the smaller merchants require chip and pin. I have been considering getting a prepaid MasterCard from Travelex (see their website) for those situations.

Has anyone tried or considered this option as a backup when chip and pin are required?
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Old 06-23-2014, 06:06 AM   #157
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So you were table to enter a PIN at kiosks?

I was able to enter a pin on the last trip, but on this one, it never asked for a pin, it always defaulted to signature. So someone had to come over and get my signature while I held up the queue.
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Old 06-23-2014, 06:57 AM   #158
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I was able to enter a pin on the last trip, but on this one, it never asked for a pin, it always defaulted to signature. So someone had to come over and get my signature while I held up the queue.
Thanks for the update, that's just what I experienced in Canada.

We went to the grocery store the other day (here in the USA) and checked out at the self service kiosks and even with quite a large bill the attendant was not required to verify the signature on the card, just have to make a few marks with the stylus to complete the purchase. Convenience (for both store and customer) still ranks higher than fraud detection.
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:20 AM   #159
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I was able to enter a pin on the last trip, but on this one, it never asked for a pin, it always defaulted to signature. So someone had to come over and get my signature while I held up the queue.
Not quite unattended, I suppose. I expect the card to default to signature whenever possible, but I'm hoping it will work for me in the truly unattended situations.
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:37 AM   #160
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Banks get more for signatures than PIN.

It's the stores pushing for PIN, for lower processing fees.
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