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Old 01-15-2016, 03:35 PM   #21
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Interesting. I'll have to try using my BofA Travel Rewards chip and sig card at the kiosks next time. I prefer it because I get 1.5% rewards credit on the card.
If you travel a lot check out the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. You earn 2 points on travel related charges. They define the travel category pretty broadly so flights, hotels, restaurants, trains, rental cars (I think), even Airbnb gets in the 2 point category.

You can redeem those points for cash at a rate of $0.01 each, so it works like a 2% cash back card on travel / dining and a 1% card on everything else.

But the real perk is that you can transfer those points 1:1 to a variety of frequent flyer programs. I usually get around $0.02 per point on economy class redemptions. But even that isn't where the real money is. I just booked two direct business class seats from Johannesburg to Sydney for 50,000 miles/points each that would have cost $2k each if I paid cash (so I got $0.04 per point in value).

If you work out the math, I'm getting between 4% and 8% back on my travel spending (which is something like 70% of all my spending these days) by using the Sapphire Preferred card. YMMV of course.
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Old 01-15-2016, 04:14 PM   #22
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I just booked two direct business class seats from Johannesburg to Sydney for 50,000 miles/points each that would have cost $2k each if I paid cash (so I got $0.04 per point in value).
Which airline did you transfer your points to?

I have the Chase Sapphire. You also get 20% of your points back if you use your points (at .01 / pt) to book travel on their UltimateRewards portal. I've found the portal to be competitive on flights, but not hotels.
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Old 01-15-2016, 04:37 PM   #23
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Which airline did you transfer your points to?

I have the Chase Sapphire. You also get 20% of your points back if you use your points (at .01 / pt) to book travel on their UltimateRewards portal. I've found the portal to be competitive on flights, but not hotels.
Whoops, bought the JNB to SYD Quantas flight with America miles, they're not a Chase transfer partner. I'll be flying business from Paris to Livingstone on a United partner airline (and I think also from Hawaii to NY or from New Zealand to Hawaii, can't remember which) and expect to transfer those miles from Chase at about the same value (4 cents or so).

I've seen the 20% discount using the Ultimate Reward portal but I won't redeem points for 1.25 cents a piece. If I can buy a flight that cheaply I'll usually pay cash and save my miles/points for redemptions that get me something between 2 to 4+ cents each.

I do use the Rewards portal occasionally to buy things and get bonus points on spending I was going to do anyway. They used to have a sweet deal with Hotels.com which I use a lot. That basically got me 10-20% "rewards" on hotel stays (plus Hotels.com 10% rewards program) but Hotels.com is sadly no longer on the Rewards portal.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:38 AM   #24
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I have heard that Discover Card has decided to go to a full Chip and Pin card. Alas, using a Discover card outside the USA is problematic.

Discover Card Endorses Chip and PIN | NACS Online €“ Media €“ News Archive

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Discover Chairman and CEO David Nelms announced the company would begin migration to chip and PIN technology to secure credit card transactions in the United States.
http://www.rila.org/news/topnews/Pag...n-for-EMV.aspx

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"Retailers appreciate the candid assessment from a leading card issuer that the financial services industry has missed an opportunity to provide a higher level of security for U.S. consumers," said Austen Jensen, vice president of government affairs at the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). "Banks and other card issuers should follow Discover's lead and make a commitment to providing American consumers with the same level of security that consumers in Canada and Europe now enjoy."
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:59 AM   #25
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That's an encouraging sign. But still, be aware that some unattended European machines won't accept cards (even true chip & PIN cards) issued outside the EU.
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:34 PM   #26
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Has anyone used their Chip & Pin Visa card from Navy Federal in Great Britain?
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Old 05-13-2016, 12:31 AM   #27
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I am currently travelling in Spain. There was only once when I tried to buy bus tickets at the airport that the US chip card was not accepted, I had to use a card with a real pin number. Many times the chip cards were OK. American Express card has been declined many times.
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Old 05-13-2016, 02:31 AM   #28
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I am currently travelling in Spain. There was only once when I tried to buy bus tickets at the airport that the US chip card was not accepted, I had to use a card with a real pin number. Many times the chip cards were OK. American Express card has been declined many times.
It does still happen. The mero vending machine in Portugal DK'd my Chase Sapphire Chip & Sig card yesterday. Didn't bother trying to use my long-dormant Pen Fed Chip & Pin card. Just used cash.
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Old 06-14-2016, 12:36 PM   #29
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That's an encouraging sign. But still, be aware that some unattended European machines won't accept cards (even true chip & PIN cards) issued outside the EU.
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I am currently travelling in Spain. There was only once when I tried to buy bus tickets at the airport that the US chip card was not accepted, I had to use a card with a real pin number. Many times the chip cards were OK. American Express card has been declined many times.
Apparently, now that newly US issued debit/ATM cards are chip enabled, folks are having good luck using these cards in unattended European machines.

Our Schwab ATM/debit card already has a chip. I just called to get our Fidelity Check Cards replaced with the new chip enabled version.
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:45 PM   #30
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Just got a new Amex card to replace my Costco Amex.

No pin.
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:20 PM   #31
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Just got a new Amex card to replace my Costco Amex.

No pin.
You can request a PIN - but that would only be for cash advances.

Why are you surprised? Amex cards are not chip and PIN. The old Costco Amex wasn't. So no changes there.
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:55 PM   #32
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The new US cards are chip and signature, not chip and PIN. This is why they generally don't work in unattended machines outside of the US where chip and PIN is the standard. for such things as subway and train tickets. Even if you request a PIN be issued, the cards are generally set up to default to signature mode. There are looooooooooong discussions of this on frequent traveler forums.


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