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fdpevey

What did you do about currency?

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Planning a Baltic Cruise this summer - usual itinerary. What is unusual for our travels is the number of countries visited with differing currency. We have Denmark (Kroner), Sweden (Krona), Finland (Euro), Russia (Ruble), Estonia (Euro), Germany (Euro), Norway (Krone). 

 

Will I need local currency for them all or can I plan to use my credit card for everything?

 

I have a chipped credit card with a PIN that I can use overseas. If it would change any thinking, I plan to spend 3 days in and around Copenhagen prior to embarking on the cruise.

 

Advice on what you did if you traveled this itinerary before would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Basically used my CC.  The Scandinavian countries are virtually cashless societies.  Might get some Euros for those country’s where it is the currency.  Spent a few dollars in Russia and brought home a few Rubles.

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Agree - you should be able to get by with your credit card. For some local currency, use ATM for the best rates.

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On Homelands cruise last year. We never exchanged money due to so many different currencies. Used a CC. We went on a number of tours and when tipping guides and/or bus drivers we gave them US dollars. No problem there. I always carried a lot of ones.

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7 hours ago, fdpevey said:

Planning a Baltic Cruise this summer - usual itinerary. What is unusual for our travels is the number of countries visited with differing currency. We have Denmark (Kroner), Sweden (Krona), Finland (Euro), Russia (Ruble), Estonia (Euro), Germany (Euro), Norway (Krone). 

 

Will I need local currency for them all or can I plan to use my credit card for everything?

 Bring some Euro and US$ - CC widely accepted in Denmark, Norway and Sweden - but a CC with pin highly recommended. Also note that ‘Krone’ for Denmark, Norway and Sweden are different currencies. 

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22 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

Just a little reading or searching on the board:

 

 

Thanks for taking the time to do this. I haven't been able to get a focused search to work on this most recent interface.

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Thanks to all for sharing your experiences and advice. It is the warm response of Cruise Critic members that helps so many of us!

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I have credit cards with a chip but no pin.  How do you get a pin and is it necessary to have one?

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5 hours ago, bostonphil said:

I have credit cards with a chip but no pin.  How do you get a pin and is it necessary to have one?

 

If your card is not set up for a PIN, you can't just "get one". Most US issued credit cards are only set up with PINs for cash advances, a business that you don't want to get into.

 

As discussed here frequently, you don't need a PIN and chip credit card in Europe for 98% of your needs. Yes, you will need one at unstaffed train station ticket machines, and unstaffed gas station pumps. Otherwise, no.

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On 3/18/2019 at 7:16 PM, hallasm said:

 Bring some Euro and US$ - CC widely accepted in Denmark, Norway and Sweden - but a CC with pin highly recommended. Also note that ‘Krone’ for Denmark, Norway and Sweden are different currencies. 

 I have a Bank of America Visa credit card . However I do not know the pin. Is the pin necessary when charging at stores, restaurants, other retail business? I tried to obtain the pin ( i have one I think!)  but can only send by snail mail....that doesn't work)

I will NOT need to use it for cash advance at ATM 

 

Thanks, 

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1 hour ago, AnnieE said:

 I have a Bank of America Visa credit card . However I do not know the pin. Is the pin necessary when charging at stores, restaurants, other retail business? I tried to obtain the pin ( i have one I think!)  but can only send by snail mail....that doesn't work)

I will NOT need to use it for cash advance at ATM 

 

Thanks, 

Again, I doubt your credit card is PIN capable....I have not heard B of A is issuing PIN and chip cards. Be warned...the only PIN some credit cards have is for cash advances, which come with horrible fees.

 

NO A PIN IS NOT REQUIRED in the situations you mentioned. As I said immediately before your post, the only common places for PIN chip requirements are unstaffed locations like train station ticket machines, and self serve gas pumps.

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9 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

 

If your card is not set up for a PIN, you can't just "get one". Most US issued credit cards are only set up with PINs for cash advances, a business that you don't want to get into.

 

As discussed here frequently, you don't need a PIN and chip credit card in Europe for 98% of your needs. Yes, you will need one at unstaffed train station ticket machines, and unstaffed gas station pumps. Otherwise, no.

 

A big thank you!

 

 

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We have a chip credit card with a PIN, but it is still set for signature as the default. Most places in Europe have us sign. However, it will work at kiosks, etc., with a PIN. It is a card that does not charge for foreign transactions, and has an easy to use app on my phone so I can easily monitor everything. 

 

An alternative is to carry a debit card with you if needed for a chip-and-PIN-only situation. Less secure, but it will work. 

 

Does anyone here use their phone to pay in Europe? Like with Apple Pay?

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7 hours ago, AnnieE said:

 I have a Bank of America Visa credit card . However I do not know the pin. Is the pin necessary when charging at stores, restaurants, other retail business? I tried to obtain the pin ( i have one I think!)  but can only send by snail mail....that doesn't work)

I will NOT need to use it for cash advance at ATM 

 

Thanks, 

I have B of A also and requested a PIN by mail. It took a week to arrive. The bank staff all warned me the PIN allows a cash advance.😳

Is what has me concerned is bank staff (even those who had traveled Europe recently) had never heard of a chip and PIN card. They all said the card just works.

 

Several recent cruisers here (such as cruiserBruce) are all saying the same thing, that our cards typically just work (except for the few exceptions noted). 

 

Im thinking much of what we have heard about our non chip and pin cards not working is old. I hope.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Blue and Green said:

We have a chip credit card with a PIN, but it is still set for signature as the default. Most places in Europe have us sign. However, it will work at kiosks, etc., with a PIN. It is a card that does not charge for foreign transactions, and has an easy to use app on my phone so I can easily monitor everything. 

 

An alternative is to carry a debit card with you if needed for a chip-and-PIN-only situation. Less secure, but it will work. 

 

Does anyone here use their phone to pay in Europe? Like with Apple Pay?

The best I could find on ApplePay was it is accepted in several countries. Nederlands was not on the list I found. 

Ive personally had a hard time finding primary source information on ApplePay ( not AppleCash).

Why would a debit card be less secure?

Edited by TiogaCruiser

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17 minutes ago, TiogaCruiser said:

The best I could find on ApplePay was it is accepted in several countries. Nederlands was not on the list I found. 

Ive personally had a hard time finding primary source information on ApplePay ( not AppleCash).

Why would a debit card be less secure?

Debit cards are considered less secure because they could expose your bank account information. For travel, we use a Capital One Visa that is not connected to any of our bank accounts as a debit card would be connected. Apple Pay, and Android Pay, are considered highly secure because they use sophisticated layers of security (tokenization and cryptograms?) and never expose your bank information. So I was wondering about using a debit card that is stored in the Apple Pay wallet.   

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@blueandgreen 

Thanks. I actually set up a separate small checking account that has a debit/ATM card attached only to it, to protect our other accounts.

I’m also interested in the answer to your Apple question.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Blue and Green said:

So I was wondering about using a debit card that is stored in the Apple Pay wallet.

Most shops in Denmark will have payment terminals where you can use Apple Pay - look for this symbol:

 

Skærmbillede 2019-05-09 kl. 09.01.27.png

Edited by hallasm
layout

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On 5/8/2019 at 5:21 PM, TiogaCruiser said:

I have B of A also and requested a PIN by mail. It took a week to arrive. The bank staff all warned me the PIN allows a cash advance.😳

Is what has me concerned is bank staff (even those who had traveled Europe recently) had never heard of a chip and PIN card. They all said the card just works.

 

Several recent cruisers here (such as cruiserBruce) are all saying the same thing, that our cards typically just work (except for the few exceptions noted). 

 

Im thinking much of what we have heard about our non chip and pin cards not working is old. I hope.

Most bank employees are in fact clueless as to what Chip and PIN is. They will tell you your card works throughout Europe.  Most of them have never traveled or used a CC overseas. As has been noted previously, your card will work almost every where.  I have personally had issues at both train ticket machines and self service gas stations but just had to work around them and find alternate payment or service methods 

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The taxi drivers in Warnemunde did not take credit cards, nor did the Molli train station. We did Germany on our own.  THe posts above are correct, a US chip card will work almost everywhere except train ticket machines.  In Russia the gift shops the tours take you to take credit cards, USD or Euros and you can tip the tour guide in either currency. 

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On 5/14/2019 at 4:54 AM, wheezedr said:

Most bank employees are in fact clueless as to what Chip and PIN is. They will tell you your card works throughout Europe.  Most of them have never traveled or used a CC overseas. As has been noted previously, your card will work almost every where.  I have personally had issues at both train ticket machines and self service gas stations but just had to work around them and find alternate payment or service methods 

 

In Germany you will find quite a few stores and restaurants not accepting credit cards. Three out of four payments are still done in cash and that means Euro only. US dollars are generally not accepted.

 

If you use debit cards maestro is the most used card in Germany. Visa and Mastercard are quite common, but don’t be surprised if American Express or other credit cards are not accepted. Apple Pay is yet not a common option except for online purchases.

 

Any ticket machines will work only with PIN or cash.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, cansas.piligrim said:

I had several problems with ApplePay in Copenhagen in small shops.

The shop must have a ‘contactless payment–capable’ terminal.

In Denmark we are rapidly mowing towards contactless payments - either by card or mobile phone. Most shops in Copenhagen will soon have terminals for contactless payment. Look for the symbol as mentioned in post #20.

Edited by hallasm

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We are doing a Northern European cruise next year and was wondering about all the difference currencies.  This is a great thread with helpful information.  Thanks. 

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