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Excuse me for bringing this old thread back to life, but I have a question about the chip and pin cards mentioned above.

I have several credit cards and all of them have chips. But I have never set up a pin for any of them. I have never ran into any situation where I needed a pin here in the USA. Can I just contact my credit card company to set up a pin for them? Will that work in Europe as a chip and pin card? Or do I have to have some different type credit card that is chip and pin.

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I’ve recently travelled to Copenhagen and been using my contactless chip&pin card for most purchases as contactless one without any PIN verification. Only once, I was asked to enter my PIN-code when the amount was over 150 dollars.

 

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So Lagerta, they have "tap" in Copenhagen?  That would be great if they had it across Europe. 

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We use contactless in quite a few european countries, but for comparably small amounts only. With credit card and debet card (both types can be chip & Pin at the same time). As a total amount of € 50 is spent (in our country), we have to use the pincode. Of course I cannot speak for a canadian credit card.  Maybe you can ask your bank to be sure?   

 

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23 hours ago, Tom O. said:

Excuse me for bringing this old thread back to life, but I have a question about the chip and pin cards mentioned above.

I have several credit cards and all of them have chips. But I have never set up a pin for any of them. I have never ran into any situation where I needed a pin here in the USA. Can I just contact my credit card company to set up a pin for them? Will that work in Europe as a chip and pin card? Or do I have to have some different type credit card that is chip and pin.

I am responding to my own post. Since I asked this question, I have done some research.

Most US credit cards are "chip and signature" and if a pin number is added to it, it is only for borrowing money at a ATM machine - they still won't work for a European purchase that requires a "chip and pin" card.

However there are a few cards that will allow you to make your chip and signature card into a chip and pin card by adding a pin. One of these cards happens to be a card that I already own, the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card.

So I called them and they guided me through the process of adding a pin online. So I should be fine using this card anywhere in Europe. It will still work as a chip and signature card as well. Also this card is a Visa card which is the most accepted in Europe, and there are no foreign transaction fees.

From what I understand, chip and signature cards will usually be accepted in hotels, restaurants, and other places where there are many tourist customers. But if you go somewhere where they don't see many tourists, such as a grocery store, you will need a chip and pin card.

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I typically found that I need a pin on my US cards when buying train tickets from a Kiosk.  So that could possibly be the trigger, a Kiosk vs a reader.

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On 9/28/2019 at 3:07 AM, spbstan said:
  • As others have said, there is little reason for local currency in any of these counties since the Scandinavian countries are going cashless and almost no one carries cash. The only place cash, coins, I have seen it needed has been pay restrooms, 2 euros,  in Finland. In St Petersburg where ships stay 2 or 3 days, cards are accepted everywhere except street vendors without business licenses who accept dollars, euros or rubles. It is highly discouraged to deal with street venders in St Petersburg because they are frequently involved with  pickpockets.The roving street vendors distract a visitor by waving some item in front of them while a partner targets the distracted visitor by removing their wallet or purse, unseen and unfelt. The same tactic is used in many heavy tourist areas of  Europe.
  • Tips are accepted by guides and drivers in convertible currency such as dollars or euros. So it not needed to go to the expense of bad exchange rates given by exchange banks at local banks in your home country.  You can lose 10-20% on each exchange. Exchanging in the destination country usually gives a 1-2% spread between buy and sell..
  • If using your home currency for tips be sure bring only clean unmarked bills because any torn, worn or marked bills are not exchangeable.  Any ink marks for example makes the currency worthless outside your home country.Even wear marks, such as lightening of the print on the bill, such as in creases.

Thanks for this information.   Will stay away from the street vendors. 

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10 hours ago, Tom O. said:

I am responding to my own post. Since I asked this question, I have done some research.

Most US credit cards are "chip and signature" and if a pin number is added to it, it is only for borrowing money at a ATM machine - they still won't work for a European purchase that requires a "chip and pin" card.

However there are a few cards that will allow you to make your chip and signature card into a chip and pin card by adding a pin. One of these cards happens to be a card that I already own, the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card.

So I called them and they guided me through the process of adding a pin online. So I should be fine using this card anywhere in Europe. It will still work as a chip and signature card as well. Also this card is a Visa card which is the most accepted in Europe, and there are no foreign transaction fees.

From what I understand, chip and signature cards will usually be accepted in hotels, restaurants, and other places where there are many tourist customers. But if you go somewhere where they don't see many tourists, such as a grocery store, you will need a chip and pin card.

Hi Tom, yes I agree the US is far behind other countries with regard to the chip and pin security.  I’ll check with BofA as well.  

 

So the answers for the American Tourist may be different.  And the other small item is the public restrooms. 

 

So, here are my question  

Do we need cash for public restrooms? 

Thanks all 

 

 

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13 hours ago, milolii said:

So, here are my question  

Do we need cash for public restrooms? 

Thanks all 

More than once we could enter restrooms by paying with creditcard and pin..... I do not know which countries you will visit, but when visiting Baltic or Scandinavian countries I do not bring cash in foreign currencies (Russia, Denmark, Norway), just some Euro .  You will possibly only need cash if you visit rural areas. and for tipping if necessary.

Quote

 

 

Edited by MAVIP
tips

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On ‎12‎/‎2‎/‎2019 at 10:46 AM, MAVIP said:

We use contactless in quite a few european countries, but for comparably small amounts only. With credit card and debet card (both types can be chip & Pin at the same time). As a total amount of € 50 is spent (in our country), we have to use the pincode. Of course I cannot speak for a canadian credit card.  Maybe you can ask your bank to be sure?   

 

We have tap and pin in Canada. 

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1 hour ago, Magicat said:

We have tap and pin in Canada. 

OK. You quoted my answer to the original question of Tom O.

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On 12/2/2019 at 10:46 AM, MAVIP said:

We use contactless in quite a few european countries, but for comparably small amounts only. With credit card and debet card (both types can be chip & Pin at the same time). As a total amount of € 50 is spent (in our country), we have to use the pincode. Of course I cannot speak for a canadian credit card.  Maybe you can ask your bank to be sure?   

 

 

I am responding to your response to me to answer your question about Canadian credit card. Tom O is in Utah.

Edited by Magicat

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On 12/3/2019 at 9:08 AM, MAVIP said:

More than once we could enter restrooms by paying with creditcard and pin..... I do not know which countries you will visit, but when visiting Baltic or Scandinavian countries I do not bring cash in foreign currencies (Russia, Denmark, Norway), just some Euro .  You will possibly only need cash if you visit rural areas. and for tipping if necessary.

 

Thank you . This is good to know.  My concern is that in the US, (California)  we are far behind other countries and the chip and pin is not widely available. We still use chip and sign.  

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29 minutes ago, milolii said:

We still use chip and sign.  

People who only use signature could have quite a problem. The last few years no restaurant or hotels asked us for a signature. Might be that France is an exception, but sometimes they also still use cheque payment and those will normally be refused over here. Complicated era.

 

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3 hours ago, MAVIP said:

People who only use signature could have quite a problem. The last few years no restaurant or hotels asked us for a signature. Might be that France is an exception, but sometimes they also still use cheque payment and those will normally be refused over here. Complicated era.

 

 

3 hours ago, MAVIP said:

People who only use signature could have quite a problem. The last few years no restaurant or hotels asked us for a signature. Might be that France is an exception, but sometimes they also still use cheque payment and those will normally be refused over here. Complicated era.

 

Ok thank you.  This is very helpful. 

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Does anyone have any experience with Apply Pay in the Baltic areas? We primarily use Chase and Amex cards and have never had to use a pin anywhere in Europe (so far). After calling chase and amex they both confirmed that we can hit enter to proceed without a pin on chip and pin termianls. Now - it sounds like this might be changing or not entirely the case in some of the Baltic areas. If that is the case - is the easiest thing to just load our cards into the apple wallet and use Apply Pay at these merchants?  I just wanted to see if anyone had any first hand experience with this.  Will Apple Pay be a viable substitute for chip and pin locations? Thanks

Edited by XuGator

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 This post refers to the process and cost for local access to public restrooms, particularly for US Citizens.  

 

Let me clarify.  I am an US citizen.  I do not have a chip and pin card  as this type card is not the norm in the US.  Too bad.  When actually asking direct questions so that the agents representing my US bank (s) understand the process involved in a chip and pin transaction; the agents admit that their bank can not guarantee acceptance.  You need to be very clear about the process when speaking to your bank as agents will readily state their cards are widely accepted overseas. And in most situations the cards are good.  

 

While communicating with TJ Tours in St. Petersburg, I received information that the tour director will have coins for public restrooms use  in St. Petersburg, but advised obtaining your own funds for other Baltic Ports.  

 

So US citizens may indeed need local currency.  Paying for the use of Public Restrooms is also unusual for US Citizens.  Perhaps I should start a different thread?  

 

I appreciate all of your input.  

 

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