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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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I was wondering the same.  Apple Says it is a subtle, but you do wonder about real experiences.  

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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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On 12/5/2019 at 3:16 PM, XuGator said:

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

 

Apple Pay worked very well for us in the Baltics last summer and was widely accepted.  We have chip and signature cards like 99% of US-based cards and had no problems anywhere.  

 

Even when I did have to swipe a card, I was not asked for a PIN on any occasion.  

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2 hours ago, danv3 said:

 

We have chip and signature cards like 99% of US-based cards and had no problems anywhere.  

 

Even when I did have to swipe a card, I was not asked for a PIN on any occasion.  

That is the experience of many people who cruise, because they spend all their time in tourist areas doing typical tourist activities. But, did you try using your chip and signature card at any automated device, such as a train ticket kiosk or pay to use restroom? I am more concerned with restrooms than anything else, for my trip next summer. I have heard that chip and signature cards will not work at automated devices.

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On 12/15/2019 at 2:13 PM, danv3 said:

 

Apple Pay worked very well for us in the Baltics last summer and was widely accepted.  We have chip and signature cards like 99% of US-based cards and had no problems anywhere.  

 

Even when I did have to swipe a card, I was not asked for a PIN on any occasion.  

 

However as stated on the first page, the old swipe terminals are being replaced by chip+pin due to new EU-wide
regulations that came into effect earlier this year. If you have blip on your card that will work for smaller sums on

some terminals but no guarantee for ticket machines and etc.

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On 12/15/2019 at 8:13 AM, Tom O. said:

That is the experience of many people who cruise, because they spend all their time in tourist areas doing typical tourist activities. But, did you try using your chip and signature card at any automated device, such as a train ticket kiosk or pay to use restroom? I am more concerned with restrooms than anything else, for my trip next summer. I have heard that chip and signature cards will not work at automated devices.

I agree.  I think I will get some local currency for use at least in restrooms for sure.  I can use whatever I have left for other things, souvenirs, snacks, or share with my cruise mates.  

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On 9/1/2019 at 2:43 PM, Kaufeegurl said:

I would bring some EUR for tipping, small cafe purchases, and sometimes - for a restroom (€.50 - €1). Restrooms in Europe will come with a fee many times. And don't be fooled by the larger bills or coins already placed on the 'tip tray' - they are put there by the attendant and €.50 will suffice.  Other times you will need to place coinage in a turnstile or in the lock on the door (which really slows you down if you really have to go :0) 

Unfortunately, Euro banknotes start at €5, the most useful EUR you'll need is €1 and €2 which are coinage (and heavy). We always find ourselves needing more of this denomination. CC are fine on the autobahn. 

As for CC - hopefully you have one with no foreign transaction fees. And in Germany especially there are times when you need a CC with 'chip and pin', not the more readily available 'chip and signature'. Most of the machines (anything that is self-service like tickets and parking) in Germany require a 'chip and pin' card, a 'chip and signature' is fine for hotels, restaurants, and shopping.


One way to get around the "PIN" is to use a credit card loaded into your Apple Pay or Samsung Pay on your phone.  Verifying with your fingerprint on the phone is the equivalent of using a PIN. You can use this with the data turned off, and we found that 98% of the places we tried to pay with the phone in Europe accepted it.  

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On 12/5/2019 at 3:16 PM, XuGator said:

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


I just used my Chase Sapphire Reserve loaded into the "wallet" on my iPhone in Poland by holding it to the kiosk/pay machine and then when prompted, using my fingerprint which seems to act as if it were a PIN.  I wasn't in Gdansk but I can't imagine that it would be different there than in Warsaw or Krakow.  I can't speak for the other Baltic countries.

 

And yes, pretty much every public restroom requires payment--in Poland it ranged from 1-3 ZL, a few places you could pay by card/phone (mostly in the train/bus stations) but most required coins.  If you go to a place like Cafe Nero, Costa Coffee, or Starbucks, the code for the WC is printed on the bottom of the receipt, you do need to order and pay before using the toilet.

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This may seem a silly question. I am planning on getting some Euros at my bank before my cruise. But, when I do that, they usually give me a few small denominations, but most of it is in large bills, and no coins.

Can I trade some large bills for smaller bills and coins on my ship? (HAL Zuiderdam).

Or is there an easy way to do this once I am off the ship?

Once I buy something, I will get some change. But I have no real use for large bills, because any large purchase I make I will use a credit card. I just need the cash for small purchases.

I don't want end up in a restroom where I need a 1 Euro coin and not have one.

Any suggestions of how I can get a supply of small bills and coins?

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