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American credit cards

7 posts
1 review
American credit cards

A friend happended to be talking about our upcoming trip next week to Sorrento when she was told to check to see if our American credit cards would be usable. She was told that major European credit cards like Visa now have embedded microchips in them. American cards do not and as a result are not working in ATMs nor being accepted by some merchants. The person who told this had just returned from London where he encountered problems.

I'm looking to the experts on our forum to sort out the facts for me.....

Thanks as always for the help!

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
23,678 posts
1. Re: American credit cards

I would check with you credit card company.most of Europe has a "chip&pin" system now for both credit and debit cards,which does away with the need for signing a credit card slip,This came into force here in Britain early this year and the majority of retailers and resturants use this system now.In fact I have only had to sign a slip once since the introduction.some places may let you sign a credit card slip,but I havn't used a credit card in a country outside Britain for about a year,going to Greece next week so i will see what happens there.

Salerno, Italia
Level Contributor
3,055 posts
3 reviews
2. Re: American credit cards

Dear mdvlage,

Merchants around here, Napoli, and pretty much many cities in-between have not reported problems with American credit cards. I have seen tourists withdraw money from Bancomat machines here in Salerno and I'm guessing that they're using their credit cards or ATM cards.

Sometimes when charging an expensive purchase, the credit card company will actually stop the card. It's necessary to call the company to explain where the holder is, what the holder is buying, and maybe when the holder is returning back to the US. When heading overseas, one could probably email or call the card's 800 number to warn the company that charges will be made overseas.

The only problem I've ever seen was with an ATM debit/VISA credit card in Zurich at the airport. The charge was denied and it was necessary to use a regular VISA credit card to make the purchase...

Also, 3% is automatically docked for each transaction made outside the US.

Buona Fortuna...

7 posts
1 review
3. Re: American credit cards

Thanks for the quick answers....I called Bank of America today and they are totally unaware of any problems so that's a good thing! I've been traveling internationally for over 10 yrs, that's why this took me by suprise...never had any problems in any country up to now.

Looking forward to Sorrento next week.... we'll be the crazy Americans running around checking to see if our credit cards work ......LOL


Level Contributor
277 posts
134 reviews
4. Re: American credit cards

I always advise my credit card company before I travel. Once, while in London, my master card didn't work. I found out that the credit card company, when seeing an international purchase, thought my card had been stolen, and would not authorize payment.

That incident taught me a lesson to always notify my credit card company's security department of my dates and countries of travel.

Since then, I have not had a problem.

I will, however, ask about the microchip cards, and hope to hear comments from others who may have had this experience.

Also, I have noticed over the past several years that most merchants are no longer accepting traveller's checks. This has been very disappointing. Hotels have no problem accepting them, though, and change bureaus still accept them, as well, although one bureau told me they would accept only traveller's checks which have a visa afffiliation. I was fortunate that mine were through AAA and had the Visa logo on them.

In addition, I placed money on a AAA money card which works like an ATM card. The card is accepted at most ATM machines (again MOST, but not all). It was still a comfort, though, to have cash, checks, and cards available, in case one means was more easily accessible. The first time I went to use my ATM card I did something wrong (my fault, not the card), so I had other means to back me up.

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
23,678 posts
5. Re: American credit cards

We had a discusion on another forum about travellers cheques,and since the wide availabilty of atm's the T/C has gone into rapid decline.In Europe fewer and fewer places accept T/C's.I travel frequently in Europe and have never had any problems getting money from ATM's,I have not used T/C's for many years now.

6. Re: American credit cards

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