Travel to Europe easier with chip enabled debit cards

sim pin chip credit cardThe days of traveler’s cheques are far far behind us, but that doesn’t mean that paying by credit cards oveseas is always easy. In particular, Europe and many other countires are prone to using chip and pin cards for accepting transactions rather than the magnetic striped plastic that most Americans use. While most outlets have a backup machine for “swiping” cards rather than plugging in the chip, a few key places require them; for example, the popular Velib bike sharing program in Paris only works with chip+pin and American Express cards.

This left most Americans without many solutions, since most US Banks wont issue chip and pin cards. Until now. Travelex, the worldwide bank and currency exchange company (you’ve probably seen their booths at the airport) just announced that they’ll be offering prepaid chipped debit cards for savvy travelers early next year.

The only problem? Travelex offers a pretty crummy exchange rate for average travelers. As Ed Perkins from SmarterTravel in this MSNBC article points out: “You’re paying a stiff price for the convenience” And hey, Travelex shafts on you cash exchanges at the airport, so why not with a prepaid debit card?

Needless to say, if you’re willing to take a beating on the exchange rate you can pick up your own card over at Travelex.com under Cash Passports.

[Thanks to Moody75 for the link]

flickr image via cmcphotography