Problem with using credit card in Europe? Try these

This read by Ed Perkins of Tribune Media Services reminded me of a problem I had in Amsterdam this past December. When trying to buy a train ticket at one of the kiosks with my credit card, I was asked for a pin number. If I have one, I can’t know it. I ended up going to a booth with a person to buy the tickets with Euros since the ticket kiosk didn’t take cash (I don’t think, or why wouldn’t I have done that?). I had hoped to use the kiosk since that would have been faster.

According to Perkins, credit cards issued in the U.S. don’t have chip-enabled cards like European banks are using. This can create problems once in awhile for those of us trying to use an American bank issued card. However, unless you are at a place like a kiosk where a swipe is required, and there isn’t a person involved in the transaction, you shouldn’t have a problem because the credit card should be able to be used without a pin.

  • If the clerk or waiter asks for a pin, let them know that the card is good with a signature on the back and I.D.
  • If the person still doesn’t want to use the credit card, ask to see the manager and see if that works.

Perkins suggests having a debit card as well so that if needed, in a pinch, you can get money out of an ATM, however don’t use the debit card to get money at other times or you’ll be dinged more in fees than if you had used your credit card.

In my case, I did use my credit card two times without trouble. Once at the Pancake Bakery in Amsterdam and the other time paying for tickets for the canal boat ride in Copenhagen. The rest of the time I used cash. I would have used my credit card (and cash) more on my last day in Denmark but I was PICK-POCKETED! Robbed! So sad. On the upside of that experience, I spent less money. [Smarter Travel]