Banks Roll Out Tech-Savvy and Traveler-Friendly Credit Cards

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by sobore, Jun 30, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.businessinsider.com/banks-roll-out-tech-savvy-and-traveler-friendly-credit-cards-2011-6


    As payments technology springs forward, international credit cards demand more than just fewer fees and better travel rewards. Frequent overseas travelers have to put up with a lot from their Yankee creditcards: a 3% transaction fee for all purchases made abroad, for one, and the constant fear of being denied because American credit card security systems are incompatible with everyone else’s. Now, US Bank joins Chase and Wells Fargo in offering travel cards that use the prolific EMV chips that have yet to take hold in American markets.
    As the New York Times reports, US Bank will issue its FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa with the EMV chips that are the basis of the standard verification system in Europe and elsewhere. Short for Europay-MasterCard-Visa, EMV chips are embedded into credit cards and often combined with a signature or PIN for corroboration. Because some European retailers won’t accept the traditional (and outdated) American magnetic stripe, international travelers have sometimes seen their credit cards rejected. US Bank, and others, hope to address this headache.


    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/banks-roll-out-tech-savvy-and-traveler-friendly-credit-cards-2011-6#ixzz1Qkx0t354
     
  2. rharrigill
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    rharrigill Silver Member

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    Has anyone here actually had a lot of issues with being declined when using magnetic swipe cards? We're planning on traveling to Europe next summer and I'm wondering if this is slowly becoming a problem for travelers.
     
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  3. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    I'm also planning travel to Europe later this year. From my research it appears that the magnetic stripe cards have problems in automated kiosks (such as at train stations, etc). In touristy areas, it seems as if the mag-stripe isn't much of a problem - you'll probably have to tell the clerk/cashier its a swipe-and-sign card, though. In less touristy areas, however, the cashiers may not know how to run the "old-fashioned" swipe-and-sign cards.

    I would guess that by next summer there will be plenty of EMV chip cards to choose from if you're concerned.

    There are two Chase cards with chips now. The first is the JP Morgan Palladium... only offered to their private banking customers, the card itself is made out of palladium, and carries a huge annual fee.

    They also have the JP Morgan Select, which is essentially a clone of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card without the sign-up bonus or the annual 7% points dividend.

    These cards are Chip-and-Signature cards, which are different than the more common Chip-and-PIN in Europe. The Chip-and-Signature reportedly works without problems with cashiers, but I haven't heard any reports of it working at kiosks.
     
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  4. ShopAround
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    ShopAround Silver Member

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    The only time I ever had an issue was last week at a Carphone Warehouse store on Grafton Street in Dublin. It was a simple 20 euro purchase but they said they couldn't accept a swipe card, so I paid cash. Never had a problem otherwise using my U.S. cards at stores and restaurants in Europe.
     
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  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I have never had a problem, but I tend to not use the credit cards in Europe as much as I do in the US. But rest assured, every single instance of a problem I encounter will result in a nastygram to Chase or Amex customer service telling them to get their butt in gear and roll out cards that work globally.
     
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  6. Travel2Food
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    Travel2Food Silver Member

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    I have - going back several years. Folks have already mentioned the automated kiosks for trains & subways - that's pretty common & has hit me in Madrid, Paris, London. Fortunately, I arrived at a time when there were attended booths & bought a pass, otherwise it would have been an issue. I've also been rejected in CH (Switzerland) at gas stations. It really is no fun to be very low on gas during off-hours & stop at station after station that only would work with chip & pin. We did finally find a station that had a manned booth, but.... it certainly made me decide to fill the tank when it got around 1/2 tank during shop hours. Finally, I've had trouble at a couple of cafes in Paris.
     
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  7. theBOAT
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    theBOAT Silver Member

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    While I'm in the Netherlands for work, I constantly run into issues accepting my mag-strip only Citi Visa card. I can't buy train tix, and most small vendors only accept chip/PIn cards. I'd give it a roughly 25% acceptance rate.

    I just got back this week from a vacation in Ireland, and it was much better. I'd only been denied once out of the whole week I was there. So, YMMV depending on which country you're in.

    Hope this helps!

    TheBOAT
     
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  8. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    If it isa chip and signature it will not work at full EMV kiosks. There really is no point to chip and signature other than to claim they have a chip. In fact the bank infrastructure to support the pin is expensive and they are trying to delay that investment. IMO, stupid. These cards do not solve the problem. Full EMV does.
     
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  9. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I forgot to add another point. There are slightly different standards fro EMV in specific countries. Thus, some people with Danish cards have trouble using chip/pin in some other countries. I end out carrying cards from three countries:
    France: works almost everywhere; Brazil: works absolutely everywhere but has a government FX tax of 6% (ouch!); US- works in the US and in manned locations elsewhere.
     
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  10. lhrsfo
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    lhrsfo Silver Member

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    The other thing to be aware of is that Amex is much less widely accepted than VISA or MasterCard. Amex charges significantly higher premiums to retailers so many simply won't take the card - and we're not just talking the small boys - trains, London theaters etc.
     
  11. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I am about to write that complaint email to Chase. On a recent trip to Europe I had multiple occasions where I couldn't use my cards:

    - ticket vending machine in Brussels Metro system (went to ticket/info window where they had a swipe machine)
    - parking garage at Conrad Brussels... Almost couldn't leave as it also didn't like some of my crisp Euro bills.
     
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