Will My Credit Card Work in Europe?

No not necessarily. I just got an email from one of my traveling sisters who is, as I write this, in Amsterdam. Her credit cards (Visa and American Express) have not worked at train stations and about 75% of everywhere else.

Many European countries have gone to what are called chip-and-pin cards.

US credit cards (typically) do not have chips in them. But many of your credit cards do have pin numbers. If you don’t know what your pin is ask before you leave on a trip; with the pin number you may find you can get SOME of the machines to work.

My understanding is most of Europe will be converted to the new cards by the end of this year, 2012 and Canada by the end of 2015.

The good news is that her debit card does still work, so when needed, she can get cash out of an ATM machine. Fortunately, she prepaid most of her transportation, special event tickets she planned to go to, and her hotel needs before she left the states.

Phyllis and her husband, John, are very much enjoying their time because they planned ahead! Today they enjoyed sipping wine on a canal in Amsterdam and are off to Brussels this weekend

Be sure you have enough cash on hand to pay for things like parking garages, toll roads, gas stations, subway tickets and so forth. Don’t be caught unprepared.

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