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Author Topic: Will my US credit card work in the UK without a chip & pin?  (Read 5477 times)
katrinacov
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« on: February 15, 2010, 04:22:12 PM »

Hi,

So I plan on visiting the UK soon, and my bf keeps telling me that my US credit card (note this is a credit card and not a bank card) will not work in Manchester since it doesnt have a chip and pin.  Is this true? 

Most of my spending money was going to come from my credit card.  I thought Visa and Mastercard was suppose to work anywhere?

Has anyone has issues with this?  Are there places that this wont work?  Manchester isnt as big of a tourist place as London.

Please help! Huh
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sarahb
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2010, 04:23:35 PM »

Ive never had any problems using credit cards in the UK. You just have to ask them to slide the card instead of putting it in the machine reader.
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WebyJ
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2010, 04:25:11 PM »

I use my US Visa Debit card periodically (in cash machines & at retail outlets) and have had no problem. Just like JennM I just tell them it has no chip & they'll have to slide it.
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SlicesMissus
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2010, 04:26:50 PM »

It will but you may get a bit of confusion from store clerks.
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sb15
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2010, 04:28:11 PM »

Yeah, it's fine.  I kept one in the beginning for things when I didn't have a UK credit card, and it's fine, just tell em to swipe.  It's not like tourists don't use their cards here.
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PickledSakura
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2010, 04:30:09 PM »

It will work, it doesnt matter how "touristy" the place that you're visiting is.

The cashier will probably make you stick it into the Chip reader at first, But i always tell them  that it doesnt have a chip beforehand, and hand it over to them. They have a place to swipe it on their register.   And, unlike all my experiences in the US, they actually do check to make sure your signatures match up!

I just prefer to draw money out of a cashpoint with my (American) debit card, and normally do that.. It avoids worrying about the exchange rate on whatever day it goes through, and the credit company adding on an extra percentage or two because it's a foreign transaction.  (I think CapitalOne is the only credit company who doesnt do this)  So check out the small print of your card before you go swipe-crazy.

I don't know about other US banks, but if you have Bank of America, you can draw money out of Barclay's in the UK, with no ATM surcharge.

xposted with sb15
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« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2010, 05:03:33 PM »

All the times I've visited the UK, my US cards (both debit and credit) have worked fine.

The person will usually figure out the card needs to be swiped, but if not, you can just tell them it's a foreign card without the chip and pin system, and that it will need to be swiped.  And even if that doesn't work, they can input the card number manually.

(I had a card that refused to be swiped due to an aging magnetic strip, and at a restaurant, the waitstaff just manually entered the card number and it worked fine)
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CharmCityGirl
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« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2010, 06:58:39 PM »

I would suggest contacting your bank and letting them know you'll be out of the country so they don't flag your card and put a hold on it. Also, they will probably charge you an international service charge (you can ask the bank if they do this) on each transaction so it's best to take out as much as you can from the ATM in one go and use your card as infrequently as possible.
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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2010, 07:19:21 PM »

I would suggest contacting your bank and letting them know you'll be out of the country so they don't flag your card and put a hold on it.

Yes!  I use my US Capital One card (no fees!) at least once a month.  Every once in a while, their fraud department calls or emails to make sure I'm the one using the card.  It still bills to a US address, so I just tell them I'm travelling and all is well.  They've never frozen the card, but I know plenty of people who've had it happen -- and it can be a PITA.
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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2010, 07:53:22 PM »

the only problem I have encountered while in the UK with  my credit and/or debit cards, is the inability to buy train tickets at the machine, instead I had to go to the ticket windows so they can swipe the cards. 

do make sure you notify them of your travels, having the card locked makes a vacation a bit stressful. 
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« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2010, 07:58:19 PM »

Don't count on it!!

In a place like Manchester, you should be fine - as noted above. However, some stores, especially in more rural, non-touristy areas will NOT swipe cards. It is simply against their store policy now. I encountered this several times in smaller market towns and rural locations. Chip and pin is all about security. This is why some places just won't swipe the card anymore.
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« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2010, 08:44:42 PM »

Don't count on it!!

In a place like Manchester, you should be fine - as noted above. However, some stores, especially in more rural, non-touristy areas will NOT swipe cards. It is simply against their store policy now. I encountered this several times in smaller market towns and rural locations. Chip and pin is all about security. This is why some places just won't swipe the card anymore.

Yup, this happened to me a couple of times when I tried shopping here in Crewe. I just go to the cashpoint at Barclay's because I'm with BofA in the States. Although, I try not to spend the dollars that I have.
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« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2010, 09:16:02 PM »

Your card should work, just make sure you sign the back. I never sign the back of my cards and when I went to use my card at ASDA they almost didn't take it because it wasn't signed.
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« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2010, 09:16:49 PM »

Yes!  I use my US Capital One card (no fees!) at least once a month. 

NO FEES?! How does this work? Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2010, 09:30:17 PM »

NO FEES?! How does this work? Smiley

I have no idea why they don't, especially since they nickel and dime you on every other thing.  Cheesy  Apparently Visa & MasterCard charge the issuers themselves a 1% int'l transaction fee and CapOne absorbs that, too, rather than passing it on the way the others do. 

They don't jack the conversion rate, either -- I did a test on a £100 (exactly) transaction just to test it out!
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