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Chip Card Needed?

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We are leaving for our Prague, Austria, Bavaria trip in less than 1 week. In-laws just called to inform us that their friends, who just returned from Europe, could not use their ATM cards in Europe because they were not "chip" cards. This is the first time I've ever heard of such a thing. We have been abroad every year for the past several years (though not in Czech Rep, Austria, or Germany) and never had any problems.

I just searched a few posts and it does appear that some people have had similar issues, in particular when trying to pay for gas. It also appears that some chip cards are country specific, so I'm not even sure that if we got them in the US (however you do that), they would work abroad.

Can someone set me straight on this issue? And what kind of cards are affected here - anything that we have w/a magnetic strip?

Any assistance w/this ASAP would be great. Thanks!

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