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Where left high and dry by US credit cards in UK & France

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UK: our standard swipe cards worked everywhere except at a sporting goods store in York which was the only place to require chip & pin. In that location the chip & pin card acted as a chip & sign card. The only place we were left high and dry was an Asda filling station which refused both swipe and chip & pin American credit cards (and did not take cash either). Note that all restaurants, supermarkets, and admission ticket booths in England and Scotland will take swipe credit cards as a matter of routine without any fuss.

France: the same rule about restaurants, supermarkets and admission ticket booths taking swipe credit cards as routine applies here as well (French word for swipe is glisser, slide). Our chip & pin card did work here as chip & pin at an unmanned filling station next to a supermarket (this was so far the only instance in Europe where using our chip & pin card required entering a pin) however we were left high and dry on the autoroute toll booths which rejected both swipe and US chip & pin. Fortunately the automated booths accept cash notes and give change.

Note that magnetic strip & pin bank cards work at automated teller machines everywhere in both countries.

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