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American Credit Cards Still Work in Italy?

American Credit Cards Still Work in Italy?

Jan 11th, 2010, 12:54 PM
  #1  
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American Credit Cards Still Work in Italy?

I have heard from several third-hand sources that apparently Italy is in the process of shifting to using credit cards that have some kind of chip in them. I've heard reports that some American travellers are finding that their own credit cards are not accepted at vendors (stores, restaurants) in Italy b/c they do not have this chip. Of course I will check with my bank, but does anyone have any information that can shed some light on this problem? We are traveling in Italy in April and I want to be sure to be prepared.
anndaquino is offline  
Jan 11th, 2010, 01:56 PM
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Your credit cards will work fine.

A few days prior to your departure to Italy, be sure to notify your banks of your travels. Without doing this, they may block your purchase. Also, be sure to take with you your cc numbers and the international phone number on the back of your cards. Keep this info separate from your cards, just in case your cards are lost or stolen.

Enjoy your trip!
zoecat is offline  
Jan 11th, 2010, 02:01 PM
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The only reason that your cards won't work is because your bank has blocked them.

The only reasons why your card won't be accepted are the vendor doesn't accept CCs at all or doesn't accept your type of CC (generally only Mastercard or Visa are accepted)

So not only do you contact them beforehand, you also have the overseas contact number to hand when they forget your instructions and block your card
alanRow is offline  
Jan 11th, 2010, 02:27 PM
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"The only reason that your cards won't work is because your bank has blocked them."

Mmmmmm, well, not exactly. For example, unmanned petrol station may have a cc machine that won't accept a cc without a chip. There are probably a few other exceptions to the rule that your non-chip card will work everywhere in Italy.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jan 11th, 2010, 02:47 PM
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I've also heard that unmanned toll-road machines won't take them either
hazel1 is offline  
Jan 11th, 2010, 02:50 PM
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Even if your card should work fine, it's possible there will be random days when one or the other, just won't. It happened to me in Rome, and there was nothing at all wrong with the Mastercard but it was declined. It then worked fine the very next day - it remains a mystery!

And when you call your bank, you might calling more than once. I did just to make sure the firt person I talked to did it right (oh brother that sounds a little crazy now that I read it lol)
sheri_lp is offline  
Jan 11th, 2010, 02:51 PM
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bad typos, sorry!
sheri_lp is offline  
Jan 11th, 2010, 03:58 PM
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Last heard, AMEXCO won't let you use their card to rent a car in Italy. Check that out.
treplow is offline  
Jan 11th, 2010, 04:22 PM
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It is my understanding that you can't use non-chip CC in Metro ticketing machines in France. Is the situation the same at train stations, subways, etc. in Italy?
d_claude_bear is offline  
Jan 12th, 2010, 04:08 AM
  #10  
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Great question, d_claude_bear! That is essential information for us, as we are traveling by train from Rome - Venice, and Venice - Lake Como.

sheri_lp: good idea to call bank more than once to inform of the "strange" charges that will appear...thanks.
anndaquino is offline  
Jan 12th, 2010, 04:21 AM
  #11  
 
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Last heard, AMEXCO won't let you use their card to rent a car in Italy.

Not true. American Express simply won't insure you in Italy, so you'll need to take out insurance with someone else. Not sure if this is regulatory, or just because Italians are such lousy drivers.

For the most part, you should have few problems using a non-chip and pin card, with the possible exception of some unmanned terminals and the occassional, exceedingly stupid store clerk.
travelgourmet is online now  

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