credit and debit cards

Jul 16th, 2011, 07:47 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 41
credit and debit cards


I am assuming that all credit cards are acceptable in Europe. I have a HSBC debit and credit card.with 4 digit pin number and I should have no problems using the ATM machines for cash. Has anyone had problems with the ATM machines? thank you
waterton888 is offline  
Jul 16th, 2011, 07:49 AM
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Not at all.
adrienne is offline  
Jul 16th, 2011, 07:50 AM
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I've had no problems with my ATM card. I never use it to purchase items, so I can't say if it works that way in Europe.
Michael is offline  
Jul 16th, 2011, 08:24 AM
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No, no problems, except that occasionally on Sundays in France the ATMS seem to be down for an hour or two (probably some sort of weekly catch-up with correspondent US banks or something), but it always resolves within an hour or two. No problem at all with credit cards, either (MasterCard and Visa are more widely accepted than Amex in small towns, though).
StCirq is online now  
Jul 16th, 2011, 09:19 AM
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no problems..use my ATM to get Euros and credit cards to make purchases; I once had a clerk at a pharmacy give me the little keypad to enter my PIN for a purchase (Europe uses chip & pin cards, while the US uses a signature), but as soon as I looked at her she realized I was American and printed a receipt for me to sign. Make sure to notify all bank card issuers of your travel dates and places to avoid having your card shut down for possible fraud.
denisea is offline  
Jul 16th, 2011, 09:25 AM
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I've never had any problems, but I do bring an extra card--just in case.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Jul 16th, 2011, 09:29 AM
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I second Denisea's recommendation that you notify your cc company that you will be gone. Notify your backup card company also. One of my cc company's refused to let me buy a camera in Spain because I hadn't notified them that I'd be traveling. I had other cards, so it was no big deal.

My last travel partner's debit card did not work in Spain, despite the assurances of her bank that it would. Fortunately I had enough cash that I could lend her some.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Jul 16th, 2011, 10:03 AM
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We had terrible trouble with the ATMs in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina last fall. We had called ahead to notify the company but somehow they did not do whatever was necessary to allow transactions in these countries Next time we will call then call again to check.
Vttraveler is online now  
Jul 16th, 2011, 10:15 AM
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All Visa and MCs work in europe and AmEx works most places. Diner'sClub and Discover are useless (the companies don't support them).

Bank debit cards are all fine as long as they are linked to one or more of the major networks (Star, Cirrus and all the others). If it is a debit card from a local credit union and not part of any of the major networks you may have trouble with it.
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 16th, 2011, 10:25 AM
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Hi w,

I suggest that you:
bring 2 cards
let the CC companies know you will be going to Europe
check to see what your daily and weekly limits are, and raise them if necessary.

Most gas stations are not staffed on Sunday. Not many have machines that take cash.
Make sure to fill up on Saturday.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Jul 16th, 2011, 01:44 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
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No ATM problems but if you are accustomed to selecting from which of your accounts withdrawals are made, you will not have the choice at a French ATM.

If you are from the USA (adding your county of origin is very helpful to those you answer your post) you can have credit card problems. US credit cards are not accepted at automated gasoline pumps, ticket kiosks, or at some autoroute toll booths. Additionally I have had my US credit card flatly refused because it did not have a chip (US cards do not comply with the EVM standard).

Carrying extra cash can prevent any embarrassment when the check comes.
Sarastro is offline  
Jul 17th, 2011, 04:18 PM
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There is good advice in the posts above, and you can find lots of information on this forum since ATM cards, particularly for Americans in Europe, are a favourite topic.
HSBC is one of the world's biggest banks and you will be able to find their ATMs almost anywhere. I am not an HSBC client, but I have used my Royal Bank of Canada card in HBIC ATMs and regretted it. On several continents I found that HSBC ATMs have a much lower maximum withdrawal than I expected.
Many opinions on this forum argue that it is the home bank which sets limits on withdrawal, which is true. But HSBC seems to imnpose extra-low limits as well.
As an example, in Hanoi, my RBC card could withdraw less than half the amount from the HSBC ATM machine as from the ANZ (Australia and New Zealand) machine a block away. And in Argentina, at the international airport, the HSBC machine simply coughed my card back.
You can get more advice from your HSBC branch although you must insist on talking to a manager about it; the clerks answering phone calls in most banks are not trained to handle such questions.
Southam is offline  

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