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-   -   Credit cards (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/credit-cards-705267/)

baldeagle7777 May 15th, 2007 08:01 AM

Credit cards
 
American credit cards accepted in Great Britain and Europe? Do they charge a processing fee?

gamidtown May 15th, 2007 08:05 AM

Depends upon the card. If you search this forum - Capital One does not add any extra international fee. Some cards will add an extra 2% or 3% so you'll have to call your cards about their policy. Good luck.

PalenQ May 15th, 2007 08:06 AM

VISA and MC accepted practically everywhere and AMEX, etc. to a lesser extent. Discover Card never.

Alec May 15th, 2007 08:22 AM

Yes, unless it's a Discover card, which isn't used outside of North America. Visa and Mastercard are equally accepted; Amex and Diners less so, though improving.
All UK cards, ATM, debit or credit, are chip-and-PIN cards (there are a small number of chip-and-signature cards). But US magnetic strip-only cards should be acceptable in almost all establishments - they just need to be swiped rather than placed in a card reader. The only place I know of that won't take non-chip'n'pin cards are unmanned, automatic fuel pumps at some Asda supermarkets.
UK processors of credit cards won't add extra charges for credit card purchases, but it's likely your card issuers would: often 2-3% loading on exchange rates, plus sometimes foreign useage fee. Some retailers, esp box-shifter type computer outlets, often surcharge credit card use by 2-3% (this is allowed in UK, but not in US I believe).
Some establishments offer dynamic currency conversion (DCC), whereby they - and their card handlers - convert the purchases into your card's billing currency - US$ in your case, at an unfavourable exchange rate and present the slip in US$. They are supposed to ask in advance if you'd like to be billed in $, but this sometimes doesn't happen. It's best to decline it and ask to be billed in pound sterling. If they refuse or pretend not to know how to override it, speak to their supervisor. If they present a slip in US$ without your permission, ask them to reverse it or write 'sterling not offered' on the slip with your signature, and take it up with your card issuer on your return and get them to do a chargeback.

richardsonsnm May 15th, 2007 09:05 AM

your kidding, right?

Michel_Paris May 15th, 2007 09:44 AM

VISA, AMEX and MC are "universal"credit card. Some estabishments may/may not accept AMEX (for example), but would the others. I travel with both VISA and AMEX.

There is no fee, just like there is no fee in USA. Where you will pay is in the exchange rate/conversion fee (depneding on your bank, what card it is,etc.). For every purchase, you will get charged. In my case it was about 1% per purchase. You should also consider...nay...use...ATM machines while over there. Much more conveninet for cash, and fees are also reasonable...sometimes even better than credit cards. I'd keep credit cards for large payments (like hotels,etc..)

Michel_Paris May 15th, 2007 09:47 AM

Note...NO credit card will give you free use in Europe...there may be no FEE, but they can make their money in the exchange rate.

CarolA May 15th, 2007 10:24 AM

Diner's Club will be accepted everywhere MasterCard is. Diner's is now co-branded with MasterCard (which has resulted in a dilution of a really good card)

NeoPatrick May 15th, 2007 10:44 AM

MichelParis, you haven't been doing your homework. Capital One and some other cards not only don't charge any fee, but they give you the current exchange rate at face value -- so you get the same rate you'd get with an ATM card. Maybe you don't call that free, but most people would.

DeeDee_Goose May 15th, 2007 10:51 AM

I am curious what the Capital One card charges as an interest rate?

jody May 15th, 2007 11:02 AM

I found this article interesting , concerning Capital One. I'll stick to Visa, Amex and MC and pay up and get my FF miles

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/credi...apital_one.htm

cafegoddess May 15th, 2007 11:04 AM

Dee Dee

It depends on your credit history. Good
credit, good rate.

odyssey4 May 15th, 2007 11:04 AM

After looking at Capital One's website, they seem to have a few credit card options. None of them mention international use on their description. Anyone have experience here to offer a quick summary?

alanRow May 15th, 2007 01:00 PM

Michel_Paris, you obviously aren't British as otherwise you'd have heard about Nationwide whose CC (and DC) is fee free AND you get the Visa rate of exchange

Travelnut May 15th, 2007 01:28 PM

On the Capital One site, each card has a disclosure that specifies "foreign transaction fee" = 0. You have to select a card,then the disclosure is more evident.

Alec May 15th, 2007 02:34 PM

CarolA
Diners Card co-branding with Mastercard is only in North America. In Europe (and certainly in UK), they are still separate and Mastercard merchants not signed up separately with Diners won't take the latter card. I know because I hold UK-issued Diners and we've received a letter about it.


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