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JonSnow Jun 20th, 2011 06:42 AM

Credit Cards
I'm traveling to Italy and Greece next month. I was told by a friend that my VISA credit card won't work in the ATMs or when buying train/ plane/ ferry tickets. They said I need a Master Card, because it has a special chip in the card, which allows it to work. Does anyone know anymore information about using Credit cards in Italy or Greece?

seafox Jun 20th, 2011 06:48 AM

I have run into the train ticket reality in France, but only at the automated ticket mmachines. You may have to go to the ticket windows. I have used my VISA ATM card with ease through out Italy. Check with your bank and find out who their partner banks are in both countries, by using them, you may avoid a second fee.

StCirq Jun 20th, 2011 07:02 AM

Getting a Master Card won't solve your problems. They don't have the chip, either. Your VISA will work fine at all ATMs - your friend is wrong about that. As for using automated ticket machines, it's true you may need a chip-and-pin card to do so, but if you don't have one you just go to the ticket window and use your card there.

Seamus Jun 20th, 2011 07:05 AM

Your friend is incorrect. While a "chip and PIN" card is typically required to use unmanned kiosks (e.g., train station ticket machines, unmanned stations on toll roads) it is the technology, not the brand of credit card that matters. In the US neither VISA nor MC use chip and PIN.
At staffed locations the cashier can either slide your magnetic stripe card through a reader or type in the digits, so you will be able to use your card.

JonSnow Jun 20th, 2011 07:53 AM

Thanks for the clarification

jent103 Jun 20th, 2011 08:11 AM

I was just in Italy for two weeks. My two Visas worked fine everywhere I used them (ATMs, stores, restaurants, and a few machines). Neither of them has a chip. I did buy one train ticket at a machine in the Milan train station and had no problems, but if you do have issues, an actual agent should be able to help.

Southam Jun 20th, 2011 09:28 AM

To repeat frequent advice in this forum: Only in the most dire emergency should you use a credit card for an ATM withdrawl.
A bank debit or client card, yes -- it withdraws cash from you account. In other words, you are getting your own money. Money collected at an ATM by a credit card is a loan from the card company and starts gathering interest at a huge rate from the instant the cash is in your hand. Some financial companies begin charging on the rest of your balance for the month too. It's pretty close to loan-sharking.
There are plenty of tips in this forum about the most economical use of plastic, but the most important is do not confuse your banking card with your credit card.

Southam Jun 20th, 2011 09:31 AM

Oops, I drawled -- I should have typed "withdrawal"

Ackislander Jun 20th, 2011 10:41 AM

Yes, never use a credit card to get cash. Interest charges begin at the instant of withdrawal and may trigger other charges as Southam points out so well. But the OP may be talking about a debit card with the VISA logo because I am not aware of any straight ATM cards with a credit card logo on them. A lot of Americans are not aware that you can still get regular old ATM cards.

I am pleased to say that my regular old VISA credit card worked fine in the newest ticket machines in Paris RER/Metro stations.

travlsolo2 Aug 4th, 2011 06:37 PM

Also repeating advice given quite often -- be sure to let your credit card issuer know that you will be using the card outside the country!

Seamus Aug 5th, 2011 07:14 AM

naomibatac - using a Visa or any <u>credit card</u> at an ATM is probably the <b>WORST</b> way to go in terms of cost. Doing so is not a withdrawal but a cash advance that (independent of foreign ATM or currency conversion fees) generates usuriously high interest charges starting the moment the cash pops out of the machine.
Note that some ATM cards carry a Visa or MC logo - these are not credit cards, just work on that network but function as ATM/debit cards that allow access to the user's account.

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