credit cards in europe

Apr 7th, 2006, 11:19 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1
credit cards in europe

What is the best credit card to get while traveling in europe?
hoby1083 is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 11:52 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,998
A Visa or MC that does not charge the currency conversion fee. Capitol One seems to charge less than most others. I use my Morgan Stanley Brokerage debit card. To get cash, use a debit or your ATM card - don't use a credit card. AE is OK, but it is not accepted at as many places as Visa & MC.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Apr 7th, 2006, 04:52 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Note that Diner's Card is VERY rare in europe and Discovery is not supported at all. AMEX tends to be taken in more upscale hotels, shops and restaurants - but not in more modest ones.

If you are traveling by car check with the rental agency. (Our last rental in Brussels they took only AMEX for cars above the first couple of grades - since they wanted insurance not to be limited by cards with low limits - as some Visa and MC have.)
nytraveler is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 08:25 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,229
Another problem traveling with a car, the card may not work at some service stations. See if you can use your CC when you want to fill up. British cards have problems and maybe American cards won't work neither. Don't let your fuel empty before you stop.

Blackduff
blackduff is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 09:28 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 550
In the last couple of years our AmEx and Bank of America VISA have started charging pretty hefty conversion fees - about $27 on something under 400 euros in airline tickets last May, for example. We have two ATMs for credit union checking accounts that are issued by VISA and can be used like credit cards, though the money comes out just about as fast as a cash withdrawal, at least in the US. But we've started using those in foreign countries now to avoid fees of sometimes over 5%.
polly229 is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 11:05 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
Mastercard and VISA. Nothing else. Period.

Both cards are accepted throughout Europe by most shops, gas stations or restaurants. However, there are exceptions. Some merchants, espcially those with discount prices, still do not accept plastic because the credit card companies charge fees. So, look if they display a sign or ask before ordering.
traveller1959 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2006, 02:01 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,352
Don't take Discover card as it's not accepted in Europe (for the most part, though some hotel chains like Holiday Inn seem to take it).
Alec is offline  
Apr 8th, 2006, 02:11 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 733
Is there any way to avoid credit card charges for currency conversion?

Anyone living in France with experience dealing with credit cards?
nancicita is offline  
Apr 8th, 2006, 02:19 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,229
When I take my French Visa over the border to Spain and I have to pay a conversion charge. I don't remember exactly how much it is charged but it got my attention. Now I bring a pocket full of Euros when I go to Spain. Then there's no charge.

Blackduff
blackduff is offline  
Apr 8th, 2006, 02:23 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 9,017
>avoid credit card charges for currency conversion?
Yes, get a credit card in an € - country and have some income paid in €. No conversion fees whatsoever. ;-) As long as you are a resident, you can apply for a CC. If you are a student without income, you'll have to prepay, but anybody can transfer money to your CC account using your IBAN and BIC. Now the question would be how much is costs to transfer from non € countries.
logos999 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2006, 02:28 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 9,017
>When I take my French Visa over the border to Spain and I have to pay a conversion charge
That's illegal under EU regulations if the card is in €. You'll get your money back, if you complain! (please do report their policy to the authorities too.)
logos999 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2006, 03:30 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,229
"You'll get your money back, if you complain! (please do report their policy to the authorities too.)"

There has a lot of complaining and the authorities say it's not an exchange coversion for euros but a service for inter-country business. In some reasons I can understand but everybody thought this would be great. It still is good, as long as cash method is the purchasing.

What really surprises me that many other locals haven't understood about how much they cost when they buy across the border in CC. Many of us buy fuel in Spain-it's 10% cheaper but if the punter buys fuel and then pays with his credit card, it's zero gain. The charge will cost the same as the 10% deduction on the fuel.

I did pay for a check in euros from a Spanish bank-I bought a car with this money. Everything worked fine but afterwards the companies will not allow this anymore.

There's no longer for free lunches.

Blackduff
blackduff is offline  
Apr 8th, 2006, 03:51 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 9,017
Transfers with BIC and IBAN fortunatly are without extra fees, as are my CC's . (even Santander) You need to change your bank.
logos999 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2006, 05:07 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Wow...I never thought about the absolute gall of banks to charge currency conversion fees, and they can call it whatever they want, if a French persons using his or her credit card to charge something in Spain...that was the whole idea behind the introduction of the euro wasn't it.

Now the EU is on the verge of outlawing the outlandish roaming fees some mobile phone companies have put on intra eu roaming...I can't believe they will allow this to happen and have not outlawed it.

Just my 2.
xyz123 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2006, 05:14 AM
  #15  
Neopolitan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Just for the record and for those who say ONLY Master Card and Visa:

Our mouths dropped open at a nice and expensive restaurant in Stockholm where they refused both MasterCard and Visa. The only card they would accept? American Express. But admittedly that was a real odd experience. We've faithfully carried an AMEX card ever since but don't think we've run into that again.
 
Apr 8th, 2006, 05:18 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 9,017
xyz123, the positve thing is that German banks up to now did refrain using these tricks, partly due to better supervision and greater competition, I belive. (no CC transaction fees in € countries, 1 - 2% conversion charge elsewhere) The national banking systems and policies still differ to a huge extent. Will be interesting to see what happens to roaming fees in the near future.
logos999 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2006, 05:56 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,642
It drives me crazy when friends/colleagues come over to Europe and only bring their Amex. This happened recently in Vienna when a friend wanted to put everything on Amex. Our dining choices were much more limited. One of my favorite Vienna restaurants (Hotel Riviera) is cash only and I ended up buying my friend's dinner as a belated birthday present.
When my husband worked in Belgium for a company with a subsidiary in the U.S., the U.S. guys would invite him out for dinner at Brussels restaurants that didn't take Amex, then fake embarrassment when the bill came and they couldn't pay it. My husband picked up the tab twice; the third time they tried this dodge, he folded his arms across his chest and said since he was told he was the guest he hadn't brought his wallet. Eventually one of the guys sheepishly and reluctantly pulled out his Visa.
BTilke is offline  
Apr 8th, 2006, 06:23 AM
  #18  
Neopolitan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
LOL, BTilke. I think unfortunately those business colleagues have your husband pegged as an easy mark.

I used to have a friend who would always pull the "all I have is a hundred dollar bill" routine when we would be splitting a round of drinks. One time I made sure I had 10 $10 bills in my wallet, and quickly pulled them out saying "oh, here, I can make change." He never pulled that again with me around.
 
Apr 8th, 2006, 07:26 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 71
. My husband picked up the tab twice; the third time they tried this dodge, he folded his arms across his chest and said since he was told he was the guest he hadn't brought his wallet. Eventually one of the guys sheepishly and reluctantly pulled out his Visa. >>>
What's really funny is likely either senario would result in SOMEONE expensing this outing. Our rule when I worked was most senior person paid cause he could expense easier.

StLSusan is offline  
Apr 8th, 2006, 07:40 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 9,017
That's funny, why don't you split the bill in the first place as it's the standard and expected where I live. People can stay friends and there's no reason to start a fight later (under whatever pretext!) or to feel being taken advantage of. An invitation however is an invitation, nobody could play the same trick twice on somebody, as there would be no more dinners together.
logos999 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:03 PM.