CREDIT CARDS IN GERMANY

Dec 16th, 1999, 12:09 AM
  #1  
Rocco
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CREDIT CARDS IN GERMANY

I am planning a trip to Germany, but my buddies have told me that you can hardly use credit cards in Germany. Is this really true? I thought Germany was one of the more modern countries in Europe.
 
Dec 16th, 1999, 12:21 AM
  #2  
Robert Falcon
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I don't think you will have any problems with using it. A friend of mine was in Vienna 2 years ago and she had no problems at all with her Amex card.

They may be problmes if you try to use your card to get a cash advance of the new european euro bills however. The euro 2000 bill is only being launched next summer.
 
Dec 16th, 1999, 12:38 AM
  #3  
miriam
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Hi Rocco,
you wonīt have any problems if you own VISA, Mastercard or AMEX. You can pay with it in shops and there are cash maschines everywhere where you can use these cards. VISA is the widest spread and most accepted card. Iīd like to mention that you donīt need to obtain Euros. At the moment itīs still a virtual currency. Iīve never had any in my hands myself.
Have fun

Miriam
 
Dec 16th, 1999, 01:50 AM
  #4  
greg
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We were in Germany this summer. While our experience was definitely not "could hardly use credit cards," it was nor "any problems" either.

One was at a hotel. When it came time to pay the bill, the cashier demanded that I use VISA instead of MC that I wanted to use. He claimed VISA charges more comission than the MC. Since my VISA charges additional 2% foreign exchange surcharge, I was carrying VISA only as a backup. Luckily, he was called to do something else and other "unexperienced" cashier took over and was willing to take any card.

At another hotel, we were given two prices, one price for cash and another price for credit card.
 
Dec 17th, 1999, 08:43 AM
  #5  
Marie
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Rocco,
I lived in Germany for three years and in my experience, Mastercard is more widely accepted as it is a "partner" (for lack of a better vocabulary word) with Eurocard which is Germany's most prevalent card. Other cards are definetly also accepted and in general, especially in large cities or established tourist areas, you will have no problems using your cards. They will often give two amounts, one for cash and one for credit cards. They always want to avoid the finance charges that they incur. You can generally get a good exchange rate if you use your debit card in an ATM. Most banks at home do not charge a "cash advance" fee when you do this because you are merely using a "foreign" machine and its usually a $1 or something to use it. My bank does not even charge me for the first three or four "foreign machine" withdrawals. If you want to go into a bank and get a cash advance on your credit card, again Mastercard is the easiest, but beware of all the fees you will incur from the German bank as well as your own. Have fun.
 
Dec 17th, 1999, 01:52 PM
  #6  
Bob Brown
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Are there banks in Germany that will accept in the ATM for checking account withdrawals only a check card that is inscribed MASTER CARD??

Two years ago in a little town in Switzerland one bank was Visa only and the other bank was MC only when it came to plastic. I had only a Visa check card, so I had to go to the VISA bank.
 
Dec 20th, 1999, 09:47 AM
  #7  
Bob
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Small businesses out of the big city, such as a small 10 room B&B may require cash. On my last trip 2 of 5 places we stayed required cash. It has nothing to do with being modern but with the cost of running a small business. Last year in England we stayed in a 3 star B&B that required cash.
 
Dec 20th, 1999, 06:33 PM
  #8  
Elizabeth
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My response would go along with Bob's, that it seems must of the small pensions/Inns request a cash payment of the bill. We found withdrawing an estimated amount of cash out of an ATM and paying for everything in cash was a lot easier. That way you don't incur the currency conversion fees(usually 1-2%) that Visa or Mastercard charge with each transaction. This amount is added into the conversion rate, so you don't see it on a statement as a separate charge.

In regards to an ATM machine taking only Mastercard, we found that any machine that was marked with the appropriate symbol that matches the symbol(s) on the back of your card will work. We used both a Visa backed ATM/credit card and a ATM only card that drew directly from my checking account. The great thing was not once did we have a bank charged transaction fee. Like the ones all the banks here will charge if you don't have an account with them.
 
Dec 21st, 1999, 04:16 AM
  #9  
Mary Ann
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This fall in Germany we had no problem with either one of our VISA cards or our ATMs. Our primary ATM was thru Merrill Lynch (which allows you 52 free uses per year). The other couple did have a problem with their VISA one time at a gas station in the country side. They had significant problems with their ATM, in Germany they were forced to go in the bank rather than use the machines. We compared conversion rates on return and there was little difference. Their ATM was thru a savings and loan. We followed Rick Steves advice, carry at least 2 credit cards (make sure one is good at Plus and one at Cirrus) and two ATMs. PS the other couple had no problem in Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, or Austria. However, France was a problem, just like Germany for the ATM.
 

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