Train from Madrid to San Sebastian

Old Feb 9th, 2011, 03:34 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,153
Larry thanks so much. Wombatt, too. I will check into the Verified program.

Maybe just for fun I will stop into a Spanish bank and inquire while I am there..I suppose I could even contact one here in New York City...

Do you have to pay a monthly fee for the card that you have now?
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 04:36 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,153
Larry: Never mind that last question about a monthly fee..I meant to ask if there was an annual fee...
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 06:33 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
check first about getting your visa verified.. your US bank should know. There is USUALLY an annual fee with cards.. maybe you will lucky and run into an offer.
lincasanova is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 07:01 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
I have not inquired recently, but if your European credit card is stolen or lost, you are laible for all expenses until it is reported to your financial institution.

If you have trouble with your credit card on RENFE simply call the credit card company you wish to use and they will allow it.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 07:57 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,153
My own experiences with RENFE (I tried for two different train trips, two months apart) have been total failures, even though I contacted my bank and, in one case, I had the bank and the person in the RENFE office in Madrid on the phone together with me on a conference call.

I tried different cards (never AmEx), tried booking at all times of day and night, and called the bank several times. Nothing worked. My bank claimed that the failure was not on their end, but that RENFE was simply not accepting the charge. The person in the RENFE office told me that RENFE does not EVER allow online purchases with a foreign credit card. Shows you how informed she was!

I was fortunate that my hotel in Madrid did that first booking for me, and I was even able to get the webfare.

For an upcoming trip, after I failed several times, my friend succeeded on her third attempt, also with a US credit card.

So there is no rhyme or reason to the procedure....some will fail. Others will have no trouble, and there is no way to know in which category you fall until you attempt the process.

I have to ask the bank about the verified VISA. But honestly I do not think that that would help with RENFE.

The fact that you may be responsible for all purchases made on a stolen card removes some of the lure for having the European card, for me...but I will try to get more information on this, and on fees, soon..
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2011, 01:03 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,272
There IS an annual fee for my card with the French bank Crédit Agricole. There's also a fee to electronically receive money to be deposited into the account, and American banks charge a fee to SEND the money.

Being responsible for purchases made on a stolen card is not something I was aware of. But do remember that these are chip-and-pin cards. Like most US ATM cards, you need to enter a secret password to use them. That makes fraud less likely if you lose the card (except they do also have a magnetic stripe, and can be used in the conventional way, with a signature).

- Larry
justretired is offline  
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