Travelex Chip & Pin Cards

Jun 17th, 2011, 11:01 AM
  #1  
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Travelex Chip & Pin Cards

I'm considering getting one of those credit cards that can be used in Europe & the UK since the US credit cards are so behind the times. Has anyone used one?e
Isadore204 is offline  
Jun 17th, 2011, 11:26 AM
  #2  
 
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They have a very bad exchange rate. We travel to EUROPE TWICE A YEAR for 3 to 4 weeks and I have never had a problem using my regular US credit cards.I use British Airways MC or Virgin Amex as they do not charge a foreign exchange fee that can add up to 3% on other cards!
avalon is offline  
Jun 17th, 2011, 11:35 AM
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<< US credit cards are so behind the times >>

Why do you care if US credit cards are not the latest fashion. They still work. I think not being the latest up to date product is not a good reason to spend more money. But it is your money and you can spend it any way you want.
adrienne is offline  
Jun 17th, 2011, 11:40 AM
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If you will be driving and using unmanned tollbooths and pay-at-pump gas stations, or making multiple ticket purchases from automated kiosks at train stations, it might make sense to have such a card for these uses only. For other uses -- hotels, museums, restaurants, stores -- the US-style cards are welcome, though in some places you might need to instruct a clueless cashier to swipe the card or enter info manually. Of course, cash from an ATM is always good to have for the occasional shop or restaurant that takes no credit cards at all.
kayd is offline  
Jun 17th, 2011, 11:49 AM
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No, and I never would use one as they are very bad value for the money. My American cc's work just fine.
StCirq is offline  
Jun 17th, 2011, 11:03 PM
  #6  
 
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Before you purchase such a card you might want to do an honest price comparison and determine exactly what you are paying for this service.

For the most part, French pay-at-the-pump gas stations accept only credit cards issued by French banks. I have seen no evidence that Travelex cards are accepted at these locations.
Sarastro is online now  
Jun 18th, 2011, 02:27 AM
  #7  
 
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All of the banks and hypermarkets in France now sell pre-loaded debit cards as well. At least you would be certain that they work in all of the European machines.
kerouac is online now  
Jun 18th, 2011, 04:51 AM
  #9  
ira
 
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Hi I,
>...the US credit cards are so behind the times.<

You are exactly right.

The one thing you really don;t want to do is to show just how provincial you are by using an out-of-date, old fashioned CC; even if the Tx card will cost you about 10% more.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Jun 18th, 2011, 05:18 AM
  #10  
 
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Those Travelex cards aren't credit cards. Why would you pay so much extra money for nothing? Why do you care so much about this issue? Now if you have some plans to use a machine where you'd have to have a chip and pin, and you intend to do that a lot for some reason, I could maybe see buying one with some money on it just for that use but it's such a premium you pay to do that, it would have to be a really good purpose. I wouldn't ever do it and pay extra for that card, but if you don't have any special need for why you need one, I really wouldn't do it.
Christina is offline  
Jun 18th, 2011, 08:42 AM
  #11  
 
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It is more important to have either a Visa or a MasterCard than a chip on it in Europe. Many places will not accept AmEx cards, chipped or otherwise.
You can swipe your card and sign everywhere as has already been stated.
Save your money and use your existing CC provided it is Visa or MasterCard backed.
hetismij is offline  
Jun 18th, 2011, 09:05 AM
  #12  
 
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American credit cards work in 99% of places that accept cards. The Travelex card is a waste of money.

Many places will not accept AmEx cards, chipped or otherwise.

I don't find this to be the case. I'm not saying Amex is as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard, but I find it is accepted most places I try to use it. I only have Amex credit cards and rarely encounter a problem.
travelgourmet is offline  
Jun 18th, 2011, 09:23 AM
  #13  
 
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>>>I'm considering getting one of those credit cards<<

>>>Those Travelex cards aren't credit cards.<<<

Exactly. They aren't credit cards. They are more like the old travelers checks, but now in card from. Travelers checks were a better deal than these cards as many banks/credit unions did not charge fees to buy them although the merchants did when you were cashing/purchasing. The Travelex charges a fee for the card, a fee to load, a fee to get your money, a lousy exchange rate and a fee if you want to cash out after your trip. I watched someone trying to use one at an ATM and they were rejected, but Travelex still deducted a fee for the attempt.
kybourbon is online now  
Jun 18th, 2011, 09:40 AM
  #14  
 
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total rip off! notify your banks that you are traveling (when/where), and use your behind the times American cards. have never had a problem and we do use Amex quite often, as well
denisea is offline  
Jun 18th, 2011, 10:15 AM
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I have found that most small businesses in Spain and France do not accept American Express because of the fee (7% or more, depending on the business) and the time it takes to see the funds deposited in their bank account, up to 30 days in some cases, very difficult for a small mom and pop operation with limited cash flow. Of course most upscale stores and gourmet restaurants will accept Amex, but smaller ones accept VISA and MC, and prefer cash.

I don't know where travelgourment hangs out, but I only use Amex for major purchases and hotel bills (now that it has no foreign transaction fees added to the bill). Everything else is cash, VISA or the new Harvard Platinum MC from Barclays (again, no fees).
Robert2533 is offline  
Jun 18th, 2011, 10:41 AM
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I don't know where travelgourment hangs out

Well, considering I live in Denmark, I spend most of my time there, but I have had next to no problems with my Amex anywhere in the world. But, honestly, I think folks should use the card that they use at home. If they use Amex at home, they shouldn't bother with a second card for travel. Chances are they have a debit card that they can use as a Visa/MC backup for those instances where Amex isn't accepted.

Oh, and I think you are exaggerating (by quite a bit) both the fees and the reimbursement time for Amex. Perhaps you are just repeating what you were told by someone, but I seriously doubt that the numbers you quote are remotely accurate.
travelgourmet is offline  
Jun 18th, 2011, 10:47 AM
  #17  
 
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My company in France accepts Amex, with a commission of 2.75%. Since it is indeed the highest commission of any of the cards we accept, we do gently encourage the use of other cards. France has one of the lowest Visa/MasterCard commissions in the world (we pay 0.75% but lots of merchants have even lower rates), so we try to convince everybody to use either of those cards.

I would estimate that only about 50% of the places in France accept Amex (but 90% if we are talking about just hotels and restaurants, particularly in Paris).
kerouac is online now  
Jun 18th, 2011, 12:13 PM
  #18  
 
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We have Visa and 2 AmEx. The AmEx is regularly refused, both here in NL and in other European countries, in hotels, restaurants and shops. This is a royal pia as one AmEx is the business card. The other is linked to KLM FF points.
In Spain last week we had to use my Visa card all the time, as Visa messed up renewing his card and nowhere would accept AmEx - even when they had a sign up saying they would.
hetismij is offline  
Jun 18th, 2011, 02:16 PM
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There is no exaggeration regarding the fees small merchants pay for accepting the Amex card, nor the time it takes for some to get the funds deposited in their bank account. That's always been one of the main problems in using the card. It's prestigious, at least when it comes to carrying the Platinum or Centurion card, and they offer free rental car insurance coverage (Platinum and Centurion cards), but quite useless in a number of cases. They are changing, slowly evolving, but I would never travel relying only on Amex to get me by.

We accept Amex in our business, but then our clients tend to spend a lot more on average, and we have an agreement with Amex that matches what VISA and MC charge in service fees. Our turnaround time with Amex is generally 3 days, depending on the amount, whereas the funds from VISA and MC are in our account within 24 hours.
Robert2533 is offline  
Jun 18th, 2011, 09:41 PM
  #20  
 
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Amex is often accepted in Paris or larger cities but once you leave Paris, it might be a good idea to have a Visa or MC. Travelling around rural France, I rarely find a location that will accept Amex.
Sarastro is online now  

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