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U.S. Credit Card in France - I'm Back

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Jun 19th, 2012, 05:36 PM
  #1
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U.S. Credit Card in France - I'm Back

DebitNM, you can show your face.

Thanks to DebitNM for all of the work regarding the Andrews Chip & PIN credit card.

After going thru the arduous process of applying for the card it finally arrived.

A couple of weeks prior to our trip to France I took the card on a test drive to Montreal for my wife’s high school reunion.

I used it five time and on each occasion I was ask to sign even though a local friend used his card and was asked to enter a PIN.

I called Andrews and was told that if the vendor accepted both signature and PIN the card defaults to signature. Confidence was not high.

Two weeks ago we left for France. I used the card five times at restaurants (manned) and was asked to sign three times and enter a PIN twice.

Then the true test.

I used the card at a train station in Avignon and bought train tickets at an unmanned ticket vending machine.

It worked perfectly!!! I was asked for a PIN and it was accepted.

I used the card a few more times at train stations and each time it work properly.

One strange thing did happened.
In Paris I tried to use my regular swipe card to buy subway tickets. It was rejected.
I started over and used the Andrews card. The transaction went thru. However, I wasn’t asked for a PIN. I submitted the card and the transaction went thru.

This happened twice. I think I’ll call them in a couple of days.

Again, thanks to Debit NM for all of your research.
Myer is offline  
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Jun 19th, 2012, 05:58 PM
  #2
 
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Sounds like it worked out well for you. Thanks for reporting back. I had the same experience with ticket machines in Paris. My US Bank chip/PIN/signature card worked with no PIN requested.
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Jun 19th, 2012, 05:59 PM
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BIG phew!! I am glad that after all the effort, that it performed according to plan!

I am anxiously awaiting my test of the card in September.

Thanks for reporting back, Myer.
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Jun 19th, 2012, 06:03 PM
  #4
 
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Myer, not sure if you post on Trip Advisor, but there has been talk of this on the Paris forum and I am sure they would appreciate knowing that it worked.
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Jun 19th, 2012, 07:17 PM
  #5
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I haven't posted there in a long time. I'll go over in a couple of days after I catch up on some sleep. Just got back this afternoon.
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Jun 19th, 2012, 07:38 PM
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bien venue
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Jun 20th, 2012, 04:07 AM
  #7
 
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Second the motion for a big thank you to DebinNM for giving us all a leg up over the wall with the Andrew Global Trek procedure.

And equal thank you goes to you, Myer, for documenting your application and the card's eventual success.
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Jun 20th, 2012, 04:38 AM
  #8
 
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Glad it worked--sometimes you are not asked for a pin--autoroute toll booths and metro/subway ticket machines are two instances I know of.
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Jun 20th, 2012, 04:42 AM
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Toll booths don't read the chip anyway -- just the magnetic strip. That's why Amex and things like Monoprix credit cards work in those machines.
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Jun 20th, 2012, 08:03 AM
  #10
ira
 
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Hi Myer,

Thanks for your post.

I went to the Andrews Federal Credit Union at
http://www.andrewsfcu.org/destinationanywhere.html

It doesn't tell me if there is a "transaction fee" for purchases denominated in foreign currency, nor does it tell me if there is a fee for using an "out of network" ATM.

Can you help?

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Jun 20th, 2012, 08:21 AM
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1% fee for foreign transaction fee, which is the VISA fee. They charge none.
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Jun 20th, 2012, 08:37 AM
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As far as using the card in ATM, it is a credit card, not an ATM or debit. You would be taking a cash advance. IT says no Cash Advance fees. ATM's in Europe don't charge fee, so I don't think there is an issue for using out of network card. Personally, I would not use a credit card to get cash anywhere.

If you really want a definitive answer, give them a call.
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Jun 20th, 2012, 10:27 AM
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It says there is no cash advance fee, but the website doesn't really give you a general listing of terms/fees for that card, which all of the major institutions I've dealt with do online when you apply. I'd bet they charge interest from date of withdrawal on cash advances even if there is no cash advance flat fee just for doing it (most CCS do charge both, in my experience). Afer all, it isn't an ATM card so they are giving you a loan, basically.
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Jun 20th, 2012, 11:20 AM
  #14
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I didn't get the Andrews Global Trek card to serve the functions of a "one card does all".

Also, I don't remember if they charge a transaction fee or any other charges.

My reason for getting this card was to have access to unmanned vending machines and no hassles. Nothing else. This wasn't intended to be a high volume card. I used it a few times prior to using it in train stations just to see what happens.

It worked perfectly in train stations in France.

Also, it worked fine (but didn't ask for a PIN) in the Paris Metro (for some reason my Citibank swipe and sign card didn't work there).

I used a CapitalOne card to pay the large charges such as hotel bills.

I used my regular Citibank card (that's where I gather air miles). I probably should have use the CapitalOne card here as well but didn't.

I used my Wells Fargo Debit Card for two withdrawals and was charged a fee. I was told by the bank that it will be refunded due to the type of account I have. We'll see.
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Jun 20th, 2012, 11:23 AM
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Well, the swipe cards will never work in a machine that doesn't allow you to swipe -- or suck the card in and out to swipe it itself. Most of the automatic ticket machines and other payment terminals just let you stick the card into the chip zone. There is no way that an unchipped card can work in those machines if you can't swipe it.
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Jun 20th, 2012, 04:39 PM
  #16
 
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I applied to ANdrews for their card for the chip and pin only for gas purchasesand maybe subway etc in Paris. Other than that I am covered by Cap 1 CC for no exchange fee for restuarants etc and their ATM card for no Cash machine charge.

its been 3 weeks since I supplied Andrews income verification papers - w-2, 1099R etc which I have never had to do for Chase, Citi or other banks. Seems like my fax was lost so here we go again.

Why Wells Chase Cap 1 etc doesnt issue such a card is beyond me - I hope all this is worth it!
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Jun 30th, 2012, 07:10 AM
  #17
 
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Thanks very much to DebitNM and Myer! If Cap One doesn't get its act together I'll definitely be applying for this card before my next European trip - sounds like the application process may take a while?

I just did a Canadian trip with a swipe card with no problems. My next trip will probably be Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia - anyone know if they are chip and pin?
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Jun 30th, 2012, 07:38 AM
  #18
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I was just in Provence and Paris.

The only time the swipe card was an issue was using an automated ticket machine in a train station (I could have gotten into line and bought from a ticket vendor) and for some reason in the Paris Metro.
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Jun 30th, 2012, 09:12 AM
  #19
 
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dsevig - Good luck using a non-French chipped card in a fuel pump in France. According to many who have reported here (including myself), they generally aren't accepted.
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