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ebg1 May 28th, 2012 06:56 AM

US credit cards in UK train ticket machines
Hoping someone with recent experience can answer this, since I searched the board without really finding an answer (and I hope I will not spark a debate about the relative merits of chip and pin cards to old-fashioned US credit cards -- it seems that topic is fully covered on other threads). As a traveler with a US credit card, I have had problems using train ticket machines in Europe in the past several years. Is this going to be a problem for me on an upcoming trip to the UK? Even if the kiosk won't take my card, I can always pick up prebooked tickets from a window with a person who will be able to handle my US credit card, right?

Thanks for your assistance.

mjdh1957 May 28th, 2012 07:36 AM

I believe UK machines require a chip and pin (they do when I use them with my card, though I have obviously never used a US card), so your card won't work and you will need to go to a manned ticket office.

jamikins May 28th, 2012 07:53 AM

You can certainly use them at the manned ticket offices. Which stations are you going to be using - some are not manned all the time or at all...

flanneruk May 28th, 2012 08:02 AM

All major stations (which includes just about everywhere trains actually start from) have ticket offices manned more or less whenever there are trains leaving. Queues might be lengthy at peak periods - especially mornings.

"Kiosk" is never used in England (at least not outside some insular technical magazines) to mean machine. It usually means something close to the exact opposite: "buy it at the kiosk" implies there's a human doing the selling.

Marija May 28th, 2012 08:03 AM

Last year we picked up prebooked tickets from a machine at St. Pancras without any problems using our US cards with which we booked the tickets.

jamikins May 28th, 2012 08:15 AM

I am just thinking of stations like Hampton Wick where there is no manned ticket hall. Not a big problem but I would still check the hours at the stations you are using just in case.

Dukey1 May 28th, 2012 08:27 AM

You can certainly buy tickets ahead of time on the internet which doesn't require any sort of chip or pin and collect them at a machine later. But that is because the card has already been approved for a purchase as opposed to being approved at the machine.

GBbabe May 28th, 2012 08:49 AM

I didn't have any problems with using my US credit card in the machines either to purchase tickets for immediate use or for picking up tickets I booked on-line.

lovs2travel May 28th, 2012 09:19 AM

I had the same experience as GBbabe. No problems at all collecting tickets during our visit. You do need to use the same credit card that was used to buy the tickets online.

alanRow May 28th, 2012 09:22 AM

If the station is unmanned then you can normally buy tickets on the train otherwise people would have problems if the machines weren't working

ebg1 May 28th, 2012 10:35 AM

This is great -- thanks everyone for the helpful info.

MissPrism May 28th, 2012 11:57 AM

...You do need to use the same credit card that was used to buy the tickets online....

That is very important. There was a letter in the Guardian today from someone who had taken the wrong card, She had an online receipt but a jobsworth made her buy another ticket. She said that she was having difficulties getting a refund

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