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US credit cards in UK train ticket machines

US credit cards in UK train ticket machines

May 28th, 2012, 06:56 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2011
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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.
ebg1 is offline  
May 28th, 2012, 07:36 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
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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.
mjdh1957 is offline  
May 28th, 2012, 07:53 AM
  #3  
 
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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...
jamikins is offline  
May 28th, 2012, 08:02 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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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.
flanneruk is offline  
May 28th, 2012, 08:03 AM
  #5  
 
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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.
Marija is offline  
May 28th, 2012, 08:15 AM
  #6  
 
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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.
jamikins is offline  
May 28th, 2012, 08:27 AM
  #7  
 
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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.
Dukey1 is offline  
May 28th, 2012, 08:49 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2006
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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.
GBbabe is offline  
May 28th, 2012, 09:19 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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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.
lovs2travel is offline  
May 28th, 2012, 09:22 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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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
alanRow is offline  
May 28th, 2012, 10:35 AM
  #11  
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This is great -- thanks everyone for the helpful info.
ebg1 is offline  
May 28th, 2012, 11:57 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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...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
MissPrism is offline  

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