Great 'Countries you can't use your plastic in' Hunt

12346

Comments

  • Doc_N
    Doc_N Posts: 8,267 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post Photogenic First Anniversary
    We live in North Brabant, near the border with Belgium and Zeeland. The nearest cities are Roosendaal, Bergen op Zoom, Goes - in these cities, in large well known chains I can't use my card, such as Media Markt, Albert Heijn, even international chains such as H&M and Dixons won't accept my cards! Maybe it's just this province though (though Goes is Zeeland).

    It's a shame, because Bergen op Zoom and Goes in particular have lovely shopping centres.

    That's interesting. I used to visit Middelburg occasionally and had no problem there at all with Visa - has something changed over the last few years, I wonder?

    How about Amsterdam - surely no problem there, is there? :)
  • Germany

    I've had mixed experiences in Germany - varying from place to place, institution to institution with no apparent consistency.

    I have been to Germany many times in the past few years - both for city breaks and travelling around on camping and other holidays.

    Its now quite rare to come across shops, bars and restaurants that dont accept credit cards at all - even some places that didnt used to accept them now do, eg smaller bars, but in many cases these are catering for the travelling/ tourist market.

    Generally I have found that my Nationwide credit and debit cards have been accepted in shops and other places in the main cities - Cologne, Munich, Frankfurt etc and also smaller shops in these cities and smaller towns generally in the Western part of Germany. Also I have had no problems paying for hotels (major chains booked on the web etc).

    However I have found in some places, especially in smaller towns/non major chains, that they will not accept Visa at all - only Mastercard denoted credit cards. This was true of a campsite we stayed in where on leaving we tried to pay by Visa debit and credit cards only to have to go to the nearby town and withdraw cash, it was also true of one of the main supermarket chains (I forget which one) where I got to the counter with around £70 worth of shopping and couldnt pay with either Visa (luckily though I had a Mastercard credit card so could pay for that). I found that most garages were fine with whatever I offered but once or twice we came across apparently mainstream Esso garages which wouldnt accept any of my UK credit cards.


    Withdrawing cash from banks I've never had a problem.

    So my advice is be prepared - you will mostly have no problems its a good idea to carry around an emergency fund of Euros in case the place doesnt accept cards. Also make sure that you carry at least one Mastercard as well as the more common Visas
  • blanik
    blanik Posts: 122 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    New York Metro

    Machine asked for a ZIP code, being foreign cards we made one up. One Amex card was accepted the other Amex one was declined.

    This is obviously some kind of check for stolen cards due to lack of PINs relying on the fact the thief may not know your ZIP.
  • mazzaott
    mazzaott Posts: 28 Forumite
    Have just returned from Indonesia and found that there was great difficulty using a credit card even where a machine was visible. Traders always asked for cash instead. I did manage to use it in one upper class hotel but it took four attempts to get authorisation from the card provider.
  • eamon
    eamon Posts: 2,319 Forumite
    Photogenic First Post First Anniversary
    Also beware of ATM protocol. In the UK we enter card, pin, amount, retrieve card then collect cash. In Ireland it is enter card, pin, amount, collect cash then retrieve card. Its only a subtle difference but when you are acustomed to one process changing can be problematic.
  • Doc_N
    Doc_N Posts: 8,267 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post Photogenic First Anniversary
    eamon wrote: »
    Also beware of ATM protocol. In the UK we enter card, pin, amount, retrieve card then collect cash. In Ireland it is enter card, pin, amount, collect cash then retrieve card. Its only a subtle difference but when you are acustomed to one process changing can be problematic.


    Beware, too, of certain parts of London, where the protocol is enter card, pin, amount, then a complete stranger retrieves card and collects the cash. ;)
  • It is very common for self-service ticket machines not to accept UK plastic. So for I have found RATP (Paris), STIB (Brussels), SNCB (Belgium), BVG (Berlin) and, for small value tickets, DB (Germany) ticket machines will not except UK plastic. Even worse STIB machines will not except notes and SNCB machines will not except cash.

    The only self-service ticket machine outside the UK that will except small payments by UK plastic that I have found was operated by SNCF Transilien (the Ile-de-France region of the French national railway)
  • 2sides2everystory
    2sides2everystory Posts: 1,744 Forumite
    edited 12 April 2011 at 10:49PM
    I've had no problem with ATMs or visa debit in germany, but sometimes had problems in France getting petrol as many petrol stations would only take Carte Bleue
    Well I can tell you that the Berlin Metro ticket machines only accept Maestro and that wherever it says Carte Bleue in France then for the last 30 years I have had no problems assuming that VISA will do nicely, unless you mean the pay at pump machines ... but even some of those do now accept UK cards e.g. Total in Grand Synthe near Dunkirk.

    Edit: Just noticed the mention of Berlin in Tim's post above ... interestingly for a couple of Berlin visits up until 2 years ago when First Direct changed from Maestro/Mastercard to VISA, my FD Debit card worked just fine in the Berlin Metro for low value ticket machine purchases (e.g. 2 or 3 or 6 EUROS).
  • MegS
    MegS Posts: 234 Forumite
    Canada surprisingly - went to Vancouver 6 years ago it was all Mastercard and had problems finding anything accepting Visa. Toronto Airport all atms are mastercard. Went to Calgary last year and thought I was prepared as I got Caxton and FairFx cards Mastercards to find its Visa country!!! Think it was only Scotiabank that accepted Mastercard. Luckily we hadn't transferred all of our dosh to the Caxton and FairFx cards and used our Visa debit instead. Also not many places do chip and pin. When you're like me and don't have to sign your new married name very often its occasionally difficult to remember how you do your signature lol.
  • In Copenhagen for the week end. Most places add on 3.75% for paying with a 'foreign' credit card. best exchange rate I got was with the no commision Post Office credit card but the saving wasmore than wiped out by the 3.75% rip off. Is this legal under European law ?
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 343.1K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.1K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.7K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.2K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 607.9K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173K Life & Family
  • 247.8K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards