I am particularly interested because I am traveling overseas, too. Fortunately I am visiting my daughter who lives in Panama, so I can ask her what is happening there. I'll report back when I get an answer.x-post from salaryguruhttp://boards.fool.com/anybody-else-have-this-problem-lately...<snip>"A lot of places did not have a reader that could read a magnetic strip. I didn't have problems at any of the hotels I stayed at, but I ended up having to pay cash for a lot of transportation and restaurants."
I've run into similar problems in Europe and Japan. Our cards don't work in some automatic ticket machines and similar devices. I've also run into problems at hotels because they want a PIN for the credit card before they'll process the payment. Grue
If you run short of cash, can local banks help you? They seem to have lots of banks--at least from the days before the Euro when money changing at the bank was common.
If you run short of cash, can local banks help you?I got cash from a couple of different banks in Latin America. All I needed was my credit card and passport. The last time was close to ten years ago so things may have changed. --fleg
There are more posts about this issue on the thread from the liberal board.I talked to my daughter. Panama uses American dollars (which I already knew) but they do not use credit cards at least not from tourists. She uses her debit card from her Wells Fargo bank here in the states. Salaryguru takes a money belt and I think I will do that, too. I'm going to be there for 1 1/2 months so I was concerned about how to do the finances.
<...but they do not use credit cards at least not from tourists.>US credit cards are ubiquitous in Panama. ATMs readily accept them to get cash. I travel a lot and rarely carry more than a couple hundred dollars in local currency. Discover Card is not widely accepted abroad, and even Amex is a distant third to Visa and Mastercard.http://www.adventure-life.com/panama/panama_faq.php
"A lot of places did not have a reader that could read a magnetic strip. I didn't have problems at any of the hotels I stayed at, but I ended up having to pay cash for a lot of transportation and restaurants."This is becoming more and more frequent. Train tickets in Paris - unless the window is open you aren't buying one, the machines only take chips. Petrol pumps in Romania - Only chip, and while there may be a stripe reader inside, most clerks don't know how to use it. Same in Norway - some pumps only take chip, and clerks have no idea how to use the stripe.Morgan Signature VisaCiti Dividend World MCare both Chip and Sign. You use the card like European cards - chip in, but it knows there's no pin and spits out a receipt for you to sign. It can take the clerks by surprise, since they aren't used to anyone signing anymore.I have heard that the cards work in the Paris train stations, but haven't tried it myself. Morgan doesn't charge the 3% foreign transaction fee, Citi does.HSBC has a chip and sign card for the US, but I haven't got that one.BB
If you run short of cash, can local banks help you? They seem to have lots of banks--at least from the days before the Euro when money changing at the bank was common. In France, the banks don't seem to have money, even to make change. They sent me to a post office. The French don't like credit cards. They prefer you use cash or a debit card. And don't expect them to make change. They usually ignore any change smaller than 10¢. I tried to pay for something with a bunch of change and the clerk refused to accept it.Count Upp
Last summer I traveled to (IIRC) 22 countries in Europe and the Middle East. Contrary to the guide book's admonition, I was able to buy Paris Metro/RER tickets from the vending machine in De Gaul AP with my "stripe" cards. When filling up with gas, I couldn't use the gas pumps to pay, but had to go to a separate window. All hotels took my credit cards, all restaurants (other than "cash only" places". Every store took them, with the exception of a Clark's shoe store in Gravesend, UK.I also had no problem using ATM's (Bancomats) with my debit card.None of my cards had strips.Cards used (do not charge a premium for foreign transactions):Credit: AMEX Platinum, HSBC Premier MasterCardDebit (for ATM's) HSBC Premier I guess, one key strategy is to hit the ATM at the airport/train station when you arrive and always have some cash in your pocket.For those looking to avoid cards with strings attached, I think Capital 1 works as well (but I don't have one).Jeff
Our local credit Union Visa cards have the lowest conversion rates as well as normal fees, better yet, great customer service, online access, bill-pay... Used them all over... UK, RU, Paris, Spain, Fiji, Tahiti... Sometimes the ATMs in museums work out well, maybe get more use, maintained better, but streetside units have done fine, too, just be aware of your surroundings at all times... And keep that passport tucked away safely, money belt, or I have a belt pocket, sometimes causes problem when security wants the belt off... It used to be so easy! Just chip me, use it for everything, instead of all this other stuff!weco
I replied on the other thread, but here i smy info on thatIn EU, the Chip is becoming more prevalent, but NL in particular has really taken it to heart.Most MAJOR places in big cities can handle a normal CC, but start etting off the beaten path, and smaller bars, restaurants, B&Bs - it will chip or even cash only, thank you.In most of NL you will not see anything under a 5cent piece (unless you shop at Aldi) - they just round up or down.Even if the stripe reader has paper in it so it looks out-of service, ASK and often the clerk can just swipe your card behind the counter.Capital One does not charge "conversion fees" and will send you an email everytime you have an international transaction (if you set up your account this way) - I get an email after lunch every day, when i am here for work.peace & chipcardst
We are in Paris now and I could not use my chip and signature cards at any metro ticket machine. I will not rule out my stupidity but I think I tried inserting it every way possible into the machine. Places like Notre Dame and Versailles had no problems with regular ccs (i.e. no chip). Of course there are food places that accept no cards. I also tried using a cc at the airport to buy Roissy bus tickets but had to resort to using Euros. There are many credit cards with no foreign fees such as many Chase cards (e.g. sapphire, hyatt, british air). There is one credit union which has chip and pin but it can take a while to get one. I think they have been swamped with apps. Cant recall the name of it. Fortunately there are many atms around Paris. Just make sure you have some emergency Euros at all times plus about 10 euros in change. We ran into one machine that only took coins or ccs and had to wait in line to buy tickets from a person. Rich
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