Chip & pin card for Belgium & Netherlands

We just returned from a trip to Belgium and The Netherlands. Our train tickets cost 30 Euros extra total because we could not purchase them at the machines. Tickets purchased in the customer service lines cost 3.50 Euros more per ticket and took a lot more waiting time. We also could not use the shorter lines in the supermarket because our cards would not work there. Even fast food places take only chip and pin cards.

This may be isolated to just this area. We were in Italy last fall and had no such problems.

Posted by rquick57
1 posts

I live in Brussels so am aware that the banking laws have changed and the Europeans consider chip and PIN credit/debit cards to be more secure. It is not almost impossible to find a bank ATM in Brussels that does not require chip and PIN. If traveling to Europe, I strongly advise requesting a chip and PIN card from your bank. U.S. banks are beginning to wake up to this travel fact in Europe.
Bon voyage! RQ

Posted by Laura
Rick Steves' Europe
8591 posts

Thanks for sharing your report! We are aware that magnetic strip cards are not accepted by train ticket machines in Belgium/Netherlands/France, most Netherlands train ticket windows, and Albert Heijn and other Dutch supermarkets. I don't know that we've had many reports of travelers not being able to withdraw cash from Belgian ATMs.

P.S. Our Book Editor in Charge of ATMs says that all bank-attached ATMs in Europe are wired to be able to use the internet for withdrawal confirmations with magnetic strip cards, whereas many stand-alone automated ticket machines and gas pumps don't have the necessary connection.