Friend of mine and I were talking about her mother taking a river cruise on the Danube and she was thinking about giving her a Visa Gift Cash Card as a going away gift. I initially said, it would not likely work because it would need a security chip, however, since it's a Visa, it should be good to use in Europe right?
Don't risk it. Give her cash;: euros small bills instead.
Read the small print on the card cover/packaging before you buy it.
Most gift cards are now restricted to work only in the country they are sold in (something about drug cartels using them to move mass quantities of money around). This is not open for negotiation! If the writing says the card can only be used in the US, then that is it.
It would still make a great gift to help with whatever shopping is needed before leaving on the trip. :-)
The card will not work at ATMs.
Or buy Mom a money belt (with instructions to wear it under her clothes)
EDIT and put the euros in it rather than trying a card.
Money belt will not solve the potential problems of using the card. Better idea to use it for pre-trip shopping. Or, buy her some euro as a "starter" gift.
Last I heard, the preloaded cash cards can only be used in the US. Some sort of legal thing.
I like Zoe's idea of giving the lady some euros. I don't like pre-paid VISA gift cash cards when somebody gives them to me in the US. I'd be very unhappy getting stuck with one to use on my vacation. In my experience, you need to use the card up with one transaction. Subsequent vendors say they can't see the balance on the card and, even if you keep all the receipts, it's a mess. Give dollars or euros.