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New chip credit card

I just received and activated my new Capital One business card and it has chip technology. When speaking to the rep, she said this new card will work in Europe and there is no transaction fees (for us or the merchants), just the exchange rate. She also said the chip creates a special token for each purchase so it is harder to duplicate cards (or have someone make a duplicate and make purchases). Everyone on my account now also has their own account number and CVV code.

Now that I have this card, will I have more options to make purchases vs using cash only? I really prefer credit card vs cash so I get purchase protection and also travel points. Especially if we want to purchase a watch or clock or some pricier souvenir.

Will the chip credit card allow me to use it at more businesses/restaurants? Or am I still missing something.

Thanks for all of your help on my many questions!! Not much longer before we leave - it's getting real!!

Posted by
17742 posts

Hmm. Let me get this. According to Capital One's website, depending on which card, they give you 1-2 miles per $ spent or 1-2% cash back. We also know that Visa and MasterCard charge the bank 1% for the transaction plus currency exchange. Last I checked, banks were not charitable organizations. They must be getting money from somewhere. But they say neither you nor the merchant pay a transaction fee.

"If it seems too good to be true, it probably is."

I would look at the exchange rate, but nowhere on their website to they say anything about what their exchange rate is vs the Interbank rate. That seems suspicious to me. Remember what Rick said years ago, "I they have a good exchange rate, they have high fees. If they have no fees, they have poor exchange rates."

Before using the card, I would make them tell me what their exchange rate is relative to the Interbank rate.

Posted by
11983 posts

Is it a "Chip & PIN" or a "Chip & Signature" card?

With "Chip & PIN", you need to enter a PIN after the transaction in order to complete the transaction. No signatures involved in these cards. These cards are required in order to make credit card purchases at some automatic kiosks (e.g. train ticket vending machines, parking lot payment machines, freeway toll automatic payment machines, self service gasoline pumps).

With "Chip & Signature" there is no PIN. They work exactly like the old fashioned magnetic strip cards. They are just harder to clone, therefore they are less prone to fraud. With these cards you can only purchase in face to face transactions where you need to sign the receipt or the digital display. Since they don't have a PIN, they still cannot be used in many automatic payment kiosks where a PIN is required.

Posted by
1625 posts

We have Capital One and use it in Europe all the time. Yes, you do not pay conversion fees nor ATM fees if you take money from a bank. (MasterCard). We earn miles, 2 for every dollar spent. There are no black out dates as you purchase the ticket on the credit card and when the statement comes, you click a few places and the points re deducted and the bill paid. The catch is that there is a $50.00 yearly fee for the card. You can use the points to pay for hotels, trains, buses, flights, anything related to travel. Any points not used sit and keep accumulating.

Posted by
167 posts

I carry the capital 1 and the chase sapphire. Now using the capital 1 because I get double miles on every purchase. No Transaction fees, I know this for a fact. The merchant may pay a cost , but that is on the merchant and does affect,you the card holder.
Have not had this happen in Italy, but in other countries I was asked if I wanted to be billed in USD or Euros, you would select Euros.
I use my card for every purchase even the 12 eu bottle of wine I just bought, train tickets, etc,

Posted by
17742 posts

" The merchant may pay a cost , but that is on the merchant and does [not?] affect,you the card holder."

I'm sure that is what has been happening with most cards. The card issuing bank (not Visa/MC) pays Visa/MC 1% for the European transaction plus currency exchange and gives you miles or cash back, but makes it up with fees from the merchant. I expect this to come to a grinding halt due to the new EU regulation limiting the merchant fees to 3/10 %.

Posted by
506 posts

We are here in Italy right now with new chip and signature cards, having no problem, using them like the old cards, either the merchant takes cards or not. The only trouble we have had in the past are ticket machines at the subways or train stations.

Posted by
6 posts

I'm going on the BOE 21 day trip next month (!!!!) and have been using the Capital One card for years. The rep told me that most of the kiosks in Europe will recognize the chip/signature card and should be able to bypass the pin requirement. I guess I'll find out!

Posted by
193 posts

Great info! It is a chip & signature card and I asked multiple times about transaction fees because I was surprised when she said their was none. Sounds like that is correct based off of comments here. I use Cap One for just about everything because the travel reward points are so easy to use. I get 1.5 with no fee - but it might be worth paying $50/yr to get 2 points.

Next, I called Citibank to request that they send us chip cards. They also have chip & signature. However, I believe the rep told me I would have a 3% transaction fee unless I request the transaction be done in US dollars - which I believe is not a good deal based off of what I've read on this site. So the Citi card will go with us - but only be a backup card based off of what they told me.

We will still take our ATM cards for getting cash. We pay for lunch each day and I'm guessing some of the lunch stand type places might not take credit cards - but I'll be glad to purchase wine with my Cap One card!! :)

Posted by
1406 posts

Always be prepared for any of your cards to be rejected, anywhere, at any time, for any reason real or not. Have backups. And perhaps even enough cash to get around.

In the old days we used to have travelers cheques for that reason .......

Posted by
6 posts

If you're looking for a debit card to take, Schwab has absolutely NO foreign transaction fees and the customer will be reimbursed any ATM fees. You can take out up to $1.000/day and no more than $500/transaction. They need to know your exact itinerary for protection purposes.

Posted by
2092 posts

We always use our Capital One Mastercard for traveling (and use no other credit card outside the US.). There is no foreign transaction fee, and we get 1.25% cashback on every purchase -here or abroad. .It is magnetic stripe, signature. On our 3 week trip in April (UK, France Belgium and Netherlands) our purchases went though at the interbank rate. No fees. For cash, we used our Schwab and CapitalOne ATM cards.

Based on the comments I plan to call Capital One and see if the policies will be the same if we upgrade to the new Chip credit cards. We discussed the upcoming changes to the fee structure in the EU with one of our B and B hosts and other guest. Their feeling was that this will take several eyars before (and if) it goes in to effect).

Posted by
4510 posts

Now that I have this card, will I have more options to make purchases vs using cash only?

To answer this question, probably not. Your new card is not likely PIN validated (almost all US cards will have signature as the primary validation). So it will work with any human transaction, but just like before with your magnetic strip card did. Just now you'll insert into the slot and a receipt will spit out to sign (or sign electronically). Often you have to tell them "no PIN" so they know to push the button to get a receipt to spit out.

Whether it will work in automated machines is hit or miss. Some not at all. Sometimes if the transaction is less than $50 (euro equivalent) and maybe if you get a PIN with the card. Don't count on it.

Posted by
81 posts

I just got a new Capital One card and thought it was a Chip and Pin since when I activated it they asked me to set as pin, but its a chip and signature which really isn't any better than old school strip cards. Well I didn't have any problems in Europe the last two years so hopefully Italy this year isn't any different.

Posted by
4846 posts

In response to "bigern", I have found that a chip and signature does have advantage over a mag strip card. The shop personnel know how to handle it easier, chip readers are more available, the only difference being that a receipt to sign is spit out. True, a Mag strip card will also work in nearly every case, it just may be more effort and confusion.

As for your Pin you have with the card, there is a remote possibility that you do in fact have a chip and pin, but that the primary verification method is "signature". For my chip and pin, I found that more often than not, in Europe, I was asked for a signature.

Posted by
4510 posts

but its a chip and signature which really isn't any better than old school strip cards

And just to add a little more to Paul's excellent response to this - a chip and & signature card is ABSOLUTELY far better than a magnetic strip card. Far, far more secure against hackers that use credit card info to make counterfeit cards - which is also by far the greatest amount of credit card fraud there is.

And frankly, I've been seeing varied professional opinions about which is more secure amongst chip-enabled cards - those with PINs and those with signature validation. There are pros and cons for each.

There are also reports that automated kiosks will be configured to accept chip cards with no PIN validation. That means that, increasingly, US chip and sign cards will work in more and more European and Canadian kiosks. Many already do if the amount is under $50.

Posted by
81 posts

Thanks for the replies. That information is good to know.

Aaron

Posted by
193 posts

Our 'chip & signature' Cap One credit card worked great every country we visited -- only thing we needed to remember was to make sure the business accepted credit cards. We had an awesome lunch in Seefeld Austria one afternoon & didn't think to check that out first. Luckily, I had €50 in my purse; more than enough to cover our meals & drinks - but some days we were 'cash poor' after giving money to the kids. Those days we made sure to locate ATM's pretty quickly :)

Posted by
11613 posts

Chip and signature cards can have a PIN, if you want one, which is handy if you need an emergency cash advance (but interest is high and accrues immediately, so not a preferred option).