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PIN needed for credit cards?

As we get ready to leave (Saturday!) for our trip we just noticed one of the tips in the RS packet was to have a PIN number for our credit cards "just in case". We do have the PIN for our debit card, obviously, to get Euros out of the ATMs. But as of now don't have/know our PIN for our credit cards. Has anyone had an issue with this? As always, thank you to this great community for your help.

Posted by
2641 posts

In Europe credit cards are chip and pin. Here in the US, the standard is chip and signature. Some credit card suppliers do issue chip and pin cards in the States. But don't worry because your cards should be accepted in most places. The only exceptions might be gas pumps, ticket machines at RR stations and toll booths - but even then, it's not universal and if there is an attendant, just give her your card. Many of those automated machines will accept Euros. It's a slight inconvenience and someday we'll enter the 21st century.

Posted by
344 posts

I have a chip and signature credit card but I also obtained a PIN number just in case I need to access cash from an ATM. That is a last resort as my husband and I each take a debit card for cash.

Posted by
12400 posts

If you're going to Germany, the S-Bahn machines will not accept your credit card. The pictorial shows that with "KREDIT" (in caps with a line through it). The DB machines at German train stations and in Salzburg do accept US chip and signature credit cards. Not so in France with the SNCF train ticket machines, it says so in French and English that only the credit cards with a chip are accepted.

In Germany I paid for train tickets from DB machines using both the US credit card and cash. Just look at the pictorial when it's time to pay. In France I bought the tickets at a staffed SNCF counter.

Posted by
3 posts

Usually credit cards dont need pins now a days but there are places like petrol pumps, some retail stores that might ask for the pin.

Posted by
11275 posts

If you're leaving this Saturday (September 2, 2017) it's probably too late to get a PIN for any cards that don't have one. Many cards will not give you the PIN over the phone (even with all the usual info - mother's maiden name, Social Security Number, etc). They insist on mailing it to you; you can then usually change it over the phone.

Posted by
2545 posts

I have one but only for cash advance in an emergency. Never needed it. I use my credit card and they print a slip for me to sign. European cards have a PIN instead, but all manned check-outs I've seen allow for non-PIN cards. Note I said manned - machines like gas pumps or metro tickets don't always allow non-pin cards. You can go to a person, use cash, or use your ATM card with PIN.

Posted by
3312 posts

It's too late to get one but I think the main emergency use would be getting fuel at odd hours or paying a toll and I don't think you are driving.

Posted by
2509 posts

You will be fine without it. We returned from Portugal and London a few weeks ago. While using a lot of cash we used our credit card a lot more on this trip. It has a chip, but it was swipe and sign as usual. We do not have a PIN for it. Have a great trip!

Posted by
12578 posts

It is not necessarily too late. I got a PIN for our B of A Visa card online, instantly. We leave tomorrow too.

It will be interesting to see if it works in "PIN required" situations. Not expecting too much here.

Posted by
2778 posts

As I travel solo and only have one Debit Card/Account, I have the pin for a credit card with me incase I lose my Debit or the bank freezes it and I need emergency cash. I've never needed it. My pin and signature credit card has worked well in Europe so far, even in kiosks...I imagine it does depend where you travel. Again, my Pin is for emergency advance on cash which I will hopefully never need. As you are traveling with someone else, that person is your emergency backup!

Posted by
3 posts

We just got back from 2 weeks in Germany and Austria. Other than using Amex to rent a car I used only a debit card with a chip from TD Bank. I have a pin which I needed to withdraw money at ATM machines but other than that the card was used as a credit card everywhere with not once was asked to enter my pin.