Hi all. I thought that looking at my bill would be of interest to someone who hasn't used a credit card in Europe yet. I just received my VISA bill from my Europe trip. I got this VISA very quickly from my local credit union, just weeks before I traveled, since I wanted a "chip and pin" card to use there.
The first thing I noticed is that every European transaction is listed in both Euros and dollars, like this:
KunstHistMuseum Shop3. . . . . . . . $31.38
Purch 26.45 EUR
Batorama Strasbourg . . . . . . . . . $30.52
Purch 26.00 EUR
I found this to be very clear. The purchase from the coffee shop in Basel Airport is listed as CHF (swiss francs). With my card, there is a 1% foreign transaction fee, which is not large, but still...$7.88 on $788.00 of purchases. This foreign transaction fee was also charged to me here at home for making some purchases through the internet, for example, my Deutsche Bahn ticket, and my ticket for the Kunsthistorisches Museum.
My credit card was taken no matter where I used it; however, I was never asked for a PIN.