I tried to buy train tickets on DSB (round trip between Copenhagen and Svendborg) using two different credit cards, one a VISA and one a MasterCard, but both transactions failed. I contacted DSB customer service by phone and was told that due to frequent fraud, they had to shut down the use of foreign credit cards. The rep told me I can purchase tickets online only if I use a Danish or Swedish VISA card. I can purchase by phone, and this will give me a booking code that I can use to pick up the tickets on day of travel. I asked if it was possible to get the "orange tickets" (deeply discounted advance purchase tickets) by phone, but was told that this is not possible. Those must be purchased online. I found a Trip Advisor forum post that said we can buy online if we have a local IP, i.e., use VPN to get a Danish IP, but that didn't work either. I assume I was given correct advice by the DSB customer service representative, but I thought it couldn't hurt to ask on this forum. Has anyone had recent success with an online purchae of Danish rail tickets with an American credit card? We are a group of ten, and the orange tickets for the date and departure time we want are presently 70% cheaper than standard tickets. As a group, we'll save about $650 USD on our round trip journey if we can get orange tickets, so I'd like to try to make it work. I asked the customer service rep if they have any group discounts, provided with phone orders, but he said no, the only discount program is the orange tickets, not available to us since we are unable to book online.
take the Flix bus direct
American credit cards can be difficult to use with quite a few train companies in Europe. I always use Trainline. Prices are the same and you won't have trouble with your card. You can buy tickets on DSB via them.
Trainline doesn't offer the orange ticket fares. I can book on there at standard rates, but I already could accomplish that with a phone booking through DSB. I'm trying to figure out how to access the orange tickets. Flix Bus is a viable option for the travel from Copenhagen to Svendborg, so thanks for that suggestion. Its arrival time in Svendborg will give us 20 minutes to catch our ferry to Aero Island. If we miss that ferry, the next one isn't for 2 hours, so I'm wondering how reliable Flix Bus is . It's not going to work to use the bus for the return trip because of the departure times. (One is too early . . . . we'd have to get on a 5:35 a.m. ferry from Aero Island. The other is too late . . . we wouldn't make it to Copenhagen in time for our overnight ferry to Oslo.) So maybe this trip will involve a bus one direction, and the train at standard fares for the return trip. The DSB orange tickets seem to be unaccessible for people without a Danish or Swedish credit card.
I know that some cards have been rejected at ticket machines (and probably online) because they lack the 3D Secure feature - a security feature that not all foreign cards have. To me, it sounds like that may be the reason? I find it hard to believe that they would block foreign cards, but then again, they wouldn't be the first train operator to do something like that. Maybe something got lost in translation?
As far as I know, only DSB sells Orange tickets. You could try their app, but there's no guarantee that it will work with your card.
In Denmark, you pay more if you book with Trainline.
A full fare ticket from Copenhagen to Svendborg is 309 DKK if bought from DSB (online, app or at the station). Trainline sells the same ticket for 55.24 USD (368.50 DKK as of today). I'm not sure if Trainline automatically adds a seat reservation (DSB sell them for 30 DKK apiece), but no matter what it would still be more expensive to book via Trainline.
Thank you for posting-maybe future travelers will want to avoid destinations that require the use of these trains that require foreigners to pay a lot more for their tickets.