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Credit cards at ticket machines

Hi all,

I'm headed to Paris (and then Athens) tomorrow and wondering if my U.S. credit cards will work at ticket machines, especially when I land at CDG. I plan to take the RER B and then the metro to reach my Paris hotel from the airport and I'm wondering if I'll need to go to a ticket booth to speak with a human or can expect to be able to use the machines without incident.

My cards all have chips (both my credit cards and my debit card), but the credit cards do not have associated PIN #s.

Any advice/info you can provide would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
SV

Posted by
542 posts

We bought RER and metro tickets last month with a credit card. No pin needed. We never saw a human in a metro station ticket booth. Everything is automated.

Posted by
7903 posts

Chip sig cards work in some machines. We have charged our Navigo in machines in Paris and also rented audio phones at the Louvre for the Vermeer exhibit by machine with them and we bought bus tickets in Reims on this last trip. When it asks for your pin you just wait and hit continue and it will work. Of course it means that anyone who steals the card can do the same thing. It is unfathomable why the US has not adopted the more secure chip/pin system.

Posted by
23125 posts

Just as a matter of having option. You should obtain a pin number for your credit card. Cash advance on my credit card is the ultimate back up should the three debits fail.

Posted by
681 posts

Just last week, I used my US chip and signature card in Paris to purchase carnets for the Metro. Three different times, three different machines. Each asked for my pin (which I do not have) and, then, proceeded to dole out my tickets. No problem.

Posted by
4482 posts

It is unfathomable why the US has not adopted the more secure chip/pin system.

Pickpocketing and bag snatching is uncommon in the US, so the need isn't there in the same way it is in Europe.

Posted by
7903 posts

All Americans don't spend all their time at home; having these chip/sig cards is a real pain in international travel. And a fair number of Americans lose cards every day.

Posted by
2916 posts

Of course it means that anyone who steals the card can do the same thing. It is unfathomable why the US has not adopted the more secure chip/pin system.

That's been my thought whenever I get something from one of my banks extolling the "enhanced security" of their chip card.

Posted by
12157 posts

I had some trouble with the RER B ticket machine at CDG in September. Ultimately I got it to accept one of my cards after trying several cards several times - perserverence pays off.

In May it "worked" the first time. I put in my card to pay the ten euro ticket. After a fairly long wait it said, "declined". After another ten or fifteen seconds it said, "Dispensing Ticket". After another 20 seconds or so, the ticket came out. Weird.

My theory is the transaction times out before they get approval from the US bank but if you stick with it, the transaction gets approved .

If all else fails, there is a ticket window where the machines are.