We plan to travel from Paris to Aix-en-Provence in April. I have tried purchasing tickets through http://en.voyages-sncf.com/en as recommended. I make it all the way through the process, but after entering my credit card information and hitting the final confirm button, and waiting about a minute, I get a notice that my payment was rejected. I know there is nothing wrong with my Bank of America credit card. Has anyone else had this experience? Is it a bank problem? Website problem? Something about the way I've entered the data?
Did you call your credit card company and tell them you were going to be making an international purchase? Sometimes I've had to call them and tell them to allow the charge to go through. Good luck!
As Phillip says, use Capitaine Train. I had the same problem in Nov. Capitaine Train came through immediately after I notified my cc. I initially forgot to notify my cc and it was rejected the first time. I called my cc and they said yes, we see the Capitaine Train request here, just do it again and it will go through, but they never saw anything from SNCF or en-voyages.
Thank you for your advice. I called the credit card company, and they said there was no record of any denied charges. I also tried the capitaine train website, made it all the way through the purchase button, and then received this message: "Your payment was not accepted by iDTGV. This may happen with certain foreign credit cards, especially those issued outside of France. We advise you to try booking on SNCF train instead. You may also contact iDTGV to ask them to unblock your card . . ." I have never had problems with credit card payments going through. Any other thoughts on what the problem is, or how to buy a train ticket on the TGV train?
I'd try contacting Capitainetrain by email: : email@example.com
If you contacted B of A in advance, they should be able to see if the request for funds was received by them.
I had no problem in November with Capital One.
IDTGV is a special type of extra discount fare on TGVs and as I understand it SNCF actively try to stop non-French-citizens from buying one. You may have to settle for a slightly more expensive Prems fare.
Seat 61 reports that some people have been able to book by contacting IDTGV by email: http://www.seat61.com/voyages-sncf.htm#iDTGV
It sounds to me like, despite your phone call after the fact, that the bank wasn't notified before the attempted purchases. Otherwise why would there you be refused at two different French companies.
If you don't warn the bank in advance of overseas purchases most will not authorize the payment.
If you warn them just before the purchase my experience is that few problems result.
Thanks for all the tips. I did call the bank a second time, and this time the ticket purchase went through.
Yippee! Perseverance pays off.
SNCF sends me e-mail promotions in Canada for idTGV and its other services.