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credit cards at train ticket kiosk

When you use a credit card at a kiosk to purchase a train ticket, do you have to have a PIN number to go with your credit card?

Posted by
20628 posts

It depends. Most of northern Europe is shifting or has shifted to the chip and pin card for tickets. France, Germany, Italy, are going more and have a mix of ticket machine that still accept a mag strip card. The US is slowly catching up with the chip and signature card and few true chip and pin. Probably will not know till you try. Since you posted in the Italy section assume you will be in Italy so it will be mixed bag. The new machines are chip and pin.

Posted by
1054 posts

I got a chip and pin card just for traveling (not the chip and signature cards that most USA banks have) I've used tickets machines in Rome (train and metro), Siena, Chiusi, Florence and Venice without any issue by putting in my pin card. I had to insert the card, there wasn't a stripe reader to read the black mag stripe on the cards with the ones I was using.

Posted by
11681 posts

Ellie--you probably should start a new thread with your question, as the answer keeps changing. USAA and some federal credit unions offer chip+PIN cards, and apparently Barclays Bank has a new one. There are people here who are very knowledgeable about this topic.

Posted by
215 posts

When we were in Italy in 2013 my non chip TD Bank debit card worked in the train ticket kiosk in Naples.

Posted by
4506 posts

Ellie,

I have a chip & signature card with Chase Bank (Marriott Rewards Visa) and I did not have any trouble using the card at
kiosks in Italy this past October.

I did request a PIN for my card but was told that it was not necessary.
This credit card is nice because you obtain points for staying at Marriott hotels & the best part is that it does not charge
foreign transaction fees!

Posted by
4499 posts

The only way to know if a chip and signature card will work in a machine is to try it. Whether it works depends on a lot of variables, such as the machine's validation requirements and your own bank's non-validated purchase limits (usually under $50). Visa and MasterCard are pressuring European merchants to have their machines accept purchases with US cards without validation, but it isn't universal. For the most part though, you do need a chip card to work in a machine.

Not all US banks are issuing chips cards with a secondary PIN for validation (almost everyone will use signature for validation).

Posted by
7735 posts

And remember, if you're not trying to buy any fancy train ticket combination, you might be able to buy them from the newspaper vendor in the train station. But you better have euros on you for that.

Posted by
1737 posts

For sure the older sign CC's don't work at the kiosks. I've tried many times. Now I just use cash.
We just got our new CC and it does have a chip, so we'll give it a go next trip.

FYI, cash is super easy at the kiosks...so keep that in mind if you have issues. You don't have to go stand in line at the counter, just plan on using cash if your cc attempt fails.

Posted by
792 posts

In the USA Debit Cards have PINS ...Credit Cards do not. Have you ever been asked to enter a PIN using a Credit Card? ...NO.
Try using a Chip and Signature card in a AutoStrada Toll booth ...won't work. It needs a PIN.

Posted by
1093 posts

Sorry Jim,

Some US credit cards have a PIN. I have a USAA Chip and Pin card. At chip card readers I am asked to enter my PIN and no signature is required. I have had this card for over a year.

Posted by
104 posts

Chip and Pin will make your journey much easier, I have a bofa and a chase with chip and pin, I always had to use even at the Florence airport to pay for parking. And the Rome Termini kiosk. Made life easy.

Posted by
11613 posts

About cash at machines: Not all machines take cash, look for pictures of euro bills and coins on the machine to be sure. Also, the amount of cash back varies, so don't buy a €5 ticket with a €100 note.

Posted by
11613 posts

And my credit cards have PINs, I think they are needed for cash advances. But I never use them for that, too expensive.

Posted by
875 posts

Just back from Italy (August 2015). Used my fairly new US VISA card (has a magnetic stripe and a chip, but no PIN) in Florence train station ticket kiosks several times and was not asked for a PIN. So, in Florence, in August 2015: nope.

Posted by
21 posts

Thanks for the update on your recent trip. I leave next week for Milan. I'll let you know if chip card without pin worked on my trip.

Posted by
214 posts

We used our Chase card with a chip at train stations in Verona and Padova very easily at the kiosks to buy tickets. We had the PIN number, but it wasn't requested.

Posted by
18 posts

I am here on our trip in Italy now and I bought train tickets from Malpensa (Milan) airport, Milano Centrale, Venice, and Florence and I was able to use my Chase United Mileage Explorer card to make the purchase (no foreign transaction fees). However, the chip on this card is a signature chip and not the real EMV one. I did bring a capital one 360 (formerly ING) debit/master card to take out money from the ATMs with minimal fees. This card too, does work in the train station kiosks and you need to enter your pin (not needed with the VISA card mentioned above)

Posted by
4499 posts

However, the chip on this card is a signature chip and not the real EMV one.

The chips are all the same; they are all EMV. The difference is the validation required by the issuing bank: either signature or PIN. In the cases of chip & signature cards, many issuing banks and machines will allow completion of the transaction without a PIN. But it depends on the machine and the only way to know is to try.

Posted by
21 posts

Just got back from our trip to Italy and Greece. We used our chip and signature card throughout our trip. No problem. Train ticket kiosks did not request a pin number when we used it in Monterosso and Vernazza (Cinque Terre). Thanks to all who responded to my initial question about this topic. Happy travels to all!!!