I informed my credit union of my travel plans. I later received a phone message that use of the cards (Master Card) has been blocked in the UK, France and Hungry. Any truth to this? Has anyone had problems?
The card isn't really blocked, it just incompatible with the machines that the merchant's use to do point of sale purchases. European debit cards have smart chips embedded in them which are not compatible with US debit cards. Since US debit cards don't have the smart chip, the hardware can't read the card. BUT, you will have absolutely no problems withdrawing money from ATM machines; you just can't make POS purchases. Two other countries to add to that list include Holland, and Italy. Regular credit cards are not affected by this you freely use those to make purchases.