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What is the secret PIN that TGV asks to pick up the train tickets?

I am purchasing our 3 tickets from Paris to Lucerne, Switzerland, and the TGV site asks for the following: "For outward travel from France, you can collect your tickets from a station or SNCF shop in France. You must present the bank card and the confidential code you used for making the payment." I called my Credit Card and they don't believe the 4 digit PIN the CC offers is the same thing.
I don't dare to purchase the tickets w/o knowing what is it that they are asking for. Does anyone know??? Thanks much!

Posted by
17 posts

Thanks for your replies. I never get to a screen where I get the choice to print them at home. Can you tell me the trick to get there? Here are the only 3 choices I get when I try to purchase them (I put France as the country to pick them up from): 1. Collection from an Automatic Ticket Machine : The bank card used for payment must be valid at the time of withdrawal, the PIN number will be requested. NB: Virtual cards and cards without Chip and PIN cannot be used for withdrawals at ticket machines. 2. Delivery free by post : Receive your ticket free by post And can pay for your ticket using the 3D Secure system. About 3D Secure. 3. Retrieval in a French station : The bank card used for payment must be valid at the time of withdrawal, the PIN number will be requested.
NB: virtual cards cannot be used for withdrawal in Stations or SNCF-Boutiques.

Posted by
31289 posts

Alina, If they didn't provide a unique PIN when you purchased on line, my impression is that they're asking for the PIN of your credit card. Even if you're not using a "Chip & PIN" card, it would be a good idea to know the PIN's for each of your cards. Good luck!

Posted by
209 posts

My TGV email for Tickets from Zurich to Paris includes an order number and a pin number on the conformation email. Check your email or letter for a pin #. Otherwise the only thing they could mean is the credit card's pin number.

Posted by
6898 posts

Why do you need to pick up your SNCF tickets in France. When I buy them, I print them out at home within minutes after purchase.

Posted by
8700 posts

Printing one's own tickets isn't an available option on some routes. For example, a person can print tickets for a direct train from Paris to Geneva, but not from Paris to Interlaken Ost. The reason, I suppose, is that the leg from Basel to Interlaken is on a Swiss Rail regional train.

Posted by
17 posts

So due to that fact exactly and the fact that TGV could not secure us a train fron Basel to Lucerne, I ended up buying the train tickets from the SBB Swiss Rail site. I am all set now; printed the tickets Paris->Basel and Basel to Lucerne. The thing is that the prices went up almost 30% since last week.... oh well. $701 for 4 people for the entire trip via www.sbb.com. Thanks to all for your wonderful advice.

Posted by
1 posts

Just curious if anyone ever found the answer to this out, for option #3 (picking up from the train station, not the machine). Does the credit card have to be a chip-and-pin to work? Is the PIN the one from the card, or one from an email? Can it be a non-chip-and-pin card with a PIN (as used for cash w/d)? Thanks.

Posted by
307 posts

I have tickets purchased for Paris - Interlaken in late Sept, and chose the option to pick the tickets up at a french station, as the option to print at home wasn't provided ( through TGV ). I've received a confirmation email with a "Reference Number" which is 6 letters. I believe the posters reference to the PIN number is for retrieving the tickets at a french station. I.E. at automated ticket machines, you have to the credit card used to make the original purchase, and punch in the associated 4 digit PIN to finalize the transaction, much the same as here at home ( in Canada at least ) where we would key in a 4 digit code into those hand held card readers to complete a purchase using a credit card. These days( again, in Canada at least) it's getting vary rare when you have to sign a credit card slip to complete a transaction, usually its using a card reader and a 4 digit PIN, much the same as a debit card...

Posted by
2876 posts

You can retrieve tickets at an automated kiosk only with a chip-and-pin credit card. A magnetic-stripe card won't work, even if you know its PIN. You have to print at home, or go to a manned ticket window.

Posted by
227 posts

Last October, at Gare du Nord (on way to Amsterdam), we handed the ticket agent in the SNCF booth our email confirmation...she handed us our tickets....that was it. She didn't ask us for our credit card or any other identification. Maybe we were just lucky, but I was prepared to give her the credit card I used to purchase the tickets.

Posted by
16035 posts

I bought a pair of tickets 3 weeks ago. I think, because the end point was Geneva, I could not print at home. Option was to collect from a machine with a PIN and chip card, or from a manned booth with the confirmation number (6 alphanumeric characters just like airline confirmation No.s) AND the same credit used to buy the tickets. I chose the latter option and I am bringing the email confirmation along.