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credit cards with PIN required: Spain

I must be the only person on earth that has not requested a PIN with my credit card. I went to all the trouble to get a card with a chip in it, but neglected to ask for a four digit PIN.
This is Spain, I can't speak of other countries. last year in Greece I don't recall a an issue about the PIN.

wayne iNES

Posted by
69 posts


We are in Seviille Spain now, and used our chip and signature card everywhere with no problems. No PIN. This also worked in France in 2012 in Paris, Normandy and the Loire valley.

In groceries however, we have found that they want our passport to verify that we are the cardholder.

When in doubt we always carry enough euros for the meal or purchase or ask in advance.

Good luck!

Posted by
338 posts

I was in Barcelona, Madrid and Toledo in June/July 2013 and had no problems using my standard credit card to pay for major purchases. For smaller purchases I used cash.

Posted by
1 posts

We just got back from Spain yesterday. Used our Visa card that has no chip in it. We followed Rick's advice and got the PIN, and needed it about 50% of the transactions.

Posted by
506 posts

We just got back from England. Had a Visa card with the chip. We do have a pin number on it, but it does not really apply for charging. It is just read and then a signature is required. The only problem we had was to top off our Oyster card for the underground we had to go to a window agent because the machines would not except our Visa card. I have heard that in 2015 the US is going to the chip and pin system.

Posted by
16 posts

@Judy, same here: just came back from a fortnight in the UK. Same story, Oyster machines would not accept our regular, swipe-only card. Had to use my Visa card with a chip. Many merchants across London insisted on cards with a chip. I'm glad I had one!

Posted by
1774 posts

Careful to remember the chip-n-pin card, forgot the PIN.

Posted by
9363 posts

I had no problems using my mag stripe cards in both Spain and the UK last August. No need for a chip and PIN card. Most US chip cards are not chip and PIN, anyway - they are chip and signature. The only reason to need a PIN for these cards is if you want to use it in an ATM (which is a cash advance and not recommended except in an emergency).