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American credit cards

San Jose, California
10 posts
American credit cards

I have read that american credit cards do not work in London.

Is this true?

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47 replies to this topic
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
23,919 posts
77 reviews
1. Re: American credit cards

No it is not. Where did you 'read' this?

Watford, United...
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
44,230 posts
50 reviews
2. Re: American credit cards

Now who told you that?!

The only card that isn't accepted is Discovery and some traders don't like Amex but Visa & Mastercard are accepted everywhere from the smallest newsagent to the glitzyest hotel.

Norfolk, United...
Level Contributor
987 posts
27 reviews
3. Re: American credit cards

There is a difference, in that US credit cards are mostly chip and signature, not chip and pin which is usual in Europe. In that case, you have to sign a credit card receipt rather than key in a pin number. It's an antiquated system, but should work.

Perth, United...
Level Contributor
2,839 posts
4. Re: American credit cards

"It's an antiquated system, but should work."

Chip and signature cards are still available in the UK, not antiquated, just different.

I too am interested to know where people get information such as American credit cards not working, Uber being banned in the UK etc.

Fake news anyone?

Redlands, California
Level Contributor
6,198 posts
58 reviews
5. Re: American credit cards

Mine all worked in June, chip & signature. Even the old swipe and sign work but a chip card is less likely to elicit puzzlement from the clerk or attendant! (And was it really necessary to describe the U.S. system as "antiquated?" Not everything which is true need be stated.)

Santiago, Chile
Destination Expert
for Chile
Level Contributor
11,485 posts
30 reviews
6. Re: American credit cards

My card from here is chip and pin and contactless. Yet the little machine always spat out a slip to sign rather than ask for the pin. So no problem really. Mastercard, if that helps.

London, United...
Level Contributor
1,505 posts
354 reviews
7. Re: American credit cards

>>(And was it really necessary to describe the U.S. system as "antiquated?" Not everything which is true need be stated.)<<

Many, many of my American friends refer to their US credit cards as something similar to "antiquated". Very little contactless and only just catching up with 'chip n pin'.

Edited: 16 October 2017, 20:14
New Mexico
Level Contributor
13,979 posts
110 reviews
8. Re: American credit cards

Interesting article

“Why Is the U.S. Determined to Have the Least-Secure Credit Cards in the World?”


Yorkshire, United...
Level Contributor
1,955 posts
94 reviews
9. Re: American credit cards

Interesting article Charliie.

I've recently spent a month in the USA and 99% of my card transactions were swipe and sign. The bizarre thing is that NO merchant checked the signature against the back of the card (I saw one person sign for a round of beers, by drawing a picture of the male genitalia!!!) which meant that all transactions were unauthenticated.

I used my card in a few public transport ticket machines including the New York subway. To authenticate the transaction I had to enter a zip code and not a pin - how bizarre. As a non-US person I entered 00000 and the machine accepted it, so again totally unauthenticated.

It is such a different world :-)

Level Contributor
12,119 posts
68 reviews
10. Re: American credit cards

Chip and sign cards are valid, but you may need a supervisor. Chip and pin is so ubiquitous here that many sales assistants will never see a chip and signature card and/or may not be authorised to accept them. A supervisor will know what to do.

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