We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Credit cards

seattle
Level Contributor
407 posts
130 reviews
Save Topic
Credit cards

Do the British establishments still accept "old style" US credit cards; ie. not the new chip and pin cards?

Dunfermline, United...
Level Contributor
13,398 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Credit cards

Most restaurants, hotels and shops will still be able to accept the old swipe and sign cards, smaller establishments maybe not. You won't be able to use the card to buy travel tickets from the ticket machines so you will have to buy them from the ticket clerks

If you need to use an ATM with your debit card, make sure you have a four digit PIN number (not letters).

Make sure you inform your card issuers/banks that you will be using the cards overseas so they don't block them as 'suspicious usage'

VISA and MasterCard widely accepted. American Express not as popular and Discover card not at all usable in the UK

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
463 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Credit cards

i had no issues last year. Don't forget to tell your bank you are traveling, and really if you have time before you go, get your bank to give you one. Much more secure.

Check out this post for some helpful info.

tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g186338-i17-k536182…

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Berlin
Level Contributor
5,952 posts
82 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Credit cards

All card machines can take swipe cards, so don't worry.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
10 posts
1 review
Save Reply
4. Re: Credit cards

We are leaving for England in a few weeks. I'm concerned about retrieving train tickets purchased online with my American Visa card. We are to print out tickets from the machines at the train stations and were instructed (online) to bring the credit card we used. What happens if we arrive at the train station after regular business hours and have problems printing our tickets? Do the ticket counters stay open late? There's no warning about this on the ticket websites, but I've seen a couple of mentions of it on forums.Thanks for any assistance.

California
Level Contributor
4,229 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Credit cards

You will be able to collect your tickets from a clerk at a ticket window if your card won't work at one of the kiosks. I've found it's hit and miss, but have never had any issues going to the ticket counter. You can get them anytime prior to train travel if you are concerned about the timing on the actual day.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
10 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: Credit cards

Wonderful. I feel better now. Thank you!

London, United...
Level Contributor
611 posts
127 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Credit cards

Don't forget that merchants will ask for a photo ID when using a magnetic card. .

London, United...
Level Contributor
3,658 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Credit cards

@7: this has never been my experience. My mother used a magnetic stripe card for years when visiting me and was never asked for ID.

Many Americans refuse to sign their credit cards (which is in direct violation of the terms of those cards) and write "see ID" on the signature strip instead. I wonder if this is the confusion?

Winchelsea, United...
Destination Expert
for West Sussex, East Sussex
Level Contributor
5,664 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Credit cards

"Many Americans refuse to sign their credit cards..." That's interesting. Any idea why ?

Mike

London, United...
Level Contributor
1,321 posts
318 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Credit cards

"Many Americans refuse to sign their credit cards..."

Weirdly enough, when I was (much) younger I worked at a car rental co in London and we had all sorts of run ins with our American friends who - as mentioned - produced unsigned cards. This meant that we didn't hand their rental car to them which - oddly enough - seemed more palatable than signing their cards.

Would love to know why.