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Charge to use debit card or credit card?

Pittsburgh...
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Charge to use debit card or credit card?

I saw a review that mentioned a restaurant charging for using a debit card - has anyone else had this experience? Is it true for credit cards? (Both would be US issued). I did have the experience of trying to order online and my US debit card was refused.

Edinburgh...
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1. Re: Charge to use debit card or credit card?

Credit card refused - probably because your US bank is aware of how easy it is for fraud to happen if cards are stolen - they often end up abroad. Please contact your card company and make sure the card is enabled for the UK or elsewhere.

There is often a fee for credit cards especially if the amount is small. Debit cards costs little to process, there shouldn't be a charge. There are hidden fees when the UK and american banks collude to give you an excessively expensive exchange rate. That's something you can enquire about at your end before travelling: not all cards are equal.

Pittsburgh...
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2. Re: Charge to use debit card or credit card?

perhaps I wasn't clear it was my debit card that was refused -because it wasn't issued by a UK bank, not by the bank but by the "seller"

Boston
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3. Re: Charge to use debit card or credit card?

Gale, my local bank(debit card) does not do foreign transactions which I read by chance so I do not use it in the UK. You should check to see if that was the problem.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Charge to use debit card or credit card?

There are times when you must have direct debit to make purchases in the UK, not just a debit card. This basically allows them to connect to your account to make repeated purchases. For example, that is how a lot of mobile phone contracts work. For a regular online purchase this should not be an issue though. I have run into problems of places not allowing foreign credit cards mostly because of the high fees as was mentioned above. Debit cards are universally accepted in the UK and much much more common than credit cards. Are you sure that your debit card is enabled to work abroad as a debit card not just an atm card because I have had friends who did not realise that their US banks debit card only works for withdrawing cash. I have also run into problems not because of an american credit or debit card but because it has an american, not a UK billing address.

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Charge to use debit card or credit card?

Part of my first message disappeared.

You should have no problem with either credit or debit cards working in-person in the UK. it just seems that you got into a weird situation. There are restaurants who charge for debit card uses and also charge for credit card use since there is a fee for them to run the transaction, but they are supposed to make it very clear if they do, and they are typically small establishments that basically pass the cost of your transaction onto you. Others may charge you the fee if your total purchase is under a certain amount because of how expensive the transaction may be if you are making a small purchase.

UK
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for Chester
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16 reviews
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6. Re: Charge to use debit card or credit card?

It is not all that unusual for a foreign debit card not to be accepted for purchases whether in person or on line. Can happen even within the EU. A debit card that was fine for use in ATMs was not accepted in shops and restaurants. No problem with Visa/ MasterCard credit cards so resign yourself to having to use those for purchases and bills

Tonbridge, United...
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7. Re: Charge to use debit card or credit card?

If a vendor charges a card-handling fee online or at the checkout, they must advertise it clearly. These fees are usually applied to credit card transactions and are rarely charged to debit card transactions. They are not that commkn over here in shops and restaurants.

If a card is declined, it is usually because the foreign bank declines a transaction taking place abroad or because the card is not on a network accepted by the retailer. Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in the UK. Amex is less commonly accepted due to its higher transaction charges to the retailer. Anything else is pot luck and probably isn't accepted over here.

London, United...
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8. Re: Charge to use debit card or credit card?

In the terms and conditions for accepting Visa cards in the US, merchants are forbidden from charing customers a surcharge to use their cards. This rule is not in the UK Ts&Cs. It is not unusual for there to be a surcharge for credit card use, particularly for online transactions. Surcharges for debit cards are less commong (but some of the budget airlines in particular do charge them).

In shops/restaurants, surcharges for credit cards use are less common and may only apply where the transaction is below a certain threshold (e.g. a 50p charge where the person is spending less than £10). As stated above, these charges should be clearly indicated in advance.

I'm not entirely clear about how debit card usage works for overseas cardholders, but it sounds like it's best to expect your debit card to work in ATMs and count yourself lucky if it works elsewhere. If you don't have a Visa/Mastercard branded debit card (eg. MAC or STAR), it is very unlikely to work in the UK.

Scotland, United...
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for South Ayrshire, Glasgow
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9. Re: Charge to use debit card or credit card?

in all my fiftysomething years i have never experienced or heard of restaurants charging extra for using debit/credit cards in the uk. weird

London, United...
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10. Re: Charge to use debit card or credit card?

I'm sure I've seen some small cafes where there is a charge if you spend below a certain amount, but it's certainly not the norm.