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.

Do Canadian credit cards with a chip work in France??

Metro Vancouver
Level Contributor
4,737 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Do Canadian credit cards with a chip work in France??

"There are no chipped credit cards for US Card holders that are compatible with European Chip-&-Pin systems. I think some Canadian banks are now issuing chipped cards, but I don't know whether they are compatible"

Can any Canadians, that was in France recently, shed some light??

(by the way...not having English as a first, nor even second language, I thought that "chipped" meant damaged..my cards have a chip but aren't chipped)

I did ask my bank but, as usual, they have no clues...travelling outside Canada isn't one of their priority (last time I told them I was going to the USA, one staff said "oh you want your ATM blocked.." and another "why would you want to use an ATM outside Canada") and yes, I use one of the big Canadian banks in downtown Vancouver....

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
87,551 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Do Canadian credit cards with a chip work in France??

I have an Australian card with a chip, but in France and Italy I usually have to sign the card dockets. In Switzerland and Spain, I can usually use the PIN.

If there is a problem with your chip, it will affect only your use of unattended machines such as Metro ticket machines and fuel pumps. Anywhere you hand your card to a person, you will be fine.

Metro Vancouver
Level Contributor
4,737 posts
1 review
Save Reply
2. Re: Do Canadian credit cards with a chip work in France??

Thanks Sydneydick... I assumed as much, having read other posts. I just don't understand why, in this day and age, credit cards w/ a chip can't work everywhere anytime. WHAT about my Canadian ATM card with a chip??? will it work in France?

Edited: 15 February 2010, 09:58
Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
87,551 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Do Canadian credit cards with a chip work in France??

Sydneydick???

Apparently there are different standards for the chips.

There have been no reports of problems with ATMs anywhere in Europe. My ATM card (as distinct from my credit card) has no chip at all, and it has worked fine everywhere in Europe

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
25,402 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Do Canadian credit cards with a chip work in France??

My impression is that cards with a chip work fine everywhere. Cards without a chip may not work in unattended sites such as petrol stations, velib bike stations and so on but work fine if someone is present to put them through the swipe system. However, mine is Australian and your is Canadian. Maybe they are different. You need a Canadian who has used the chip card in France and has NOT had to sign.

Perth, Western...
Level Contributor
1,688 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Do Canadian credit cards with a chip work in France??

My experience with an Australian card with a chip is not the same as Sydneynick's.

Whenever I used my "chipped" Mastercard they inserted it in the slot in the front of the machine (as opposed to swiping it down the side) and I just inserted my pin. My Amex card is not "chipped" and that had to be swiped and signed for.

This was in Jan/Feb 08.

I also had no trouble using my Mastercard in the automatic machine at the Gare du Nord.

Edited: 15 February 2010, 11:52
Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
302 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Do Canadian credit cards with a chip work in France??

We used our chip in Canadian Visa May/June 2009 routinely in France. It worked for self serve gas, train tickets at SNCF sites etc. For some reason it was not accepted at the ticket machine in Pont du Gard, but the was the only time. As long as your bank is aware that you're going, it should work fine. It was a life savour one Sunday afternoon when the only gas station in range was self serve.

Kamloops, BC...
Level Contributor
9,743 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Do Canadian credit cards with a chip work in France??

When I asked why my chipped cards, and I have several, didn't work in France, I was told that the system didn't allow for any of the number series used in the US and Canada (I live and bank in both countries). None of the bankers I spoke to had any idea when, or even if, the appropriate changes would be made. BTW, I was in Paris near the end of November.

Metro Vancouver
Level Contributor
4,737 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: Do Canadian credit cards with a chip work in France??

Thank you all so very much...and my most humble apologies to Sydneynick...NICK..

Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
22,102 posts
91 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Do Canadian credit cards with a chip work in France??

Oh,, I am confused,,

I have always been able to use my regular magnetic striped card in Europe,, except in a few machines.

I was happy to get my new Visa card recently, as my bank( Royal and TD) are now issuing our cards as chipped. I thought, great, now I can use this in the machines at the RER stations and for the Velibs,, but, now you are saying they won't work??

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
1,804 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Do Canadian credit cards with a chip work in France??

We used our new BMO Mastercard with a chip in May with no problems, hubby was even able to rent a Velib with it (you can't access the Velibs with a non-chipped card).

JO