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Credit cards with magnetic stripes

Madison
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Credit cards with magnetic stripes

I am working at a meeting in Aachen the first week of October. Half of the attendees will be from the US. Can you tell me whether our debit and credit cards, which do NOT have microchips, will work in the cash machines and at vendors in Aachen?

I have heard that some places in Germany no longer can process transactions using these types of cards. I've learned that some of the machines at train stations will only take cards with chips, for example.

Thanks for anything you can tell me!

Germany
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1. Re: Credit cards with magnetic stripes

> will work in the cash machines

= card + PIN

this will work. But with many US cards you have to inform your bank if you want to withdraw cash abroad.

> and at vendors in

= card + signature

will also work

.

> DB ticket machines at train stations

= card (and nothing else)

It's not so that these machines cannot read cards just with a magnetic stripe. But these cards are easy to fake and as there is no additional security means (PIN, signature or the verification card code online shops ask for) these cards are normally not accepted as too risky.

There are however anyway few machines which will accept credit cards for payment. DB ticket machines - but only for DB tickets, normally not for local public transport tickets. A few parking ticket machines e.g. at airports. Some public phones accepting cards.

Edited: 31 August 2012, 14:46
Madison
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2. Re: Credit cards with magnetic stripes

Thanks very much for this quick reply! We're always telling our banks where we are traveling when, so that is not an issue. We just had someone pass through Frankfurt, and the DB machine would not take his card. So some people are a little worried.

As long as we can use them with a pin number, we should be okay.

Germany
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3. Re: Credit cards with magnetic stripes

> and the DB machine would not take his card

There is still the option to go to the DB travel centre. There you can pay by credit card (+ signature).

Madison
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4. Re: Credit cards with magnetic stripes

Oh, yes, but that would involve waiting in line! American males don't think they should ever have to queue up for ANYTHING.

San Jose, California
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5. Re: Credit cards with magnetic stripes

"Oh, yes, but that would involve waiting in line! American males don't think they should ever have to queue up for ANYTHING."

Uuuuhhhhh...ok....stereotype much?

San Antonio, Texas
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6. Re: Credit cards with magnetic stripes

For ticket machines you will need a chip card. If there is a live person, most will have a dual reader, but that does mean lining up and waiting. If you are going to a small town that only has a machine you are stuck. The chase BA visa, does have a chip and no foreign transaction fees.

Munich, Germany
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7. Re: Credit cards with magnetic stripes

Just bring some cash with you, or get it with your card when you arrive. Yes, you have to think about safety, but a few hundred Euro aren't yet anything to worry about. At least not when you're a strong American male who has been to all his martial arts classes ;-)

San Jose, California
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8. Re: Credit cards with magnetic stripes

Yep, cash always works :-) I always get euros on arrival from an ATM machine. I also carry a couple hundred US$ as a back up, but have never had to exchange it. And even as a very small woman (hobbit-sized really) I have never worried about carrying cash in Germany.

Madison
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9. Re: Credit cards with magnetic stripes

Thanks for all of your replies - all I get to hear are the complaints, not what actually worked. Now, we just have to find out where to eat on Sunday night when everyone is arriving. Besides the hotels, of course. That's much too boring for these scientist-types.

Some of them can't believe that you can't buy food in a store in Aachen on a Sunday. I'm actually having fun telling them stuff like this.

And November, with this group I CAN stereotype, since I'm the one that gets to wait in line to buy them all train tickets and the like, while they stand near the train, waiting for me to rush up with their tickets.

10. Re: Credit cards with magnetic stripes

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