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Credit Card Applications » News » Other » Credit Card PIN Number

Credit Card PIN Number

April 20, 2009
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Americans Required to Provide Credit Card PINs Abroad

If you are traveling in Europe this summer, do not be surprised if your credit card is refused at a local restaurant, hotel or merchant. The problem is that an increasing number of European banks are requiring the use of chip-enabled cards with PIN numbers to make purchases and other transactions, and only very few U.S.-issued cards currently comply with the European Banks’ standards.

As a result, more and more American travelers in Europe are facing difficulties when trying to pay with their credit card. Also, even though the biggest international card networks – Visa, MasterCard and American Express – all require that their participating merchants accept American chipless credit cards, you may still face trouble with card use.

In spite of all the complaints from American consumers who have been unable to use their credit card in Europe, U.S. card networks and banks do not yet have an effective solution to the problem. They maintain that no problem actually exists because: a) U.S. cards can be used everywhere when you provide your signature instead of a credit card PIN number; and b) even though many countries have adopted the chip-and-PIN technology as a means of cardholder authentication, U.S.-issued magnetic stripe cards can still be recognized by credit card payment terminals in these countries.

However, all of these assurances are of little assistance when it comes to real situations. When you urgently need to buy a train ticket or reserve a hotel room and your credit card is refused, what you need is a direct action plan. So, what should you do if a merchant or a vending machine asks you for a credit card PIN?

If you are dealing with a clerk, waiter or agent, just remind them that under the current international credit card rules, U.S.-issued credit cards are to be accepted with nothing more than a signature to verify your identity. If the person in question still refuses to complete your purchase, do not give up. Ask to see their manager and persist in your request.

In case you are trying to use your U.S. credit card at an unattended vending machine that requires a credit card PIN, you will not have much success, although you can still get a cash advance from your card at an ATM. However, remember that cash advances usually incur high interest rates and flat fees. Also, if you do agree to provide a PIN in order to make a purchase instead of a cash advance, then you may be charged a cash withdrawal fee.

So, be very careful when using your U.S. bank card abroad for credit purchases. If you want to avoid trouble and extra expenses associated with the European Banks’ requirement to provide credit card PIN numbers, consider taking a debit card with you. You can use your debit card at ATMs to withdraw cash, and you’ll pay much less in interest charges and fees than you would by using a regular credit card.

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  • With the Virgin / Barclaycard signature offer, there seems to be some consumer deception or maybe even outright fraud goin on.   I decided to jump on this offer..  read all the info on it..  was approved for their platinum card, paid the fee, then was only awarded 10,000 points instead of the advertised 20,000.   When i inquired about the less than advertised bonus points, Barclaycard claims only Signiture Visa cardmembers get the 20,000..  as a platinum cardholder, you don't qualify for that level of bonus, so you get 10k instead.   Well, in their current ongoing promotions, it states plain as day that....    Applicants approved for the Visa Signature or Platinum Card with $49 annual fee will receive 20,000 Bonus Points awarded to your Virgin America Rewards Account at the close of the first billing statement in which you make your first purchase or balance transfer (that is not returned or rescinded) and have paid the Annual Fee on the account (and such fee is not rescinded). They don't mention anything about a separate program for platinum cardholders..  However, trying to get someone to resolve this issue with either Virgin or Barclaycard seems to be rather impossible.. Seems to me they're simply drawing people in with the fraudulent offer, then simply saying, oh, we're sorry you don't qualify..  but thanks for signing up for our garbage credit card with insane fees..   
  • CreditLandCom
    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We have reviewed this offer and you are correct, nowhere it is mentioned that 20,000 Bonus can become a 10,000 Bonus all of a sudden... We will mention this in our review of this card so others can make an informed decision. Another way to get Virgin miles is to get an American Express charge card: The Business Gold Rewards Card® now offers 50,000 Miles, though you do have to spend $5,000 in the first three months of card membership to get it. It also has $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175. Premier Rewards Gold Card now offers 25,000 Miles, though you do have to spend $2,000 during your first three months of Card membership. It also has annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $175. While we do not know If any of these offers make sense to you, we are at least sure that you will get advertised bonus in full if you decide to get them... Conversion rates for Virgin America are: 100 Elevate Points = 200 Membership Rewards® Points All the best.
  • deborahellsworth
     would very much like to start a new credit history  by making payments on time I would tohave a credit card that is NOT PREPAYID! I don't need a card with a high limit just something to start a new credit history. Thank You Deborah Ellsworth
  • deborahellsworth
    I would very much like to start a new credit line to get back on track. I DO NOT WANT A PREPAID CARD!! This new credit card if I am approved does not have to hace a high limit just something for me to start over again and prove myself ThankYou. D Ellsworth
  • there is a huge problem with the RFIP chip: it is easily compromised. There are already 'readers' in the form of what looks like a cellphone in a case, that scans all the info in the chip by merely walking near a person -- this 'reader' penetrates leather, cloth, spandex, etc. The only thing it will NOT penetrate is METAL. Perhaps one has seen commercials touting metal credit card cases. Here is my hint for a free fix: cut a piece of aluminum foil or use the foil that is used to keep foods fresh, like coffee. Cut it so that when folded once, it forms a sleeve for your credit card. place the credit card in the sleeve, then place the sleeve in your wallet.
  • I am looking to apply for the AARP Visa signature card from Chase that offers $100 after spend $500 in first 3 months, no annual fee and 0% interest first year; I don't want to mail in offer because of having to write in Social security #. Can you direct me to the proper on-line site?
  • CreditLandCom
    The Chase bank cards are not currently available at, but you can consider applying for the Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card - $100 Cash Back. The cards has similar terms and cash back program.
  • disqus_kAtnCPlNM9
    This is Becky Now what do I do just waqit for acard to come to me?
  • CreditLandCom
    Once you have applied, you should receive a letter within 10 business days letting you know if you were approved and when your card will arrive. If you did not receive any letter or notification from the issuer, you should contact them directly. Also, you should contact the issuer if you’ve been waiting for your credit card longer than 30 days. Since we are not a bank and don’t issue credit cards, we cannot give you any information about your application or credit card.
  • SavingStar
    Thank you for posting about SavingStar. Just to clarify one sentence in your article, we have over 5 million members (not 500). Thanks, Josh
  • CreditLandCom
    Sorry for the misprint. We’ve corrected the sentence. Thank you for noticing that.
  • disqus_iTwLZvS3Xn
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