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Are credit and debit cards issued in the U.S. accepted in Europe?

Credit and debit cards are generally accepted in Europe, especially at major tourist destinations. However, European card terminals typically expect smart cards (i.e. cards with a computer chip inside). As a result, card machines may have trouble reading cards without chips and may require you to enter a PIN even when using your card for a charge on credit. This annoyance is especially likely for American travelers, the majority of whom have cards without chips inside. Often, if the terminal is manned, the staff can enter your card number manually or use a different machine to complete the transaction.

last updated 2008.09.04
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