#Travel140 #TravelTip: Your credit card has a chip, so you’re good to go to Europe, right? Not so fast…
Over the past few years, most of Europe has transitioned to Chip-and-Pin cards: Credit cards with chips that you unlock with a unique PIN. This makes the cards almost self-sufficient; they can be used even in off-line situations as the PIN and chip interact to authorize your transaction.
October 2015 was the milestone for American credit cards to be chip-equipped as well, and many are. However, your shiny new card with a chip may be a Chip-and-Signature card, meaning that the terminal processing your transaction needs to be on-line to authorize your purchase. In the U.S., they will work just like your old magnetic-stripe cards, but they may not work in all locations across Europe.
So how do you know what type of card you have? The best way is to check with your bank. If your card does not have a PIN, ask for one that does. Proponents claim they are safer, and travelers report fewer issues overseas. Plus, if there is an unauthorized transaction with your Chip-and-Pin card, the liability now lays with the bank or merchant.
Can’t get enough travel tips? Here’s more #Travel140!