Did you know that the US is one of the last developed countries to adopt EMV chip cards? In most developed countries chip cards have prevailed for a long time. This means that were you to travel abroad without one; you would be hard pressed to find an outlet that accepts chipless cards as payment. You need an EMV chip card. However, even with the EMV card, don’t be shocked if foreign merchants occasionally refuse payment especially if the card is a chip-and-sign instead of a chip-and-PIN type. The merchant could also make a decision to accept only cash from foreigners and in such a case it is out of your hands.
Traveling abroad is a memorable experience that can also be a challenging and expensive affair. You may find yourself running out of cash and in such cases, having a card that can be accepted abroad is a plus. It could save you from embarrassment as well as numerous headaches that come with being in a new place without the money to fully enjoy yourself.
However, you can minimize your chances of card rejection by merchants abroad. Getting a widely accepted credit card such as a Mastercard or Visa brings you one step closer to acceptance. Making sure that your card is a chip-and-PIN card cements its credibility and increases the chances of the card being more acceptable by foreign merchants. European countries in particular, most if which adopted the EMV technology ages ago, rely on the chip-and-PIN technology. Countries like the Netherlands have fully adopted PIN chip cards.
Due to the campaign for chip-and-PIN cards in the US, more financial institutions and credit card issuers are rolling out the credit cards. However, you may not have the luxury of putting a hold on your travel plans to wait for a chip-and-PIN card. And come to think of it, you may not have thought a smart credit card would be a necessity when making your travel plans. The only option is to head over to one of the few U.S. banks that currently offer PIN cards.
So where are you likely to use PIN card? For most travelers, a smart PIN-enabled card is most important when on toll roads or a gas station outlet that may be cashier-less and whose only payment option, automated machines, requires a chip-and-PIN card. Other places such as luxury shops, restaurants, and hotels often bend the rule and accept magstripe or chip-and-sign cards, but most small businesses will refuse to accept them entirely and instead prefer cash transactions.
Again, if you are traveling but have not managed to get yourself a PIN-enabled card already, you can still travel and have fun using cash as well as take advantage of places that may accept your card. In the meantime, acquiring a Wells Fargo Propel World American Express card or the Barclaycard World Elite Mastercard will take care of your smart PIN-enabled card needs for the coming glorious summer travels.