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Tips on Using Credit Cards Abroad

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Have you heard of chip-and-PIN credit card technology? It’s a method being used abroad to prevent credit-card fraud, but it can cause some real hassles to unaware travelers. Here’s what you need to know.

Chip-and-PIN technology means that credit cards are embedded with a microchip, so instead of swiping and signing, customers enter a pin number to authenticate it.

Countries like UK, the Netherlands and Belgium, are transitioning over to this method, while Australia and New Zealand have done it for years.

Now, in general, it’s better to stick with your debit card and withdraw cash from your bank or foreign partner bank when you arrive.

And here’s why: Although many major hotels and shops will let you use your regular credit card without any problem, you can get stuck at smaller places.

In some cases, the new card readers should still be able to read the magnetic strip, but the cashier may not be aware of it. Usually they need to follow a different set of prompts to complete the transaction, so it’s up to you to be insistent.

In some countries, automated ticketing machines for trains and subways rely on the chip-and-PIN technology, so if there’s no cashier and you only have a credit card, you’re out of luck.

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