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Credit Card Nightmare

Ronald Boivin

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Prior to leaving Canada, I loaded 4 credit cards, Visa and MasterCard with $ to cover camino charges, I checked and double checked that the four digit codes for each worked. On getting to Spain none if the cards worked, the four digit pin not accepted. I didn’t 59€ I phone calls on supposed toll free numbers for both Visa Mastercard ( from appropriate banks) who confirmed my cards were valid and that the numbers were valid and working. They did NOT work. I had brought a lot of cash and that’s what I live on now. From my two bank cards Royal Bank and ScotiaBank I was able to withdraw cash.
Lesson: don’t count on your credit cards to work in Spain.
 
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Molly Cassidy

Travelling light
Time of past OR future Camino
Starting May 2023 from St Jean Pied de Port
Oh, I see. Well I think some of them are specifically targeted at international travel, at least in the UK. So I suppose some work and others don't.
 

Pafayac

On the way...
Time of past OR future Camino
2021: Le Puy-Cahors. 2022: Cahors-Puente La Reina.
I think some of them are specifically targeted at international travel
Visa or Mastercard are specifically targeted for international transactions.
I agree with @Rosalinda : perhaps they do not work because they are prepaid. Or perhaps they need a direct connection to the issuing bank and this connection does not work at the time.
 
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Corned Beef

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VDLP Part 2/2023
What currency have you loaded onto the cards.

I use a pre-paid Mastercard loaded with €. The only issue I have had with it was on a flight where there was no connection from the card terminal to the central Mastercard computer. So it might be currency or it might be the transactional links,
 

estorildon

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Time of past OR future Camino
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I had a strange experience in Lisbon this morning at a Multibank ATM, along with few un-named other machines. I have a French debit card with BNP with a four digit pin. When I inserted my card they were asking for code that far exceeded 4 digits. There is no issue with my account because I was able to pay for lunch with a tap from my card, but the bummer is getting through the weekend with the 100 euros I have in my wallet after my last trip.
 

Ronald Boivin

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
What currency have you loaded onto the cards.

I use a pre-paid Mastercard loaded with €. The only issue I have had with it was on a flight where there was no connection from the card terminal to the central Mastercard computer. So it might be currency or it might be the transactional links,
I loaded it with Canadian dollars
 

mwendt

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Portuguese (2022)
Camino Finisterre (2023)
Prior to leaving Canada, I loaded 4 credit cards, Visa and MasterCard with $ to cover camino charges, I checked and double checked that the four digit codes for each worked. On getting to Spain none if the cards worked, the four digit pin not accepted. I didn’t 59€ I phone calls on supposed toll free numbers for both Visa Mastercard ( from appropriate banks) who confirmed my cards were valid and that the numbers were valid and working. They did NOT work. I had brought a lot of cash and that’s what I live on now. From my two bank cards Royal Bank and ScotiaBank I was able to withdraw cash.
Lesson: don’t count on your credit cards to work in Spain.
We are just back from Spain and Portugal where we used Apple Pay. Had credit cards but never used. Apple Pay was accepted by large and small businesses. Made travel very easy.
 
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estorildon

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Time of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Last time I was in Spain using that French debit card with a 4 digit pin, no problemo. I wonder when that all changed?
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Ronald,
We had the experience of our bank cards not working in one town at various ATM's . Spend several calls back to our bank in the states and finally the cards did work in other towns. Possible problem with connection in that particular town as the bank could not even see our attempts. Have you tried in more than one town?
Janet
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
I had a strange experience in Lisbon this morning at a Multibank ATM, along with few un-named other machines. I have a French debit card with BNP with a four digit pin. When I inserted my card they were asking for code that far exceeded 4 digits. There is no issue with my account because I was able to pay for lunch with a tap from my card, but the bummer is getting through the weekend with the 100 euros I have in my wallet after my last trip.
Don,
Welcome back! Glad that you are now on this side of the pond. Can you keep on tapping during this weekend? MM.
 

cbacino

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte - Primitivo (2018)
Via Francigena (2017)
Appalachian Trail (2016)
Prior to leaving Canada, I loaded 4 credit cards, Visa and MasterCard with $ to cover camino charges, I checked and double checked that the four digit codes for each worked. On getting to Spain none if the cards worked, the four digit pin not accepted. I didn’t 59€ I phone calls on supposed toll free numbers for both Visa Mastercard ( from appropriate banks) who confirmed my cards were valid and that the numbers were valid and working. They did NOT work. I had brought a lot of cash and that’s what I live on now. From my two bank cards Royal Bank and ScotiaBank I was able to withdraw cash.
Lesson: don’t count on your credit cards to work in Spain.
Loaded credit cards? Credit cards don't need to be loaded. They extend credit. Sounds like you used some kind of pre-pay debit card, which may work only in country where issued.
 
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Ellann

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Camino 2022
Visa or Mastercard are specifically targeted for international transactions. I agree with @Rosalinda : perhaps they do not work because they are prepaid. Or perhaps they need a direct connection to the issuing bank and this connection does not work at the time.
Visas and Mastercards work fine in Spain I think the problem is that they are prepaid Visas. I've heard that they don't work over seas.
 

TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
Sounds like a prepaid card to me. Never used one and don’t see the point of using one versus a debit card. For the avoidance of doubt, credit and debit cards work fine in Spain and other European countries. Spain is seeing huge growth in cashless payment, with a 25% increase in Q2 this year. And there are 88 million cards in circulation.
 

Schamber

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May and June 2022
Prior to leaving Canada, I loaded 4 credit cards, Visa and MasterCard with $ to cover camino charges, I checked and double checked that the four digit codes for each worked. On getting to Spain none if the cards worked, the four digit pin not accepted. I didn’t 59€ I phone calls on supposed toll free numbers for both Visa Mastercard ( from appropriate banks) who confirmed my cards were valid and that the numbers were valid and working. They did NOT work. I had brought a lot of cash and that’s what I live on now. From my two bank cards Royal Bank and ScotiaBank I was able to withdraw cash.
Lesson: don’t count on your credit cards to work in Spain.
Credit cards? I never needed a pin to use a credit card. Oh, were you trying to get cash from your credit card? Sounds like you needed an ATM/debit card instead. They work easy to get out cash from your bank with a pin. We used a credit card to charge hotel and restaurant bills.
 

TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
What currency have you loaded onto the cards.

I use a pre-paid Mastercard loaded with €. The only issue I have had with it was on a flight where there was no connection from the card terminal to the central Mastercard computer. So it might be currency or it might be the transactional links,
Interesting. How do the exchange rates compared to debit cards. Both the rate to load card and the transaction rates. Are there any fees. Cheeky question. Why do you use one? Feel free not to answer!
 
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Corned Beef

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
VDLP Part 2/2023
I loaded it with Canadian dollars

Sounds as if the reason it didn't work was that it appeared there was no currency (i.e. € 's) on it.

Some of these cards, especially the new virtual banks, will automatically switch the currency at a healthy charge for them. Do the cards you took have the facility to switch from one currency to another depending on where you are?
 

Ronald Boivin

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Sounds as if the reason it didn't work was that it appeared there was no currency (i.e. € 's) on it.

Some of these cards, especially the new virtual banks, will automatically switch the currency at a healthy charge for them. Do the cards you took have the facility to switch from one currency to another depending on where you are?
No
 

Rita Flower

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Via del la Plata
Prior to leaving Canada, I loaded 4 credit cards, Visa and MasterCard with $ to cover camino charges, I checked and double checked that the four digit codes for each worked. On getting to Spain none if the cards worked, the four digit pin not accepted. I didn’t 59€ I phone calls on supposed toll free numbers for both Visa Mastercard ( from appropriate banks) who confirmed my cards were valid and that the numbers were valid and working. They did NOT work. I had brought a lot of cash and that’s what I live on now. From my two bank cards Royal Bank and ScotiaBank I was able to withdraw cash.
Lesson: don’t count on your credit cards to work in Spain.
So sorry to hear about your difficulties. Here’s my 2 cents worth.
My Australian bank (ANZ) recommended I get a travel card as the rates are better and fees lower. I purchased a Mastercard Cash Passport card (online) and loaded with £ and € - I have been in UK and Europe. The card will convert from one currency to another if needed. You can reload with required currenciesany time but may take a day or two. I can see my balances and transactions on my phone.
The only thing I can’t do is use it online so am using my normal Visa card for online purchases. The system working well.
My daughter swears by Apple Pay of course.
 
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TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
So sorry to hear about your difficulties. Here’s my 2 cents worth.
My Australian bank (ANZ) recommended I get a travel card as the rates are better and fees lower. I purchased a Mastercard Cash Passport card (online) and loaded with £ and € - I have been in UK and Europe. The card will convert from one currency to another if needed. You can reload with required currenciesany time but may take a day or two. I can see my balances and transactions on my phone.
The only thing I can’t do is use it online so am using my normal Visa card for online purchases. The system working well.
My daughter swears by Apple Pay of course.
Travel card rates are better? Have you checked versus your daughters Apple Pay activity? Who issued your travel card? What are the conversion rates?
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I think those Visa/Mastercards that are preloaded are more like gift cards. They allow anyone to use them, and once out of your hands, there is no protecting their value. They are like carrying cash. Whether they work overseas, I’ve no idea.

If you simply put extra money on your regular credit card, so that you aren’t faced with a big bill on return, then the card should work anywhere.

I travel with two debit cards from different banks. Sometimes one won’t work, simply because the ATM isn’t making a connection to my bank, but the other will work.

Credit cards? I never needed a pin to use a credit card.
European and Canadian credit cards have a chip that requires a PIN. I discovered that at a gas station in France years ago; fortunately the older system was still working inside the shop/kiosk. (Tap of course doesn’t need the PIN for lower value transactions.)
 

TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
I think those Visa/Mastercards that are preloaded are more like gift cards. They allow anyone to use them, and once out of your hands, there is no protecting their value. They are like carrying cash. Whether they work overseas, I’ve no idea.

If you simply put extra money on your regular credit card, so that you aren’t faced with a big bill on return, then the card should work anywhere.

I travel with two debit cards from different banks. Sometimes one won’t work, simply because the ATM isn’t making a connection to my bank, but the other will work.


European and Canadian credit cards have a chip that requires a PIN. I discovered that at a gas station in France years ago; fortunately the older system was still working inside the shop/kiosk. (Tap of course doesn’t need the PIN for lower value transactions.)
Surely your credit card works up to the limit of your card? I understand the psychological part of overplaying your credit card to ease next months bill but it’s not good use of money!! Your are lending them money for nothing!
 

TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
We are just back from Spain and Portugal where we used Apple Pay. Had credit cards but never used. Apple Pay was accepted by large and small businesses. Made travel very easy.
Isn’t applepay just linked to your credit or debit card? Just a different means of fulfilment? Same rate etc?
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
I think that these banking questions are very much specific to the country in which they are issued.
... phone calls on supposed toll free numbers for both Visa Mastercard
My Canadian Visa and Mastercards give a toll-free number for Customer Service in the US and Canada. They specifically give a Canadian number that you should use to call collect for Customer Service from other countries. Toll-free numbers work only from the designated countries.
They should but the four digit pin is not accepted here in Spaon
I have never had to use a pin number to use my Canadian Visa and Mastercard credit cards in Spain. In fact, I don't think I have PIN numbers for my credit cards! I do use a PIN for my bank debit cards.

I loaded 4 credit cards, Visa and MasterCard with $ to cover camino charges
Sometimes I have paid in advance (i.e. loaded, to get a credit) so that I don't have to think about paying my monthly bill in time. However, the bank pointed out to me that pre-paying a credit card carries an additional risk. As I recall, it was something to do with the situation if the card is lost or stolen, then it could be harder to recover the pre-paid amount. Now I just arrange automatic payment of my cards.
 
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TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
I think that these banking questions are very much specific to the country in which they are issued.

My Canadian Visa and Mastercards give a toll-free number for Customer Service in the US and Canada. They specifically give a Canadian number that you should use to call collect for Customer Service from other countries. Toll-free numbers work only from the designated countries.

I have never had to use a pin number to use my Canadian Visa and Mastercard credit cards in Spain. In fact, I don't think I have PIN numbers for my credit cards! I do use a PIN for my bank debit cards.


Sometimes I have paid in advance (i.e. loaded, to get a credit) so that I don't have to think about paying my monthly bill in time. However, the bank pointed out to me that pre-paying a credit card carries an additional risk. As I recall, it was something to do with the situation if the card is lost or stolen, then it could be harder to recover the pre-paid amount. Now I just arrange automatic payment of my cards.
Don’t prepay credit cards. You are lending them money. Keep money in a savings account where you get interest!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Isn’t applepay just linked to your credit or debit card? Just a different means of fulfilment? Same rate etc?
That's my understanding for all these phone based services (ApplePay, GooglePay, etc). Only two of my current card providers support using these services, the other doesn't, or at least, not yet.

Two of the cards act as a combination debit/credit card. One simply draws against a savings account and puts it into debit up to the credit limit. The other appears to operate as a travel card, which can be loaded with different currencies at the ruling rate on the day of the transfer. I haven't bothered with this, but my wife finds it very useful when she is travelling to the US if the rates are moving around. @TravellingMan2022, your earlier comment about holding cash like this is apt, but in the current circumstances, there is such a small loss of interest for the short periods she does this the exchange rate advantage she gains outweighs this in her view. I haven't bothered to challenge that by asking her if she has confirmed this following a trip.
 

K_Lynn

Buen Camino!
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021
Prior to leaving Canada, I loaded 4 credit cards, Visa and MasterCard with $ to cover camino charges, I checked and double checked that the four digit codes for each worked. On getting to Spain none if the cards worked, the four digit pin not accepted. I didn’t 59€ I phone calls on supposed toll free numbers for both Visa Mastercard ( from appropriate banks) who confirmed my cards were valid and that the numbers were valid and working. They did NOT work. I had brought a lot of cash and that’s what I live on now. From my two bank cards Royal Bank and ScotiaBank I was able to withdraw cash.
Lesson: don’t count on your credit cards to work in Spain.
Weird. I walked last year and had no problems with my RBC CC. And I used it a lot. I would suspect that the PIN you are using is incorrect. Also: toll free calls only apply within North America for our banks, they are not global. I've never considered "loading" a CC, I showed up in Spain with 2 CC each with a zero balance at the time, and paid off any balance weekly through the app.

Sorry you had difficulty, glad you were able to use your bank cards.
 
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Ellann

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Camino 2022
I have been using Wise and Revolut in Spain and Portugal. Changed Australian dollars to Euros at .68 cents snd then withdrew 200€ from both cards with no ATM fees. I used up the balance of euros in supermarkets and cafes. I also use an HSBC card with a few hundred Aussie dollars on it. I use this to purchase groceries etc with no conversion fee. Basically at bank to bank currency conversion. I haven’t withdrawn money from ATM using HSBC because I don’t think I will need to. One has to remember when using a credit card to withdraw money from an ATM that yes there is no conversion fee but you are charged interest immediately.
 

TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
I have been using Wise and Revolut in Spain and Portugal. Changed Australian dollars to Euros at .68 cents snd then withdrew 200€ from both cards with no ATM fees. I used up the balance of euros in supermarkets and cafes. I also use an HSBC card with a few hundred Aussie dollars on it. I use this to purchase groceries etc with no conversion fee. Basically at bank to bank currency conversion. I haven’t withdrawn money from ATM using HSBC because I don’t think I will need to. One has to remember when using a credit card to withdraw money from an ATM that yes there is no conversion fee but you are charged interest immediately.
I am struggling that folks withdraw money using a credit card! Is that normal! I don’t have a credit card!
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
I am struggling that folks withdraw money using a credit card! Is that normal! I
Maybe not "normal" practice, but sometimes useful, say, if your bank card is not available or working. But as the poster pointed out...
One has to remember when using a credit card to withdraw money from an ATM that yes there is no conversion fee but you are charged interest immediately.
 

TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
Maybe not "normal" practice, but sometimes useful, say, if your bank card is not available or working. But as the poster pointed out...
Thank you! From memory in UK it was 3% fee then apr depending on how quick you paid. . Not a disaster by any mean of course!
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
, I loaded 4 credit cards, Visa and MasterCard with $ to cover camino charges,

Lesson: don’t count on your credit cards to work in Spain.
Correct me if I am wrong - but it sounds like you pre-loaded /pre-paid (debit) cards - not actual credit cards. Pre-paid cards can have issues. But regular mastercard and visa CREDIT cards work just fine. I have never had an issue with any of my normal bank debit cards or credit cards. I travelled in almost every European country without issues.
 
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Barbara

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Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
I've used Revolut, which is a prepayment card, all over the world. I top it up any time I want from my bank account using my phone app. Including in Spain, where the four digit PIN works just fine. One useful feature is that I can have more than one card on the same account, so I can have one frozen and hidden in my pack, and of the active card is stolen or lost I can freeze or kill it. New card in two working days, anywhere. Good exchange rates, too.
 

Ronald Boivin

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
I had a strange experience in Lisbon this morning at a Multibank ATM, along with few un-named other machines. I have a French debit card with BNP with a four digit pin. When I inserted my card they were asking for code that far exceeded 4 digits. There is no issue with my account because I was able to pay for lunch with a tap from my card, but the bummer is getting through the weekend with the 100 euros I have in my wallet after my last trip.
I SO understand.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015,
2016, 2018
VdlP 2023
I am struggling that folks withdraw money using a credit card! Is that normal! I don’t have a credit card!

No not normal. I only carry a credit card as emergency backup. This is because many credit cards charge very high rates of interest, and for cash withdrawals start charging interest from the moment of withdrawal, on the whole outstanding balance.

This is probably why the OP 'pre loaded' funds into the credit card. It makes sense.

I think the whole area of banking is a bit of a minefield as there are so many variables and rules depending on currency, country, bank, type of card etc etc.

Some cards sound great, but inevitably the bank is making their money from you 'somehow'.....

In my case I use a CBA 'Currency' account. It's a debit card that I load up with Euros pre Camino.
So there is no currency conversion fee. But of course there is an ATM fee. And I suspect the 'rate' that I get when loading with Euros is not the best.....

To the OPs dilemma, I seem to recall a post way back that discussed the need for some banks to have a six digit pin, whereas the cardholder only had a 4 digit pin. All mine have 4 digit pins and work fine though.....

Though I do recall on my first Camino, these debit cards did not work on my first day in SJPDP!!

I was on the phone to my bank early in the morning trying to work out the problem.
It might have been something about the cards needing to be 'activated' prior to leaving home. But they worked fine after that.
 

Kathy F.

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Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2013, CF from Lourdes 2015, CP Porto 2022
Rob, this credit card problem is not your fault. As you can tell, there are many ways using plastic can go wrong. I’m not sure there is an easy way around it since, my experience , what works one time on one card, magically doesn’t work the next time, on the same card. Carry more cash than you are used to (not too much, though). Good luck.
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
Interesting. How do the exchange rates compared to debit cards. Both the rate to load card and the transaction rates. Are there any fees. Cheeky question. Why do you use one? Feel free not to answer!
We sell a version of these prepaid debit cards at work. The people who buy them for themselves either dont want/have a credit card, or they dont want to use their own credit card on a website.
They are more often bought as gifts so people can buy whatever they like rather than a designated store.
You can draw down on the credit, eg spend at different stores, but you cant reload the card once you've used it.
 
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dougfitz

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Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
No not normal.
I think that is very much a personal view. You mightn't do it, others will. I know that I am happy to withdraw cash using a credit card. Where my card allows me to both use it as a debit and credit card, I will choose the debit option if it is presented. But there are times when it doesn't, and appears to be a normal credit transaction.
It might have been something about the cards needing to be 'activated' prior to leaving home. But they worked fine after that.
Before my wife or I travel overseas, we inform card providers where we are travelling and when we will be away so that they don't trigger their fraud prevention systems or stop normal transactions while we are on the road. It's now a pretty standard part of our trip preparation.
 

trecile

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Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I think that is very much a personal view. You mightn't do it, others will. I know that I am happy to withdraw cash using a credit card. Where my card allows me to both use it as a debit and credit card, I will choose the debit option if it is presented. But there are times when it doesn't, and appears to be a normal credit transaction.
It's not clear to me what kind of card you are talking about. I cannot use my credit card as a debit card as it's not connected to a bank account from which I can withdraw funds. If I use a credit card at an ATM what I'm doing is taking a cash advance for which I am charged interest immediately, with no grace period like I have when I use the credit card to make purchases. I never pay interest on my credit card purchases because I pay the balance in full each month.
 

Telboyo

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
Prior to leaving Canada, I loaded 4 credit cards, Visa and MasterCard with $ to cover camino charges, I checked and double checked that the four digit codes for each worked. On getting to Spain none if the cards worked, the four digit pin not accepted. I didn’t 59€ I phone calls on supposed toll free numbers for both Visa Mastercard ( from appropriate banks) who confirmed my cards were valid and that the numbers were valid and working. They did NOT work. I had brought a lot of cash and that’s what I live on now. From my two bank cards Royal Bank and ScotiaBank I was able to withdraw cash.
Lesson: don’t count on your credit cards to work in Spain.
How do you load credit cards with cash? I understand that you can put money on a prepaid debit debit card. Is revolut available as an app in Canada because that is really useful for foreign currency transactions.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015,
2016, 2018
VdlP 2023
It's not clear to me what kind of card you are talking about. I cannot use my credit card as a debit card as it's not connected to a bank account from which I can withdraw funds. If I use a credit card at an ATM what I'm doing is taking a cash advance for which I am charged interest immediately, with no grace period like I have when I use the credit card to make purchases. I never pay interest on my credit card purchases because I pay the balance in full each month.
I think this is the point..........there are so many variations of cards......and their uses......
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015,
2016, 2018
VdlP 2023
How do you load credit cards with cash? I understand that you can put money on a prepaid debit debit card. Is revolut available as an app in Canada because that is really useful for foreign currency transactions.

I have only done it when I expect to use my credit card, but might not be able to pay it off in the intrerest free period. Maybe due to internet access or something........

So I just paid extra onto the card......... so it was in 'credit'.
 
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Pilgrim9

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Time of past OR future Camino
SJPdP-SdC (2017)
SdC-Muxia-Fisterra-SdC (2017)
Lisboa-SdC (2018)
Ferrol-SdC (2018)
A few years ago I visited India and all of my credit cards and my one and only debit card stopped working on the same day very early in my trip. Great consternation because I had only a little cash.

I called each card issuer in turn and they all made sounds to the effect that someone had been attempting to use my card in a series of automatic teller machines (well, it was me, but the card issuers did not know that), that person had been repeatedly entering an incorrect PIN, and after a few incorrect PIN entries the card was automatically suspended.

This made no sense because I knew my cards' PINs and had been successfully using them in Canada and other countries for many years.

My longtime use of the PINs was part of the problem: over time I had come to rely on muscle memory to key in the PINs, without actually looking at the keypad.

The other part of the problem was that in India, the layout of the PIN keypad in many automatic teller machines is inverted as compared to Canada. Oops.

I got all of the cards reactivated that day but it taught me to not assume that all PIN keypads have the same layout.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2017
Just checking in while icing my back after moving firewood for the day. This thread caught my eye, and I might have something to contribute.

I retired a couple of years ago from 15 years of managing cash flow, international cash transactions, international tax, hedging of currency risk etc. I am not "arguing from authority" just recounting "how things were" until recently.

Country interest rate fluctuations were mild and took direction over decades. Foreign exchange rates moved a bit faster but not by much. Banks tended to trust each other and easy communication between them, along with low overnight lending rate agreements, were the norm.

Most days now the markets can leave me as confused as a chameleon in a bulk bin of fruit candies. IMHO, this situation is not getting better any time soon.

Perhaps the OP did not understand some "fine print" about the use of their cards...perhaps.

Talking to former clients, it is also extremely likely that the web of communications between banks was broken for awhile. Starting with the market turmoil in London on Sept 28, 2022 this was not uncommon. Even here in my little part of the US Northwest, we experienced difficulty in ATM usage and connections to online banking.

One now needs a "Plan B" for expenditures - whether at home or abroad, IMHO.

B
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
It's not clear to me what kind of card you are talking about.
The one I use most often is a Visa card that is linked to my savings account. As you say, if I use it as a credit card to withdraw cash, interest charges start immediately. In Australia, I am normally given the option about whether I want to withdraw cash as credit, or from my savings account. When I am given that latter option, I will use it.

I have a Mastercard that also allows me to access multiple accounts, typically in Euro, USD or GBP. In that case, one has to transfer an amount to the card account, eg from a domestic AUD account to whatever currency you want to purchase for use on one's travels. I haven't used that facility, but I am told by my wife that it works well. She typically watches the exchange rates for a couple of months before travel, and will make a decision about when and how much to put on her card in the currency for her next destination.
 

estorildon

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Don,
Welcome back! Glad that you are now on this side of the pond. Can you keep on tapping during this weekend? MM.
MM,
I am back on this side of the pond for good. Left all the storm damage behind me, lost everything in terms of my car and earthly possessions; but I am still alive. This was a swift kick in the butt to get me motivated to speed up the immigration process for a permanent move to Portugal. I had already opened an account here, so it is just matter of picking up my new debit card next week. Who knows, I may be up for a trip to see your neck of the vines some time next year. Happy holidays. I’ll let everyone know which city I decide on in the next few months. Lisbon, Cascias, Estoril, Porto, decisions, decision…
 

TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
The only region of the world that I have had issues with ATM cards (I am from UK) is South America. Brazil was particularly challenging with few banks accepting my card. Argentina too but you should never use a card for anything there as the official rate (via ATM) is £1 = ARS 165 and the ‘real rate is ’£1 = 335! i.e double!
 
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TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
A few years ago I visited India and all of my credit cards and my one and only debit card stopped working on the same day very early in my trip. Great consternation because I had only a little cash.

I called each card issuer in turn and they all made sounds to the effect that someone had been attempting to use my card in a series of automatic teller machines (well, it was me, but the card issuers did not know that), that person had been repeatedly entering an incorrect PIN, and after a few incorrect PIN entries the card was automatically suspended.

This made no sense because I knew my cards' PINs and had been successfully using them in Canada and other countries for many years.

My longtime use of the PINs was part of the problem: over time I had come to rely on muscle memory to key in the PINs, without actually looking at the keypad.

The other part of the problem was that in India, the layout of the PIN keypad in many automatic teller machines is inverted as compared to Canada. Oops.

I got all of the cards reactivated that day but it taught me to not assume that all PIN keypads have the same layout.
Yes it amazing how robotic we are when using ATMs. In China I pretty much left my card in ATMs every time as the cash and the card out in the opposite order I was used too, and I walked off once I had taken the cash with the card still in the machine!

Also when it comes to the all important moment when you choose the conversion rate at an ATM (euros or home currency) I got used to the euro option being on a particular side of the screen but nearly got caught out when it was on other side!
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
4 credit cards, Visa and MasterCard with $ to cover camino charges, I checked and double checked that the four digit codes for each worked. On getting to Spain none if the cards worked, the four digit pin not accepted
Sorry for your troubles, @Ronald Boivin. And just a word of clarification: I, and perhaps a few others, thought initially that you wrote that the PIN was not accepted because it had (only) 4 digits. I see now that I must have misunderstood, you simply said that your PIN, which happens to have 4 digits, was not accepted.

Others have already pointed out that the functionalities of a credit card may depend on a number of things, such as the issuer, the national and international transaction networks being used, options set or disabled, etc etc.

Like millions of other Europeans, I have bog standard credit cards (Visa and Mastercard). I always must enter my 4-digit PIN number when I make a purchase in a shop, hotel or restaurant and when I withdraw cash from an ATM, whether in the country where the card has been issued or in Spain. I cannot remember how long ago it was when I was last asked to sign a slip of paper instead. Of course, for the reasons mentioned by others, I rarely withdraw cash from an ATM by credit card. The credit card serves only as a back up for this purpose. Just to make sure and out of curiosity, a few years ago, I did get cash from a Spanish ATM by using my Visa card and I did enter my 4-digit code successfully. I also checked a few Spanish websites just now. 4 digits are the norm.

These days of course, whenever and wherever I can, I pay by tapping the card or by using ApplePay on my watch. No PIN required.
 
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Barbara

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
How do you load credit cards with cash? I understand that you can put money on a prepaid debit debit card. Is revolut available as an app in Canada because that is really useful for foreign currency transactions.
I don't know if you can get it in Canada. I suggest you look at the Google play store or Apple, as appropriate. You can change currency on the fly or buy when the rate is good. Can be either Visa or Mastercard or one or more of each.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I doubt that the four digit pin entered into a machine expecting a six digit pin is still a problem but you could try entering your four digit pin with two leading or trailing zeros.
 
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Mito

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF (2011, 2013, 2018) Roncesvalles-Astorga
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GUD (2019) Dovre-Trondheim
I didn’t read through all the answers but I didn’t see this suggestion in those I did read: I called all my credit cards before I left to alert them that I would be in Spain. Many cards will refuse payment if they notice an unexpected change in location. Worth a try.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
I called all my credit cards before I left to alert them that I would be in Spain.
Some banks recommend this. Other banks no longer take this information. I am aware of at least 4 major banks in Canada who do not want to be notified. For example see this Royal Bank page.

However, the banking regulations and practices vary considerably from country to country, so people should confirm this with their own bank.
 

Lost Pilgrims

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Portuguese (2017)
Visas and Mastercards work fine in Spain I think the problem is that they are prepaid Visas. I've heard that they don't work over seas.
We used prepaid cibc visa cards in Spain and Portugal in 2017 and aside from the extra fee the bank took when we did that, they worked with no issues. I did just get an email from CIBC that they were discontinuing the prepaid cards and we needed to use the balance up by a certain date.
 

Brent Mills

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del norte
Visas and Mastercards work fine in Spain I think the problem is that they are prepaid Visas. I've heard that they don't work over seas.
I’m just back from a Camino and I used a visa prepaid card (CIBC-Air Canada Conversion Card) with no issues. The ATM I used with ABANCA. Have you tried more than just one bank’s ATMs?
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Du Puy/Frances 2017 Kumano Kodo 2019
Prior to leaving Canada, I loaded 4 credit cards, Visa and MasterCard with $ to cover camino charges, I checked and double checked that the four digit codes for each worked. On getting to Spain none if the cards worked, the four digit pin not accepted. I didn’t 59€ I phone calls on supposed toll free numbers for both Visa Mastercard ( from appropriate banks) who confirmed my cards were valid and that the numbers were valid and working. They did NOT work. I had brought a lot of cash and that’s what I live on now. From my two bank cards Royal Bank and ScotiaBank I was able to withdraw cash.
Lesson: don’t count on your credit cards to work in Spain.
Did you notify your bank/s that you were going to travel overseas?
 
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TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
Some banks recommend this. Other banks no longer take this information. I am aware of at least 4 major banks in Canada who do not want to be notified. For example see this Royal Bank page.

However, the banking regulations and practices vary considerably from country to country, so people should confirm this with their own bank.
The vast majority go UK banks no longer want to be notified when a customer travels overseas.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I doubt that the four digit pin entered into a machine expecting a six digit pin is still a problem but you could try entering your four digit pin with two leading or trailing zeros.

But be careful. If you enter the wrong number 3 times the machine may keep your card!

True. It just occurred to me though to mention that leading zeros should be the first one to try. That way the ATM sees six digits entered and if it the programmers store your pin as an integer instead of a string of characters to save space and speed up comparisons you'll have a match.

Having trailing zeros you won't have a match with an integer comparison only a possibility of a character-by-character match in some strange fashion I wouldn't expect any programmer to implement.
 

HenkSlb

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2017
I doubt that the four digit pin entered into a machine expecting a six digit pin is still a problem but you could try entering your four digit pin with two leading or trailing zeros.
As a european living in Europe I have seen lots of terminals with five or six positions to enter a PIN. But they always accept a four digit PIN. If you add leading or trailing zeros to your PIN you make it an other number and it will not work.
My partner has an American debit/credit card which sometimes confuses terminals here because we do not know that combined card here. If that's the case we just shop somewhere else. Even some international airlines do not know how to handle that type of card. But then they gladly accept my european Mastercard 😁
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Time of past OR future Camino
2015 & 2016 (partial)
I had a strange experience in Lisbon this morning at a Multibank ATM, along with few un-named other machines. I have a French debit card with BNP with a four digit pin. When I inserted my card they were asking for code that far exceeded 4 digits. There is no issue with my account because I was able to pay for lunch with a tap from my card, but the bummer is getting through the weekend with the 100 euros I have in my wallet after my last trip.
ATMs in China also demand a six-digit PIN.
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Time of past OR future Camino
2015 & 2016 (partial)
Sounds like a prepaid card to me. Never used one and don’t see the point of using one versus a debit card. For the avoidance of doubt, credit and debit cards work fine in Spain and other European countries. Spain is seeing huge growth in cashless payment, with a 25% increase in Q2 this year. And there are 88 million cards in circulation.
My recommendation is a debit card from a bank that refunds all ATM fees. Mine is Schwab but there are others. And check the exchange rate! We always used to advise Americans to pay in Euro, but right now, a dollar is worth more than a euro and the trend is going up. Canadians might check their rates, too.
 
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Robo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015,
2016, 2018
VdlP 2023
I didn’t read through all the answers but I didn’t see this suggestion in those I did read: I called all my credit cards before I left to alert them that I would be in Spain. Many cards will refuse payment if they notice an unexpected change in location. Worth a try.

Yes, good advice. I do that with any overseas travel.
I find the banks are quite good at monitoring this.

I recently had a call from my bank asking if I was buying a $5,000 diamond ring in Manila!

No !!!

They said "it's OK, we declined the payment as it was outside your normal spending habits"

Then cancelled my card and sent me a new one.
Which of course is really inconvenient, particularly if you are on Camino!
 

TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
My recommendation is a debit card from a bank that refunds all ATM fees. Mine is Schwab but there are others. And check the exchange rate! We always used to advise Americans to pay in Euro, but right now, a dollar is worth more than a euro and the trend is going up. Canadians might check their rates, too.
Can you clarify. I assumed that it is always best to pay in Euros (in countries that have the Euros), irrespective of the rate versus your own country as both are dynamic and just move in line with a pre programmed ‘mark up’ !
 

TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
Yes, good advice. I do that with any overseas travel.
I find the banks are quite good at monitoring this.

I recently had a call from my bank asking if I was buying a $5,000 diamond ring in Manila!

No !!!

They said "it's OK, we declined the payment as it was outside your normal spending habits"

Then cancelled my card and sent me a new one.
Which of course is really inconvenient, particularly if you are on Camino!
Yes, good advice. I do that with any overseas travel.
I find the banks are quite good at monitoring this.

I recently had a call from my bank asking if I was buying a $5,000 diamond ring in Manila!

No !!!

They said "it's OK, we declined the payment as it was outside your normal spending habits"

Then cancelled my card and sent me a new one.
Which of course is really inconvenient, particularly if you are on Camino!
My banks in UK no longer ask for this so am quite interested how this all works. They successfully caught someone who was buying an Apple computer on my tab while I was in central America a few years back.

However whilst I was asleep in Spain last year someone bought a kitchen cabinet online from Carson City, USA. The irony is that I have been nomadic for the last two years just travelling from country to country and this would be the last thing I would ever buy and my banking records would reflect this!!!

I tend to keep the balance on my ‘active card’ low and/or ‘freeze’ it to prevent fraud but the one time I had £500 in it someone pounced. I also freeze my card as soon as I have used an ATM (lots of time spent in South Africa). And yes I’m paranoid but that doesn’t mean someone is not out to get me!
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I glanced through this meandering thread again and saw this:

four digit pin is not accepted here in Spain

That claim is not correct!

The issue that the OP is experiencing must be something else but as far as I can see it is not even clear what kind of cards this is all about. Definitely not credit cards as such, despite the thread title. “Visa Cash Card“? “Mastercard Prepaid”? One thing that I would try when phone calls to my own card issuer don‘t help: Walk into a major bank agency in a major town in Spain and ask.
 
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Molly Cassidy

Travelling light
Time of past OR future Camino
Starting May 2023 from St Jean Pied de Port
Can you clarify. I assumed that it is always best to pay in Euros (in countries that have the Euros), irrespective of the rate versus your own country as both are dynamic and just move in line with a pre programmed ‘mark up’ !
Yes, the point is your bank will always (hopefully) give you a better exchange rate than the machine. Sometimes the machine will even tell you what you would pay in your own currency and you can actually compare the rates. My experience is you save about €3-4 per transaction (possibly more for larger withdrawals) by choosing to pay in local currency.
 

TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
Yes, the point is your bank will always (hopefully) give you a better exchange rate than the machine. Sometimes the machine will even tell you what you would pay in your own currency and you can actually compare the rates. My experience is you save about €3-4 per transaction (possibly more for larger withdrawals) by choosing to pay in local currency.
Sorry I wasn’t clear. I understand all that. I thought the poster was suggesting that in the case of the consumers ‘home’ currency performing well i.e. USD vs GBP or EUR, this may change that truth but in my view it wouldn’t, well unless the USD devalued by about 10% at the moment you did transaction!
 

Molly Cassidy

Travelling light
Time of past OR future Camino
Starting May 2023 from St Jean Pied de Port
Sorry I wasn’t clear. I understand all that. I thought the poster was suggesting that in the case of the consumers ‘home’ currency performing well i.e. USD vs GBP or EUR, this may change that truth but in my view it wouldn’t, well unless the USD devalued by about 10% at the moment you did transaction!
Yes, I was agreeing with you! :)
 
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I thought the poster was suggesting that in the case of the consumers ‘home’ currency performing well i.e. USD vs GBP or EUR, this may change that truth but in my view it wouldn’t, well unless the USD devalued by about 10% at the moment you did transaction!
I understood the comment in the same way as you did and I, too, felt that it was another claim that was plain wrong or, at least, made no sense to me. Although I must admit that very recently, I did watch how the pound moved against the euro hour by hour and even minute by minute to see whether I had picked a good moment for a (minor) transfer from a € bank account to a £ bank account. But that was more out of curiosity than serious interest in currency movements. Things have calmed down since then. :cool:
 
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Hiking Traveler

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Porto Camino
Here is my own experience: I use an ATM card for withdrawing cash and generally don't have a problem in international cities. However, in Barcelona I could not withdraw any cash from any ATM. The strange thing was, the transaction would occur, then cancelled before disbursing the cash. I checked my account and there it was, transaction made, then redeposited immediately. This was only in Barcelona. I had no issues anywhere else.
 

Rita Flower

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Via del la Plata
I think those Visa/Mastercards that are preloaded are more like gift cards. They allow anyone to use them, and once out of your hands, there is no protecting their value. They are like carrying cash. Whether they work overseas, I’ve no idea.

If you simply put extra money on your regular credit card, so that you aren’t faced with a big bill on return, then the card should work anywhere.

I travel with two debit cards from different banks. Sometimes one won’t work, simply because the ATM isn’t making a connection to my bank, but the other will work.


European and Canadian credit cards have a chip that requires a PIN. I discovered that at a gas station in France years ago; fortunately the older system was still working inside the shop/kiosk. (Tap of course doesn’t need the PIN for lower value transactions.)
I have checked the rates and that why I got the Mastercard Cash Passport. I got it specifically for o/s travel. I can load it with many currencies. It’s not a gift card. It is like a debit card with a pin and strong security. I can lock it within seconds by logging into my account on my phone or calling Mastercard if it is lost or stolen. They can also help you access any money on your card if it is cancelled.
We all have our preferred way of doing things. I was just sharing this as an option that may be of interest to the OP or others who are reading this thread.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
1989
I have never had to use a pin number to use my Canadian Visa and Mastercard credit cards in Spain. In fact, I don't think I have PIN numbers for my credit cards! I do use a PIN for my bank debit cards.
I don't need a PIN to tap my Canadian Visa and Mastercard credit cards. But when I insert them into a chip reader to pay for something, I am asked for a four-digit PIN here in Canada. And after a certain amount of transactions tapped, the bank has asked me to insert the card and input my PIN. I'm guessing that is to limit the amount of transactions that can be done with a lost or stolen card. I can imagine it might be the same in Spain.
 

Pafayac

On the way...
Time of past OR future Camino
2021: Le Puy-Cahors. 2022: Cahors-Puente La Reina.
I don't need a PIN to tap my Canadian Visa and Mastercard credit cards. But when I insert them into a chip reader to pay for something, I am asked for a four-digit PIN here in Canada. And after a certain amount of transactions tapped, the bank has asked me to insert the card and input my PIN. I'm guessing that is to limit the amount of transactions that can be done with a lost or stolen card. I can imagine it might be the same in Spain.
In European Union, either you insert your card or you pay contactless:
- If you insert your card, you always must input your PIN (whatever the amount of the payment is).
- If you pay contactless, the authorization server can tell you to insert your card (if the maximum amount/number of transactions have been reached). But otherwise, for amounts below 50 €, you do not have to input your PIN.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
In European Union, either you insert your card or you pay contactless:
- If you insert your card, you always must input your PIN (whatever the amount of the payment is).
Actually, for those of us (probably mostly in the US) who don't have a PIN for our credit cards, we must sign for the purchase, which can be a real pain for the merchant.
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
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I had a strange experience in Lisbon this morning at a Multibank ATM, along with few un-named other machines. I have a French debit card with BNP with a four digit pin. When I inserted my card they were asking for code that far exceeded 4 digits. There is no issue with my account because I was able to pay for lunch with a tap from my card, but the bummer is getting through the weekend with the 100 euros I have in my wallet after my last trip.
From what I have experienced this year, that's typically from some form of material damage to the card itself, which can even just be as simple as it's dirty.

But it can also happen if the chip is not properly embedded into the plastic.
 

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
My affair
Actually, for those of us (probably mostly in the US) who don't have a PIN for our credit cards, we must sign for the purchase, which can be a real pain for the merchant.
As front runners in many aspects of technology I’m frequently amazed by the analogue financial systems in the states. Could you not use apple pay, or the android version thereof, to effectively create a ‘contactless’ card via some device?

I’m something of a Luddite when it comes to what I consider to be unnecessary technology. I have a splendid library of actual books and the whole period between vinyl and vinyl passed me by; but using a card with a deliberately low credit limit - which is hard to maintain - I’m a convert to just passing my phone over the terminal with gay abandon.
 
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pepi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Last: Sept 2022
next 🤷
Last time I was in Spain using that French debit card with a 4 digit pin, no problemo. I wonder when that all changed?
Using Visa-, Masters- and even my Amexco CC –which is not very popular– from Swiss issuers, they all have 6-digit pins and all worked on the CF last month, except in one hotel in Pamplona, where the receptionist insisted so vividly that I needed a 4-digit code, that I temporarily mixed-up my 6-digit one.; lost nerve and gave up before a final third attempt.😳

Many write about 4-digit pins here, which would definitely not work in Switzerland, Germany, Austria Italy, Hing Kong and Japan, this I am very sure. In the US, they used 4-digits pind for a long time, while in Europe it was considered unsafe, but as I did not travel to the US for a number of years now, last time I was they still used the old ratched.
There must be CC pro out there who can shed light into this mess!
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
Many write about 4-digit pins here, which would definitely not work in Switzerland, Germany, Austria Italy, Hing Kong and Japan, this I am very sure.
I have UK bank accounts and have used my 4-digit PINs in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy and Japan. And a number of other countries too. I have never been given anything other than a 4-digit PIN by any card issuer.
 

pepi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Last: Sept 2022
next 🤷
I have UK bank accounts and have used my 4-digit PINs in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy and Japan. And a number of other countries too. I have never been given anything other than a 4-digit PIN by any card issuer.
🤷 strange!
 
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TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
I have UK bank accounts and have used my 4-digit PINs in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy and Japan. And a number of other countries too. I have never been given anything other than a 4-digit PIN by any card issuer.
I have a UK card and my 4 digit pin works pretty much everywhere. North America, South America, Asia, Australia, Europe. Never even heard of a six digit pin to be honest though not doubting they exist.
 

TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
Using Visa-, Masters- and even my Amexco CC –which is not very popular– from Swiss issuers, they all have 6-digit pins and all worked on the CF last month, except in one hotel in Pamplona, where the receptionist insisted so vividly that I needed a 4-digit code, that I temporarily mixed-up my 6-digit one.; lost nerve and gave up before a final third attempt.😳

Many write about 4-digit pins here, which would definitely not work in Switzerland, Germany, Austria Italy, Hing Kong and Japan, this I am very sure. In the US, they used 4-digits pind for a long time, while in Europe it was considered unsafe, but as I did not travel to the US for a number of years now, last time I was they still used the old ratched.
There must be CC pro out there who can shed light into this mess!
That’s just not true!!
 

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
My affair
I have UK bank accounts and have used my 4-digit PINs in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy and Japan. And a number of other countries too. I have never been given anything other than a 4-digit PIN by any card issuer.
Yup. I used my 4-digit pins in Italy earlier this year.

Don’t get me started on why Amex have a 4-digit CCV when everyone else (clearly I don’t mean ‘everyone’) uses 3.

Someone managed to make shipping containers to standard sizes, surely it’s within the wit of man to sort this out.

Now what was I doing ..
 

TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
Yup. I used my 4-digit pins in Italy earlier this year.

Don’t get me started on why Amex have a 4-digit CCV when everyone else (clearly I don’t mean ‘everyone’) uses 3.

Someone managed to make shipping containers to standard sizes, surely it’s within the wit of man to sort this out.

Now what was I doing ..
In the last 7 days i have used my 4 digit pin in Italy, Germany, Singapore and Australia. I doubt if any UK customers even know a six digit pin even exists!
 

TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
Actually, for those of us (probably mostly in the US) who don't have a PIN for our credit cards, we must sign for the purchase, which can be a real pain for the merchant.
Must admit i
As front runners in many aspects of technology I’m frequently amazed by the analogue financial syestems in the states. Could you not use apple pay, or the android version thereof, to effectively create a ‘contactless’ card via some device?

I’m something of a Luddite when it comes to what I consider to be unnecessary technology. I have a splendid library of actual books and the whole period between vinyl and vinyl passed me by; but using a card with a deliberately low credit limit - which is hard to maintain - I’m a convert to just passing my phone over the terminal with gay abandon.
Must admit I am shocked too given how tech advanced US is!
 
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TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
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In European Union, either you insert your card or you pay contactless:
- If you insert your card, you always must input your PIN (whatever the amount of the payment is).
- If you pay contactless, the authorization server can tell you to insert your card (if the maximum amount/number of transactions have been reached). But otherwise, for amounts below 50 €, you do not have to input your PIN.
Contactless can be used in many countries not just EU. Think most European Countries and beyond. Just used mine in Sydney! Yes after so many transactions a pin needs to be used as a one off for security (think mine may be 30 transactions. The limit was raised by some banks to £100 during Covid I think for hygiene but not sure latest info!
 

pepi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Last: Sept 2022
next 🤷
That’s just not true!!
Screenshot 2022-10-17 at 22.33.26.png

Look up https://www.sc.com/my/promotions/pin-pay/

PS: I googled around and found, that indeed, a card owner can choose 4-6 pins-codes, I, therefore, concede that I was wrong about not being able to use 4-digits in many countries.
Otoh, in my country, 6-digits are widely used, don't know anyone using on 4 digits. That makes me wonder how come my 6-digits work in Spain.
 
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