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Credit Card Quirkiness - Booking French Train Tickets Online

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CFx2, CPx1
I just scored a 42Euro 2nd Class seat on the 10.29am Paris/Montparnasse to Biarritz TGV on the 27th of August. Booked & paid by internet using my Visa Card.
I had just previously tried three times to book a iDTGV 2nd Class seat on the SAME TRAIN (it was cheaper at 36Euro) but had the same Visa Card declined three times.

This lends credence to the view that the French actively 'save' the more heavily discounted iDTGV fares for their own citizens and other selected nationals, by screening for the credit card's bank/country of issue.
Following advice to use a 'French' website to access the best available fares I booked through http://www.voyages-sncf.com/ using Google Chrome's browser based translation service to find my way around the site. Took a little time and patience but I got there.

I am aware that some forum members have had some success accessing these cheaper iDTGV fares using visa from a UK bank, or master card from Bank of America.
 
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Deleted member 3000

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Your credit card company may decline foreign transactions when your current history is solely domestic purchases. It is part of their fraud prevention program. When you head for Spain, be sure to notify your credit card company of your travel dates, or your credit card may be useless! Ditto ATM card ...
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CFx2, CPx1
JohnnieWalker said:
and cancel the milk and newspaper delivery :wink:
It's time for a new life mate, I've already cancelled and sold nearly everything.
I am one who believes that happiness (which I define as being 'contentment with fire') is best achieved by the accumulation of experience rather than assets.
The disposal of assets one collects when settled for a while therefore holds no terrors.
On the contrary it points towards great adventures ahead, in the construction of a new life.
I now see before me the museums and music of Amsterdam, street skating in Paris on a friday night http://www.pari-roller.com/index.php?p=101 , Sainte Chapelle and the Museum D'Orsay, the TGV ride down to the beaches of Biarritz, St Jean then the Camino, touring Santiago on a Segway, Barcelona FC and Gaudi, Shakespeare at the Globe and Chelsea FC at Stamford Bridge.
The view is misty after that but I see images of the South Island of New Zealand in their summer.

Wow, did I get off topic or what.
What a life this is we lead.
Thanks for the tips and advice guys.
 

jirit

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2007,
Via Francigena Italy, 2008,
Jakobsweg Austria 2010,
Camino Frances 2011,
Le Puy to Lourdes 2012,
Via de la Plata 2013,
Future:
Ökumenischer (Via Regia), Germany,
Lycian Way, Turkey
gerardcarey said:
I just scored a 42Euro 2nd Class seat on the 10.29am Paris/Montparnasse to Biarritz TGV on the 27th of August. Booked & paid by internet using my Visa Card.
I had just previously tried three times to book a iDTGV 2nd Class seat on the SAME TRAIN (it was cheaper at 36Euro) but had the same Visa Card declined three times.

This lends credence to the view that the French actively 'save' the more heavily discounted iDTGV fares for their own citizens and other selected nationals, by screening for the credit card's bank/country of issue.
Following advice to use a 'French' website to access the best available fares I booked through http://www.voyages-sncf.com/ using Google Chrome's browser based translation service to find my way around the site. Took a little time and patience but I got there.

I am aware that some forum members have had some success accessing these cheaper iDTGV fares using visa from a UK bank, or master card from Bank of America.

I discovered the long hard way that the special IDTGV tickets are for French nationals only and the way the system blocks non French nationals from buying the tickets is trapping non French credit cards.
 
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Canuck

Veteran wanderer
Year of past OR future Camino
?
jirit said:
... IDTGV tickets are for French nationals only and the way the system blocks non French nationals from buying the tickets is trapping non French credit cards.

Wrong!
Read the fine prints!

CONDITIONS GENERALES DE VENTE iDTGV:

Les modes de paiement acceptés sont :

-les cartes de paiement émises en France par les réseaux Carte Bleue, EUROCARD MASTERCARD et VISA ;
-les cartes de paiement émises en Union Européenne, aux Etats Unis, en Andorre, en Suisse, à Monaco et au Liechtenstein par les réseaux EUROCARD, MASTERCARD et VISA ;
 

jirit

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2007,
Via Francigena Italy, 2008,
Jakobsweg Austria 2010,
Camino Frances 2011,
Le Puy to Lourdes 2012,
Via de la Plata 2013,
Future:
Ökumenischer (Via Regia), Germany,
Lycian Way, Turkey
Canuck said:
jirit said:
... IDTGV tickets are for French nationals only and the way the system blocks non French nationals from buying the tickets is trapping non French credit cards.

Wrong!
Read the fine prints!

CONDITIONS GENERALES DE VENTE iDTGV:

Les modes de paiement acceptés sont :

-les cartes de paiement émises en France par les réseaux Carte Bleue, EUROCARD MASTERCARD et VISA ;
-les cartes de paiement émises en Union Européenne, aux Etats Unis, en Andorre, en Suisse, à Monaco et au Liechtenstein par les réseaux EUROCARD, MASTERCARD et VISA ;

Thanks!

Nice information to know now, but it would be great if the SNCF site and office actually made this information readily available to the non French national/ non eu user. Could never find this information on the actual sncf site. Even when my repeated attempts to process the transaction with my canadian credit cards, there was no information on help screens. Even after repeated emails to their office, they provided no such information, actually suggesting as a canadian credit card user the transaction should have worked. I even contacted another person based in Paris who has a website on booking and traveling by train in france, who was unaware of these conditions.

Most people had come the conclusion that these types of tickets were off limits for select individuals.

So it seems you are one of the few that knows about this quirky credit card requirement for these tickets!

Obviously Canadian and australian credit cards are no welcomed for some strange reason as least when booking these types of tickets. (I also heard from selected us nationals that selected us credit cards also did work btw)
 

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