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Lack of PIN-enabled Chase CHIP card impacts acceptance in Italy?

Lack of PIN-enabled Chase CHIP card impacts acceptance in Italy?

Old Jul 22, 17, 9:43 am
  #1  
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Lack of PIN-enabled CHIP Chase Sapphire Reserve card impacts acceptance in Italy?

I am traveling to Italy soon and am wondering whether the Chase Sapphire and Chase Freedom card will be accepted at hotels, restaurants, etc., given that these cards are not PIN enabled. Let me know your experience.

Last edited by edealinfo12345; Jul 22, 17 at 4:51 pm
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Old Jul 22, 17, 9:50 am
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Freedom applies a 3% foreign transaction fee. I would not use it outside the USA, even with the 5X dining bonus.
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Old Jul 22, 17, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
Freedom applies a 3% foreign transaction fee. I would not use it outside the USA, even with the 5X dining bonus.
My question pertained to the "acceptance" of non-PIN enabled credit cards in Italy, not whether any surcharges apply. In any case, I didn't mention the Freedom card anywhere in my question. I was actually planning to use the Chase Sapphire Reserve. So my original question still holds and the reason I am asking the question is so I may determine if I can take a minimum amount of cash and rely on my credit cards, or would have to take cash to fund expenses if the non PIN enabled card is not generally accepted
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Old Jul 22, 17, 10:17 am
  #4  
mia
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Originally Posted by edealinfo12345 View Post
...wondering whether the Chase Sapphire and Chase Freedom card will be accepted....
Originally Posted by edealinfo12345 View Post
... I didn't mention the Freedom card anywhere in my question....
I do realize PIN is the primary focus of your question, which others will address. You may also wish to edit your original post to clarify that you will be using Sapphire Reserve rather than Sapphire Preferred or the free version of Sapphire.

Will you be using the card mainly at hotels, restaurants, attractions and shops in the typical tourist districts? Will you travel between cities by rail? Will you have a smartphone with Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay enabled?

Last edited by mia; Jul 22, 17 at 10:54 am
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Old Jul 22, 17, 4:55 pm
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
I do realize PIN is the primary focus of your question, which others will address. You may also wish to edit your original post to clarify that you will be using Sapphire Reserve rather than Sapphire Preferred or the free version of Sapphire.
Done!

Originally Posted by mia View Post
Will you be using the card mainly at hotels, restaurants, attractions and shops in the typical tourist districts? Will you travel between cities by rail? Will you have a smartphone with Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay enabled?
Yes...mainly for hotels, restaurants, tourist sites (museums, etc), and shops. I may travel by train but have not decided as yet. I will not be using my smartphone for payments. (As a side question, does Samsung Pay need wifi or data service for payment and how widely accepted is it in Italy?)
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Old Jul 22, 17, 5:48 pm
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Just moved back from Italy after 3 1/2 years there...you will be fine...every place will take it no issues. You don't need a Pin in Italy except an unattended gas station (maybe) and a train station...but even then just go to the window...you'll be fine.
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Old Jul 22, 17, 5:49 pm
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Originally Posted by edealinfo12345 View Post
Done!



Yes...mainly for hotels, restaurants, tourist sites (museums, etc), and shops. I may travel by train but have not decided as yet. I will not be using my smartphone for payments. (As a side question, does Samsung Pay need wifi or data service for payment and how widely accepted is it in Italy?)
They call it contact less..Italy is not as adapted as other countries, but places take it..if you see the contact less symbol it should work.
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Old Jul 23, 17, 11:55 am
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I just got back from Italy and with one possible exception I had zero problems with various chip and sig cards. It is probably not a bad idea to have a pen handy as sometimes the cashiers will have to fumble around to find one if you are at a less touristy place.

The only place I might have had an issue was an unattended ticket machine. Not sure what the issue was because while the main screen had English as an option once you went to use your card you had to use the LCD screen on the card acceptance terminal and that was in Italian. I couldn't decipher what it was asking/telling me so I ended up using cash to buy the tickets.
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Old Jul 23, 17, 1:48 pm
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Originally Posted by navyitaly View Post
They call it contact less..Italy is not as adapted as other countries, but places take it..if you see the contact less symbol it should work.
If OP is using Samsung Pay it likely won't matter either way thanks to its ability to send magnetic pulses to the terminal to emulate a card swipe. Explaining that it's how you want to pay, especially with a language barrier, is another issue.
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Old Jul 23, 17, 5:46 pm
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Originally Posted by navyitaly View Post
......you will be fine...every place will take it no issues.
Thanks

Originally Posted by 36902BRF View Post
I just got back from Italy and with one possible exception I had zero problems with various chip and sig cards.
Thanks

Last edited by mia; Jul 26, 17 at 5:06 am Reason: Consolidate consecutive replies and prune quotations.
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Old Jul 24, 17, 4:31 am
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Originally Posted by 36902BRF View Post
I just got back from Italy and with one possible exception I had zero problems with various chip and sig cards. It is probably not a bad idea to have a pen handy as sometimes the cashiers will have to fumble around to find one if you are at a less touristy place.

The only place I might have had an issue was an unattended ticket machine. Not sure what the issue was because while the main screen had English as an option once you went to use your card you had to use the LCD screen on the card acceptance terminal and that was in Italian. I couldn't decipher what it was asking/telling me so I ended up using cash to buy the tickets.
I live in Belgium and the story is the same here and in France--anywhere you interact with a human, your chip+sig card will work fine, though the clerk may be annoyed because s/he has to find a pen. At least half the time, though, they just throw the "extra" slip out not knowing what it is.

Automated kiosks often won't take cards without PINs; here in Brussels that'd be ticket machines for the metro and the train system. You can also buy tickets from a real human, and in both cases the chip+sig card works fine. (And for SNCB you can also use their iOS or Android app, which takes your American card just fine)

I have Belgian cards, but 99% of the time I use my CSR because the rewards program is far more generous than anything here.

ETA: <hangs motorcycle helmet in shame>... pay at the pump fuel terminals. I have never had one of these anywhere in Europe accept my CSR. First Tech or a Belgian card to the rescue. This is particularly annoying in Belgium where lots of gas stations in town are closed altogether on Sunday, so the cardlock is the only way to buy fuel. With no way to pay cash, it's very possible that a tourist in a rental car could get stranded in the countryside on a Sunday or after 8pm Mon-Sat.

Last edited by der_saeufer; Aug 3, 17 at 6:26 am
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Old Jul 25, 17, 8:54 pm
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Originally Posted by der_saeufer View Post
I live in Belgium and the story is the same here and in France--anywhere you interact with a human, your chip+sig card will work fine, though the clerk may be annoyed because s/he has to find a pen. ...
Thanks

Last edited by mia; Jul 26, 17 at 5:07 am Reason: Prune quotation.
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Old Jul 26, 17, 2:34 pm
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I was in Italy last summer and had no problem with a Visa Card (not Chase) with no Pin. For cash, I found my ATM card was the most economical, but then, my ATM card does not charge fees for other bank's ATMs so YMMV.
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Old Jul 31, 17, 11:49 am
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on the other hand...

I lived in Europe for many years and still occasionally travel there, usually to Belgium and Italy. I agree with all earlier posts with one addition. At train and subway stations, especially later in the evening, there are not always employees available to sell tickets at every station. In those cases, having a Chip & PIN card is really beneficial. (A Barclay Aviator is my Chip & PIN backup, with CSR being my first choice.) In my experience, sometime human attendants are absent late at night at service stations in Germany and Belgium. Unattended automated parking lots, especially late at night, can also present a challenge to those traveling with only a signature card. Again, a Chip & PIN card deals with these issues nicely.
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Old Jul 31, 17, 9:20 pm
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Originally Posted by Brussels View Post
I lived in Europe for many years and still occasionally travel there, usually to Belgium and Italy. I agree with all earlier posts with one addition. At train and subway stations, especially later in the evening, there are not always employees available to sell tickets at every station. In those cases, having a Chip & PIN card is really beneficial. (A Barclay Aviator is my Chip & PIN backup, with CSR being my first choice.) In my experience, sometime human attendants are absent late at night at service stations in Germany and Belgium. Unattended automated parking lots, especially late at night, can also present a challenge to those traveling with only a signature card. Again, a Chip & PIN card deals with these issues nicely.
^

I agree with this. Sure, you can get by with a chip and sig card but it is nice to have a chip and PIN as backup. I have a Barclay Ring for this (no rewards, it's in my wallet exclusively for when I need a chip and PIN card) and it's so nice to be able to skip a long line to buy tickets from a window and use a kiosk instead, or park in a self pay lot with confidence, or know that I can buy gas without having to find an attendant.
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