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Passport required to use credit card (infrequent)

Passport required to use credit card (infrequent)

Old Mar 18, 14, 3:54 pm
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Passport required to use credit card (infrequent)

I just returned from Peru last week and during my visit, I experienced something that was new. On two separate occasions, when I attempted to use my MasterCard (once at Falabella and once at Pardos in Miraflores), they required my passport for id confirmation. Pardos was willing to accept my U.S. drivers license but Falabella would not, thus requiring me to pay cash. I was very surprised by both incidents because I've not been asked to show a passport to use my MasterCard before and of course my passport is where I think it should be, locked in the hotel safe.

My next trip to Peru is coming up in May and I'd like to know whether this is going to be an increasing trend since I'll have 24 students with me who want to use a credit card.
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Old Mar 18, 14, 4:03 pm
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As far as I can remember, I have almost always been asked to show a form of identification when I have paid with a credit card. The only ID I carry with me is my FL driver's license since I also leave my passport in a secure place when visiting Peru. I have not encountered a situation where I couldn't pay without showing my passport - unless it is something new (last time I was there was in November).

I wonder if a photocopy of the passport, along with the DL would be enough to convince them that the card its actually yours. Maybe I'll try that if I go to Falabella when I go back within the next month or so.
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Old Mar 18, 14, 4:11 pm
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I visited Peru several times last year (and have a visit coming up), and I have rarely (if ever) been required to show my passport. I don't routinely carry my passport, but I always carry a photocopy.

When using a credit card, I usually have to write on the credit card slip a document number, and I am (sometimes) asked to produce the document that bears that number. Because I leave my passport in the safe, I usually provide my California driver's license number instead, which I can produce if asked.
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Old Mar 18, 14, 6:39 pm
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A passport card may be handy in situations such as these.
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Old Mar 18, 14, 7:21 pm
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Were these large transactions? This kind of request is not new in Latin America - it's happened to me periodically in Chile over the years, although it's not particularly frequent now. Once I had to haggle with a bookstore clerk in Santiago to use my card to buy one book - frustrating, but what can you do.
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Old Mar 19, 14, 7:34 am
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Not a gringo thing. Peruvians have to produce their DNI as identification as well. Sometimes they ask for DNI even when paying cash, this you can refuse. Solution: as above, just carry a copy of your passport, a good idea for other reasons anyway. I've never had a problem using a copy.
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Old Mar 19, 14, 7:59 am
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Originally Posted by bingocallerb22 View Post
Not a gringo thing. Peruvians have to produce their DNI as identification as well. Sometimes they ask for DNI even when paying cash, this you can refuse. Solution: as above, just carry a copy of your passport, a good idea for other reasons anyway. I've never had a problem using a copy.
In the past, I've found they're OK if you just write any number down that looks like it could be for an ID. Give them 8-10 random digits and see what happens
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Old Mar 25, 14, 2:23 pm
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Originally Posted by M60_to_LGA View Post
Were these large transactions? This kind of request is not new in Latin America - it's happened to me periodically in Chile over the years, although it's not particularly frequent now. Once I had to haggle with a bookstore clerk in Santiago to use my card to buy one book - frustrating, but what can you do.
Sorry I'm so slow answering your question. These were not large transactions. In both cases the total was approximately 300 soles. During the course of my study abroad trips I often buy group meals that exceed 2000 soles and I've not been required to show my passport. They almost always want your passport # in Chile, but I've never been asked to show my passport.
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Old Mar 25, 14, 2:25 pm
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Originally Posted by M60_to_LGA View Post
In the past, I've found they're OK if you just write any number down that looks like it could be for an ID. Give them 8-10 random digits and see what happens
Well, not really an issue since I know my passport #.

Again, maybe these were just isolated incidents and/or maybe it's just a new policy at Falabella. I do think, however, that for my next trip in May that I'll start carrying a copy of my passport in my wallet.
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Old Mar 27, 14, 2:39 pm
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Update: I've been traveling throughout Peru for the past week, using my credit card several times each day. Most of the time I just write down my CA driver's license number in the space labelled "DOC: on the receipt, and it doesn't go beyond that. Sometimes, they ask to see the actual ID itself. Less often, before providing a receipt to sign, they ask to see my passport, and I produce the copy. They enter the passport number into the cash register, and the number (well, the last 8 digits of it) prints out on the receipt.

Today I got pushback for the first time, from Tottus (a grocery/goods store) who wanted to see my actual passport, not a copy, for a credit card purchase. It wasn't a large amount, only about S./100. (Ironically, last week I presented the copy at the exact same store, and it was accepted without question.) After a bit of a discussion, Tottus accepted my CA DL instead of the passport.

Personally, I have never felt comfortable walking around with my passport, so given the fact that the copy has been accepted in every other case I've presented it, I don't think I'll change my strategy just yet. YMMV.
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Old Mar 28, 14, 9:06 am
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I was asked for my passport # for the first time last night, after about a dozen or so transactions on my card in the last week. I made a couple of S/.150 charges in Lima and they didn't bat an eye or ask for ID, but S/.50 at a hole in the wall in Cuzco warranted a doc #. Doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason, other than perhaps the comfort level of the merchant on a chargeback.

I, like mikew99, don't carry my passport book around with me, and thusfar it hasn't been a problem.
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Old Mar 31, 14, 7:38 pm
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I usually don't carry my passport when I go to the States, Europe, etc.. I've never been asked for my passport to show with the credit card, except the hotel just when I arrive of course. In Argentina, they ask for your passport at banks for changing dollars to pesos, but that's it.

Weird they asked for your actual passport, that must be the store policy, not a law, I guess.
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Old Mar 31, 14, 8:00 pm
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Originally Posted by Villavic View Post
I usually don't carry my passport when I go to the States, Europe, etc.. I've never been asked for my passport to show with the credit card, except the hotel just when I arrive of course. In Argentina, they ask for your passport at banks for changing dollars to pesos, but that's it.

Weird they asked for your actual passport, that must be the store policy, not a law, I guess.
Why you would want to change dollars to pesos at a bank in Argentina (presumably that pays the official rate) is another issue...
(unless no one else is offering the blue rate...)
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Old Mar 31, 14, 8:54 pm
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Originally Posted by AA_EXP09 View Post
Why you would want to change dollars to pesos at a bank in Argentina (presumably that pays the official rate) is another issue...
(unless no one else is offering the blue rate...)
ha haaa.. I was expecting that comment, since I forgot to say that was several years ago. Last month I went to Mendoza harvest (vendimia!) and of course I change thru the "dollar blue"..
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Old Apr 3, 14, 3:42 pm
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INDECOPI regulation requires showing passport/DNI/CE when using credit cards without chip. This isn't an issue European or Peruvian cards as almost all of them requires using PIN instead of signature. Often other types of photo "ids" (student cards etc) are accepted but in theory all foreigners are required to show either passport or carnet de extranjeria when using credit cards without chip.
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