This fall’s trip to Europe has me thinking about Chip & PIN credit cards. I may never forget running up and down the platform at the train station in Rome very late one evening trying to buy a ticket from Roma Termini to FCO with no luck because I did not have a credit card with a stupid chip in it. As it turns out, I need not have run so much because they took cash on the train, thankfully. Suffice it to say I got my exercise that night. While it turned out ok in the end, I haven’t stopped asking every credit card company I’ve done business with when they would be issuing Chip & PIN cards.
Each of my emails has been met with a response that merchants are required to accept the card I have. That might be true, but try telling that to the ticket machines on the platform at Roma Termini. So here’s the discussion point….. I’ve got a trip to Europe coming up, and I’ve been thinking about pocketing the Chase BA Visa just because of the chip. But that card like most US issued Chip cards at this point is “Chip & Signature.” Would I be able to buy petrol at an automated station in Tuscany with one of those? I’m not so sure. Will one of the US issued Chip & Signature cards be good enough? I’d love to hear about your experiences on this.