There's something every traveler from Australia needs to consider when coming to Europe. Does my credit card have a "chip"?

The Chip in a modern card allows you to make credit card purchases without having to sign your name. Instead you enter a pin number like you would with an ATM card.


Why does this matter? Well if for example you are going to rent or buy a car and travel Europe you may not be able to buy fuel in some towns without one of these cards. Most towns have a service station, and many of those service stations are automated. That means there is no-one there to take your money.

If your card requires a signature, then you simply cannot buy fuel unless there is an attendant at the site.

A card without a chip can also make purchases in some European super markets difficult as their card machines will only accept a card with an embedded chip.

If your bank tells you they can't supply a credit card with a chip, or that you don't need one, then find another bank. Otherwise be prepared to carry lots of cash, and plan fuel stops well in advance.




Last Updated (Saturday, 23 October 2010 06:44)