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If one has a chip-and-pin card (not chip-and-signature), is it possible to use it in the US at this time? What is the experience like? For instance, in many restaurants in Europe the waiters will bring the credit card reader directly to your table so that you can type in the PIN (and also enter the tip electronically), which is ideal also for security -- the card never leaves your sight. In the US in my experience the waiters take the card away to use at a central kiosk and then return with the receipt to sign. (This is just one example but I think it illustrates the problem.) How does this affect the ability of US merchants to take a credit card that uses chip-and-pin technology, such as a European credit card?

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Not sure there's a universal answer - it depends on the store and their credit card machine –  Gagravarr Jun 12 '14 at 8:42
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Your European card can be swiped as well just as a credit card without the chip on it. –  Aditya Somani Jun 12 '14 at 12:45
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Are you asking about cards that have a chip-and-pin as well as a magnetic stripe, or cards with no stripe? –  Nate Eldredge Jun 12 '14 at 18:03
    
@NateEldredge There are credit cards with no stripe on them? :O –  Aditya Somani Jun 14 '14 at 8:46

3 Answers 3

From an equivalent question at Money.SE:

US ATMs and POS require magnetic strip, chip-and-pin only cards will not work almost anywhere in the US. This is starting to change, especially after the Target fiasco, but we're not there yet.

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Currently I live in the US but I use only my European chip credit card. It works everywhere without any problems. The merchants just swipe it and I'm good to go.

I travel frequently and the only inconvenience is at gas stations where I have to go inside to pay. I cannot use my credit card to pay at the pump because it requires to enter a ZIP code. Just a minor annoyance.

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You may find that "00000" or "99999" works fine. :) –  Greg Hewgill Jun 13 '14 at 3:40
    
@GregHewgill Thanks for the advice. I heard about this and tried it several times but never worked for me. –  K L Jun 13 '14 at 11:57
    
That assumes your card has a magnetic strip and the chip, (my Canadian card works like yours). If the OP's card doesn't have a magnetic strip, it won't work –  Blackbird57 Jun 13 '14 at 15:33
    
@Blackbird57 Yes, it does have both - magnetic strip and a chip. –  K L Jun 13 '14 at 15:58
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I used to be stuck when required to enter a zip code. On my last trip I found that entering the first 5 digits of my home country address's equivalent to the ZIP code worked for me –  jogabonito Jul 16 '14 at 9:16

As a Canadian travelling to the US, I am always taken aback when I need to sign slips of paper when making purchases. The joke is that instead of having my card signed, I have written "ASK FOR ID" in the signature field. Since I've never been asked for ID, it's clear that no one is checking the signatures! This is somehow supposed to be more secure?

All credit cards, even the pin&chip cards, have a magnetic strip as backup to deal with legacy equipment, so European and Canadian cards will work in the US (although you'll need a pen).

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I think chip and pin are relatively recent in Canada, it used to be the same there even 3 or 4 years ago, wasn't it? –  Vince May 21 at 20:20
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the magnetic strip that today is a backup was once the cool new thing not all terminals could handle, which is why our cards still have raised numbers across the front for scrunchswiping the carbon imprinter across. And our new tap-only cards have chip-and-pin for backup when tap doesn't work. –  Kate Gregory May 21 at 20:36
    
@KateGregory contactless (tap) cards generally have a per-transaction limit, so you need chip-and-pin when the amount is above the contactless limit (£20 in the UK) –  Richard Gadsden Jul 20 at 9:58

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