In increasing portions of the world, and especially in Europe, most debit and credit cards have a chip on them, like this one:

Chip and Pin credit card, from www.flickr.com/photos/virginmoney-uk/6012118037

However, not all cards have these chips on them, whether that's because they come from a part of the world that doesn't use them (eg a fair number of US cards), or because they're emergency replacement cards, instead there's just the magnetic strip but no chip. A bit more modern than this one though!

A very old credit card, from www.flickr.com/photos/mrsbluff/3058616966/

We've already had one question touching on this, which mentions the issues with trying to buy train tickets with a non chip (non-EMV) card in the UK.

What about if you buy the train ticket online, going through all the security there, and just need to pick up your ticket from a UK ticket machine. If you have your non-chip card and your booking reference, can you still collect your tickets from a ticket machine?

  • In at least some cases, yes. I was able to do so, and my card has no chip. I don't know how universally this applies.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 0:29
  • We've a question already that indicates that it's a potential problem for buying, which is party why I was pleasantly surprised when collecting today worked fine
    – Gagravarr
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 1:08
  • Looking at this question a few of the comments seem to suggest collecting pre-booked tickets is possible even with a Nectar card! travel.stackexchange.com/questions/58606/…
    – James Hyde
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 8:50
  • @lightswitchr Depends on which company you booked from - some set the "same card required" setting on the booking, which is then enforced by the machine, other companies set "any card" which seems to then allow your nectar card to be used
    – Gagravarr
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 9:00

1 Answer 1


Annoyingly, my new credit card got lost in the post, so I'm currently using an American Express emergency temporary credit card, which has the magnetic strip but no chip, while awaiting a "proper" replacement one. I've therefore had cause to try this one out a few times.

Short answer - it works fine!

Longer answer - I've ended up booking tickets from a couple of different online ticket sellers, as annoyingly some train companies currently seem to offer a small discount on advanced purchase tickets bought through their own sites. All these went through fine with the credit card details, and no mention was made of needing a chip on the card (maybe because they assumed a UK registered card would have one?). I then headed to the station with the card and the various booking references. When collecting normally, you enter the card, the machine processes for a bit, but you aren't asked for you pin, only the booking reference. Just the same with this non-chip card, card asked for, processed for 10 seconds, told to remove the card, prompted for booking reference, long pause, then tickets printed!

I believe that the ticket office would also have been able to print the tickets for me based on the card and the booking reference, which was my backup plan, but luckily the FGW ticket machines were happy to collect (though possibly not sell) with a non-chip card.

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