After 3 weeks in Sweden with me mum it is good to be home again. It was a great visit and much was accomplished. But that is not the reason for this post.
What matters is the testing of the Delta AMEX Reserve Chip-N-Signature card as well as my Barclays Arrival+ Chip-N-Pin card. Both cards I got just weeks before the trip and I could not wait to test them out.
The nice thing, since 1MAY2014, is the Delta AMEX cards no longer charges the international transaction fee so I can feel free to use it anywhere AMEX is accepted. I have found that many times I get a teeny tiny bit better conversion from SEK to USD but nothing so big it makes it my go-to card. It is still great to have it when I want it to help meet spend.
The Arrival+ card does not charge any king of international transaction fee either. So really it is just up to me what points I want more. Unless I NEED to pin transaction right?
I was not off to a promising start. My very first test with my Arrival was in the taxi coming home. The cab driver says it did not take the first time and tried again. This time it works but spits out a slip for signature. Later I find it billed both times. I am working to get one of the charges reversed.
Over the next few weeks I am sad to say I was never once asked for a PIN. You name the place, never once was it asked for and spit out a slip to sign. Not a major problem most of the time. Why most of the time?
After about two weeks, I went to pay and I hit a brick wall. The grocery store had updated their policy to disallow any foreign cards that did not have a PIN. Since neither of my cards would prompt for this I was stuck paying cash the rest of the time.
Now this was the ONLY place I had an issue but it was chain-wide. If more go this way, this could clearly be a major problem.
I did call the number on the back of my card to report the double taxi billing and asked the rep why, even though I had set the PIN online, it was not being requested. I was told it was the fault of the stores and they had to update their software. Perhaps that is right or not. Either way, until the two link up be prepared for the reality of the situation.
My experience seemed to be very similar to my fellow blogger MJ on Travel when in Canada as he posted about here. I would love to know have you ever used your Arrival+ card and had it ask for a PIN in this country or anywhere else? I would love some feedback! – René
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