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Old 14.01.2017, 12:02
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US credit card declined in Switzerland

Hi Guys,

I have a problem with my US credit card.
Yesterday morning, I tried to get some money from my US credit card, but I entered the wrong PIN several times, so the card was blocked. I called the credit card custom service. After confirming my personal information, the representative said the restriction was removed and I can freely use the card. But, when I tried to use it in a supermarket, it was still declined. So I called the custom service again. The representative said there is no problem for my card from the bank point. If the transaction is still declined, it is the problem of the merchant in Switzerland, and I need to contact the merchant.
This is ridiculous! Is that possible for me to contact every merchant when I buy something?
I tried to make an online purchase this morning, it was still unsuccessful.
Anyone has an idea how to solve this problem?

Thanks.
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Old 14.01.2017, 12:08
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Re: US credit card declined in Switzerland

Get a Swiss credit card.

Or use cash.

Tom
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Old 14.01.2017, 12:09
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Re: US credit card declined in Switzerland

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Hi Guys,

I have a problem with my US credit card.
Yesterday morning, I tried to get some money from my US credit card, but I entered the wrong PIN several times, so the card was blocked. I called the credit card custom service. After confirming my personal information, the representative said the restriction was removed and I can freely use the card. But, when I tried to use it in a supermarket, it was still declined. So I called the custom service again. The representative said there is no problem for my card from the bank point. If the transaction is still declined, it is the problem of the merchant in Switzerland, and I need to contact the merchant.
This is ridiculous! Is that possible for me to contact every merchant when I buy something?
I tried to make an online purchase this morning, it was still unsuccessful.
Anyone has an idea how to solve this problem?

Thanks.
Ye, memorise your PIN , it's not that complicated
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Old 14.01.2017, 12:11
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Re: US credit card declined in Switzerland

Why would you want to use a dodgy US card anyway get a swiss one
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Old 14.01.2017, 12:15
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Re: US credit card declined in Switzerland

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Why would you want to use a dodgy US card anyway get a swiss one
I just arrived in Switzerland two weeks ago. I do not have the resident permit yet, so I am not able to get a Swiss credit card.
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Old 14.01.2017, 12:16
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Re: US credit card declined in Switzerland

The block may be stored on the cards mag stripe or chip.
Unless you use it in a supported ATM the cards pin counter is not reset.
In the worst a supported ATM may only be found in the US.
If the card was issued by a bank then this is normally the banks own ATM.
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Old 14.01.2017, 12:16
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Re: US credit card declined in Switzerland

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Hi Guys,

I have a problem with my US credit card.
Yesterday morning, I tried to get some money from my US credit card, but I entered the wrong PIN several times, so the card was blocked. I called the credit card custom service. After confirming my personal information, the representative said the restriction was removed and I can freely use the card. But, when I tried to use it in a supermarket, it was still declined. So I called the custom service again. The representative said there is no problem for my card from the bank point. If the transaction is still declined, it is the problem of the merchant in Switzerland, and I need to contact the merchant.
This is ridiculous! Is that possible for me to contact every merchant when I buy something?
I tried to make an online purchase this morning, it was still unsuccessful.
Anyone has an idea how to solve this problem?

Thanks.
Yes of course, it is the fault of EVERY Swiss merchant... and not your one credit card. Great logic.
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Old 14.01.2017, 12:17
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Re: US credit card declined in Switzerland

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Ye, memorise your PIN , it's not that complicated
It is a long story. I made a mistake with my debit card. I was trying to enter the debit card PIN for the credit card.
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Old 14.01.2017, 12:23
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Re: US credit card declined in Switzerland

Your card provider may have put a block on the countries in which the card can be used (for increased security). A friend of mine has to call customer services any time she's traveling outside of Europe to get them to enable usage in whichever country she's visiting. Try calling the provider to see if this is the case for your card.
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Old 14.01.2017, 12:27
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Re: US credit card declined in Switzerland

Do you have no other means? Contacts? Maybe have the money wired. Or order a new card.
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Old 14.01.2017, 12:34
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Re: US credit card declined in Switzerland

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Your card provider may have put a block on the countries in which the card can be used (for increased security). A friend of mine has to call customer services any time she's traveling outside of Europe to get them to enable usage in whichever country she's visiting. Try calling the provider to see if this is the case for your card.
This might be not the problem. I have put the travel notice on my card.
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Old 14.01.2017, 12:34
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Re: US credit card declined in Switzerland

I use my US credit and debit cards in CH with very few problems. I may even close my Swiss bank account and avoid the fees and reporting hassles associated with it. Especially, now that I've found a US debit card that does not charge a foreign transaction fee.

If you have not done so already, log into your account and send your bank a note advising them you'll be using your US card extensively in Europe for the next year or so. Might help.
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Old 14.01.2017, 12:42
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Re: US credit card declined in Switzerland

Medea will along soon to claim that because of FATCA, Swiss supermarkets refuse to take US credit cards and therefore it's impossible for US citizens to live here.
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Old 14.01.2017, 12:48
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Re: US credit card declined in Switzerland

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I use my US credit and debit cards in CH with very few problems. I may even close my Swiss bank account and avoid the fees and reporting hassles associated with it. Especially, now that I've found a US debit card that does not charge a foreign transaction fee.

If you have not done so already, log into your account and send your bank a note advising them you'll be using your US card extensively in Europe for the next year or so. Might help.
Which bank do you use? I am using PNC bank cards. It costs me $5 fee for each transaction.
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Old 14.01.2017, 12:54
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Re: US credit card declined in Switzerland

I'm not aware that it is possible for an issuer to unblock a card that has been locked due pin issues I thought all they can do is issue a new card...

The fact that the agent said the restriction was removed leads me to wonder if the two of you were referring to the same thing? Is it possible that removing the restriction refers to authorizing the card for use in Europe and not as you assume unblocking it??
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Old 14.01.2017, 13:12
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Re: US credit card declined in Switzerland

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Which bank do you use? I am using PNC bank cards. It costs me $5 fee for each transaction.
I use a Southwest Airlines branded Chase credit card, no foreign transaction fees.

Finding a no foreign transaction fee debit card was a bit of a challenge, but Charles Schwab has one. It's linked to my brokerage account. I imagine their regular bank accounts offer the same card.
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Old 14.01.2017, 13:43
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Re: US credit card declined in Switzerland

With everything that you've tried and gone through, I suspect some combination of card reader, processor, and bank/merchant settings along the payment stream are not compatible and the end result is a declined transaction. It's not something the typical customer service person is easily going to troubleshoot or be able to assist with.

I've experienced similar situations where cards (from numerous issuing banks, debit, credit and ATM) will work in one place and not others. Or would be declined and then the issuing bank would tell me everything was fine. Some readers reported damaged cards even though they worked elsewhere. The chip and pin stuff also seems to cause complications even if you are using the right pin.

Before it became too much of an issue, I simply switched to cash. From what I recall though, Capital One does not charge a foreign currency fee - at least for the account I have, and was the most reliable. They won't send a replacement card outside of the US though.
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Old 14.01.2017, 14:08
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Re: US credit card declined in Switzerland

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Medea will along soon to claim that because of FATCA, Swiss supermarkets refuse to take US credit cards and therefore it's impossible for US citizens to live here.
One day I do hope I get to see the carnage when a new American EF member innocently asks...: "What´s FACTA?"

Sorry FATCA!
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Old 14.01.2017, 14:30
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Re: US credit card declined in Switzerland

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It is a long story. I made a mistake with my debit card. I was trying to enter the debit card PIN for the credit card.
That's where you went wrong. You should use the same PIN for all your cards and base it on something memorable like your date of birth.

That way you'll never get confused!
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Old 14.01.2017, 15:11
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Re: US credit card declined in Switzerland

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That's where you went wrong. You should use the same PIN for all your cards and base it on something memorable like your date of birth.

That way you'll never get confused!
Nonsense. Write it on the card, then you can use any number you want.

I work in security, trust me.
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