Using the Arrival Plus Chip+ PIN to Buy Train Tickets at CDG

by on May 19, 2014 · 124 comments

in Arrival Plus, Barclays, Trains

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When BarclayCard announced several new positive enhancements to their Arrival Plus card last week, I immediately picked up the phone to get a replacement card so I could test out the Chip+PIN technology for my trip to Paris and Cannes. France is notorious for requiring a PIN on many purchases, so having the ability to use a points earning credit card (with no foreign transaction fees) and purchases like train tickets and gas stations is a big advantage.

My battered old passport is the only thing without a chip!

My battered old passport is the only thing without a chip!

I had to pay $29.95 to get the card priority shipped, but I figured it would be worth it to be able to try it out and let TPG readers know whether the PIN technology actually works. I got the card the day before I left for my trip and on the way to the airport I activated it by calling the number on the card.
Note: I was not upgraded to World Elite- even though I received the new Chip + PIN Arrival Plus, it was still a World Mastercard. I’ve been told by BarclayCard that upgrades to WorldElite will be happening throughout the year, so I’m hoping I’ll get a new one in the near future. There aren’t that many benefits between World and World Elite Mastercard, but it would be nice to have the best option available. I reached out for more information on the whole process, so stay tuned 

The entire process was automated and while on hold for the card to be activated, it gave me the option to set a 4 digit PIN, which I was happy about- I was fearful they’d need to mail a paper pin like many debit cards thus rendering the whole PIN technology useless on my trip.

I was able to select a PIN after entering my CID number and the system stated that it would be eligible for PIN purchases after I did a signature swipe at a establishment like a hotel. Once I arrived into CDG, I went into the Sheraton, which is next to the train station in the airport and connected to the free WiFi and ordered a coffee from the bar. I paid for the coffee using my Arrival Plus and also requested to get SPG points and the bartender brought out a form for me to get points as well- never hurts to ask!
RER Machines

I then went down to the RER train machines and proceeded to buy a 9.75 Euro one-way ticket into Paris.

PIN required

PIN required

The machine asked for a PIN and I entered the one I created the night before and it was approved within 30 seconds. Score!

One of my favorite words: Approved!

One of my favorite words: Approved!

Overall, BarclayCard made the process simple and the PIN worked like a charm. I just hope other issuers get on the bandwagon (ah, hem I’m looking at you Sapphire Preferred!). While you can still use regular credit cards and even EMV Signature cards at a lot of places, having the PIN technology is a definitely plus and is the reason why I’ll be using my Arrival Plus as I traipse around Europe this summer and beyond.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Ed

    Another advantage of having a Mastercard is that is it accepted at placed where Visa might not be.
    For example, in January I was traveling to Singapore and took a taxi from the airport to downtown. When I was ready to pay with my Chase Sapphire, the taxi driver told me they don’t take visa! Thankfully I had exchanged some money for SGD at the airport otherwise it would have been embarrassing.

  • Allison Marino

    I actually had no issue using my Chase Sapphire in Paris to purchase Metro and RER tickets at the machine, even though I only have the chip+sign. FYI for anyone else going that doesn’t have the Arrival card yet.

  • Jason

    I tried using a chip+signature card to purchase train tickets at AMS and it was declined. Didn’t have a problem most other places, though.

  • Eli Stoughton

    Interesting. I know that there are some machines that simply require the card to have a chip in it (or be an Amex that doesn’t have a chip), such as the Tube kiosks in London.

  • Eli Stoughton

    That’s bizarre. I definitely used my Chase Sapphire Visa card for a Singapore taxi.

  • Jumus

    “I entered the one I credited the night before” You mean created ?

  • Chris

    I just got back from Paris/Brussels yesterday. I was using my Chase Chip+Sign at the beginning of the trip, but for whatever reason, I started to get transaction failures after a couple of days. I tried to resolve the issue with Chase, but they said they were not seeing nothing on their side and it was likely the merchant declining it. Unfortunately, since this happen at more than one merchant, I put the card away and started using cash.

  • LindaK

    I used my Chase Sapphire Preferred with chip in the London tube kiosk last year at the Tower station. Did not work, had to wait forever in line to pay cash.

  • shay peleg

    This is why i got 10 credit cards lol

  • Eli Stoughton

    Hm. I used my Chase British Airways card when I was there. I figured the chip in the Sapphire would be the same.

  • Santastico

    To sign a credit card receipt (paper or electronically) is the most stupid thing ever. It means nothing. I personally only sign couple lines that are not even close to my signature and never ever had a purchase declined. The US credit card companies are still living in the Stone Age. Not surprised I had my credit cards cloned 4 times in the last 5 years and someone was shopping in my name and “signing” the receipts,

  • Daniel

    Glad it worked but 30 seconds seems like a long time for a credit card transaction to process.

  • Daniel

    BTW, Chase is offering Chip and Pin on most of their cards that currently have Chip and Signature later this year:

  • Daniel

    They took MC and not Visa or no credit cards at all?

  • Ed

    They took cash and MC. No Visa. The driver told me that at that time, their taxi company was in a fight with Visa.

  • Ed

    And another story.
    I was staying in Ollantaytambo in April as part of my trip to Peru and the hotel did not take Visa, only MC.
    I had to pay cash on the spot as I only had Visa in my wallet. It really starts to become annoying.

  • Ed

    What do I have in my wallet now:

    BofA – VISA
    AMEX Blue
    CSP – Visa
    Alaska – Visa

  • Ed

    Fishing SPAM link

  • Jennifer Purdon

    So, it sounds like I should leave my Sapphire at home when I go to France? I don’t have Arrival.

  • MilesRunner

    I finally decided to get a Barclaycard because of Chip and Pin. It may not be worth $89 next year, but one year for free is a no brainer. Thanks, TPG, for the post.

  • thepointsguy

    Right- especially since the sign-up bonus alone is worth at least $440 towards travel- no brainer indeed

  • thepointsguy

    You can still use Sapphire Preferred many places- just not at some places that require a PIN

  • coreyvic

    I just talked with Marriott Card about my new card with chip +pin. They told me that using the chip with pin is often listed as a cash transaction and that there would be a 4% fee up to $10.00 max. and interest would start accruing immediately. Doesn’t sound like a good deal to me.

  • Matt

    The Marriott credit card isn’t chip + PIN, it’s chip + signature. The representative you spoke with probably was referring to the ATM PIN, which does count as a cash advance/

  • austinpop

    confused now. What security does a chip+sign have over the magnetic stripe? harder to clone?

  • Chris

    @shaypeleg:disqus – I was lazy/stupid and never set the PIN on my Chip+PIN cards since they’re usually mailed in.

  • DWT

    Brian– I’m skeptical that the new Barclays chip + PIN cards will work at “offline” unattended kiosks, because in those cases the PIN is supposed to be programmed into the chip itself. (In these cases, you would not be able to select or change your PIN yourself over the phone.) I believe it’s these “offline” kiosks that give American travelers the most trouble when in Europe.

  • MilesRunner

    Another benefit I didn’t see until I got the confirmation e-mail:

    “Complimentary subscription to Tripit® Pro, the all-in-one travel organizer”.

    And Tripit Pro can get you Hertz Gold.

  • masum

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  • yeter

    chip+PIN cards work at unattended train kiosks — I used mine all over the Netherlands and Belgium last year.

  • yeter

    chip+sign proves you have the card in your possession (yes, harder to clone than magnetic strip) — and in places that require a chip card (and accept signature) might require your passport to verify identification and signature match. This hasn’t always happened to me with chip+sign, but even in 7-11 in Scandinavia I had to show my passport to buy a soda and snack.

    Chip+pin is the most secure, though. I never leave to an international location without a chip+pin card at least as a back-up.

  • hmok

    no credit card transaction device (or kiosk) can be “offline”

  • hoopdee

    Great post!

    One thing that can be confusing with Chip+pin cards in Europe is that sometimes a vendor (or maybe it’s the card’s issuing bank?) will make the transaction chip+sign. Either way… it works, but when you are expecting to use your PIN, sometimes the vendor’s terminal will ask for a signature instead (in a restaurant, that may mean the server asks you to go to the bar to pay, rather than using their hand-held device which can’t accept a signature) This has happened many times using my Andrews Air Force Credit Union chip+pin card (the first one I got). It’s no big deal (the chip+pin always worked at an unattended kiosk or machine).

    Also, if you start using a chip+pin card in America, at places like Walmart (the few American retailers that have the “chip slot” on CC terminals rather than just swiping your card) — you might not be able to swipe your card — but it will ask you to put it in the “chip slot”… wait… and then sign. This happened to me several times in the last month with my new AA World Elite MC.

  • Moron Identifier

    did you know that spam posts with website links like this don’t increase the SEO rankings of your website? That stopped years ago.

    Go away!

  • Eli Stoughton

    Right. To make matters more confusing, you typically are able to set a PIN with any US credit card. The problem is that those PIN transactions are usually treated as cash advances, which incur hefty fees.

    I’d imagine that eventually there will be some sort of list of US-based cards that offer Chip + PIN transactions (that are not cash advances).

  • Glitter and Unicorns

    Not being able to swipe your chip card in a chip-enabled terminal is a critical security feature, without that, chip cards would be pointless.

    Your Andrews card, like the Barclaycard, isn’t a real chip and PIN card. It’s a chip and signature card with PIN fallback. Thus, getting asked for a signature most places.

  • Glitter and Unicorns

    Nonsense, of course it can. Use the offline PIN to verify and batch all the transactions at night.

    Even more important, even many online devices may only be configured to use the offline PIN…

  • Glitter and Unicorns

    The Marriott card only has the PIN available for cash transactions, in theory, thus why they’d say that. That said, it’s is MUCH more likely that the terminal is wrongly asking for the PIN (when it’s only supposed to for a cash transaction) than it is that the merchant is wrongly posting a purchase as a cash transaction – they’d get in major trouble for that one!

  • Glitter and Unicorns

    The Tube doesn’t require chip cards.

  • Glitter and Unicorns

    Yes, his card should have worked fine. I almost wonder if the metal card was the issue… hmm… SHOULDN’T have been?

  • notso

    WRONG — the Andrews card is a true chip and pin. I’ve used it for years. You are wrong on many of your assessments about chip+pin cards. You are giving false information.

  • studoes

    firstly, you don’t “swipe” chip+pin cards. Your analysis is absurd and bogus.

  • Glitter and Unicorns

    Nothing I said is incorrect. I said you CAN’T swipe the chip card in a chip terminal, it’ll be rejected (error will say card must be inserted/use chip/use IC/etc).

    The Andrews card is absolutely NOT a true chip and PIN card. The card HAS a PIN, yes, but it is setup to give priority to signature (that is signature is above PIN in the CVM list). Nothing I said is incorrect, and I stand by it. Quit spreading nonsense.

  • notso

    You can stand by your claims all you want, but years of practical experience say otherwise.

    You have an agenda.

    Take it elsewhere.

  • mored

    No credit card transactions or verifications are done “offline.” Please join the 21st century.

  • doctorofcredit

    You can easily get the $29.95 priority fee waived as well, you just need to ask nicely.

  • Glitter and Unicorns

    What the heck is with your bizarre confrontational attitude. It’s not a chip and PIN card in any real sense. Why do you think you keep getting asked to sign? But guess what – you don’t believe me, and I don’t know why. So, check for yourself. Go on Amazon (or wherever you like), buy a cheap smart card reader, and use one of the many programs online designed to read the card to pull card data and read it. You’ll quickly see the top item in the CVM list is signature. PIN is in there, yes, but it’s not the top priority.

  • Glitter and Unicorns

    Guess we’re going to have to take out all the credit card readers on aeroplanes, in national parks, on buses (yes, cellular could work but they’re mostly offline), some kiosks (though they really should be online these days… some still aren’t), quite a few low-value contactless situations that don’t go online every transaction for speed, etc. There are LOTS of situations where transactions occur offline as a matter of course, and even more where they occur offline because something goes wrong.

  • forsr

    “Your Andrews card, like the Barclaycard, isn’t a real chip and PIN card. It’s a chip and signature card with PIN fallback.”

    The fact that the issuing bank decides to ask for a signature does not negate the fact the the card is true chip and pin.. What is true, is that the few American banks or credit unions that have recently offered true chip+pin have various policies for vendor acceptance. It is a mess, though.

    You are splitting hairs on the topic, and creating more confusion about the security of an American issues chip+pin card. Of course it also has signature options and also a magnetic strip. That doesn’t make it not a “real chip and PIN card” for use in Europe or elsewhere.

  • Glitter and Unicorns

    To me, a real chip and PIN card is a card where the top priority on the chip is PIN verification. That is, where the card asks for the PIN first and only uses signature as a fallback. Barclay’s is the only honest bank about this, the new Arrival Plus is describe by them as “Chip and signature with PIN capability” – which is an honest way to describe it. Chip and PIN is not, because the PIN will not be used unless the terminal doesn’t support signatures. Andrews claiming it is chip and PIN is flat-out wrong, because for 90%+ of chip transactions it will be signature, not PIN. See Barclay’s announcement for how they describe it:

  • metoo

    dude, please give it a rest.

    we are here to learn how to optimize travel experiences — not to learn about your purity of banking definitions for credit cards

  • Glitter and Unicorns

    Obviously, person of many names, you’re pretty connected to this blog – maybe even the owner – so I’ll leave it with this. All I will say is that what you seem to think is a subtle distinction matters greatly for travel. When you sign, you may not have an opportunity to reject DCC that you have with a PIN (because you can always refuse to enter your PIN if you get a DCC amount). When you sign, some merchants may see the signature slip and void the transaction (yes, it happens) or hassle you unnecessarily. With a real chip and PIN card (where PIN is the top of the CVM list, and used for essentially all chip transactions) none of these travel headaches occur. As far as I know, the only banks in the US issuing real chip and PIN cards are USAA and UNFCU. Two banks heavily geared at a membership which travels frequently, so it makes sense – but it’s ridiculous EVERY bank isn’t offering this!

  • Steven Huynh

    Called in to “change” my pin. No mention of them shipping a new card, am i supposed to speak to a representative about that?

  • needtoknow

    I think the perceived confrontation is that we don’t want to be lectured to about abstract banking policies when we post a comment about our shared practical experiences using a credit card mentioned in the blog.

    If I wanted to read a banking blog, I would.

  • heho

    if a vendor is foolish enough to accept offline transactions, then so be it. That is their choice and risk.

    But the original question was about “offline” “unmanned kiosks.”

    The answer is that Chip+pin cards work there, because they are not “offline”.

  • Glitter and Unicorns

    Nothing foolish about it, the card networks allow certain transactions to occur offline and be batched later. Ticket kiosks were this way traditionally, and some still are.

    Most of these cards that claim to have a PIN do support offline PIN verification. I’m not sure about the Barclaycard Arrival Plus it’s too new. The Andrews DOES, but the card prefers signature.

    Also, it’s important to distinguish between an offline transaction and offline PIN verification. Even if the transaction occurs online, which it usually will today, the kiosk may not support online PIN verification – only offline verification of the PIN.

  • Daniel

    Huh? It’s a link to a news article about Chase cards getting chip and pin!

  • Ash

    Hold up – anyone else spot what Cought my eye? You said the Barclaycard can redeem points for gas? I see that nowhere on the new enhancements article. You state that in the beginning of this article… Is this true…..?

  • KISS

    agreed. I’m Incredibly bored with these details and nuances of banking. Tell me if the card works or not when I travel. I don’t need to know how the engine of car works to drive it, either.

  • tred

    Glitter —

    You seem to have a big ego, and provide a lot unsolicited information this blog audience didn’t ask for or need. I think they’ve made that clear.

    Insulting us doesn’t help, either.

  • Ed

    My anti-virus software said the page link was infected and refused to show it.

  • yeter

    me too.

  • MicAL

    Glitter and Unicorns — please do yourself a favor and stop. You are uncertain and “think” you know a lot of things about everything.

    That’s always a dangerous place to be.

    And what’s worse, it’s not relevant to the topic at hand.

  • GAM

    Maybe I’m spoiled by Chase, but I would never pay to have a credit card priority shipped. Chase has always been able to get me a new card within 1-2 business days (even overseas). For. Free.

  • Kioly

    TPG just doesn’t want to upset the folks who pay his bills by saying that. You’re right that they’ll usually waive the expedite fee if you ask nicely.

  • Tom B

    Just received my replacement Delta Skymiles Gold Amex with the new EMV chip; and was very disappointed to find that the new card is Chip & Signature, not Chip+PIN!
    The cover letter mailed with the card specifically says Chip & Signature. No mention of Chip+PIN is mentioned in the letter, nor during the online activation process.
    Very Disappointed!

  • Kioly

    There aren’t very many Chip+PIN cards available from the major US issuers, but they’ll all get there eventually.

    For reference see this collaborative spreadsheet assembled by FlyerTalk:

  • Brian C. Lee

    If you don’t want to hear his information, you’re free to scroll past his posts.

  • shaown

    Umm – Glitter is right. This is not Banking?? policy. Its travel related. I’ve had merchants in Europe who have refused to deal with signatures. Unfortunately, their terminals supported signatures, i.e. it caused a decent annoyance. If you have traveled to Chip and Pin countries plenty with a card like Andrews – you occasionally run into an issue. That being said, I wouldn’t expect any relief soon, looks lilke most card claiming to be chip and pin coming out in the US this year will have chip and sig as the first priority.

  • Elle

    In my experience (at least in rural Scandinavia) it’s not a refusal to deal with the signature so much as it is high school kids who honestly don’t know how to switch the card reader to take sig instead of PIN. And I don’t blame them, but it is a headache. I have a feeling that chip with first priority signature is not going to work well in a lot of machines that have the ability to accept one (all card readers, I think, can take a signature if they are attended) because the machine will expect the operator to change the mode rather than the card to revert to second priority PIN.

  • thepointsguy

    Did it require a PIN- what did you put if so?

  • joshieboy

    The metal card isn’t the issue. The issue is that there are 2 types of PIN cards: “online” PIN and “offline” PIN. And offline PIN is stored on the card. An online PIN is stored in the network. Some London areas use offline PIN (like most of France). So even if you have a Chip&PIN card, if the PIN is an online PIN, the kiosk will reject.

    In addition, you have to ensure that what you have is actually Chip&PIN as opposed to the majority of US-issued cards which are actually Chip&Signature. Most C&S cards have a PIN, but not all do. If it doesn’t have one, it’ll tend to fail

  • thepointsguy

    Glitter- I find your contributions to be valuable- thanks for sharing your insight! Good to know how it all works behind the scenes.

  • joshieboy

    When buying a ticket at an unattended kiosk, it does. You can also go to a booth and swipe a card.

    Unless you’re referring to the payment with an Oyster card, which requires either an Oyster card or an EMV NFC credit/debit card (both EMV and NFC) – a type of card that hasn’t hit the US market.

  • thepointsguy

    I asked, but they wouldn’t waive. I wrote it off as a business expense because I need to review the product and share the information as part of my job. But you’re right- it never hurts to ask to get it waived.

  • thepointsguy
  • thepointsguy

    Weird- the link worked for me.

  • thepointsguy

    Spammed it..

  • joshieboy

    Actually, his “minutiae” aren’t minutiae at all. Before preparing a trip, it’s crucial to know whether your card is true C&P or is actually C&S with PIN fallback. With lots of experience in Europe using American credit cards, it’s definitely important to know, and I suggest following here: for more advice on the matter. (Also, depending on where you go, important to know whether it’s “online” or “offline” PIN.

  • thepointsguy

    Or you can request a new card online- all new card replacements come with the chip

  • thepointsguy

    My rep wouldn’t but I’ll call back

  • thepointsguy


  • joshieboy

    That’s false. France only uses offline verification.

    And anyways, to say “no credit card transactions or verifications (sic) are done “offline” is simply inaccurate. Every buy something while on a plane? Swipe your credit, and the terminal verifies the transaction OFFLINE!

  • joshieboy

    That’s false. There’s online PIN and offline PIN, and if you don’t believe me – here’s how I’ll prove it. Get a smartcard reader ($5, even less now). Download CardPeek (from Google – safe program). Insert your EMV card, and it’ll produce a list of CVMs (card verification methods). You’ll see “enciphered PIN, verified online” or “enciphered PIN verified by ICC.” Translation = online PIN (verified by the network) and offline PIN (verified by the terminal itself). Try going to France using online PIN

  • joshieboy

    He actually seems to be quite correct. We’re only trying to help. If you don’t want to believe us, that’s fine. Just don’t come crying when your credit card fails abroad at some vendors and not others, and you cannot figure out why

  • joshieboy

    Agreed, though in American Eagle and in Switzerland, they actually compare the signature!

  • joshieboy

    The rep is right and wrong. Practically speaking, if you set up a cash advance PIN, it will usually work as a PIN when needed for a transaction. And you won’t be charged any interest as it’s coded as a purchase, not a cash advance.

  • Rachel

    Hertz Gold is free for everyone.

  • Allison Marino

    No PIN required.

  • Glitter and Unicorns

    Just insert your magstripe card into the chip reader, it’ll work. There’s a magnetic read head in there too, at least on the kiosks I remember using.

    Sadly true about the lack of dual-interface EMV in the US, they’re not completely non-existent but the only such cards I’m aware of are from US Bank. And who, seriously, wants to deal with US Bank?

  • Glitter and Unicorns

    The operator doesn’t have to change anything. If the machine takes signature, a signature slip will print. The issue is operators freaking out and voiding the transaction when a signature slip prints. I’ve never, personally, had this happen *knocks on wood* – but I’ve heard plenty of reputable reports online of it happening. I’m sure, eventually, it will happen to me, too.

  • Glitter and Unicorns

    Thank you, I’m sorry for wondering if the posts were secretly you :) Nice blog, there’s a lot of confusion in this space… I don’t understand why it is so hard for American banks to just provide us with actual chip and PIN cards. I’m not an insider, so I don’t really know, but I’ve heard speculation that it is because banks would prefer you sign for transactions when possible because a signature constitutes acceptance of a legal contract. Debit cards have a specific law clarifying that a PIN is an electronic signature. The problems with this theory are that 1. USAA and UNFCU issue chip and PIN cards no problem, and 2. you can set up the CVM list to require BOTH PIN and signature on transactions above a certain value. This way the merchant doesn’t freak out that it’s not PIN verified, and the bank gets their signature.

    Have a nice day!

  • Glitter and Unicorns

    Comparing the signature is useless against cloned card fraud, since the fraudster can sign their cloned card however they want. This is why it’s also important to compare the last 4 digits of the account with those on the receipt and inspect the card’s security features/look for signs of physical tampering (changing of the numbers, etc).

  • Glitter and Unicorns

    It’s a great sign-up deal! I’m not convinced on keeping it though, though many love it. If you look at it purely as a cash back card, assuming 2.2% cashback (with the 10% points back), you have to spend $12714.29 a year on the card to break even with a fee-free 1.5% card like the BofA Travel Rewards (even more if you have BofA checking and get their 10% bonus on points). That’s a lot of spend on one card, to me. Furthermore, I’d easily value airline miles at over 2 cents/mile as I live in a fairly remote area and tend to get good value out of redemptions due to the cost of flying from here, thus, comparing this to an airline card with a fee the airline card is a much better deal for me.

    This card is really best for someone who wants to put all their spend on a single card and never think about reward programmes or miles or award availability. Other than that, it’s pretty hard to justify the annual fee.

  • Glitter and Unicorns

    Did these merchants accept Visa? (Most likely yes, in France. In Germany, it’d have been another story). If so, it sounds like the chip may be damaged. It’ll arise suspicion but if you insert the chip and let it fail 3-5 times, then you’ll be able to swipe the card. When this happens, the merchant SHOULD (for very good reason) be extremely suspicious about the card and inspect it closely for signs of cloning/counterfeiting.

  • Glitter and Unicorns

    Your anti-virus likely gave a false positive OR their site maybe got hacked at one point, who knows? But it’s definitely a legit news site.

  • LlamaOfDoom

    “firstly, you don’t “swipe” chip+pin cards.”

    If you’re the lady at the last Tesco I went to, yes you do. Swiped my chipped debit card, the terminal asked “Is this a chip card?”, she pushed “no”, the transaction went through. At least the terminal still asked me for my PIN, though that’s standard behavior even for magstripe cards here.

  • LlamaOfDoom

    I have a Canadian bank account and debit card just in case.

  • LlamaOfDoom

    The only other practical option for someone in the US who really wants a dual-interface EMV Visa card is to head up north and get a debit card from CIBC or TD (at least TD is open 7 days a week) but that means dealing with high minimum balances and/or transaction limits.

    Meanwhile in Taiwan, try finding someone that doesn’t issue them.

  • Spanky

    Just FYI: I recently used my Chase Sapphire Preferred that I had recently received (Thanks points guy!)without the PIN, but chip intact at the CDG RER kiosk. Worked like a charm. While the Chase card was accepted everywhere in Istanbul and Paris (and in all automated machines) it would be more convenient and secure to have the PIN. Get on board Chase!

  • Wildcat1

    Brian, please let us know what answers you get from Barclays as this really is poor service treating existing customers differently than new. Specifically, new applicants are getting the World Elite version even with lower scores or credit lines on approval. There is no scale or criteria they are being assessed on other than credit score. Therefore existing customers that are already credit worth (to have the card in the first place) but that also bring loyalty, tenure and spend should absolutely not be held to some criteria or treated differently.

    Not a great move for customer retention so hopefully Barclaycard does the right thing by all us customers and upgrades all accounts in good standing to World Elite.

    Thanks again

  • Ash

    Anyone?? This is huge if true…

  • SuperKirby

    I also had no problem using my chip+sign CSP for RER and Paris Metro tickets. It never asks for a pin and obviously no signature. It just spits out a receipt.

    In addition, I also had no problem using my CSP chip+sign card at the SNCF train stations in Europe which has a sign that reads “CHIP cards ONLY”.

  • joshieboy

    True, although I was responding to signature for Chip&Signature

  • Glitter and Unicorns

    Yup, in that case it actually matters a lot more since you’re pretty much guaranteed the card isn’t cloned. This is why it’s so important you sign your cards people. The idiots who think they’re more secure not signing their cards need to get brains. If someone steals an unsigned card they can sign it – how they sign!

  • Jay

    The automated message said you need to use your card aboard at a cashier first via signature before the pin is activated for usage. Did you do that first because the blog post doesn’t mention it

  • Jay

    Nevermind I skimmed over that part of the article and just reread it

  • thepointsguy

    I was able to select a PIN after entering my CID number and the system stated that it would be eligible for PIN purchases after I did a signature swipe at a establishment like a hotel. Once I arrived into CDG, I went into the Sheraton, which is next to the train station in the airport and connected to the free WiFi and ordered a coffee from the bar. I paid for the coffee using my Arrival Plus and also requested to get SPG points and the bartender brought out a form for me to get points as well- never hurts to ask!

  • Vern

    Used the new arrival card in France. Did an activation signature swipe at the airport TI office for museum passes. Later on used at a cafe but the machine spat out a signature receipt to the barista’s confusion. Still worked though. I think maybe my first swipe didn’t activate the pin? Im seeing how this card still prefers signature over pin. Maybe can only use the pin when no option for signature.

  • Vern

    Looking back, I did another “activation swipe” at the Park Hyatt for incidentals before the cafe. So the PIN should be activated. This card just uses PIN only if absolutely necessary.

  • The Real Hermione Granger


  • vern

    Lol, I’ve been in Paris for 4 days now. Swiped and signed at many establishments – hotel (Park Hyatt, which I checked out of already), taxis, restaurants, cafes, even a pharmacy. All of them spat out receipts for me to sign to the amused look of the service people. glitter and unicorns speaks the truth. This card only defaults to PIN if there is no receipt spitting option on the payment machine. Feel free to use any other chip and Sig card in Europe, the Barclaycard arrival isn’t making things easier over those options. Maybe I can get my card expedite fee refunded ?

  • doodle

    unfortunately, “Glitter and Unicorn” evaluation is incorrect. Just because a C&P card has a signature fall back, doesn’t make it not a “true” C&P card to use where true C&P cards are required.

    He is making issues out of “non-issues” in this discussion, and creating fear about them not being accepted, when they will be.

    The fact is that an American issued C&P card is going to have a magnetic strip included to make it useful in the USA. That does NOT negate that it is a true C&P card when a true C&P is required elsewhere.

  • falte

    “France only uses offline verification.”

    That would be sad for the entire country of France, if it were true.

    Vendors may choose to accept credit cards offline, but they do so at there own peril.

    There is no such thing as “offline” credit card verification. They might be looking at the most recent data about your card since being offline — but there is no way to do credit card verification “offline.”

  • memaw

    There are a lot of “tech heads” that have contributed to this discussion. The are making a lot of hay and nonsense that doesn’t matter, except to bankers.

    The facts are:

    - An American issued credit card with chip and pin will also have a magnetic strip. That doesn’t mean it won’t work when a true chip and pin card is required. Just because it has a magnetic strip, doesn’t make it not a “true chip and pIn.” Americans might experience a signature fall-back. But in a true chip and pin environment, it will work. Certainly, a chip and pin card, like in Europe, would not have a magnetic strip.

    - verification of card number and pin number vs. authorization of charges are two TOTALLY different things. While verification can be done offline (using the most recent data downloaded to the terminal), true authorization of charges can only be done online. Verification was done in the 1970s at K-Mart, when the clerk had to look up your credit card number in a booklet to see if was on the list of “bad numbers”. That’s offline verification. Authorization of charges — against the credit line of your card — can only be done online.

  • joshieboy

    That’s incorrect. Offline means that the transaction is verified offline and not over the network. It then syncs up when the vendor syncs all the info, 2 days later or so.

    It’s absolutely true, and it’s why credit cards without an offline PIN will not work at French gas stations, French rail terminals, stores that aren’t in the center of Paris, etc.

    There is of course a way of verifying offline – how do you think transactions on airplanes are verified?

  • JohnS

    Allison – I will be traveling to Paris in Sept and was concerned about my ability to use my Chase Sapphire. It’s great to hear yours worked.. 2 questions: 1) did you set-up a PIN ever with the card? 2) Did it work everywhere you used it in Paris?

  • LlamaOfDoom

    1. Oh yes it will. If the terminal doesn’t check the card priority list past the first item, then even if your “Chip+PIN” card has an offline PIN, it won’t work. Most types of American chip credit card DEFAULT to signature, so it’s not a “fall-back”. Easy enough fact to check with a $10-$20 card reader. Oh, and have I mentioned that there are merchants that will come and void your transaction if a signature slip prints because they don’t want to handle signature transactions? Or certain supermarkets in Chip+PIN countries that require a manager to complete a signature transaction? That’s not of interest just to bankers, it’s of interest to anyone who doesn’t want to look foolish or annoying to others while out shopping. It means I’ve got to toss some money into my Canadian bank account so I’ve got a card that’s guaranteed not to embarrass me.

    Also, Chip+PIN cards DO have magnetic stripes. My Canadian one does and the few French people I’ve gotten to show me their debit cards- they’ve got ‘em too. And certainly all of my Chinese ones do.

    2. Then what does it mean when the last few card slips I got back in Hong Kong all say “OFFLINE”? Those merchants ALL only checked the card number to make sure it wasn’t marked “bad”?

  • Allison Marino

    Hi John,

    I don’t recall ever setting up a PIN, but the card worked everywhere in France for everything I bought (mostly macarons and champage, to be honest). Though, something I did experience was it almost always now requires it be run as a PIN card, versus signature swipe in their machines (even in the US).

  • fallingfar

    Odd that so many other folks weren’t upgraded to World Elite. We were, and in fact there was no call or request on our part, as we didn’t even realize the new cards were coming until we had them in our hands. We do use it as our primary card, and have a history with Barclays, so perhaps that speaks something to it.

  • Becky B

    I just posted this elsewhere, but thought I’d paste here as an FYI:

    Well, I set up my PIN, used the card (with sig) for a restaurant purchase at CDG, then could not use it at the tram kiosk in Nice. The machine accepted the card, said “PIN OK” then “Error”. I sent a message to Barclay and they replied that they have not declined any charges (I did a travel alert before I left the States). They also said people are reporting problems with automatic train ticket machines. Ugh!!!!!! This is the primary reason I got this card and now it won’t work where I need it to. I hate carrying around a pocketful of coins for the kiosk.

    Every transaction after that asked for signature and went through no problem, just not at the machines.

  • Becky B

    Update: it worked at the tram kiosk today. Different stop. Gah! Just didn’t work at 10:30 pm after 27 hours of travel. Go figure. I wonder if it takes 24 hours or something. Like for the sig charge to hit.

  • Lita2003

    Now I’m a little confused. I applied for the World Elite card and was approved, and I plan on using this card in England and France when I’m there soon. Will the Barclay card with the new PIN work over there, or should I start preparing myself now for the amused looks I’ll inevitably get from merchants when I have to sign or get declined when I try to purchase something?

  • Garrett

    Just completed 2 huge european work trips and the Arrival+ worked great in the UK w/ pin. I was disappointed (and a little stressed) that it did NOT work at the automated kiosk at Hamburg Hbf. Long story short, I shoved my Amex platinum card in and it processed perfectly–didn’t ask for a pin or anything. Saved my ass for a second time. Disappointed in the Arrival+ though.

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