Spending in Germany - is there a conspiracy against the Brits?

Dec 31, 2010
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This may be of interest for those planning to go to Germany. Norman and I are overnighting in Lens (just off A21) south of Calais ready for final push to ferry tomorrow afternoon. A very pleasant 'Aire de service' with parking for 6 motorhomes - can highly recommend. BUT point of thread. We have been away from UK since 4th May, travelling down through France, southern Germany, skirting Switzerland down to Lake Garda, over to Venice then back north into Germany. Until then we had had no problem with our use of Visa credit card, or mastercard or Thomas Cook Cash Passport (also a mastercard) but for the past fortnight we have had to make use of debit card for cash withdrawals as almost without exception our card has been refused. Even good old Lidl, Aldi refuse. Is this a German conspiracy? Also make sure you have plenty of 1 & 2 euro coins. Many Stellplatz and parking meters accept only coins and may not have a change machine nearby, so go well supplied, or, like us life will be very frustrating. Generally sites cost 12 euros. Some machines accept a card. I think it's a EuroCard, but does anyone know what this is. Does one load it with euros beforehand - we had a Thomas Cook Euro cash passport card but needless to say that was soon empty. Please enlighten so we can be better prepared. Norman's just reminded me that the big petrol stations accepted his card - no bother :cry::cry::cry:
 
Oct 13, 2010
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No sure it is a conspiracy but certainly we found nowhere accepted credit cards ! Bought a whole lad if stuff in a garden centre offered a card , no can do she said , only cash !! :cry:
 

Cobweb

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We are in Austria at the moment and the same thing happens especially in campsites and small supermarkets .
We have been able to use our Fair FX card in a garage for fuel but that's all.
We just carry a lot of cash for other purchases. Also I have a big euro coin bag for ready for Germany and the stellplatzes we will stay in when we finally get there after doing some cycling on the Austrian part of the Danube .
It is not a conspiracy ....that is just the way it is !

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jonandshell

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Credit cards haven't been accepted at many retailers for years in Germany!

It matters not the nationality of the customer, Germans just don't favour credit cards!::bigsmile:
 
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normanandsue
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Got to checkout in Lidls at Fussen - shopping totalled just over 20 euros, and handed over the card which was refused. The shopping trolley was put to one side so that we could go to bank. Lidls was well out of town, so left trolley where it was. Went a few hundred yards down the road and found EDEKA who confirmed they accepted MasterCard. A fortnight later went to another EDEKA - the answer? No. There is no consistency with any of them.
 

scotjimland

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....... Some machines accept a card. I think it's a EuroCard, but does anyone know what this is. ...

I believe it is a bank debit card.. called EC-Karte.

This article goes someway to explaining the German aversion to CREDIT cards .. no bad thing if you ask me.. If the UK were more like them we wouldn't be in the mess we are in ..

Card use in Germany also remains piddling by international standards. Last year, 56% of transactions in the U.K. and 45% of those in France were settled by card, compared with just 17% in Germany, according to data published last month by the European Central Bank. Indeed, Germany had the second-lowest card use of all EU countries, lower even than recent entrants to the club such as Bulgaria.


http://blogs.wsj.com/eurocrisis/2012/10/17/germans-warm-to-credit-cards-slowly/

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vwalan

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spain used to be funny with mastercard . it wasnt accepted in many places .
hard to say whats the answer other than take cash.
 

teddybard

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Credit cards haven't been accepted at many retailers for years in Germany!

It matters not the nationality of the customer, Germans just don't favour credit cards!::bigsmile:

Got to checkout in Lidls at Fussen - shopping totalled just over 20 euros, and handed over the card which was refused. The shopping trolley was put to one side so that we could go to bank. Lidls was well out of town, so left trolley where it was. Went a few hundred yards down the road and found EDEKA who confirmed they accepted MasterCard. A fortnight later went to another EDEKA - the answer? No. There is no consistency with any of them.

There was a few years ago the usual spate of CC Fraud by E Europeans
this may have been in part responsible. However cash can be withdrawn using a CC in side Banks
 
May 21, 2012
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I am off to Munich late July. I cant quite make out from the posts is the problem they dont take credit cards or cards in general? ie can I use a debit card?
Thanks

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You should have no problem in Munich. Almost everywhere there take credit cards. We are in Germany now and have been since 15th April. Have found it hit and miss with credit cards. Some do a lot don't.

Lin
 
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we have had to make use of debit card for cash withdrawals as almost without exception our card has been refused. Even good old Lidl, Aldi refuse. Is this a German conspiracy?

It also used to be the case in Belgium. Even finding a cash machine was difficult. After emptying the petrol tank looking for either a petrol station or cash machine that would take a card, and worrying if we'd manage another 5 miles, we parked up outside a town and wandered from bank to bank looking for a machine that would take VISA or Mastercard. Eventually, after 12 refusals, we found one, a Royal Bank of Scotland!

Completely ridiculous. I found it (considerably) easier to withdraw money in the mountains in Peru.
 
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normanandsue
Dec 31, 2010
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I am off to Munich late July. I cant quite make out from the posts is the problem they dont take credit cards or cards in general? ie can I use a debit card?
Thanks

From our experience, the refusals were for both credit and debit cards.

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normanandsue
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There was a few years ago the usual spate of CC Fraud by E Europeans
this may have been in part responsible. However cash can be withdrawn using a CC in side Banks
Not a good idea to use Credit Card for cash withdrawals as interest charged from moment of withdrawal. Debit cards also incur a charge for cash withdrawals (Norman's experience £1.80 on 50euro withdrawal though no penalty for using debit card (Nationwide) for purchases) It's a case of doing homework for individual banks
 

mikeman

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I too have just returned from a trip to germany & belgium, & have had the same problem. I can understand not accepting credit cards but to not accept a multi currency debit card, which is widely popular now beats me.
It makes being a tourist in these countries very difficult. In belgium a pharmacy I used only accepted cash. I think I will go back to Italy (lake garda where I stayed) and spain & skip germany & belgium.
 

paintman

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We too had problems at a overnight stop at a German campsite near Ettingheim. It was our last night away so we treated ourselves to a steak meal and a half decent bottle of plonk, come payment time all our debit and credit cards were refused, low on euro's we had no choice but to leave our passports as security.

The next morning I cycled to the nearest bank and withdrew some cash, I had a chat to the bank manager who advised that in rural area's of Germany the only acceptable ways of paying are cash and the Maestro debit card.

Ps he was also unable to exchange British pounds for Euro's ???

John.

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normanandsue
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We too had problems at a overnight stop at a German campsite near Ettingheim. It was our last night away so we treated ourselves to a steak meal and a half decent bottle of plonk, come payment time all our debit and credit cards were refused, low on euro's we had no choice but to leave our passports as security.
[/HI]
[HI]The next morning I cycled to the nearest bank and withdrew some cash, I had a chat to the bank manager who advised that in rural area's of Germany the only acceptable ways of paying are cash and the Maestro debit card.

Ps he was also unable to exchange British pounds for Euro's ???[/HI]

Agree with you John, but they would not accept our MasterCard (Which I believe is the same as Maestro) Euro cash loaded card.

End result we left Lidl without our trolley of shopping

Norman

On reflection of course it is only a problem to tourists travelling from outside the EU who need to know before arriving and making the necessary arrangements to withdraw cash
John.
 
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We too had problems at a overnight stop at a German campsite near Ettingheim. It was our last night away so we treated ourselves to a steak meal and a half decent bottle of plonk, come payment time all our debit and credit cards were refused, low on euro's we had no choice but to leave our passports as security.
[/HI]
[HI]The next morning I cycled to the nearest bank and withdrew some cash, I had a chat to the bank manager who advised that in rural area's of Germany the only acceptable ways of paying are cash and the Maestro debit card.

Ps he was also unable to exchange British pounds for Euro's ???[/HI]

Agree with you John, but they would not accept our MasterCard (Which I believe is the same as Maestro) Euro cash loaded card.



End result we left Lidl without our trolley of shopping

Norman

On reflection of course it is only a problem to tourists travelling from outside the EU who need to know before arriving and making the necessary arrangements to withdraw cash
John.

Think you will find lidl don't take credit cards here, at least they didn't last time I tried:Sad:
 
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normanandsue
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They do now - though maybe not in England - they didn't last time we were down but think they have changed now

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Apr 27, 2008
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I havent been to Germany for many years, but even then cash was king. I never saw a German pay for anything with a card, so the retailers just aren't geared up for them. Interesting to read it's still the same now.

That said most of the French in supermarkets pay by cheque, but they will still take any sort of card (I haven't actually tried book tokens yet):roflmto:

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