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

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by normanandsue, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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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:
     
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  2. spitfire

    spitfire Funster

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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:
     
  3. Cobweb

    Cobweb

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    Cash society

    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 !
     
  4. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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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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  5. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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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.
     
  6. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    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 ..


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

    vwalan Funster

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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.
     
  8. teddybard

    teddybard

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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
     
  9. Forester

    Forester Funster

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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
     
  10. lindylou

    lindylou Funster

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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
     
  11. cmcardle75

    cmcardle75

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    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.
     
  12. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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

    normanandsue Funster

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    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
     
  14. mikeman

    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.
     
  15. paintman

    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.
     
  16. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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  17. chaser

    chaser Funster

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  18. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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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
     
  19. carolyn

    carolyn Funster

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    Just come back from Lidl and still only debit cards.
     
  20. paintman

    paintman

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