View Full Version : Credit cards accepted Worldwide?

26th May 2005, 22:05
I bought a "pay-as-you-go" cell phone in Canada (as the "Worldwide Coverage" on my American garbage doesn't, apparently, include Canada).

"Keep the minutes topped up" says the shop "You can do it on-line through our website".

However, website will only accept a credit card issued by a Canadian bank. Seems the Visa and/or Mastercard logos are not enough.

Just ordered some spare parts for a computer from a company on West Coast USA - will only accept a credit card issued by a US bank.

Thought credit cards were valid everywhere (especially on the internet)??

26th May 2005, 22:10
That's weird, can't say I have ever had the same thing happen.

Although, maybe (and this is a total guess and shouldn't really be 'cause Mastercard and Visa et al are worldwide) it depends upon the bank your card is through. I use HSBC because it save a load of hassle when we moved from the UK to Canada.

Tis just a guess :ooh:

26th May 2005, 22:27
I do know that during the process of a credit card transaction, country codes are part of that transaction.

I.e. country code where the transaction was acquired and country code of where card was issued.

Never heard of an instance such as this. Perhaps your bank or the acquiring bank do a comparison and reject in certain circumstances ?

Can't understand why a Canada vs US problem should exist unless it's something specific to your bank or the type of card as Jerricho has suggested.

(amanoffewwords would be more able to tell us me thinks .:) )

27th May 2005, 00:02
I have heard of this happening when trying to buy US domestic airline tickets online ... pita.
Had a US VISA card once - every time I went outside the US they put a stop on it after the first overseas transaction - "unusual" retail pattern apparently. 12 miles off the coast of the USA you fall off the edge of the world.....

27th May 2005, 00:13
...but the banks are never involved - it never gets that far.

The companies (various) are just saying "We only accept XXX issued cards".

Same thing happened to friends in England - they tried to book flight tickets through on-line ticket shops..."Can't sell to other than US issued credit card".

27th May 2005, 00:41
I think that Keygrip has it. Also reynolds has a good point.

Years ago I was sent a Mastercard, without asking, to accompany an exisiting VISA card.

Didn't use it for months and months.

Then used it to pay for a simple car service.

Had a call within 2 days to ask if the card was still in my possession.

It was, but the bank had just started a trial of Artificial Intelligence to monitor spending patterns. It was outside of the 'norm'.

I think these systems are far more finely tuned these days.

27th May 2005, 02:30
The charge that merchants pay Visa/Mastercard is often significantly higher for 'foreign' cards. They may not want to accept them for that reason.

27th May 2005, 02:39
Indeed - when processing - as I described above - country codes of card issue vs country codes of transaction acquiring can be checked against each other.

If excessive fees could potentially be incurred, the merchant or the bank may chose to reject the transaction.

Pretty crap when, as you say, the Mastercard and VISA symbols are supposed to accepted worldwide.

I think that if you dig deep enough, there will some pathetic small print on your bank's side or at the merchant, which gives them a suitable get out clause explaining your inconvenience.

Metro man
27th May 2005, 03:10
Some places prefer not to accept overseas credit cards to reduce the risk of fraud. Much easier dealing with a come back if the card is issued in your own country.

27th May 2005, 03:37
Yup , had that with VISA trying to book online domestic flights within South Africa . Not VISA's fault but SAA wouldn't accept a non SA credit card . Had to go to a travel agency here to book , and pay the extra costs !

27th May 2005, 04:09
Interesting that you mention fraud.

|'ve done much investigation into credit card fraud as part of a previous existence.

Without going to details, Asia-Pacific was always a hot spot.

SA never came into the equation, but times change.

Loose rivets
27th May 2005, 06:28
Barclaycard Visa and Bank of America have some sort of tie up thingie (a technical term)

you don't get hit with some charge or another while in the US and using BoA machines I think.. Don't need that particular facet anymore so not very clued up.

27th May 2005, 06:39
It is because of fraud and is a common practice with US companies, many of whom have suffered losses. The amount they earn from overseas sales make it not worth the hassle. Much less common in European countries since so much trade is cross border.

I just keep open my Bank of America account and use their card when buying anything from the States. Just top it up with a cash transfer now and then.

27th May 2005, 08:32
I was talking to my daughters MIL (aka my son-laws mother; there really should be a simpler was of describing this - co-MIL?) at dinner last weekend. She is off on a foreign trip and her husband died recently so this will be her first solo trip for about 30 years and she was a bit nervous about it (particularly since she was having trouble contacting the people who were supposed to be picking her up at the far end).

I said something to the effect that if it all went pear-shaped and no-one turned up she had always got the bit of plastic so she could get a hotel/hire car/tickets back or whatever. She then described the previous solo trip where she had gone to Rome. On arrival she went on a spending spree using her plastic which she had hardly used before (she mentioned that the first thing she did was buy three expensive leather jackets). She hadn't notified the credit card company that she was going abroad and they then cancelled her card, leaving her in Rome with no money and means of getting any.

Whilst it was done because they suspected theft/fraud she was not overly impressed with this.

27th May 2005, 08:52
Yep with most things whether hotel bookings, airfares, or car rental payments, the United States don't consider a non-US Visa card to be valid. I have a Citibank Gold Visa card issued here in the UAE, and I can buy practically nothing on-line from the states with it. I guess they expect me to fly to the States, somehow open a bank account there (hard as a non-resident) and then get a US credit card.

It's funny cos I have never heard Australian merchants knocking back a non-oz issued Visa card. As someone said, VISA prides themselves as being a card that can be used the world over. Maybe they should have a little exemption there at the bottom of the screen in fine print.

27th May 2005, 10:03
of course AirNo the beauty is... Citibank ARE and American bank!!

Scumbag O'Riley
27th May 2005, 10:18
It's very easy for a non-US resident to open a US bank account, they will also give you a debit card with a VISA logo on it without too much trouble.

What's this about merchants in the Eurozone charging your UK issued VISA in sterling. Noticed this in Ireland, convinced its a scam to rip you off on the exchange rate, but never got round to checking it out.

27th May 2005, 20:37
Question is riley, why should I have to. My visa is with Citibank an international bank, so why should the Americans not accept it????

29th May 2005, 08:41
My South African Visa card (color of beach sand) :E is not accepted on ebay.

My AmeX card thatI got after MANY problem and screens are also not allowed.

I saw that South Korea 's cards are allowed so I made my address to


South Africa
South Korea

No problem ... :ugh: but why must I be a skeewy like that ? :suspect:

So much for the word "International" in Credit cards !