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Author Topic: Credit card use in Norway  (Read 52598 times)
Norskwriter
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« on: June 26, 2006, 02:05:12 pm »

On my recent trip to Norway (my fifth), I came upon a new situation (new to me) regarding credit card use. My U.S. based major credit card was accepted, as it was in the past, for travel, hotels, and restaurants--but for the first time it was rejected by some merchants because is was not issued by a Norwegian bank. I can understand why small out-of-the-way shops that do not cater to tourists might be careful, but I also had this problem with the major grocery chain RIMI. Is this something new? Has anyone else had that problem?
Also, when I booked a hurtigruten journey directly through the Norwegian web site, my credit card company put a block on my account because I made a "large foreign transaction." This is new as well.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2006, 06:21:35 am by Norskwriter » Logged
Taryn
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2006, 03:42:14 am »

I am currently in Sweden and I'm having no trouble, but according to someone I asked, the Norwegians have all of their identifying information on their credit card, not just a photo credit card, which isn't common in the USA, but driver's license.  If that is true, no wonder they suspect a regular card. 

One thing I did before a trip to Sweden when we were going to pay for a wedding and things on a VISA card was call and inform the credit card company using the 800 number on the back that we were going on a trip and making big purchases.  They must have some type of warning system  when large transactions are coming from foreign countries. 
If you were home they might have tried to call you.  A friend of mine was tipped off when her husband was in Australia and bought her some expensive jewelry there, the credit card company called home in the USA for verification, and of course she then knew that she was getting something expensive.  So the best thing to do is to inform them ahead of time.  Especially if it is different than your usual pattern of spending. 

 
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Oeystein
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2006, 03:39:12 pm »

1. "Norwegian" creditcards are the same as all over the world, no picture and certainly no drivers license.

2. Rimi/Rema and all the other large grocery chains do not accept any creditcards (and never has). The cards you see used by norwegians in these stores are "bankkort",  which is a direct debitcard (machines marked by a green sign saying "bankaccept" or something similar). Some (I actually think all) of these stores take Visa, but I would not put a bet on every cashier knowing the procedure.

3. There is a limit for verification of the card that differs somewhat from company to company (I think my AMEX is around 1500 NOK, while my Diners is only 700 NOK), but if you go over the limit the store will just verify your card with a phonecall. Not everyone bothers to do this, and some verify the cards online without you ever noticing it. In Norway, cards are strictly personal and use by holder only.

4. Most ATMs will give you cash with major creditcards

5. As all over the world; if there isn't a sticker on the door for your creditcard, it is highly unlikely it will be accepted.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2006, 08:56:51 pm by Øystein » Logged
Monica
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2006, 03:12:00 pm »

I had the same problem a few years ago with my credit card.  I got a VISA card specifically for our trip to Norway because we were told VISA was accepted almost everywhere.  Most places in smaller cities would not take "foreign" credit cards which is where we spent most of our time,  I believe all places in Bergen and Ålesund took them.  We ended up having to take out cash on this card quite often, which ended up costing us a fortune.
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Oeystein
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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2006, 06:21:56 pm »

The current fee, I believe, for a VISA cash withdraval is around 30 NOK, after a couple of thousand withdravals, you coukld probably call it a fortune.  I'm sorry, this gets to stupid. TAKK FOR MEG!
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Monica
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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2006, 08:03:09 pm »

For your information it was $12 per transaction, for some people that is a fortune. 

I really think I should be able to share my experiences Øystein without you making rude remarks.  I really used to feel like sharing on this website was welcomed without being put down.
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Norskwriter
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2006, 09:41:45 am »

Thank you Oeystein for clarification regarding RIMI. Otherwise, my experience was similar to that of Monica.There was for example, a shop in downtown Trondheim with a VISA sign in the window where the clerk said he would not accept a foreign credit card. Another downtown shop accepted the VISA card reluctantly, but only after carefully inspecting my passport. Perhaps merchants have been taking a loss with bogus or stolen foreign credit cards?
Taryn's suggestion about calling ones credit card company before making a large transaction is a good one. According to VISA it was not the size of the transaction alone, but that it was foreign and internet that caused my account to be blocked.
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Taryn
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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2006, 01:45:17 am »

I would like to try to smooth the waters here a bit, I don't think Oeystein was insulting anyone, it often is a translation misunderstanding.  After just getting back from Europe, we had a few of those moments.  the word dumm for example, I will risk saying, in Norway and Sweden, doesn't mean stupid, which the online dictionary might translate it too, it means goofy, strange, unusual, and it isn't as strong a word as it is in English, it's actually a milder meaning of something being weird or goofy, and I don't think he meant it as a personal insult, but more of a comment about the process of getting money from all of us that the banks and credit card companies have figured out.

We just got back from Sweden and Germany and went through our debit card transactions, and it did come to $2 fee for every bankomat cash withdrawal on our visa check card.  There may also be a 2% additional cost to the transaction - the credit card exchange rate.  You won't get the bank to bank exchange rate.  Oanda.com is an interesting website to check out for exchange rates.  Anyway, the $2 fee only applied to cash withdrawals from the bankomat.  If we used it for buying stuff directly, there was no fee.  But we still did run into the problem that you can't ALWAYS use your card even if there is a sign in the restaurant window saying that they take VISA.  We were out for dinner in Germany, and the waitress tried to explain that the Boss was gone for the day , and he was the only one who could use the computer to run the credit card machine or something, so we had to pay cash.  That was in northern Germany at a very popular tourist area, so I guess it could happen in other countries too.

In Sweden I ran into the problem that my check card I have to sign for, I can't use my pin number at a store.  But at the cash machine, my pin number works. And it's a bit stressful when you are at the checkout, and they are saying stuff quickly to you in a different language.  So I say first, in Swedish, that I must write my name.  and mime it of course.

My husband is always so aware of the fees, so when we get cash, we get enough to spread out the fee cost.

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LanaLock
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2012, 08:54:24 pm »

Hello,

This thread seems to be of the year 2006 and I wonder if it is still alive. I am travelling to Trondheim from the US and I am concerned about the use of a US credit cards (I have MasterCard World and Chase Preffered). The matter is that I am going to stay a very extended period of time in Norway, almost 7 months as an exchange research scientist. I will be receiving salary on the place. Do you think it would be possible to open a bank account on the place and obtain a 'bankkart'?

Thank you in advance for your advise,
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randijb
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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2012, 09:07:03 am »

To my knowledge, as long a you have a Norw. working permit or are enlisted at a University/college as a student, there should not be a problem opening a bank account in a Norw. bank and get your salary/payment transferred to that account. After 1-2 weeks you will be issued a Visa debit card which you can use everywhere.  We don't use checks in Norway. Electronic payment is the common way to pay for everything here, although there are ATMs on every other street corner.
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Taryn
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« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2012, 03:07:26 am »

This summer we got a visa travel card with the chip in it, and we still had problems in Oslo and in Sweden with it not working, at two places. We carry three different types of cards now, just in case. Uffda.
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tommy
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2012, 02:55:31 pm »

Taryn: I have relatives visiting in September from Arizona. What creditcards do you suggest that they bring with them?

For what it`s worth, I haven`t encountered any problem with my cards when I have travelled abroad.
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Taryn
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2012, 03:28:04 pm »

In our area, US Bank seemed to be the only card offered with a chip in it. I think our problem was that we had that card set up so we had to sign for our transaction, and we should have had it set up to go to a PIN transactiom. Our regular debit card with the pin worked fine, but you are safer using a Visa card, in case of fraud, your bank accounts can't be wiped out.
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