Can You Use the Barclaycard Arrival Card at Kiosks in Europe?

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Million Mile Secrets reader, Peter, commented:

I am looking for a “true” chip-and-PIN card to use in Europe next year.  I have a chip-and-PIN card issued by the Andrews Federal Credit Union.  But I have had numerous customer dissatisfaction issues with them and would like to find another chip-and-PIN card, not just a chip-and-signature card.

I called Barclaycard and they say the Barclaycard ArrivalTM World MasterCard® (not the Arrival Plus, I don’t want to pay the annual fee) is a true chip-and-PIN card.

Do you know if that is true?

As I discovered on my trip to Iceland, if you’re traveling to Europe, bringing a credit card with chip-and-PIN capability could be the difference between happily driving to your next destination and being stuck on the side of the road.

That’s because many vending machines, train stations, and gas pumps in Europe only work with chip-and-PIN technology.

While most credit cards in the US, including the Barclaycard Arrival, do NOT have true chip-and-PIN technologythey’ll still work for you in most cases!

Can You Use The Barclaycard Arrival Card At Kiosks In Europe

You’ll Find Things in Europe That You Don’t See in the US – Gorgeous Buildings That Are Thousands of Years Old, Sold Out Soccer Err..Football Stadiums, and Kiosks That Only Accept Chip-and-PIN Cards

I’ll explain the difference between chip-and-PIN and chip-and-signature technology and tell you why the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card may be a better choice than the Arrival card.

What’s the Difference Between Chip-and-PIN & Chip-and-Signature?

When you pay with a chip-and-signature card, you’ll need to sign to verify your purchase.  This works fine in the US, but many unmanned machines in Europe instead ask for a PIN to complete your transaction.

Chip-and-PIN cards require you to enter a pre-set PIN that’s coded into the chip of your card.  This gives you added security and it’s more widely accepted in Europe.  You can find a list of true chip-and-PIN cards here.  Unfortunately, these aren’t the cards we use to earn miles and points.

However, the Barclaycard Arrival and Barclaycard Arrival Plus cards come with chip-and-Signature AND chip-and-PIN capability.  This means you’ll still sign for your purchases.  And at kiosks, ticket centers, or unattended gas stations in Iceland where a signature isn’t possible, you can enter your PIN.

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus worked great during my stay in Iceland!

Interestingly, my Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase British Airways card also worked when I entered a random 4-digit number.  But I wouldn’t count on this working everywhere.

Can You Use The Barclaycard Arrival Card At Kiosks In Europe

Cards Like the Barclaycard Arrival & Arrival Plus Can Keep You From Getting Into a Jam When You’re Driving Around Europe

Peter likes the Barclaycard Arrival card because it has no annual fee .  But he’ll earn more rewards with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus!

Why the Barclaycard Arrival Plus Card May Be a Better Option!

Link:   Barclaycard ArrivalTM World MasterCard®

Link:   My Full Review of the Barclaycard Arrival Card

Link:   Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®

Link:   My Full Review of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus Card

When you sign-up for the Barclaycard Arrival card and spend $1,000 on purchases within the 1st 90 days of opening your account, you’ll earn 20,000 Barclaycard Arrival miles.  That’s worth $100 in statement credits or ~$210 when you redeem for travel purchases of $25 or more.

Other perks include:

  • 2X Arrival miles on travel and dining
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee

But with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card, you’ll earn a larger 40,000 Arrival mile bonus when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the 1st 90 days of opening your account.  That’s worth up to ~$420 towards your next getaway (when you make travel purchases of $100+)!

Keep in mind, Barclaycard Arrival miles are worth 1 cent each when you redeem them for travel purchases.  But you’ll get 5% of your miles back as a rebate when you redeem them.

That’s why the 40,000 mile sign-up bonus is worth ~$420 towards travel purchases (40,000 Barclaycard Arrival miles = $400 in travel, plus 2,000 Barclaycard Arrival miles = $20 from the 5% rebate).

Plus, you’ll get:

  • 2X Arrival miles on ALL purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees

So with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card, you’ll earn DOUBLE the sign-up bonus you’ll get with the Barclaycard Arrival card.  And you’ll earn 2X miles on all your spending instead of in only 2 categories.

There’s an $89 annual fee, but it’s waived the 1st year.  So Peter could give the card a try for ~10 months.  If he decides it’s worth paying the annual fee, he can hang onto the card.  I happily pay the annual fee on certain cards each year!

Otherwise, he can call Barclaycard to cancel.   You won’t be pressured to keep the card.  At most, the bank will offer to waive your fee or give you bonus miles to keep the card open.

Or he could downgrade to the Barclaycard Arrival with no annual fee.  He’d miss out on the 20,000 Barclaycard Arrival miles sign-up bonus, but he’d keep his credit line open which can help his credit score.

Can You Use The Barclaycard Arrival Card At Kiosks In Europe

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus Card Waives the Annual Fee for the 1st Year – That’s Like Getting a Free 1 Year Trial Period!

Bottom Line

Many unmanned kiosks in Europe such as train ticket centers, gas pumps, and vending machines only accept chip-and-PIN cards.  And most US cards don’t have true chip-and-PIN technology, yet.

However, cards like the Barclaycard Arrival and Arrival Plus have chip-and-PIN capability.  So when signature isn’t available, they’ll default to PIN.  This worked very well for me during my trip to Iceland.

The Barclaycard Arrival card is great because it has no annual fee.

But it may be worth giving the Barclaycard Arrival Plus a try instead because you’ll earn a larger sign-up bonus and more Barclaycard Arrival miles on your everyday spending.

Plus, the annual fee is waived for the 1st year, so it doesn’t cost you anything to give it a try!

I hope that helps, Peter!  Thanks for your question!

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12 responses to “Can You Use the Barclaycard Arrival Card at Kiosks in Europe?

  1. I received no offer and they declined to downgrade me when I called to cancel the Arrival Plus to avoid the annual fee. I think the annual fee is only worth paying if you’re a very big spender, so I did cancel. The question I have is when is the right time to reapply with Barclay. The Arrival Plus is worth signing up for the initial bonus if I could get that again.

  2. I can confirm this as well. Just got back from a two week trip in Finland, and was pleased to discover that my Arrival Plus worked just fine in Chip-and-PIN mode with the unattended gas stations in that country. This is a great card, thanks for turning me on to this card a while ago.

    My only wish is that I didn’t have to do the signature thing when making other purchases where real people are present. I really don’t understand the difference, TBH, and why the card won’t default to Chip-and-PIN for every scan.

  3. Just stepped off the plane back from a quick jaunt in England. I can definitely confirm that our Barclaycard Arrival (not Plus- had downgraded last month with all the negative changes that went into effect) was the ONLY card we were able to use for the Tube, kiosks at the train stations, etc! When we used it out and about, it worked as Chip & Sig, but at the kiosks and the Tube stations, it worked as Chip & Pin, which was awesome…. we were even able to use Apple Pay with the Barclaycard Arrival to save 50% on Tube tickets, the same discount as the Oyster card! Definitely a card worth hanging on to, if only for European vacations..

  4. Do you know if the Barclay Aviator Red card is chip & pin?

  5. Yes, the Aviaitor Red Card worked for us as chip and pin in France. we wre able to pay tolls, buy gas at unattended stations, pay parking fees etc. I do think that you have to use it in the US first as chip and signature before the Pin feature is activated.

  6. [email protected]

    @DaveS – I closed my Arrival + 6 mos. ago and a couple of weeks ago I applied again and received a Instant Approval. I didn’t feel very confident then but hey I got through…and you just might too! Good Luck man!
    @tucsonbabe – you are correct.

  7. Apparently, the credit card companies suppose to have fixed this. According to Chase: As of July 2015, unattended kiosks that accept Visa/MasterCard should now accept payment with or without PIN according to their new guidelines. If a merchant/kiosk asks you for a PIN, first verify that Visa/MasterCard are accepted. If so, you may be able to select one of the following to bypass the PIN prompt: “Cancel,” “Enter” or “Continue.” If the card reader still will not accept your card without a PIN code, there may be staff in the area to assist you. Otherwise, local currency may be needed in this situation.

  8. tl;dr: Most kiosks will accept chip and signature card by simply pressing confirm or enter when asked for PIN. It will still ask, as will merchants, because that is how their system is set up. Just smile and wait a second.

    The banks are still working out the details, because european clearing houses want pin-enabled to prevent fraud, which is why merchants make have a funny face when your card skips past PIN entering step. For unattended kiosks with the csp, I can confirm that just pressing enter (or however the green button is labeled) will do it.
    This still will not work on payment systems that are closed to foreign banks(such as some Belgium terminals that only accept local banks), you will have to find an in person help desk to purchase. This is also true for some merchants that have debit-only hard coded transactions, the merchant may not understand why your card works either, but its in the error code.

  9. I didn’t have the Barclay cards when I recently traveled in France and on a Sunday it was VERY hard to find a gas station in rural areas where I could use a non chip & pin card. The place that always worked were the toll road truck stops. I wasn’t planning on taking a toll road but rolled the dice and got on for an exit just to use the truck stop. By the way, the ‘truck stops’ on the Autostrade in Italy are AMAZING!

  10. Just a note to remind people of the proper order with the Barclays card to activate the PIN you set online. You first need to do a Chip-based transaction at an online terminal- any retailer with the Chip system activated, like Target, Wal-Mart or Trader Joe’s, etc, will work. That will “download” the PIN onto the card. After that the PIN will work. But if you set the PIN online, but then don’t do any Chip transactions beforehand, the PIN will not be activated. You can see the process about 2/3 of the way down this page:

  11. Thanks for this info. I’ll be downgrading my Arrival+ card to the no-annual fee card when the AF is due.

  12. I used my Barclay arrival+ in London in April and thought the chip-N-pin can be used at the tube kiosk without attendants…… I was wrong. I was asked to sign the receipt at one time and ended up using cash at another. Same thing happened when I tried to use the self check out at Waitrose. I’ve applied for pin before my trip so I don’t know what went wrong.