Beware using MasterCard, Visa or American Express abroad

This article in the NYT relates something that happened to me in Paris. Our credit card industry is too lazy, and cheap, so our good ole American credit cards are now increasing obsolete – and don’t work – in a growing number of places worldwide.

Like Paris. My hospital couldn’t get any of my cards, MasterCard, Visa or AMEX to work (fortunately, on a second visit, my MasterCard worked). Oh, but don’t get too full of yourselves, Mastercard, because after I spent a good hour-plus trying on clothes at Celio (being stuck in Europe for three months with the same two shirts can get a bit old), Celio wasn’t able to run my MasterCard. I had to return back to my apartment, get my Visa, and go back. Fortunately, the Visa worked. This time. Read the article. It’s pathetic. We have backwards credit cards that don’t have the latest anti-theft protections, and now don’t work in a lot of places abroad, because big business runs our country.

But more importantly, you can no longer rest assured that any of your credit cards, or your ATM cards, will work abroad any more. Great way to have an absolute disaster far away from home.

We’re number one!

PS For an added bonus, the way it rejects your credit card over here, it looks like your card was denied. Imagine the fun when you store clerk hands you back your card and everyone in line looks at you!

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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