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ATMs? Buying metro passes, cash only?

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posts: 551
reviews: 4
ATMs? Buying metro passes, cash only?

Can I use any ATM in Montreal with a magnetic strip card or are some of them now chip and pin only? Will there be a button for English I should look out for or need a translation guide? How available are ATMs and are some preferred to others?

I really wish USA would start making chip and pin cards available easily but here we are entering 2013 and they are unheard of in this country.

As for getting a metro card, do I need cash?

Destination Expert
for Paris
posts: 13,003
reviews: 117
1. Re: ATMs? Buying metro passes, cash only?

You can use a magnetic strip card at ATMs still, until the end of this year at least (from 2013 all local bank cards will require a chip, so I am not sure about US cards then).

There will be a button for English, so do look for it, and there are ATMs in metro stations.

posts: 551
reviews: 4
2. Re: ATMs? Buying metro passes, cash only?

I dont think the the USA has any requirement for c+p ever, at least not one I know about. There are always rumors but no one here has even ever heard of chip and pin so it's going to be a long time.

Its getting harder to travel for us.

Thats just what the man wants! Keeping us in our borders.

Magog, Canada
posts: 30,657
reviews: 624
3. Re: ATMs? Buying metro passes, cash only?

Being used to the chip+pin card, I found it rather annoying on my recent trip to the US that two times out of three I had to produce my driver's license when using my credit card. I was surprised that the US wasn't more modern (even is Silicone Valley).

Montreal, Canada
posts: 1,633
reviews: 259
4. Re: ATMs? Buying metro passes, cash only?

No problem using a magnetic strip card. The Bus/Metro doesn't accept US cards except at the airport as far as I know. You will therefore have to pay cash for the metro/bus unless you buy the pass at the airport.

As of January 1st, Canadian accounts will only use the chip, but US accounts can still use the magnetic strip.

ATMs will either automatically assume English if you bank has properly encoded your account, or will ask if you want French or English.

Old Montreal
Destination Expert
for Montreal
posts: 4,999
reviews: 4
5. Re: ATMs? Buying metro passes, cash only?


Silicon valley not silicone valley!

Well silicone valley might be a nickname for LA.

Huntington Beach...
Destination Expert
for Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach
posts: 5,121
reviews: 152
6. Re: ATMs? Buying metro passes, cash only?

Just certain parts of LA Platipus.

I used a credit card to buy my 3 day pass in the subway station at the attended window.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 6,855
7. Re: ATMs? Buying metro passes, cash only?

There are chip & pin cards available already (creditcardforum.com/blog/…) and the rollout should ramp up after next April. That's when chip & pin has to be accepted for transactions within the United States (www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2399772,00.asp).

It's an anti-fraud measure, so it's good for the banks. Rather than a conspiracy to trap you in the country, the more likely explanation for the delay is that the American banking system is fragmented and slow to evolve.

posts: 551
reviews: 4
8. Re: ATMs? Buying metro passes, cash only?

Matt, 6 or 7 different cards with several of them having hundreds in dollars of fees is pretty much nothing. If something really does happen in 2013 I will be shocked. Happy, but still shocked.

As for buying metro passes.. If I am at Station Berri, I will not be able to use any of the machines with credit cards and need to use cash?

SE Ontario
posts: 9,790
reviews: 10
9. Re: ATMs? Buying metro passes, cash only?

LordJezo - as LSCats notes in her message she was able to use her American credit card to buy a pass in a station.

posts: 551
reviews: 4
10. Re: ATMs? Buying metro passes, cash only?

I took a look at the list again, the cheapest option for US consumers if $95 a year for the British Airways Chase card.

The others have fees of $600 a year or are only for very select customers. So I stick by my original point, its impossible for the normal American to get a c+p card.

This is just a personal frustration. Most of us never even leave the country so of course no one cares about being able to use their credit cards abroad.


Back to the actual topic, okay, so at the station I can use the window, I should just avoid the automated teller machines?

How in French do I say I want a 3-day pass? I saw that news article of the one guy manning a booth refusing to speak english so I figure I will try to order in French with some hand signals. It's okay if they get mad and switch to English, but at least I tried.