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10 replies
Anyone used US credit card to book Norwegian Rail Minipris online?
kay2
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I’ve seen old discussions about difficulty buying online tickets with some European rail systems using US credit cards on Lonely Planet. I had no trouble booking on the Swedish rail site. But the Norwegian site says “The creditcard information entered is not valid, or you have tried to use a credit card we do not accept.” for two credit cards.

I am going to try telephoning Norway on Monday, but wondered if anyone has gotten around this. The online minipris price is around US$60pp roundtrip, the full price on nsb.no (if I could book it) is $90, and when I try other sites I get as high as $220+ for full fare second class tickets. So you can see my interest in getting the minipris. The website says for full price tickets I can go to scandanavian rail site which has a submit request for tickets.

We don’t need a railpass—we would pay $220pp for the shortest Norway pass for 2 traveling together, so that doesn’t help much unless the point-to-point end up being more.
I could have purchased a 4-day Norway-Sweden pass, but I’ve already purchased the Swedish tickets online for a great discount. Guess I could have started with the Norwegian site and when experienced the problem the pass may have been as good as point-to-point, but I didn’t know one site would work but not the other.

Kay2

oldlady
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There have been reports of folks having trouble using a US credit cards on trenitalia, the Italian rail website, and I couldn’t use a US credit card to buy ferry tickets on-line from Tallink in Finland. Problems using a US credit card to book travel on-line from European sources seem to be much more common in the last year than in the past. Hopefully you can work it out by phone.

Don
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I have booked several minipris tickets from NSB.no with a US-bank Mastercard, but the latest was more than 2 years ago. Have you phoned your bank (that issued the cards) to seek advice? Be sure to ask them to allow purchases in Norway now, and for other places you will visit. Also, try a MC or Visa-branded debit card if you have one. If it does not offer Mastercard as a payment option, choose Eurocard instead—it is Mastercard’s brand name in Europe. You probably already know this, but be sure to put your name exactly as it appears on the card, as well as your billing address exactly as it is on your bill each month.

kay2
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Thanks for the advice. My bank that issues the cards has let charges from Swedish rail go through no problem as well as some other Swedish and Norwegian prepayments on the same days I tried NSB. I even got an automated call from my bank when a charge was denied by a Swedish website because I couldn’t remember the password for the additional level of security some sites use (Mastercard secure code and Verify by Visa, or something like that) to make sure I was making the charges. So their programs do check up on my transactions for suspicious purchases Wink

My niece was visiting from the UK, so we tried her credit card and it worked just fine—no need to put in billing address etc. and allowed me to book the tickets in my name with her credit card number. I received the email with my reference number and seat reservation.

I must remember to follow up with my niece when she receives her card statement just to make sure she remembers that I charged the tickets to her card and she doesn’t think “Noway? I’m not going to Norway” and challenges the charges. I can just see the conductor throwing us off the train.

Kay2

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I do think there’s an issue with some European travel sites not accepting US credit cards for on-line bookings. My “universal” Master card — which is specifically designed for international travel — wouldn’t work last summer on the Tallink website, but I used the same card to book the ferry tickets in their office in Helsinki with no problem.

Don
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Sounds like it’s not everywhere you want to be. (or was that visa? i forget… it’s been 7 years)

Kay: be sure the card used to book is not required as proof of purchase on the train. I have been on trains which require that.

kay2
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Before booking I looked for what you were supposed to show to conductor or ticket machine and it said to have the booking reference number, printout of email, and the phone number given as identifier—no mention of the credit card used to book.

Kay2

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A new posting on this thread reminded me that I might not have provided follow-up after the trip.
The printout of ticket was just fine. On some routes that I booked online the conductor had printed out receipts for those of us who had booked online (don’t remember if that was Norway or Sweden). No need to show credit card for minipris ticket purchased in Norway, though.

More recently in US we tried to use our credit cards in a self service fueling station and both Visa and Mastercard were denied. When we returned home the automated service had called to check for fraud. When I telephoned back the bankcard folks said it was a problem with the creditcard reader not property reading security codes on the cards that raised concern. Luckily for us we were able to get the airport manager to come out and pump gas for us for cash. So problems can happen anywhere.

Kay

Kay2

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Quote:
More recently in US we tried to use our credit cards in a self service fueling station and both Visa and Mastercard were denied. When we returned home the automated service had called to check for fraud. When I telephoned back the bankcard folks said it was a problem with the creditcard reader not property reading security codes on the cards that raised concern. Luckily for us we were able to get the airport manager to come out and pump gas for us for cash. So problems can happen anywhere.
Pay at the pump gas is the most likely illegal use of a stolen credit card. If I fill up more than once in a day within a small geographical area I usually get a call from my credit card company. Never had a card refused in this situation, though.

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Thanks for the update Kay. Glad it turned out well.

I’ve had similar problems with Mastercard over-securing my card. They have never phoned me on my foreign number — they always revert back to an old US number not current on the card. If you don’t notify them that all is well, then they lock it down. Not fun when you’re travelling and told them and your bank ahead of time. Even worse when the exact thing happens several times, and when you speak to a rep. and tell them to go ahead and allow charges to all countries adjacent to Denmark, the reply is dead silence (crickets chirping…………….). I should have asked if I could charge an atlas and send it to them.

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We’ve been getting spam lately — often attached to posts that haven’t been active for a while. Administrator Swill is working on some solutions and the moderators try to keep it under control — thanks to Don for patrolling this one.