Our recent trip to Europe kept us asking our local friends, “Do you mind if we borrow some cash, they won't take our credit card.” It wasn't currency exchange uncertainty that made retailers refuse us in Germany and the UK – it was our lack of chip'n'pin technology.

Europe seems to be scared about being ripped off and if you go with an old fashioned credit card (i.e. US) then you're increasingly likely to be refused. Our plastic was refused at a grocers in Victoria Station in London, a supermarket in Hamburg and a pizza restaurant in Munich.

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