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Foreign credit card acceptance in Umeå

Places that take MasterCard, Amex, etc.

post 28.Aug.2008, 06:21 PM
Post #1
Joined: 16.Jan.2008

A While ago I asked if foreign cards can be used in Sweden

This is my experience so far

Rusta - Sometimes Visa and Mastercard will work - No Amex
McDonalds - No Foreign Cards
Subway - No Foreign Cards
Willys - No Foreign Cards
Umea Kommun Parking Meters - No Foreign Cards

Jysk, O&O, Jula, Expert, ICA Maxi, Statoil, SJ Train, Norwegian Airlines - AMEX Works

All of these instances is usage without Kontrolnumber (Pin Number) with Foreign ID Card

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post 28.Aug.2008, 07:35 PM
Post #2
Joined: 18.Dec.2007

Don't know what bank cards you use, but all of and mastercard issued from the UK work 100%... unfortunately! I have never had any issues with the shops mentioned. I can understand Amex...the rates are so shopkeeper would want to entertain them!

Good Luck
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post 28.Aug.2008, 07:42 PM
Post #3
Location: Jönköping county
Joined: 29.Aug.2004

Haha...If a shop don't accept my card,leave the goods on the counter and with a parting mild oath piss off to those who do...simple really..
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Renfeh Hguh
post 28.Aug.2008, 07:45 PM
Post #4
Location: Not in Sweden
Joined: 1.May.2005


Amex is not all that popular in Sweden and many other places in the world because of the fees they charge the merchants, so I am not surprised you are having problems with it.

When the Visa and M/C don't work, is it the "store policy" or are they just not working in the POS machine?

If it is the POS machines then I suggest that you contact your bank an let them know that you are living in Sweden using your card here. Some fraud systems can heavily restrict foreign use.

If it is the store policy, will they let you use the card if you know the pin?

I'm pretty sure that under Visa and M/C's standard regulations banks (therefore the merchants) are not allowed to prevent use of foreign cards. Having said that, their regulations also states that you cannot ask for ID, but as Sweden likes doing everything different, there is an exception for this rule for Sweden and who knows about the foreign card use :roll:
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post 28.Aug.2008, 08:39 PM
Post #5
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 18.Feb.2008

Had Amex as a local in the UK for a while and gave it up as so few places accepted it.

From memory they charge about 4% compared to 1.5% for a normal credit card - if "accepted" you know the place has a high profit margin
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post 28.Aug.2008, 09:11 PM
Post #6
Location: United States
Joined: 2.Mar.2008

Hey Furu!

I don't use my US credit cards here unless I make purchases online since most local stores ask for a pin code...but pin codes don't exist for credit cards in the U.S. smile.gif

I just brought over one credit card from the U.S., and I'm just going to probably use it to buy my plane ticket to visit home for the holidays. I have just been using my bank card for regular purchases in Sweden...Swedish bank card of course.

Maybe think about getting a Swedish credit card?
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*Ghost In The Machine*
post 28.Aug.2008, 09:46 PM
Post #7

QUOTE (Anti-jante)
If it is the POS machines then I suggest that you contact your bank an let them know that you are living in Sweden using your card here. Some fraud systems can heavily restrict foreign use.:

Many UK banks/credit providers now restrict most overseas use as a default unless you ring and notify them. Depends on the type of account tho. Some have a threshold too, when i moved over, one card had a £50 limit and the other was £75...
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International Man of Leis...
post 29.Aug.2008, 10:18 PM
Post #8
Location: Skåne
Joined: 10.Jul.2007

QUOTE (kerostarfx)
I don't use my US credit cards here unless I make purchases online since most local stores ask for a pin code...but pin codes don't exist for credit cards in the U.S. smile.gif

Not quite true - I still have 3 US cards, 2 credit and one debit, have PIN codes for all three and have never had a problem using them in Sweden. You probably just have to ask your card provider to send you a PIN code.

What the US cards DON'T have is the chip, so you have to swipe the US cards in the "old fashioned" manner, not put them in the Chip&Pin slot.

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post 23.Apr.2009, 04:13 PM
Post #9
Joined: 23.Jul.2008

Amex now more widely accepted in UK, use it all the time at Sainsburies, but a few places still refuse (higher commission rates).

Have nearly stopped trying with it in Sweden, but might try again next time. (Cheers Furu). Have used it at COOP and it was accepted at Hydros filling station last month. What gets me most is that after 2 uses of any UK card buying petrol, I get a telephoned fraud enquiry. If you fail to pick up, the card can be locked. Reason they say - favourite fraud use is for buying petrol. Despite pin use. Grr! And despite telling them time after time, I go to Sweden regularly and buy petrol from card automats.
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post 25.May.2009, 06:30 AM
Post #10
Location: Dalarna
Joined: 5.Apr.2006

I have found it easy to use Amex in for hotells and some shops.

I have also found that almost 100% of ATMs accept my UK cards
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post 25.May.2009, 08:52 AM
Post #11
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 20.Mar.2009

Re use of U.S.-issued credit cards in Sweden: my first time living here a few years ago I did not have a pin code for my credit cards and was almost always required to present an ID card (of some sort - passport, driver's license, etc).

On the off-chance that you could get a pin code for a U.S. credit card, I rang my bank, and sure enough, a pin code arrived. Having said that, I vaguely recall getting a pin code with other cards, years back, but never needing it, probably discarded it. At any rate, my CapitalOne card, with my new pin code works great everywhere here in Sweden.

For anyone looking for a credit card that does not charge you a foreign transaction fee, I highly recommend CapitalOne. In fact, I think that they are the only major card issuer that does not charge any fees.
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post 25.May.2009, 09:11 AM
Post #12
Joined: 23.Jul.2008

I would qualify my own quote on use of Amex at filling stations. Amex is only accepted at automats if issued by a Nordic institution. I revisited the Hydro mentioned and the automat rejected my Amex, saying I should pay at the counter (impossible as it was only an automat)

On the topic, I now find that using any card at a petrol automat more than twice triggers a phone call from the credit card company. With my M&S Mastercard at least a human rings within 2 minutes. With Lloyds, an automated service rings up to 30 minutes later telling you your card has problems and requiring you to call them back. I have ended up getting very angry with Lloyds saying I tell you I am going to Sweden, its the same spending pattern every time and you cant recognise it, but block my card. Their response - credit card fraud occurs with petrol automats - my reply, I have to use my pin. No explanation. (It doesnt help that the automated call system is flawed - it doubles up on some payments made and DSB becomes a freight railway company in Denmark and Avis Sweden becomes Avis America !) Insult to injury is added by the cost of the mobile phone call to them to clear up the failings of their security systems Grrr!

Be warned, never ever travel with just one card, you might end up without a source of funds.
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post 4.Feb.2011, 07:08 AM
Post #13
Location: North America
Joined: 4.Feb.2011

well, i still have to post this. recently i have been to the country, and i got really disappointed since i want to have a part of the Us to be with me in Sweden, but when i got to McDonald's, they got do not entertain my card which is Visa, US. but, what the hell, i just winged it, and ate somewhere else. darn.
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post 13.Sep.2013, 12:00 PM
Post #14
Joined: 21.Mar.2013

To be fair, this isn't really a 'Sweden' thing, this is a 'Europe' thing. Cards with no PIN function are extremely difficult to use anywhere in the EU. Retail staff aren't normally trained to handle them, so the general policy ends up being "if in doubt, don't risk it".

You will see Americans trying to argue with till staff in Paris all the time over this.
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post 13.Sep.2013, 05:04 PM
Post #15
Joined: 5.Jul.2012

Having lived in Sweden for 50+ years, I have had a card from my bank in the UK the whole time. My experience has been that when buying over the internet from Swedish stores, there are many who stipulate Swedish bank issue cards only, others can be OK. It is usually there - in the small print.
Purchases in many large stores personally, usually OK, using the PIN, and sometimes extra ID, but of late my local ICA which is the postal outlet has stipulated Swedish bank cards only, thus restricting to some extent purchases over the Internet using COD.
Having learnt, from experience, which stores will not take my UK card, I use a Swedish bank card with them. It can be a bind, but the stores make their own rules, no doubt due to a combination of cost and security for them. One result is that I often avoid just such stores even though they are the only ones who have what it is I want to purchase. Then I look to the Internet.
The thing is, if one place won't take a foreign card, then try next door. You can usually find someone that will.
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