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a VirtualTourist member asked on Jan 22, 2010


What credit card to use

My husband and I will be traveling to Italy this summer, traveling primarily in Umbria. We will be staying in Orvieto and Trevi and will explore the areas surrounding these two towns. We also plan to take a couple of day trips to Rome. My question is this: are both Visa and MasterCard generally accepted in Umbria? On a previous trip to Switzerland we found that MasterCard was accepted more often than Visa, particularly at food markets. I'm trying to decide if I should have one of each card to make sure we don't have any problems.


9 Answers

answered on 1/22/10 by
a VT member from Richardson

Hmpf, I always found that Visa was more widely accepted in Italy than Mastercard, certainly Visa was accepted before Mastercard...although I have to admit I haven't studied the issue...I always carried one Visa, one Mastercard, and one Amex, and never really worried after that ;-)


answered on 1/22/10 by
a VT member from Province of Ontario

At one point I carried Visa, Mastercard and Amex. Now I am down to just Visa. Amex was always problematic as merchants I spoke with did not like the charges and other terms & conditions associated with Amex, so I ended up getting rid of it. Over time I found myself using Mastercard less and less, so I dropped it as well. On occasion I've run into places that don't take specific cards (or any cards at all). No problem - if I don't have enough cash on me I just try somewhere else.

answered on 1/22/10 by
a VT member

Thank you all for your comment. They are very much appreciated!

answered on 1/22/10 by
a VT member from Sacramento

We always carry one of each. If one isn't accepted, you can use the other. Sometimes your card gets eaten by a machine, chipped or broken, or is blocked for some silly reason (like someone using your credit card number in a strange place). We nearly always use MasterCard and have seldom had a problem but on more than one occasion, have needed the other card . . . and been grateful to have it along.

Be sure you call your credit card companies and bank to tell them when you will be gone and where you are going. This way you won't have your card blocked (unless someone else is using it). In that case, you'll be glad it's been blocked. 8^)

BTW, we use our debit card for cash. You don't have to pay credit card fees on that. Just a suggestion.

Have a great trip.

answered on 1/22/10 by
a VT member from New York City

I only used Mastercards (my check/debit card, and a regular credit card) when I went to Italy last summer and didn't have any problems.

answered on 1/23/10 by
a VT member from Sydney

I agree with Bill, everyting is covered with Visa, Mastercard and Amex, I did not find a problem in Italy

answered on 1/23/10 by
Mary Smith from Leicester

I've got Visa and Mastercard, and haven't had any problems.

I've seen the Amex logo far less often than Visa/Mastercard wherever I've travelled in Europe.

But I do think you should have more than one card anyway, for the reasons given above.

answered on 1/23/10 by
a VT member from Whidbey Island

We always take a MasterCard and a Visa Card with with us. Never had any trouble with either one. We also take two different debit cards as the banks will put a maximum daily withdrawal limit on their card and often we require more money than the limit.

answered on 6/25/10 by
a VT member from Orvieto

Major credit cards are accepted in Umbria. There are some problems just with American Express.
Enjoy your time in my Region.

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