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Old 07-02-2015, 05:40 AM   #21
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Another thought.

When we go to Canada we call Verizon and for $12 a month add unlimited calling in Canada to the States and a 1000 minutes in Canada per month. The charge is only $12 a month in addition to your regular bill.
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Old 07-02-2015, 07:43 AM   #22
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All great information!! This is the best place for RV info on the Internet....must be the members!!

One more question: Crime in Nova Scotia???...any concerns???

Thanks for the info.

Happy Camping!!!
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:08 AM   #23
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Credit Card Chips

[QUOTE=Carol H;532383]Did this happen in 2015 or prior Bob? If prior it may not have been a chip issue but a card type issue. Costco actually only accepted American Express cards in Canada for years, no other CC's. It was just on December 31st of last year Costco Canada stopped taking American Express and switch to taking Master Card only. You can use no other card with the exception of chipped debit cards.

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We were in Canada in Oct-Nov 2014 when we encountered the chip issue at a COSTCO and also at another service station we stopped at. COSTCO also dumped AMX in the U.S.

Funny thing is that we had 3 cards between us that were already chip enabled and didn't even know that they were.

I "think", due to the huge number of card readers in the U.S., that the change-over is slower than might be ideal. I have learned to look for the extra chip reader slot when using my cards, but I have even had to deal with clerks that didn't know how to use that function.

I think that it's somewhat ironic that China, the world center for counterfeiting, is suddenly concerned about security from Americans. Nothing like Karma payback.



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Old 07-02-2015, 08:25 AM   #24
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When we traveled in Canada 4 years ago, our Chase Visa/debit card would only work at Bank of Montreal ATMs because of the cash network accepted. Check what symbol is on your card and look for those ATMs.
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:36 AM   #25
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Bob when did Costco drop Amex in US? We used it at a MO one a month ago.

Norm it's nice you can get a cheap add on for using phone in Canada. We had to switch our plan for minimum 3 months last winter to get calls from/to anywhere in US and Cda. And we still had no data or texting included!

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Old 07-02-2015, 08:56 AM   #26
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I know the Scotia bank in Canada has an agreement with Bank of America which allows us to withdraw money from our Scotia bank accounts with no transaction fees at any BOA bank or ATM in the US. I don't know if it's reciprical with a BOA card withdrawing money from the Scotia bank. Wouldn't hurt to check.
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Old 07-02-2015, 09:07 AM   #27
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COSTCO & AMX

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Originally Posted by emers382 View Post
Bob when did Costco drop Amex in US? We used it at a MO one a month ago.

Norm it's nice you can get a cheap add on for using phone in Canada. We had to switch our plan for minimum 3 months last winter to get calls from/to anywhere in US and Cda. And we still had no data or texting included!

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----------------------------------------------------------------------------
COSTCO announced earlier this year that they were not renewing their agreement with AMEX and that a change-over to another card system would be taking place. While it hasn't happened yet, it's a done deal and a new system will be in place by early next year. Here's a link to the announcement:
American Express and CostCo U.S. Partnership Agreements Set to End March 31, 2016



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Old 07-02-2015, 09:44 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
I'm a little surprised by the security chip discussion. It may be that many people don't recognize the existence of the security chip because even stores with security strip readers usually have both forms of readers in the same credit/debit card reader.

We have 3 credit cards and they all have security chips. Though many places do not use security chips, like most gas stations in my area, Walmarts does, having both readers in most stores.

Security chips are in your card if you have the seven contact pattern (an almost oval in the center with 6 blocks on the outside of the oval). It is located on the front of the card.
Norm most stores as you suggest use the same card readers for all cards debit & credit and most are set up to allow the store owner to enter a code at their main terminal to allow a customer to use the security strip on the card should there be an issue with card reader reading the chip.

If the card is swiped on the side using the magnetic strip the machine will still ask the customer to input a security PIN number in order for the transaction to be completed. That is were the problem lays - many of the US cards also do not have a security PIN number associated with them.

While store owners currently do also have a way of getting around having the customer enter a pin number they for security reasons are not keen on teaching all their employees on how to do it, due to security concerns, as the simple fact is the vast majority of their customers - Canadian's & tourist from outside the country do have a chip and security pin on their cards - other than the US tourist that is ;-)

The problem with the store owner overriding the use of a security Pin number is that some of the major CC companies have it written into their merchant agreement that the store is not to ask the customer for additional ID if the card is signed. If they ask for additional ID and a customer complains to the CC company about it the store could loose their right to take that credit card in their store - I believe it may have been the US Walmart (or another major retailer) got a big warning from one of the major CC companies (Visa or MasterCard) a couple of years ago as it was the stores policy to ask for additional ID when customers used a CC. Strange but true story!

The down side to the store owner allowing the use of an insecure CC is that if it turns out it was a stolen card the merchant is on the hook for the first X so many dollars of the transaction. So its easy to see why particularly in counties where the use of Smart security cards is the norm and has been for years, why a store owner would be reluctant to allow the use of an insecure card & override the system to allow it. It is also why some of the major CC companies outside of the US are going to soon eliminate the ability of the merchant to override the need for a pin number.

Re the pattern on the Smart Chip - it can vary from card to card. I have 5 cards in my wallet all with Smart Chips and only two are the same - and none have the oval centre pattern you describe. See example of one in photo.
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:23 AM   #29
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I travel through western Canada twice a year in my California to Alaska journeys. I concur with the previous posts on the chip-enabled credit cards. I've had trouble using non-chip cards in some locations, primarily ATMs, and no trouble with chip-equipped cards.

One thing that was new for me when I came through last month is that due to the avian flu outbreak, you cannot bring any poultry or eggs across the border. I had to toss three dozen eggs out when I entered Canada from Washington State. I had cooked chicken and no raw, which they let me keep.

When I entered the U.S. again in Alaska, I again had to toss the eggs I had purchased in Canada. They asked about chicken and said if I had ANY, raw or cooked, it would have to be tossed out. Mine was all gone by then so no biggie but the U.S. Customs agent said they should have asked me to toss the cooked chicken when I entered Canada.

So beware. If the policy is still in place, no eggs our poultry when you come across in either direction.
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:28 AM   #30
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Phones

Quote:
Originally Posted by emers382 View Post
Bob when did Costco drop Amex in US? We used it at a MO one a month ago.

Norm it's nice you can get a cheap add on for using phone in Canada. We had to switch our plan for minimum 3 months last winter to get calls from/to anywhere in US and Cda. And we still had no data or texting included!

Adrian


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We're considering switching one of our Verizon phones to Walmart's Straight Talk for $45 a month, about half the cost of Verizon and still on the Verizon network. So for $45 dollars 5 Gigs of data, unlimited text and calls. also found out you can go on line and put your phone disable your phone and reestablish it the same way.

They have a second card called International for $60 that allows calling all over North America. This card allows 3-5 gigabytes per month.

It's 5 gigs of data if you bring your own phone 3 gigs if you buy a walmart phone.


http://sale.straighttalk.com/?utm_source=IMM&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=DR&utm _content=&utm_term={keyword}
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:44 AM   #31
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This has been touched on but I think needs more emphasis.
Some credit cards add a fee for every international charge but not all. That can eat your lunch.
I have two credit cards. One from BofA charges a fee, the other from Barclay does not. Guess which one I use in Canada?
Also, the best place to exchange money in either direction is at any Canadian bank. Best rate and no add-on fees.
I'm leaving Tuesday for the FG rally at Parlee Beach in NB.

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Old 07-02-2015, 10:53 AM   #32
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BofA offers both versions, fee/no fee, credit cards.
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:54 AM   #33
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The back of your Bank Debit Card will have symbols on it in regards to what international ATM bank machines you can use it on to obtain cash. The 5 major banks in Canada are located all across the country and the ATM's are on Interac and located pretty well everywhere but are on different international networks. Often if you use a ATM on the same International network as your own bank there is no transaction fee (confirm with your bank on that though):

BMO - (Bank of Montreal) - Cirrus & Maestro (Master Card) Network
Royal Bank - Visa PLUS Network
CIBC (Canadian Imperial Bank Of Commerce) - Visa PLUS network
TD Canada Trust - Visa PLUS Network
Bank of Nova Scotia- Global ATM Alliance

Not really counted as a major in Canada (but is elsewhere) but can also be found across the country but with fewer bank machines outside of large urban areas:

HCBC (Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corp) - Cirrus & The Exchange Network.
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Old 07-02-2015, 11:09 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by trainjunkie View Post

So beware. If the policy is still in place, no eggs our poultry when you come across in either direction.
Yup no eggs going either way since earlier this year. Also best to avoid any fruits and veggies going in either direction as well as those are an item you will frequently be asked about going both ways and the list as to what is and is not allowed is long. A mistake in that regard will result in a note being put into the computer system and you are sure to get lots of attention the next time you cross.

For example - A full head of lettuce or a tomato will land you in hot water BUT if the tomato had been washed and cut up or the head of lettuce has been pulled apart and washed its OK. LOL
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Old 07-02-2015, 11:14 AM   #35
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Crossing the Border

Fill your tank on the US side before you go in. [1 US gallon = 3.785 liters]
They did no accept Discover cards the last time we went North. VISA works fine but let your card issuer know you will be out of country.
Ours charges 1% fee for all transactions, but the favorable exchange rate offsets that. Get cash at any ATM.
You should try to see the tidal boar at the upper ends of Bay of Fundy.
See the boats sitting high and dry at low tide, or, take a rubber raft ride on the tidal "surf" in Minas Basin.
Wanna tour a coal mine? go the Glace Bay near Sydney.
Historical sites? Louisbourg
Country/Folk music? the Hank Snow museum at Liverpool.
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Old 07-02-2015, 11:35 AM   #36
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Don't you agree $3.33 is extremely high comparing to US prices? The worst US price I filled up on that trip was $3.20 in Utah. The average was $2.70. Gas price matters on 8000 miles trip...
No!!!! Come to California.

Right now we are anywhere from $3.10 cash at an ARCO to $3.29 and higher at most all other Gas Stations. That is for the low grade gas.

$.04 higher sounds good to me for Canadian gas. Certainly very much better than I paid in 2008 to and from Alaska through Canada.
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Old 07-02-2015, 11:52 AM   #37
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I was in Canada (Chilliwack, BC) in late May. The hotel I stayed at used my American Express card with a chip (EMV-compliant) in it (from Costco) and asked for my PIN number. I said I had none and she put the transaction through and it was accepted without the PIN number.

I understand that all card companies in the US will be converting to the chip by October 1. The liability for credit card problems will shift on that date from banks to merchants who use mag stripes. I heard this from Square who are issuing new readers for their system that will read both chips and mag stripes. See also Will Retailers be ready for EMV by Oct 2015? | Emerging Payments Strategies | Payments Leader
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Old 07-02-2015, 12:34 PM   #38
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Being a follower of all things Scottish (and owner of three kilts and a bunch of highland garb), we're all missing the Highland Games in Antigonish! They are the oldest games in North America, and by some estimates, the biggest. When we get back to the maritimes, our trip will be planned to include these games: Antigonish Highland Games

Och aye!

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Old 07-02-2015, 12:58 PM   #39
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I was in Canada (Chilliwack, BC) in late May. The hotel I stayed at used my American Express card with a chip (EMV-compliant) in it (from Costco) and asked for my PIN number. I said I had none and she put the transaction through and it was accepted without the PIN number.
Yes merchants do still have a way to over ride the PIN requirement here for US issued CC cards that have no PIN attached to it. If you where a Canadian or from other country they might not be so fast to believe you if you said you had no PIN number attached to it though. At a hotel such a transaction would not be to high risk to the merchant as they probable already know your name when you made the reservations and you probable had to fill out a registration card giving a few more details about your address and car plate number etc. If your staying at the hotel they do know where to find you should they find out a few hours later that there was a problem with the transaction.

What surprises me the most is most of the American's I know are concerned about there personal security & that of their credit cards etc so I really don't understand why folks have not been screaming at the banks for years now, to add what the rest of the world sees as pretty standard security measures - Smart chips and PIN numbers on all cards.
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Old 07-02-2015, 02:16 PM   #40
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When I was in Canada I used my Capital 1 international card, no chip. Never had a merchant refuse it because it did not have a chip and often was asked by the merchant or the swipe machine to input the last four digits rather than a PIN. Of course, there is no security there as anyone could use the card and enter the last four numbers.


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