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By Rick Steves Despite some differences between European and US cards, there's little to worry about: US credit cards (Visa and Master Card) generally work fine in Europe.I've been inconvenienced a few times by self-service payment machines that wouldn't accept my card, but it's never caused me serious trouble.You'll pay extra for the expensive convenience of seeing your charge in dollars.The price is usually based on a lousy exchange rate set by the merchant's bank — and even though you're paying in "dollars," your credit-card issuer may still levy its standard foreign-transaction fee.For example, maybe you just want to look up a phone number to see who's been calling you.If you're trying to locate an old friend, you might just need to know their current address.

And you don't have to worry about curious eyes watching you as you enter a PIN.DCC charges are common all over Europe; in some countries major banks require merchants to offer it.If you're handed a receipt with two totals — one in the local currency and the other in US dollars — circle the amount in the local currency before you sign.Some public transit systems, such as the London Underground, have integrated their payment machines with mobile-phone apps, making riding the bus or taking the subway even easier.But banks in some countries — such as Germany and the Netherlands — may be slow to adopt these systems, and older phones may not support contactless payments, so it's not time give up on plastic yet.

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