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Using credit cards(TD U.S. Dollar card) in the states(Florida)

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[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 22, 2010
567 posts
480 upvotes
Ontario

Using credit cards(TD U.S. Dollar card) in the states(Florida)

Hello,

This is the very first time coming down to Florida and I've never been to U.S. before. I had ordered US dollar card at TD before I left ananda. The funny thing was the bank gave me a PIN numbers just like other credit cards I have in Canada but I've never had chance to use that PIN numbers. They just swip the card and ask me to sign on it. Everything's okay so far but this tipping system with credit cards at the restaurants is kinda strange. Again, they don't use chip system and there's no option for adding tips in the machine. What they do is first, they swipe the card, and then print a receipt. And then let me write the amount of tips on the receipt. They don't seem to make another transaction for the tip I just added in the receipt. what's bothering me is that what if those people in the restaurants just add whatever the numbers they want? The funny thing is that the transactions I have made at the restaurants so far have being only billed without the tips. I'm really confused at the moment and worry about people adding tips without my permissions. Could someone help me understand about this? Thanks in advance.
14 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2014
3766 posts
882 upvotes
Toronto
I have been to the U.S. many times.

In my experience, a restaurant bill was always given to me in in a folder of sorts, showing the total net of tip. I would complete the tip portion and only then put my credit card in the folder. The waiter would then take the folder, ring in the total plus tip and return the credit card slip for me to sign showing the full charge. One copy would be for me, and one for the restaurant.

And, yes, I have been to Florida.

I have encountered PIN machines in New York - exactly like those we have in Canada.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 6, 2002
9787 posts
2854 upvotes
Vancouver
I'm guessing you are fairly young? What you described is exactly how canada was I'd say about 8+ years ago.

The pin is there for cash advance purposes which you should obviously not use due to high interest.

What happens is they do a "pre authorize" to see your card is valid then finalize the transaction once you are done filling in your tip.

Your supposed to fill in the receipt for the tip amount and sign. I suppose they could add anything they wanted to, but if you did a chargeback to cc company would want to see a copy of the receipt that you filled in. The cc company tends to side with the customer not the vendor so I suspect this is not very common.

I don't think the us is going to move to chip and pin in the near future.

Also with the falling currency, unless you have usd stashed I'd stick to a no 2.5% fee forex card like amazon/marriott from chase to cash in on the daily rate instead of having to switch cad to usd when your statement comes in.
Autocorrect sucks
[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 22, 2010
567 posts
480 upvotes
Ontario
Tnank you guys so much for your inputs. I called to TD this afternoon but basically the guy wasn't knowledgable about the situation I have. However, this time I was able to confirm the whole transactions I have made until today and there was no additional or another transaction for the tips I wrote on the receipts. I guess I just need to wait and see as Gangstarr advised.
Deal Addict
Dec 22, 2008
2162 posts
966 upvotes
Victoria
Do you have American dollars to pay your credit card bill with?

If not, I think the Amazon.ca Visa with no currency conversion surcharge might actually be better for you since you can pay the bill in Canadian dollars at a better exchange rate than buying American cash to pay your US Dollar visa with.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
17619 posts
8297 upvotes
testmann wrote: Tnank you guys so much for your inputs. I called to TD this afternoon but basically the guy wasn't knowledgable about the situation I have. However, this time I was able to confirm the whole transactions I have made until today and there was no additional or another transaction for the tips I wrote on the receipts. I guess I just need to wait and see as Gangstarr advised.
I am sure it is obvious, but the only way you are going to know whether they are adding more to your bill is if you keep your receipts indicating how much you tipped. You are absolutely right - they could easily over-tip you. However, it is very easy to dispute because they'll have to produce the receipt. So keep a copy of all your receipts, write it in your phone, take a picture in your phone, etc. if you are worried.

The US is moving to chip and signature shortly (well, they were supposed to have already). Unless the agreements were changed, merchants were actually supposed to be liable for non-chip transactions late last year. Chip and signature is not quite chip and pin, but better than what they have now.


FYI - if you get a rental car you will notice something similar when filling up with gas. You will go inside to get your card pre-authorized for a fixed amount and they only bill you for what you pump.
Deal Addict
Nov 30, 2011
1103 posts
467 upvotes
HRM
Some stores like Gap have chip/pin machines now. The staff in Miami told me they just came in but most US cards do not have chip so when chip/pin is used everyone gets excited!

After you leave the restaurant they go back in their cc system and change the 'settlement' amount. Don't worry -they will get their tip. And keep a pic of your final receipt. I worked with a guy one time (30 years ago) who changed tip amounts and after a few customers came back to the restaurant with their copy (carbon copy back then) the owner reimbursed the customer and the employee was promptly fired.
Deal Addict
Nov 30, 2011
1103 posts
467 upvotes
HRM
And a general 'tip' when filling up gas at self serve stations. When you put your card in it will ask for your 5 digit zip code. Since you do not have a zip code you can use your postal code but use only the numbers and add 2 zeros. For example, L3M 1A6 would be entered as 31600.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Feb 19, 2010
6237 posts
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TrevorK wrote: FYI - if you get a rental car you will notice something similar when filling up with gas. You will go inside to get your card pre-authorized for a fixed amount and they only bill you for what you pump.
There are also pay at the pump options so that you don't have to go inside.
westcoastyvr wrote: And a general 'tip' when filling up gas at self serve stations. When you put your card in it will ask for your 5 digit zip code. Since you do not have a zip code you can use your postal code but use only the numbers and add 2 zeros. For example, L3M 1A6 would be entered as 31600.
Not necessarily. I was just in Arizona last week and paid at the pump. There was no requirement to enter a zip code.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 29, 2005
6309 posts
1463 upvotes
Montreal
I'm in Fort Lauderdale right now. I arrived on Feb 1st. I use the TD US Dollar card also.

I've encountered all 3 scenarios this trip.

I've had the waiter ask to enter the tip before taking it to the machine.
I've had the waiter run it through the machine before tip and then I added the tip later. What you may see initially is the amount in your account before tip before it moves from preapproved to final. Then the final amount will appear.
As for gas, every gas station I've ever been at in FL has required a zip code. Apparently, if you use the numbers from your postal code and then add 00 at the end, the pump will accept it. I just go in and get the amount preapproved anyway.
Phils
Sr. Member
Jun 16, 2009
590 posts
310 upvotes
Mississauga
Conquistador wrote: There are also pay at the pump options so that you don't have to go inside.





Not necessarily. I was just in Arizona last week and paid at the pump. There was no requirement to enter a zip code.
I just came from Florida, I had to enter zip code. Some Pumps. some states you have to enter the zip code. Last year in Sept. I was in California, I had to enter Zip Code, Some I did not.
Deal Addict
May 12, 2011
3357 posts
461 upvotes
North Vancouver
MaxPower19 wrote: Do you have American dollars to pay your credit card bill with?

If not, I think the Amazon.ca Visa with no currency conversion surcharge might actually be better for you since you can pay the bill in Canadian dollars at a better exchange rate than buying American cash to pay your US Dollar visa with.
Nice thanks
Newbie
May 18, 2008
93 posts
25 upvotes
Halifax
Florida seems slow on the chip and pin. Didn't see it anywhere around Orlando last March. I was starting to see it in DC in August, and people were talking about how new it was. I don't recall seeing a "tap" anywhere. (And I really hate the pumps that require a zip code...which in our experience is pretty standard, and seems always to require a trip inside.)

We have used a USD card for those things where we might need a refund. For example, on house rentals, we typically pay a security of a few hundred dollars. Pay that on a regular card and you get dinged on exchange making the payment AND getting the refund--bye bye 7%. Also when shopping in the US, if we buy something, take it back to the hotel and decide we don't like it, we get dinged both ways. (Or for online shopping--but we are pretty careful about changing our mind that way, as return shipping is usually a deal-breaker.) That said, the CAD:USD sucks so badly now we're not using USD much. I'm going to swap to the Chase Amazon. But there are some situations where it's still worth it to have a USD card.

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