They probably only take German cards, this used to be very common in Germany, though it’s been a few years since I was there.
I had a similar experience at a PENNY in Berlin (Alexanderplatz?)
Like most of the public transport ticket machines I encountered they only accept EC cards (which as I understand it is an internal German debit card system that doesn’t involve Visa/MasterCard).
This is, sadly, still very common. Mastercard and visa cards exist mostly as credit cards, in Germany, and are not widespread. Thus there is little incentive for shops to accept them. Although it is undoubtedly getting better!
It’s sad to see this huge problem for visitors to Germany is still unresolved
Hi. I have been in Berlin for two days and have not found anywhere that did not accept my Monzo yet. Though I am on a current account. Bvg (the U trains) the wall museum and a couple of restaurants have all taken it without any difficulties.
Similarly the only place in Leipzig where my Monzo (and all other UK credit and debit cards) was refused was a PENNY store. Monzo card was happily accepted at Petrol stations, restaurants, fast-food outlets, Leipzig S-Bahn and tram ticket machines, tourist attractions and the supermarkets: REWE, Lidl and Kaufland
I have just got back from a weekend in Munich, and have to say the Monzo card was pretty much accepted everywhere I went!
Bars, pubs, clubs (I was on a stag do… hence the lack of culture haha).
Only issue I had was using some of the cash machines. When attempting to draw out some money from the odd ATM, I would get an error (in German) before it asked me any questions (or even my pin). Following advice from the Monzo team on twitter, enabling the Mag strip from within the app solved the problem.
I am off to Hamburg in a couple of weeks… so will see how that goes.
Did most of those places support contactless/Apple Pay/Android Pay?
Everywhere I tried used contactless, without any issues.
I haven’t been able to get Android Pay and Monzo working in the UK yet… so didnt give it a go while over there.
If you haven’t (and I am sure you have) make sure you turn on the NFC on your phone. If you phone does not have NEC the Google Pay app won’t work. I have used Google Pay with Monzo so I know it works. Perhaps try uninstalling and reinstalling? Enjoy Hamburg, it is a great place.
My experience of using Visa and MasterCard in East Germany wasn’t great. Some places would only accept Maestro and nothing else. Not great. I don’t even remember when was the last time I saw Maestro card in the wild
Wow how Germany has changed. Almost everywhere takes MasterCard now, I only had one shop - a small bakery - outright refuse and say local debit cards only. Even major electronics chains now take it (always seemed the odd ones to refuse major cards, but they did, cuz Germany).
The only bad experience I had was at Ritter Sport in Berlin where they refused to allow me to use Google Pay saying management told them to only accept ‘actual cards’.
My experience with the train ticket machines is that sometimes the ones that ask you to insert your card for chip and pin don’t accept, but the ones that allow contactless always do. This might be the card readers being dodgy rather than a specific Monzo problem, though.
In Berlin, cards are accepted on public transport but not at independent traders such as food courts in the shopping malls
Just came back from a weekend in Berlin.
Overall point, absolutely shocking how few places took card. Bars, restaurants, shops - just seems farcical compared to London or anywhere else I’ve travelled to abroad recently (America excluded).
But echoing some of the stuff said above, I had a couple of places which just refused to take English cards. I wasn’t sure in the first one if the guy was refusing, or the card machine genuinely wasn’t set up to do so, but even encountered this in a DHL/Deutschepost shop.
Was very confusing as I thought if you signed up to visa or mastercard, you had to take all their cards. I take it this isn’t actually the case?
Just to say I used my Monzo card in Netto in Berlin and it was fine. Didn’t know about the preference towards cash at that point!
This is a common occurrence. The machines are perfectly capable of undertaking this transaction, but Germans are VERY risk averse and regard foreign card transactions with great suspicion.
I explain a bit here (and another German gets quite chippy in his responses), but it’s mostly a cultural thing - Germans hate being in debt so credit cards have never really taken off, and a “card culture” never took root.
But it also has its origin in the reluctance of traders to accept ANY credit cards - because, unlike Giro/EC karte, they are charged a (small) percentage of the bill for receiving the money - the horror ! This is unacceptable to German traders, when they could have 100% of the cash. Trying to convince them that, perhaps, someone will potentially spend more money with them if they accepted cards - particularly if they didn’t happen to be carrying the cash around with them. Even shops and restaurants who do (theoretically) accept Visa/MC will try and pressurise you into paying cash. Or claim that they only accept “German” credit cards. There is also a fear of fraud from foreigners. This drives quite a few to not want to accept a card from abroad, even though they theoretically could.
Since Apple Pay/Google Pay launched in Germany the acceptance of Credit/Debit Card be higher expect some very small stores still “Girocard”, a few stores in Germany begun to only accept cashless payment but it’s very rare in Germany.
Aldi Süd/South - Nord/North - Edeka - Rossmann - Dm Drogerie - Müller - Kaufland and a lot more
mostly Sparkasse - Euronet have additional atm fee for withdraw money
Recommended using the CashGroup (Commerzbank - Postbank - Hypovereinsbank - Deutsche Bank) without additional atm fee
ING - Volksbank - Targobank - Reisebank is also free of additional atm fee
A PIN change is on German ATM’s impossible.
I went to Berlin last week for 4 days and only needed to use cash once , at a diner that would only take card over €30.
Has anyone used Monzo in Hamburg? How did you get on?
Going next month.