Bus tickets and foreign credit cards

#1 Nov 24th, 2016, 17:31
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  • frabcus is offline
#1
Is there a way to buy bus tickets online with a foreign credit card?

There are loads of great apps, with excellent user interfaces and a good choice of private buses, up to date seating data. It's amazing!

eg Goibibo, MakeMyTrip, RedBus

All seem to reject foreign credit cards.

Why? Any workaround?

My current method is to use the app to work out which stand the bus I want goes from or which company runs it, then take a rickshaw there and buy the ticket from any of the agents near the stand.

How does anyone else buy bus tickets?
#2 Nov 24th, 2016, 18:00
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#2
A foreign Visa or Mastercard should work on most of the sites you've mentioned. American Express cards' acceptance varies, depending on the operator. I don't know why your cards are not being accepted.

I know that cleartrip accepts most cards. Try:

http://www.cleartrip.com/offers/india/hotel-bus
#3 Nov 24th, 2016, 18:13
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#3
I was asking google to see if any bus booking sites accept foreign credit cards. I came across quite a few posts where people were asking if foreign credit cards will be accepted for booking tickets on the bus. There was not any conclusion of whether it is accepted or no.

If one can book train tickets in cleartrip, logic says that they should be able to book bus tickets also.

I called up the customer service of www.travelgoose.com and asked them whether they accept foreign bank issued credit / debit cards. The answer I got was "Sir why don't you try and see. Select your destination, select the boarding point, select the seat and when you go to make the payment, enter your credit / debit card details and see if the payment goes through".
#4 Nov 24th, 2016, 18:23
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#4
I can book hotels with MakeMyTrip, but not buses.... The apps seem to use different backends for different parts.

I suspect there are clearinghouse organisations running shared Backend APIs and they pay an affiliate fee.
#5 Nov 24th, 2016, 23:14
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#5
Article in today's paper about the increased demand for swipe macines - as an aside it said 'restaurants on the coastal belt are applying but they are requesting to accept foreign cards which is only available on request'.
I suspect that 'on request' means somewhere between 'not' and 'it costs!'. It bears out my own experience - on many occasions over many years I have tried to use 'foreign' cards in India - hotels, airline tickets, excess baggage, tourist shops.... they nearly always seem to fail, at least at first - sometimes totally. No-one has ever before admitted that foreign and local cards are treated differently, but they obviously are.
btw check in managers often find they have over-estimated your baggage weight if you offer cash; and souvenir shops always find some way to get money from your card!

AndyD 8-)
There is no such thing as art, the best is high craft - the rest is just flim-flam
#6 Nov 25th, 2016, 20:55
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#6
I booked few tickets with Travelyaari (www.travelyaari.com). They accept paypal as a payment method.
#7 Nov 28th, 2016, 17:05
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#7
Yep... The foreign cards thing is increasingly annoying.

Ranting for a minute - in a restaurant in Pondicherry yesterday I went in and checked they took cards as first thing I did. They said yes, and I visually checked they had a machine (I've been lied to before).

End of meal... And guess what, my cards don't work. No foreign credit cards the waiter says! He knew immediate - why didn't he say at the start when I asked if they took credit cards....

I let myself (fairly deliberately) be visibly cross and talked to the manaager. They had no customer service, and no understanding why I was annoyed.

In the end I paid with a 2000, so at least got some change. Should have tried a 1000...

Grrr. Demonetisation is hard enough without shops lieing that they take credit cards when they don't and then taking no responsibility later.

Culturally what works in such circumstances? I was minded to just say I couldnt pay then, their fault, free meal. What would work?
#8 Nov 28th, 2016, 17:23
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#8
A free meal could work in a very low value circumstance - say a five rupee cup of tea - and then you're relying on a strangers generosity.
The foreign cc not acceptable applies usually to Amex and then again it's because Amex levies a higher charge from the merchant partner. I had that situation this Saturday. Finally the bill was settled by adding 3% to the total and then swiping the card.
#9 Apr 14th, 2017, 22:25
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#9
None of the sites mentioned accept foreign cards - only Indian issued cards.
#10 Apr 14th, 2017, 22:27
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#10
While Travelyaari does accept payment by PayPal, my 1000Rupee transaction was going to cost me an additional 800Rupee in fees/charges.
#11 Apr 15th, 2017, 01:00
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by frabcus View Post Yep... The foreign cards thing is increasingly annoying.

Ranting for a minute - in a restaurant in Pondicherry yesterday I went in and checked they took cards as first thing I did. They said yes, and I visually checked they had a machine (I've been lied to before).

End of meal... And guess what, my cards don't work. No foreign credit cards the waiter says! He knew immediate - why didn't he say at the start when I asked if they took credit cards....

I let myself (fairly deliberately) be visibly cross and talked to the manaager. They had no customer service, and no understanding why I was annoyed.

In the end I paid with a 2000, so at least got some change. Should have tried a 1000...

Grrr. Demonetisation is hard enough without shops lieing that they take credit cards when they don't and then taking no responsibility later.

Culturally what works in such circumstances? I was minded to just say I couldnt pay then, their fault, free meal. What would work?
I had a similar experience with an up-market hotel in Pondicherry. I had actually extended my stay by a day and paid online, but when the bill came they couldn't accept any of my cards, local or foreign.
I just said 'give me your bank details and I will transfer the money when I get home', you already have my email and card details so that's it.
I did pay of course.
I had no problem with restaurants in Pondicherry, but only used Indian cards.
I have some sympathy with small establishments in out of the way places, but if you put yourself up as a tourist destination (Pondicherry, Goa, ...) - and a few weeks after demonetisation - there's no excuse.

AndyD 8-)
#12 Apr 15th, 2017, 11:25
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  • edwardseco is offline
#12
Quote:
my own experience - on many occasions over many years I have tried to use 'foreign' cards in India - hotels, airline tickets, excess baggage, tourist shops.... they nearly always seem to fail, at least at first - sometimes totally.]
Can't say anything about bus tickets. But, in 14, 15, into the beginning of 16 I used foren CCs routinely. Had to take extra luggage back for most of the books bought, got all the saris back, jewelry, yada yada. The only difficulty I once had was at a restaurant where they asked me to put in my pin. My look of bafflement settled that..

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