Canadian credit card companies and many others around the world have added security chips into their credit cards. The US apparently has not caught up with the rest of the world in adding this security feature.
I have not had trouble using my Visa in the US...usually a transaction that won't make it via a typical swipe can be entered manually, and you have your purchase. Not so at Nordstrom. Yesterday, I spent an hour shopping and brought my several hundred dollars of merchandise to the counter to pay. Their system apparently couldn't process it, but the whole chip thing totally eluded the staff.
They just kept insisting the problem was mine, and by insinuation, I didn't have a high enough limit (FYI my limit is $30K with a monthly balance of $0). We called my card company and they were mystified. Yet the employees wouldn't (or didn't even think to) try to complete the transaction then and there with the Visa rep on the line. For a store that is famous for forcing staff to be on commission, you'd have thought that trying to assist customers to actually buy something would take high priority.
Eventually I just gave up, and will shop at Lord and Taylor or Saks instead, where I know my cards will be accepted. Sadly, Nordstrom will no doubt watch as the world of technology passes them by without doing anything about it. The dwindling number of visitors coming to America from abroad will have difficulty shopping there, abandon their efforts, and Nordstrom will just scratch their collective heads and wonder why.
So this is a warning to Canadian shoppers: don't bother to shop at Nordstroms. Definitely not worth the hassle and humiliation.
Monetary Loss: $500.