Paying with a foreign credit card on American sites

I’m trying to buy a gift card for someone in the US for Golden Corral online. For some reason they do accept Visa, but you are only allowed to use US billing addresses. Is there some service that can allow me to circumvent this, like using Paypal in some way?

Generally, if you can call them, they can take the card over the phone. The programmers have made it impossible otherwise. What I do, because I have US cards, is I just contact the card issuer, change to an American address, make the purchase, and then change it back. A hassle, but it works.

What country are you in?

Why use a Visa credit card with a billing address?
Can’t you use a pre-paid debit card? In my country, the post office and large stores sell them, and you can load them with either dollars or Euros.

I’m in Norway and I have Norwegian credit and debit cards.

I would use a pre-paid debit card if I knew who offered them with an American address, which the site seemed to require.

I also tried calling the restaurant, but they were unable to help.

Viabox is a freight-forwarding company that will buy for you to get around credit-card problems. Another option is companies that will provide a mail (billing) address for you. Lots of people I know use companies like that, but I don’t have any personal experience.

The billing address restriction is becoming more of a problem. American banks are using it for account verification, and I don’t think that the rest of the world uses it like that, and can’t do the verification.

Yes, here both your address and the code on the back is used for verification. Furthermore, each merchant can decide how much/which of those fields can be incorrect before they’re not willing to accept the card. They can all be incorrect and the the processor will likely not decline the card, it’s the merchant that decides they don’t want to take the risk.
Having said that, if you were to just pick a random US address and use that, there’s a decent chance it’ll go through.

Danger Man, if you want to send me money through PayPal, I will buy the gift card for you. Or, if you can send money conveniently to a German IBAN/SWIFT, I can receive funds that way. I know a lot of Europe can easily send money to each other via bank transfers, but I’m not sure if it’s just EU countries, or everyone. Anyway, the offer is there if you’d like to take me up on it, send me a PM.

I feel like getting your name added to the list of ‘people who buy Golden Corral gift cards online’ would lead to involvement in some interesting marketing campaigns.

Tangent: is the person for whom you’re buying the Golden Corral gift card specifically asking for that? Because Golden Corral is disgusting.

I’ve never been there, but we just got one (or another one?) here and people seem to like it.

Go and report back, please.

Some merchants insist on a zip code. The NYC transit system for example. My Canadian bank has arranged so that if you take the three digits from your postal code and append 00 they will confirm it. For example, if your postal code is X0Y 1Z2, then you enter 01200 as your zip code. I have done this a number of times.

Right, the Golden Corral, aka the “Golden Trough.” For those whose main criteria in a restaurant is how much you can eat.

I saw this same instruction on a gasoline pump in St Mary, Montana, just a couple of weeks ago.

As did I in the Detroit area yesterday. I also saw a general mention of this somewhere on line, but I forget where. In general anytime something in the US asks for a ZIP code for a credit card, Canadian customers can use the mentioned technique.

Yet, I still have trouble paying at the pump when I’m in Ontario. :frowning:

I had that with one US retailer (using a Japanese credit card from Japan to order a local flower delivery for a funeral in America). I kept getting an “AVS mismatch” error, which is apparently a security matter that frequently boots foreign CC’s.

Maybe the quality of Golden Corrals varies by location. I know that the Golden Corral in Milford, Connecticut is amazing. And I’m a total foodie.