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US Credit Cards With Smart Chip Technology

by on May 30, 2013 · 119 comments

in American Express, Bank of America, Chase, Citi, Credit Cards, US Bank

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here.

As the summer travel season kicks into high gear, I know many of you (like me) are planning some great trips abroad, and are already thinking about which credit cards you should be packing along with your swimsuits and hiking boots.

Of course you want to get a card with no foreign transaction fees (read this post for a roundup of the best current credit card offers for cards with no forex fees). But something else you might want to consider is whether your credit cards have Smart Chip technology.

Having a SmartChip makes it easier to use this card abroad.

Having a Smart Chip makes it easier to use this card abroad.

Smart Chip is a credit card technology where cards are embedded with chips and a cardholder must put in their pin or sign for each transaction to be approved. With “chip & pin” especially, this is an ultra-secure method that makes it much harder for credit card hackers and fraudsters to steal from consumers since, rather than just stealing the information contained in a card’s magnetic strip, they’d have to know the carrier’s pin number as well. The other type of chip card, “chip & signature,” function more like US swipe cards, only they can be used with portable electronic readers that require you to insert the card rather than swipe it, and then sign for it as you would with a regular old swipe card. Although chip & pins are prevalent in Europe, the cards issued in the US with chips tend to be overwhelmingly chip & signature, so you might still have some issues using them at certain merchants, but having a chip at all can be a big help when using cards at ticket machines or other vendors that require a chip of some sort.

Most US cards are just “swipe and sign” cards with a simple magnetic strip and the verification of signature standing between you and credit card fraud. From time to time, US swipe cards also make it more difficult to charge things while abroad where many merchants use mobile credit card portals where you stick your card into a slot and enter your pin into a keyboard rather than swiping it through a reader. While many merchants, hotels and restaurants let you use your swipe cards, many, especially in Europe, do not, including some restaurants, hotels and even public transport.

In fact, TPG reader David just wrote me to tell me that the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden will no longer be accepting any credit cards except chip and pin ones, so if he wants to eat there before or after a performance, he’ll have to carry cash with him, which is a bummer on many levels. Unfortunately, he might be out of luck unless he has one of the very few US cards with chip & pin technology, but I’d suggest he take his chip & signature card with him (and cash just in case) because sometimes vendors are still able to make those work.

Want a drink or snack at the Royal Opera House? You'll need a chip & pin card to pay for it.

Want a drink or snack at the Royal Opera House? You’ll need a chip & pin card to pay for it.

Most US cards don’t have chip technology because it is expensive and not required by US merchants, so issuers have been dragging their feet on issuing new cards with them. The good news, though, is that we’re seeing more and more issuers putting chips in more and more cards because of consumer demand, so if you’re in the market for a new credit card, chances are you can find one that suits your needs financially and has a chip in it. Just be sure that it also does not charge foreign transaction fees since some cards, even with Smart Chips, do.

The bad news is, some of my favorite travel credit cards including both the Sapphire Preferred and Ink Bold from Chase do not offer Smart Chips at this time, and there is no concrete information on whether Chase is planning to add them anytime soon.

With that in mind, I have put together this list of all the travel credit cards out there that currently have Smart Chips in them (although I might have missed a few, so if you see any missing, please leave a comment!). If you already have one or several of these cards but they don’t have chips in them, you can call your issuer to request a new card with a Smart Chip and they should reissue you one for free.

If you don’t have a chip card and don’t plan on getting one before your next trip abroad, you can still get one from the Travelex money exchange stores in airports. However, these are basically just pre-loaded charge cards, and when you put money on them in foreign currencies, Travelex takes a huge cut on foreign exchanges. Plus, I’d rather have a no forex fee credit card than a Travelex card in my wallet any day! If I missed any cards, please feel free to comment and I’ll add to this list.

AMERICAN EXPRESS
Platinum, by request. 25,000 points when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months. $450 annual fee. No foreign transaction fees.
For more on requesting a Platinum Card with a chip, see this post.

BANK OF AMERICA
Alaska Airlines Visa. 25,000 miles upon approval. $75 annual fee. 3% foreign transaction fee.
Hawaiian Airlines Visa. 35,000 HawaiianMiles when you spend $1,000 in 4 months. $79 annual fee for Visa Signature accounts, $50 for Platinum accounts. 3% foreign transaction fee.
Virgin Atlantic Amex. 45,000 miles when you spend $2,500, 15,000 miles on account anniversary, 5,000 miles when you add additional users. $90 annual fee. 1% foreign transaction fee.
Asiana Airlines Amex. 10,000 miles after first purchase. $99 annual fee. 1% foreign transaction fee.
Bank Americard Travel Rewards Visa. 10,000 points when you spend $500 in 90 days. No annual fee. No foreign transaction fees.
BankAmericard Privileges Cash Rewards Visa Signature. $100 cash rewards when you spend $500 in 90 days. $75 annual fee waived the first year. 3% foreign transaction fee.
Norwegian Cruise Line World Mastercard. 10,000 points after first purchase. No annual fee. 3% foreign transaction fee.
Royal Caribbean Visa. 10,000 points after first purchase. No annual fee. 3% foreign transaction fee.
AAA Member Rewards Visa. 2,500 points after first purchase. No annual fee. 2% foreign transaction fee.

CHASE
British Airways Visa Signature. 50,000 Avios when you spend $2,000 in 3 months. $95 annual fee. No foreign transaction fees.
Chase Marriott Rewards Visa. 30,000 points when you spend $1,000 in 3 months. $45 annual fee waived first year. No foreign transaction fees.
Marriott Rewards Premier Visa. 50,000 points when you spend $1,000 in 3 months. $85 annual fee waived first year. No foreign transaction fees.
Hyatt Visa Signature. 2 free nights. $75 annual fee. No foreign transaction fees.
Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card. 70,000 points when you spend $2,000 in 3 months. $395 annual fee. No foreign transaction fees.
Sapphire Preferred Visa. 40,000 points when you spend $2,000 in 3 months plus 5,000 points when you add an authorized user in the first 3 months. $95 annual fee waived first year. No foreign transaction fees.
United Mileage Plus Club Visa. (Coming soon – and will be available upon request) $100 statement credit after first purchase. $395 annual fee. No foreign transaction fees.
JP Morgan Palladium Visa. $595 annual fee. No foreign transaction feees.
JP Morgan Select Visa Signature. No longer available to new cardholders.

Citi
Citi® Hilton HHonorsTM Reserve Card. 2 free weekend nights when you spend $2,500 in 4 months. $95 annual fee. No foreign transaction fees.
Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard®. 30,000 miles for spending $1,000 in 3 months. $95 annual fee waived first year. 3% foreign transaction fee.
Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® Visa Signature Card. 30,000 miles when you spend $1,000 in 3 months. $95 annual fee. 3% foreign transaction fee.
AAdvantage Executive World Mastercard. 30,000 miles when you spend $1,000 in 4 months. $450 annual fee. No foreign transaction fees.
AAdvantage Gold Mastercard. 25,000 miles when you spend $750 in 4 months. $50 annual fee waived first year. 3% foreign transaction fee.
Citi ThankYou® Card. 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. No annual fee. 3% foreign transaction fee.
ThankYou Premier. 30,000 points when you spend $2,000 in 3 months. $125 annual fee waived first year. No foreign transaction fees.
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Rewards Card. 20,000 points when you spend $1,500 in 3 months. No annual fee. 3% foreign transaction fee.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card. 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 18 months. No annual fee. 3% foreign transaction fee.

US Bank
FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa 17,500 points when you spend $2,500 in 150 days. $49 annual fee waived first year. 2% foreign transaction fee.
Korean Air SkyPass Visa Signature 15,000 miles after first purchase. $80 annual fee for SKYPASS Visa Signature, $50 for SKYPASS Visa. No foreign transaction fee for Visa Signature, 3% foreign transaction fee for transactions in foreign currency.
Korean Air SkyPass Visa Classic 5,000 miles after first purchase. $50 annual fee. No foreign transaction fee for Visa Signature, 3% foreign transaction fee for transactions in foreign currency.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author.s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

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  • JoJo

    Are any of these legitimately chip and PIN? I have the BA card and it’s chip and *signature*. Clerks give me a funny look when they insert what’s ostensibly a PIN card and the POS machine asks for a John Hancock.

  • Paul

    As far as I know, most of these are chip and signature, which means they still won’t work in places in Europe that are requiring chip and PIN (such as the place you mentioned in the article and other places like the Paris Metro).

  • flyinace2000

    Last time i contact Visa UK and Chase Sapphire Prefered they all said that vendors should still use the mag strip, but try explaining that when you’re buying something. I have lived in the UK for the past year and have had about an 80% success rate of not asking and just swiping the card.

  • Derek

    I believe these are all chip and sig…I’m taking the Andrews FCU CC on my next trip and going to try it out. It supposedly defaults to chip and sig, but will “override” to chip and PIN if needed.

  • Cathy

    I am really interested in this as I have run into this problem numerous occasions and have been charged extra because I don’t have a chip and pin card. This occurred in Copenhagen at a local restaurant.

  • flyinace2000

    Charged Extra??? Why? Things like this bother me. I have had issues using my CSP card overseas and have offered to show them a passport and my driver license. All the data matches.

    The most annoying time was I was planning a work event and they accepted a 500GBP deposit over the phone w/ my CSP, but to pay the remaining balance in person they would not accept the card. I had to get one of the local executives to pay with his local UK card.

  • Dan Maize

    I have both Chase BA Visa and Amex Platinum with smart chips. Heading to France/Ireland in June. I’m seeing lots of conflicting info about chip-and-signature cards being accepted in places like automated motorway toll booths, Paris Metro and Velib. Some say PINs are not required, others say only chip-and-PINs are accepted. Do either of these cards have a default PIN like 0000 or an assigned PIN that will work if prompted?

  • BartNY

    I got the same looks over memorial day weekend in Montreal. Called up Chase and they said if you use a PIN it’s like a cash advance. Sort of defeats the purpose of added security but at least they are easily accepted into most machines. Although the cool thing in Montreal is that all their portable credit card readers allow for swipe on the side and chip on the bottom – no reason why they all shouldn’t be like that.

  • xyzxyz

    Club carlson?

  • Grant

    CSP worked in Paris metro when I was there in January. If you go to larger metro stations, there is usually a person behind the window that you can buy them from.

  • Grant

    Chase Hyatt worked at the train station in Amsterdam. My CSP didn’t work in that machine.

  • Rachel

    I used the Sapphire Preferred at the Paris metro several times in December. I was able to swipe my card at the ticket vending machine.

  • adpage

    Keep in mind people- it’s just a “Chip and Sign” the US credit cards with chips don’t come with a PIN number so you still have to sign it. Some automated machines in Europe require you to enter an PIN so you still won’t be able to use those even if you have a chip

  • Rachel

    I have the United Club visa and it does NOT have a chip. It’s the exact same card (blue and metal) as the Sapphire Preferred.

  • Ryan

    Personally, I refuse to get any credit card that has a chip embedded in it. I’m no conspiracy theorist, but I am concerned over how easy it is for criminals to scan your wallet with RFID equipment and steal the information right off of your card(s). I’ve seen multiple TV reports on it.

    But you can protect yourself with RFID-blocking wallets and other homemade solutions. Here’s a great to piece to understand what you’re getting into before you rush out to get credit cards with chips…

    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.05/rfid.html

  • Jeffrey

    me too….

  • http://www.comediandan.com/ Dan Nainan

    It is so frustrating that America is so far behind on this like so many other things – 24 hour time, the metric system, lights and escalators that turn themselves off after a few minutes of nonuse, etc.

    When I was at CDG airport in Paris last time, I bought the EU Cash Passport card from Travelex and put €200 on it. Certainly the exchange fees are pretty unfavorable, but I never have to be stuck when I’m trying to rent a bike in Paris or buying a train ticket in Hong Kong or Dubai.

  • jwt

    the only true “chip and PIN” (as opposed to chip and sign) cards I
    have been able to get in the US are below. There are many places in Europe (such as unmanned train tix kiosks) that will NOT accept chip and sign cards — so chip and pin is the only way to go.

    Neither of these cards have great reward programs — but I was just happy to find ones with true Chip and PIN.

    (note: I tried to include links to these cards, but it seems the discussion board is banning posts with links.

    1.Commerce Bank Visa Signature Card. $29 annual fee, no forex fees. I didn’t have a branch near me, but I called the 1-800 and applied by phone (and was approved in 5 minutes).

    2.. Andrews Federal Credit Union GlobeTrek Visa — no annual fee, no forex fees (you can become a member for a $100 checking deposit. The application process is archaic, …but if you must have a chip and pin, this is an option.)

  • Jason

    If you assign a pin to the card (online or over the phone) it works just fine. I have done it many time with my Citi AA exec card

  • jwt

    yes I have the Andrews FCU chip and pin, and it works exactly as you said. I also have the Commerce Bank Visa Signature Card, which also works the same way. These are the only true chip and pin cards in the US I’ve been able to find. They have both been life savers on several occasions.

  • John

    Ryan,

    The chip TPG is speaking about here is different than the RFID chips the wired report tals about. The RFID chips the wired report refers to are the paywave, etc chips or sometimes called contact less payment systems. The chip and pin/sign chips are a different animal.

  • thepointsguy

    I should have noted that it’s coming soon according to Chase and will be available upon request.

  • MichaelP

    Just got back from London/Paris. Chip and Signature card doesn’t work on the London Tub ticket machine, but they do work on the Paris Metro ticket machine.

  • nsummy

    I cant find the article but I read something rather lengthy from Visa’s site recently that pretty much said that pin technology will never be coming to the USA and that its an outdated model in Europe. The author pretty much said that the USA’s slow adoption of chip tech is a benefit because we will not be stuck using pins. I did dig up this blog post from 2011 that echos the same sentiments: http://blog.visa.com/2011/08/26/pin-largely-unaffected-in-u-s-migration-to-emv-chip-2/

  • Carillon

    We were so excited to hear that our British Airways Visa card would be chip and pin, but they lied. It is chip and signature, which defeats the purpose. We did find a chip and pin card through Andrews FCU.

  • Peggy

    When I called visa and Amex to get a pin a couple of weeks ago, they told me if I use the pin, it would be considered a cash advanced with fees accordingly. I declined the pin for the Romania trip, and used cash. I was able to use my visa twice, and the merchant was able to swipe the card- thankfully.

  • jb

    desperately waiting for it as well on the Sapphire Preferred card :)

  • http://www.streetsmarttraveler.com/ Marcus

    The only U.S. chip card I knew of was the Andrews Federal Credit Union GlobeTrek Visa Rewards Card. The Commerce Bank Visa Signature Card is new to me. Thanks for the tip.

  • Rocky Rockwell

    my USAA Rewards World MC is C&PIN and Amex Plat is C&Sig. C&Sig got me no where in Italy a few weeks ago…everything was C&PIN

  • Brian L

    Did Chase give you any kind of timeline?

  • GAM

    Another summer and no EMV on the CSP. This makes me very sad, Chase.

  • Hess

    I am going to Europe in 2 weeks. I just spent a lengthy conversation on the phone with AMEX PLATINUM with Chip. They eventually said neither they nor me can assign a PIN to the card. They said the chip automatically logs the PIN and changes it every use. So I guess I just don’t see the security feature in the chip if a PIN isn’t used.

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  • GAM

    I’d appreciate more information too.

  • http://www.triplepundit.com Nick Aster

    It’s amazing that this problem persists. I was just in Amsterdam and couldn’t do anything on trains or metro, had to pay big fees to use ATMs and stand in lines. Also very embarrassing at restaurants – even though they technically should be able to take old school cards, they often make a big fuss about it sending me out to look for an ATM in the rain… bah!

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  • Travelex_USA

    Sorry to hear that you’re not a big fan of our Cash Passport chip & pin cards. At the moment, we’re actually not selling our Euro and Pound cards in the US. We have a new card coming out later this summer with some new features and benefits that we think make the card worth having in your wallet.

  • FYD

    If you don’t have a PIN number on your chip card, and a machine (trains, metro, …) asks for a PIN number, try hitting enter without entering anything or 0000 + enter – some machines (that don’t accept magnetic strip) will accept that…

  • annonomouse

    Capital One Venture has no foreign transaction fee. In fact, I don’t think any of the Cap One cards have foreign transaction fees.

  • Dan

    As opposed to the magnetic strip? You do know your current card can be duplicated by a device that fits in the palm of a dubious waiters hand.

  • Michael

    USAA will now switch many of their MCs to the Chip & PIN. Just call them at 800-531-8733 and request it for your MC product and the rep will check its availability for your product. The only things that change are: that you will receive a new Chip & PIN card, and a PIN separately in the mail, and that your card design will be converted to standard black. No other card changes, and the switch is free.

  • Paul Wells

    In the 10 days since this article was written a lot of the places listed seem to have changed their minds and don’t offer C&P cards. Or possibly the article is just relying on old press releases which promised things which never happened.

  • MK

    I flew back from France a few days ago. My regular credit card worked just fine pretty much anywhere. I bought tickets at Paris Metro and dined in restaurants in Paris. I rented a car and drove around the country with no problems. It was Capital One Venture MasterCard with no foreign transaction fees. You just have to tell the person at the counter to swipe the card (use gestures if your french is not good – they’ll understand). They let you sign the ticket afterwards. But: notify your bank about your travel and always have cash as a backup. YMMV.

  • Niamh

    Thank you Jason! I just got off the phone with Citi about this and asked them this question. They said the PIN only worked for getting out cash and I still had to sign (which is BS if you ask me).

  • gek

    Yep, I just called and the converted my USAA MC to a Chip and PIN (not Chip and Sig) card.

  • Peter

    Ryan, you are one reason we are behind the rest of the world.

  • MickeyD

    Google Marriott 70k points. It’s better than 50k pts one in your article

  • ToddK

    Yes, that was a bad surprise that the Cash Passport Pounds card that I have, that I got in the US, I could not top up for my trip to London that I am now on. Many of the pay and park places do not accept cash, and do not accept credit cards without Chip and Pin. So, thanks, I’ll never get a card from you again.

  • Travelex_USA

    Really sorry about that Todd, we sent out letters a few months ago to alert everyone to the fact that the card was being discontinued. If you can follow us on Twitter we’ll DM you and figure out a way to make it up to you.

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  • Iris

    do you need a pin at Paris Metro ticket machine?

  • guest

    Ryan, none of these cards have contactless RFID chips. All Chip&Pin cards require physical contact between the chip and the reader. Unlike magnetic cards, that can be cloned with a simple swipe (i.e. when the waiter takes your card away to swipe), C&P cards function differently – even if someone reads the chip, the information is useless without the pin; the cards (well, the chip in the card) only authorizes the payment information transfer if you authorize it with the pin code – e.g. you have to be present during the information transfer. Strange how none of the TV shows you’ve seen mention this detail?

  • FinanciallyFrugal

    PenFed Visa is a true chip and pin – and they offer rewards AND no foreign transaction fee.

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  • kdr

    most if not all of the cards you listed are chip and signature cards NOT chip and pin cards. There is a big difference between the two and if you travel regularly you want chip and pin.

  • Chet

    I just received a Chase Sapphire Preferred card and the one downside is no chip. I asked Chase about this when I activated the card today. The response was that they feel that it is not a safe technology since RFID readers could read the information from the card without the carrier knowing it. I find it hard to believe that an entire continent is using technology so flawed. I find it much easier to believe that Chase is just being cheap and they don’t want to put chips in these cards.

  • http://www.nightshadelabs.com/ David Shellabarger

    Or I found out that on my Chase Preferred card, the cash advance PIN works in some machines. You can have call and set one up, but it worked for me in Italy.

  • traveler91

    Travel ex, appreciate your joining the conversation, but there is not enough transparency for you to be trusted. You are not selling your product in the us? What does that mean? Smells of some kind of backroom deal with other players, frankly. Forgive our cynicism but us users are feeling pretty lied to at this point.

  • Daniel

    Penfed.org has a chip card and no foregin transction fees or annual fees. I use them and they are great. They also give you 5% back on gas purchases.

  • Daniel

    That does work and often like in Paris, I was just there last week, they do not ask for any pin if the card has the chip.

  • brian

    That’s true. I have a Venture card. Problem is there is no chip (by default anyway). In Europe now and card is NOT accepted at most places in my experience.

  • Grateful :]

    Brilliant – just signed up! Thanks :]

  • Marian

    Just to update your information, the FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa card (which I have) charges a 3% (not 2%) foreign transaction fee.

  • Patrick

    Sounds like you talked to the wrong agent at Chase… RFID is a completely different technology from the “Chip and PIN” cards used in Europe and talked about in this article. While RFID can be read from a distance, the Chip and PIN cards require power to its contacts to boot up and work. I’d be much more concerned about the RFID in your passport than the Chip in the credit card.

  • AX

    Is Bank of America Travel Rewards a C&P or C&S? Their site just says Smart Chip..

  • Chet

    I had a feeling something was wrong with his answer. If the card was so prone to being hacked from a distance, why would millions of them be “walking” around Europe? Surely the banks there are aware of the dangers.

    In any event, the chances of me using that Chase card for cash advance is between slim and none because of the interest fees on such a transaction.

  • Random

    get a chase amazon.ca card or sears canada mastercard. Both are chip cards and have paywave/paypass for orders under $50. No forex fee either. 1% cash back on the chase amazon card.

  • Random

    I think chase is just being cheap. they are issuing chip cards. Just not in the states.

  • Random

    @_@ is it me or is chase being silly? They are issuing chip and pin cards.

  • carmen

    I don’t know about the amazon.ca visa since we don’t have it but we do know the chase sears financial mastercard is pin and chip

  • PK

    To second MK, regular/non-chip cards worked great in the Paris Metro ticket machines and all merchants/restaurants that we visited in a month long trip in June.

  • Norm Walsh

    FWIW, I called today about my United Club visa and “Diane” said it was not available and did not suggest it was every going to be.

  • Dang it

    Chase is NOT Chip and PIN, all their cards are chip and signature.

  • J

    Do you know of any US issued cards that can be chip and PIN, not signature? I don’t see any mentioned.

  • SpotzySchmidgeway

    all about the big governments tracking you

  • dang it back

    chase has chip and pin cards. You just have to come up here to canada to sign up for one

  • flap

    As a very frequent traveler outside the USA, I can confirm that almost all shops, restaurants, ticket machines, gas stations etc in France, Germany, Italy, Japan and elsewhere ask for chip-n-pin cards. If you are lucky, they also support the old methodology of just swiping the card – however at “automated” machines, such as gas pumps, train ticket machines etc, even if you have a ‘chip’, but no ‘pin’, then you cannot make a purchase. I’ve been caught a number of times in Germany and France where after eating my meal, I discover that they do not accept a swipe-card, but only Chip-n-pin or Cash. My Chip-n-signature card did not work in these situation.

    I recently had a long conversation with different managers at Citibank on this topic. They said that the cost of fraud was less than the cost of upgrading the cards and readers in the US retail chain, so it was unlikely in the foreseeable future that chip-n-pin cards would be available in the USA. For overseas travel, their advice was to upgrade to the chip-n-signature card, but had no personal experience to tell me if they would work in a chip-n-pin machine – though I can tell you that mine did not.

    My advice, unfortunately, is to ensure you carry enough cash to get you through these situations. Additionally, please keep pestering your issuing
    card companies – eventually with enough requests, they may upgrade to the much more secure technology that has been available in Europe & Japan for nearly 10 years.

  • Red Esquid

    I have BofA travel rewards visa, CHIP but no PIN. Worked almost everywhere, but many of the automated machines require a PIN – almost got stuck in Schiphol airport when none of my cards or ATM worked – the Ticket seller at the counter will NOT take a mag strip card, but will do the Chip and signature when their machines are working, which is not always… the line is a big bummer, though.
    Once the CHIP is on the card, what does it take to have PIN? I mean, really, BofA !
    Otherwise, no fee, no forex – what kinda nut case would pay a $595 annual fee? (JP Morgan)

  • Red Esquid

    Chip and signature, I have one. They do supply a PIN , but it is for cash advance – I bugged them plenty about it, for what it is worth.

  • zudnic

    All Canadian financial institutions now issue their cards with chips. Almost all Canadian businesses have chip readers, but they still also have swipe. Guess the latter is for American visitors. Even though I’m Canadian, have several U.S. issued credit cards. Its funny when I use these cards in Canada, because people look for the chip. Most are shocked that swipe cards still exist.

  • Tom K

    USAA now has a chip and pin MC with a 1% foreign transaction fee.

  • Paul Wells

    It’d be very difficult to read the chip in a C&P card using RFID equipment as it’s a totally different type of technology.

  • JDiver

    Diners Card, surprisingly enough, DOES have full chip and PIN technology. Branded as a MasterCard, it is usable almost anywhere now – not the case previously. Unfortunately, they do knock off a 3% forex fee, but for picking up, say, a prereserved French SNCF train ticket from an automated kiosk and not hassling the often lengthy queues at SNCF rail stations, it works fine. And by using SNCF direct (claim Canada as your residence if you are American so you won;t be redirected to the pricey Rail Europe site) 3% isn’t so bad when I figure in the discounts I can earn by buying early and direct.

  • Dragon

    I was just in London, and my Andrews FCU Visa worked without a PIN to top up my Tube Oyster card (transaction was 10 GBP). Also used it at a Heathrow Express ticket machine which read the stripe instead of the chip.

  • SuperKirby

    How do you apply for a DC card?

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  • Pete

    Everyone should
    understand that American chip and pin technology will not work outside of the US in unmanned point of sale terminals,
    such as in train and bus stations, parking garages and gas pumps (of which
    there are many). I obtained a chip and pin Visa card from BofA
    before we left for Norway. We are here now for 2 months
    (November 2013). BofA gave me a pin and I thought I was in fat city.
    Not so. It only works if there is a person with a chip terminal,
    and generally you must sign depending upon the transaction or the whim of the
    merchant. I called BofA from here and told them the pin they gave me does
    not work. They had no clue why not. Since I am retired from BofA,
    and since I thought they should have a better answer than “I don’t
    know,” I sent an email to Brian Moynihan, the CEO. Within a day I
    had a call from the guy who runs the chip and pin program for BofA (THE person
    most knowledgeable). He said their CSRs are not well informed about what
    an American chip and pin card is vs. a European one. They will inform
    their people and change their Website to clearly state that their chip and pin
    cards cannot be used at unmanned point of sale terminals outside of the U.S. And they will explain that the
    pin they give is only so that you can withdraw money from the Visa card in
    ATMs. My contact stated there is only
    one company that issues a chip and pin card that will work outside of the U.S. in unmanned POS terminals — a U.S. government credit union. I wasn’t
    where I could write the name down and I don’t remember the name. I’m sure
    Googling will find it. He also stated that by spring 2014 all new
    installations of European point of sale terminals must be able to accept our
    chip and pins at unmanned POS terminals…and by sometime in 2015 all of Europe must upgrade their POS terminals to be able to accept our chip
    and pin technology at unmann
    ed POS terminals. So there is hope for the future. Bon voyage.

  • BMATT

    PenFed Visa also has chip too!

  • R2F

    I received a replacement card for Chase Sapphire Preferred today and it now has a chip!

  • Nicky

    The card is from Andrews Federal Credit Union. I have had it for over a year and I live in Europe working for the US government. It is a true chip and pin and comes with a designated pin number that you can not change ( I asked). It is the same one referred to by another poster above. There are really no benefits to the card other than no foreign transaction fee and the chip and pin technology. There have been a few instances where it has come in handy, mostly at train stations, gas stations, and a few stores that don’t seem to know what to do with “regular” American credit cards. It is good to have because I live here, but otherwise, I’d use a card that gives good miles or other travel benefits. Before I moved here, I used the Travelex card to ward off chip and pin issues and for the few times that it was an necessary, it worked just fine.

  • Carmen Leung

    hey folks. Chase is now issuing chip and pin both in canada and usa now. ;)

  • Doa

    I had the same issue in Amsterdam. Hated that I couldn’t buy a train ticket from the automated machine or even from the manned station. Had to wait in a long line and get a horrible exchange rate at the airport. When will the US catch up with the rest of the world?

  • L.A. Lady

    Chase Sapphire with chip is in the mail! I think my travel wallet will have this, my ATM card and a decent amount of local currency. The AmEx will be along for the ride…

  • NJP

    FYI – I just ordered a new sapphire preferred so I’d have one with a chip.

  • The_Droid_Linda

    Why can’t we use CREDIT cards that are “swipe strip” and “pin”? Why is
    that any better/worst than “chip” and “pin”?

    Both will never work without the correct pin number.

  • Kevin

    I have the Bank of America Travel Rewards and it is great! No annual fee, good travels rewards. Just got about $100 off my plane ticket to D.C. with the points I earned. Went to Europe with it which was a great traveling companion. No foreign transaction fees, and last but not least the wonderful smart chip that made it very easy for merchants to accept my card while I was in Europe. I recommend this card for traveling.

  • CJV

    USAA offers US customers a chip and pin card. However to be eligible for USAA, you have to have either have been in the military or had a parent in the military. I am not sure if that relevant person had to have been a member of USAA though. In my case, my father was a USAA member, so I qualify and am a member. And I recently found out that if you qualify, and have a non married partner, that partner can also qualify. The partner can be of the same sex or different sex (they’re trying not to discriminate on non married partners I guess).

  • RylanG

    If they refuse the card you can ask for a manager or someone higher up to clarify that they will not take your card and while they are standing there tell them that you will be calling the card company (number on back of card) and relaying that information to them. In most cases their agreement with the card company requires them to accept your card or lose their ability to accept any of the company’s cards.
    I have seen a friend do this at a car dealership in the US when they laughed and claimed he couldn’t pay for the entire car on a card. They immediately corrected his ‘misperception’ of their policy and accepted the card for the full purchase price of an automobile. I suspect that other retailers will react similarly.

  • RylanG

    I am unclear on how exactly this works on the cards…there is a lack of specific information on the whole process (rightly so, keeping the process tightly held limits fraud). It seems though, that is probably like the log in chips used by companies to maintain system security. There is an algorithm in the chip that generates a PIN and that PIN must match to the receiving end based on the same algorithm.

  • RylanG

    Do these cards work over the internet…and if so how is the chip/pin technology incorporated in that environment? It seems, from what I have read, that this technology is excellent for physical use of the card. Not clear if it has any effect on ability of using the card on-line or via phone.

  • CHIPSAHOY

    Chase Sapphire Preferred card now has a chip

  • Dave

    Kevin, do you work for BA travel rewards or did they just give you the text to post.

  • russell

    yeah Kevin sounds like he just got off the set of a BOA commercial,

  • dabble53

    The stripes are very easily read and reproduced (i.e., a copy can be made) very cheaply by anyone.
    The chip is expensive (relatively) and cannot be copied by just anyone.

  • InHarmony

    @the_droid_linda:disqus,
    I agree with you. Since we all already have credit cards with a magnetic stripe why can’t the banks assign a PIN to these even without a new card. They could work the same as a debit. US merchants wouldn’t need to pay to upgrade register equipment and the banks wouldn’t need to pay extra for the chip embedded cards. The cost to implement would be low and this reduces the barrier to get this available in most US retail locations. Sure the existing stripes are easy to copy but without the PIN the copied cards would useless.

  • Rob

    A US Bank FlexPerk card IS NOT chip and pin, it is chip and signature, a major difference. Speaking from experience, the FlexPerk card does not work in European chip-and-pin readers, has a magnetic stripe AND RFID chip to work in US and legacy readers, and is much less secure than a standard magnetic stripe card due to the RFID chip. I have one, but never use it.

  • NormaS

    I was traveling to Europe this past fall and got an AMEX card with a chip. It is a Senior Gold Card……not platinum. Question….Does this card get treated any differently in the USA? Any advantage or is it just swiped and vulnerable as usual?

  • CS

    I am living in Europe, I have only C&P cards, most or all card readers around have both swipe and chip reader system, but just swiping a side does nothing useful – the terminal asks explicitly for inserting the the card for chip read. I know this because one of my card has some weird contacts and gives constant troubles on some particular card readers, where the vendor must struggle minutes trying to insert and reinsert and rereinsert the card until the device gets satisfied. Changing to swipe fails, so I guess this is not a vendor option …

  • KK

    Not according to my conversation with Chase today. Still chip+sig.

  • So Cal Patriot

    I called the Customer Service telephone number on the reverse of my Mileage Plus Club Visa card only to be told that they are not currently offering the Smart Chip card to holders of the MPlus Club Visa card and have no immediate plans to do so. She offered to open another account for one of the Chase cards that do have the smart chip technology, but the last thing I need is another credit card! Fortunately, I do have another credit card that has this technology, but it would have been nice to have this one with the smart chip.

  • Bob Black

    My local WalMart (don’t judge me) just changed all their swipe machines at the registers to ones that also have slots that have pictograph instructions on how to insert a card with a chip. Makes me think that this technology may start showing up here in the states more.

  • Nathan

    What about traveling elsewhere in the world? I am spending the next 2 years in West Africa. Should I try and get a chip and pin card before I go?

  • Z

    This is an old post, but I wanted to let anyone else finding it with a search: you can get a real “chip and PIN” credit card from Wells Fargo, starting in January, 2014.

  • Paul Wells

    Just talked with them and that say they don’t offer one – did you have any more details?

  • Helene Segura, CPO®

    FYI – Bank of America does NOT offer Chip & Pin cards:

    What’s the difference between chip & signature and chip & PIN? Does my card have a PIN?

    Chip & PIN is a very similar technology, except that you use a PIN to complete a purchase instead of a signature. Both chip & PIN and chip & signature offer enhanced security against counterfeiting compared to traditional magnetic stripe-only cards. Bank of America does not offer chip & PIN technology.

    https://www.bankofamerica.com/credit-cards/chip-and-signature-faq.go

  • Rob philip

    The world progresses! I just received my Barclay Hawaiian Airlines card and it has chip & pin capabilities. Within the USA it’s still a swipe card, according to their docs, but outside it’s a chip & pin. And while they set a PIN for you, you can modify it to be one of your own choosing.

    Also – no foreign transaction fees on this card.

  • Memphis Belle

    I am coming a little late to this discussion but I would like to point out something that is of importance to me and maybe to others. I am looking for a credit card I can acquire here in the States with a chip and PIN for use abroad in unattended terminals/kiosks such as train and bus stations. I was interested in the Bk Americard Travel Rewards Visa. However when reading the details this card will only function as a chip and signature and thus can only be used for point of sale transactions where an attendant is present. Consequently of limited use to me abroad.

  • Monty

    How about ATM machines? Will they take US Bank TRavel cards?

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