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A Rundown of US Credit Cards With EMV Chip Technology

by on May 15, 2014 · 46 comments

in American Express, Bank of America, Barclays, Chase, Citi, US Bank, Wells Fargo

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With the unveiling yesterday of the rebranded Barclaycard Arrival – which is now called the Arrival Plus and comes with a Smart Chip (with PIN capability, no less) embedded, as well as recent announcements about the Delta Amex cards getting them May 1 and the introduction of the Amex EveryDay cards with Smart Chip technology, not to mention the fact that the Chase Sapphire Preferred started offering it in November as well, I thought it was time for an update on US credit cards that now offer Smart Chip technology, and more specifically, those offering Chip + Pin.

Cards with Smart Chips are both more secure and easier to use abroad. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

It’s been about a year since I compiled a complete list, and there are a lot of great new and existing credit cards out there that now come with EMV Smart Chip technology, which makes it easier to use them abroad in many cases. What’s interesting, is that several new cards on the market – notably the new Arrival Plus and Hawaiian Airlines cards from Barclaycard as well as the Wells Fargo Propel World are offering Chip + PIN cards rather than just your average Chip + Signature versions.

Why Smart Chips Matter

To be honest, the single most important factor to me when deciding which cards to take and use abroad is that whatever cards I bring waive foreign transaction fees, since those can add up to 3% of your purchases.

However, so many great credit cards waive those fees nowadays that it makes sense to deepen your consideration to which cards offers Smart Chips. Unlike other countries where these chips require cardholders to enter a PIN for transactions as well, most US credit cards with these chips still just require a signature. The PIN cards offer an added layer of security that makes it much harder for hackers to steal your personal information, but even chip-and-signature cards can be much more useful than your average American swipe and sign cards with just magnetic strips. Of note – the new Arrival Plus from Barclaycard is one of the few that will require a Chip + PIN abroad, as is the new Wells Fargo Propel World.

However, even Chip + Signature cards can be used with portable electronic readers that require you to insert the card rather than swipe it like many restaurants abroad use, and then sign for it as you would with a regular old swipe card. It can also be a big help to carry them when you might need to make purchases at foreign merchants whose machines might not read magnetic strips, and that includes major entities like the Paris Metro, as well as many smaller hotels and restaurants.

So 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 request a new one online or call your issuer and they should reissue you one for free, unless you need it expedited. Though existing cards that have transitioned to having Smart Chips now offer them to new cardholders, most issuers will not send you replacement cards if you don’t ask for them.

You can also get a preloaded chip card from the Travelex money exchange stores in airports. These are basically just pre-loaded charge cards, but when you put money on them in foreign currencies, Travelex takes a huge cut on foreign exchanges, so I’d much rather get a credit card that has a chip in it and let the credit card company do my currency conversion- and earn points while I’m at it.

US CREDIT CARDS OFFERING SMART CHIP TECHNOLOGY

So here is the list, and I’ve put an asterisk (*) next to those that are new or have recently started offering Smart Chips and a double asterisk (PIN) by the Chip + PIN ones.

AMERICAN EXPRESS
Platinum, by request. 40,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. $450 annual fee. No foreign transaction fees.
Business Platinum, by request. 40,000 points when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months. $450 annual fee. No foreign transaction fees.
*Gold Delta SkyMiles American Express, by request. 30,000 miles when you spend $1,000 in 3 months. No foreign transaction fees. $95 annual fee waived the first year. Available on business version as well.
*Platinum Delta SkyMiles American Express, by request. 5,000 MQMs and 35,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. $195 annual fee. No forex fees. Available on business version as well.
*Delta Reserve, by request. 10,000 MQMs and 10,000 miles plus Delta Sky Club access after first purchase. No forex fees. $450 annual fee. Available on business version as well.
*EveryDay Preferred. 15,000 points when you spend $1,000 in 90 days. $95 annual fee
*EveryDay. 10,000 points when you spend $1,000 in 90 days. No annual fee.
Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express: 1% foreign transaction fee. No annual fee.

For more on requesting a Platinum Card with a chip, see this post.

BANK OF AMERICA
Alaska Airlines Visa. 25,000 Bonus Miles upon approval and an additional 15,000 Bonus Miles after making at least $10,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of the account open date. $75 annual fee. 3% foreign transaction fee.
Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® credit card from Bank of America. 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 American Express® credit card from Bank of America. 10,000 miles after first purchase. $99 annual fee. 1% foreign transaction fee.
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card. 10,000 points when you spend $500 in 90 days. No annual fee. No foreign transaction fees.
Norwegian Cruise Line® World MasterCard Credit Card. 10,000 points after first purchase. No annual fee. 3% foreign transaction fee.
Royal Caribbean® Visa Signature® card. 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.

The Arrival Plus now comes with a Smart Chip.

The Arrival Plus now comes with a Smart Chip.

BARCLAYCARD
(PIN) Arrival Plus. 40,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in 90 days. $89 annual fee waived the first year. No foreign transaction fees. This is a Chip-and-PIN card.
(PIN) The New Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard. 35,000 bonus miles when you make $1,000 in eligible purchases in the first 90 days. No forex fees. $89 annual fee.
(PIN) The New Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard. 35,000 bonus miles when you make $1,000 in eligible purchases in the first 90 days. No forex fees. $89 annual 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. 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. 40,000 points when you spend $3,000 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.
JP Morgan Palladium Visa. $595 annual fee. No foreign transaction fees.
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 Hilton Visa Signature. 40,000 points wen you spend $1,000 within 4 months. $0 annual fee.
Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard®. 50,000 miles for spending $1,000 in 3 months. $95 annual fee waived first year. 3% foreign transaction fee.
Citi Executive AAdvantage World Mastercard. 100,000 miles when you spend $10,000 in 3 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.
Citi Prestige. 30,000 points when you spend $2,000 in 3 months. $450 annual fee. No foreign transaction fees.
Citi ThankYou Premier. 20,000 after $2,000 in purchases and an additional 30,000 points after another $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. $125 annual fee waived first year. No foreign transaction fees.
Citi ThankYou® Preferred. 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.

PenFed
(PIN) Platinum Rewards Visa Signature. No foreign transaction fees. Chip + PIN enabled. No annual fee.

USAA
(PIN) Platinum World Mastercard, Chip + PIN upon request. No annual fee. 1% foreign transaction fee. No annual fee.

US Bank
FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa 20,000 points when you spend $3,500 in four months. $49 annual fee waived first year. 3% 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.

The new Wells Fargo Propel offers Chip + Pin technology.

The new Wells Fargo Propel offers Chip + Pin technology.

Wells Fargo
(PIN) Propel World40,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. No forex fees. $195 annual fee waived the first year.

For more information on Smart Chips and the credit cards that have them, as well as those that waive foreign transaction fees check out these posts:

US Credit Cards With Smart Chip Technology

Maximizing Smart Chip Credit Cards in Europe

Top Travel Credit Cards that Waive Foreign Transaction Fees

Are you missing out on the benefits of a card with EMV chip technology?

Are you missing out on the benefits of a card with EMV chip technology? Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Lynn Nguyen

    Great list! I had tweeted at you a few weeks ago about choosing whether to keep Barclay Arrival or Sapphire Preferred (both have no foreign exchange fee which was my priority)and was going to go with Sapphire bc of the chip&pin but it turns out it’s chip&signature.

    The chip feature is great for security but the point of getting it was to expedite transactions and having to sign for a chip card doesnt help that. Barclay Arrival releasing the chip&pin came just in time! Though I still don’t know what I’m keeping since I like Chase’s ultimate rewards program, but I like the ease of easy travel redemption with Barclay…maybe I’ll up my game and just pay for both after my first year annual fee waive.

  • Adam

    Citi prestige has a chip too.

  • Rich

    The chip in my HHonors Reserve card was very handy last year when we were in Taipei and Hong Kong as ALL the credit card machines there used them. I had to have a clerk at a 7-Eleven in Taipei show me how to insert the card to read the chip since I’d never used it in the US! Very useful this year in Montreal, too. Have never seen a US merchant/machine use it, though.

  • geekyjeff

    If you like the Chase UR program, hold on to the Sapphire Preferred. Chase cards are going chip + PIN later this year.

  • atltravel

    you need to wait for the chip/pin cards. just got back from Europe with my Chase Sapphire and guess what did not work w/o a pin. The chip was worthless, had to scan every time.

  • thepointsguy

    Right- that’s why it’s important to get a chip+ PIN card for European travel- luckily there are several decent options out there where you can earn points too

  • atltravel

    I know now, I called Chase b-4 I left and they said it was not available yet. The chip w/o a pin actually confused everyone over there. Chase should not be using the chip w/o a pin.

  • Brian

    Are the Citi cards pin compatible?

  • Ryan McVickers

    I think I remember reading that Chase is converting its current Smart Chip cards to Chip + PIN later this year. Can anyone confirm that?

  • Adam J

    I believe Wells Fargo has several other cards that have chip technology. All 3 Wells Fargo Advisors cards: Invitation & Premium Rewards Visa Signatures and Platinum Cash Back Visa. Also the Wells Fargo Private Bank by Invitation Visa Signature. These are lesser marketed higher-end cards, but have good travel benefits.

  • SW

    Ok bein paranoid here, but I had 3 of 6 credit cards hacked and fraud charges attempted within 5 days on all. The only common thing between the 3 is that they all the had the chip (2 chase and 1 citi). Never used any of them at the same location. Hmmmm

  • Brian C. Lee

    “but the point of getting it was to expedite transactions and having to sign for a chip card doesnt help that.”

    I thought the point of getting an EMV card was to ensure acceptance by merchants who won’t take cards without chips.

  • Brian C. Lee

    Where were you trying to use it? Which countries/cities?

  • Lynn Nguyen

    The point for me personally. Yes greater acceptance by merchants is important but I didn’t have too much of a problem in Europe, only one or two stores.

  • Lynn Nguyen

    My new year with them doesnt start till Fall so we’ll see!

  • atltravel

    I was in Hungry, Austria and Germany as well as the AMS airport where I had the first issue.

  • A.J.

    I just got an AmEx Blue Cash Everyday card w/ Chip & Signature

  • A.J.

    Also.. Ive never had to use the chip reader anywhere in the U.S. Until last week, and was at WAL MART of all places.

  • Judy H

    I just got the Andrews Federal Credit Union Globe Trek Visa Rewards Card. No annual fee and Chip and Pin. Had to pay $5.00 to join the American Consumer Council.org, then $5.00 to join the credit union.

  • Gary

    The Fidelity American Express card issued by FIA Card Services has EMV chip. It also has 2% cash back, no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee. I believe it is the only card out there with all of these attributes.

  • Rob philip

    Well, “Europe” is a big place. I was in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and others last year. Chip + signature worked just fine. The merchant (or you) just needs to press the “no PIN” button and the machines spit out paper for you to sign. The merchant won’t necessarily know about this, though, as it’s only American cards that have this problem.

    The chip lets you use the card in machines that don’t have magnetic stripe readers, which is better than worthless in my perspective.

    Also, according to Chase when I asked about a pin for my Sappire Preferred, trying 0000 will often work in automated machines that only take cards with chips.

  • Rob philip

    It was announced in March that the Sapphire Preferred would go chip & pin, but when I spoke to them yesterday customer service didn’t know when. But she did confirm that they have a lot of customers bugging them about it. :)

  • http://smartbaccarat.com/ baccarat_guy

    Be aware, some merchants refuse to accept a NO-PIN transaction. And, some merchants can’t accept NO-PIN transactions. I can point to numerous places in Amsterdam that are like this. But, many of the heavily tourist oriented places will deal with a signature.

  • Rob philip

    Interesting. I’ll be in Sweden, Iceland, France and Switzerland this summer, with some German airports in the mix. I’ll make a point of seeing how it all goes. Of course, if Chase would just get their act together and start supporting PINs we wouldn’t have to go through this silly dance!

  • bubbah

    now, which is the chip that mopes roam around with laptops and remote readers to steal your info …is that the same as this one, or is it the near field chip in some cards that can purchase with a wave instead of a swipe at certain merchants …I believe it is the latter NFC one that is subject to this …I asked my cc company to provide me cards without that feature for foreign travel safety …am I correct these are 2 different things ??

  • MannyV

    I just got my replacement AmEx Platinum Skymiles with Chip+Sign. I have Barclay Arrival MC so I called them but their customer service stated that the new cards won’t be mailed out until mid-June. I leave for Denmark June 5 so I won’t have a Visa or MC with Chip+Sign. Will I be ok with Amex chip+sign only? Do I need to get a Visa/MC with Chip+Sign? Just trying to avoid a hard pull on my credit report right now.

  • HenryW

    We have used our Brit Air card all over Europe. The chip has proved a nessessity.

  • chnpin

    I got that, too about a year ago. It saved my backside in the Netherlands… where “chip and sign” was not accepted at many restaurants and train kiosks.

    Another chip and pin card I found was at Commerce Bank… based in Kansas City…but anyone can open a card (Visa Signature card)… crummy rewards, and $29 annual fee. I applied for it the same time I did for Andrews Federal CU — because the credit union took two months for “manual” archaic approval.

  • oops

    BEWARE of the Netherlands and Belgium if you think your “chip and signature” card will pull you through. It won’t. You need true “chip and PIN” for most restaurants — and most importantly at train kiosks (where there are NO manned train ticket booths). Last May 2013, I got stuck at a remote train station near the Hague with not enough Euro coins and no chip and pin card — Ii had to walk a mile to a bakery to get some coins (and they were NOT happy with me clearing out their till of coinage!) — so that I could buy a train ticket from a coin only/chip/pin only kiosk back to Amsterdam.

  • yeter

    I concur with that — at least about Belgium. I found several restaurants in Belgium would accept a “chip and sign” card, but with a 50 euro minimum. Traveling solo, that made it hard to use.. Carry lots of cash (including coins) in Belgium if you don’t have a chip/pin card.

  • penpoo

    chip with PIN (not signature) is becoming more of an issue all over Europe in my experience… if you don’t want surprises — especially at transportation areas that don’t have staff to purchase tickets..

    I was in Milan two weeks ago and needed to use Metro. I didn’t have enough Euro coins, so I tried my Citi World Elite (chip and sign) card… it rejected it (ie, asking for a pin).

    Granted, I should carry more Euro coins, but sometimes you’re in a bind (who carries cash and coins in America now?)… and I also save my Euro coins at times to make sure I can pay to go potty in Europe, too :)

  • Natalie

    Brit Air? Aren’t they part of Air France Hop now?

  • FLA2NCR

    They are also Chip+PIN. Not sure if they are proactively issuing them to new cardholders, but you can request them.

  • Stogs2

    Just received a Starwood AMEX chip+signature card in the mail today!

  • Kevin

    Here’s two more cards to add to the list from United Nations Federal Credit Union:

    Visa Azure: https://www.unfcu.org/product.aspx?id=385
    Visa Elite: https://www.unfcu.org/product.aspx?id=386

    The main difference is that the Elite comes with more perks and has a $50 annual fee while the Azure has no annual fee. Sadly, there is a 1% foreign transaction fee for both cards.

    However, both of these cards are true Chip and PIN so you won’t be asked for a signature. I used the Visa Azure everywhere in Europe with no problems and was always prompted to enter a PIN.

    Membership is open to anyone who joins UNA-USA: http://www.unausa.org/membership/unfcu-partnership ($25, but is free for students).

  • disqus_yMwIGWHyYY

    This is incorrect. The FIA-issued AMEX card does have 2% cash back and no annual fee, but it does not have a chip and it has a 1% foreign transaction fee. I have this card and also double-checked the FIA website to make sure the card and terms had not been updated since mine was issued.

  • Lynn Nguyen

    You should be able to special request a chip/pin from Barclay. I left for Singapore 10 days ago and I had requested a new Arrival card and it arrived in the nic of time. You can pay for an overnight shipment as well. I didn’t and got it in 5 business days. The ‘wont be mailed till mid June’ may be because of the upsurge in request but I’d try again.

  • Julia

    Great list – thank you! FYI Chase Marriott is 30K points if you spend $1,000 in the FIRST 3 months. The way it’s written is as if it’s ever $1K.

  • Drew

    This is incorrect. My Fidelity FIA issued Amex card does have a 2% cash back and no annual fee, it does have a EMV chip and sign feature. Call and request one, you will have it in five days. There is a 1% foreign transaction fee but the 2% cash back wipes that out. I used it overseas works fine. When asked for pin just push the green button without entering the pin. It will then ask for signature. I even use it at walmart here in the states. The machine asks for pin. I push enter green button it then asked for signature.

  • lawgator

    I have an Andrews Federal Credit Union Visa credit card. It has chip and PIN technology and it is free to get. If you go to the website there is some free organization you join that makes you eligible to join this credit union no matter where you live so anyone can apply for the card. There are no foreign transaction fees. I have used it with no problems many times in Europe. If it is a purchase where a merchant is present it does chip and sign technology, otherwise, it is chip and PIN (unattended kiosks like getting tickets at train stations, etc).

  • lawgator

    I should also add that there is no annual fee for this card. You do have to be a member of the credit union, so I keep $5.00. in my account. :-) It’s called the Globe Trek Visa Rewards card: https://www.andrewsfcu.org/credit_cards_and_loans/credit_cards/globetrek_rewards.html

  • Marcus Edwards

    Walmart has these machines that read chip and pin

  • Bloemberg

    Chase gave me a PIN but when I tried to use it in Europe I discovered it was the wrong kind of PIN, not the one that works with the Chip technology to enhance security. It was the old kind of PIN that you use to draw cash from an ATM — and pay lots of juicy interest on it, because you are borrowing cash on a charge card and not accessing your checking account! When I returned home and asked a bank officer about it, she gave me a deer-in-the-headlights stare!

  • Carmen Leung

    of course you have to be a non american in order to get a chase issued chip and pin card. I have two chip and pin cards from chase as of now

  • Carmen Leung

    walmart isn’t taking any chances xD

  • michael

    Both Chase Freedom Visa and Amex Blue Cash Everyday has chip + signature by request.

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