A Rundown of US Credit Cards With EMV Chip Technology

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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.

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.

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