Good News for Overseas Travelers: Chase Introducing Chip-and-PIN Cards

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Via The Hustle Blog, Chase is changing some of their cards from Chip-And-Signature to the more secure and more widely used Chip-and-PIN technology.

My Sapphire Preferred Will Soon Have a Chi

My Sapphire Preferred Card Will Soon Have a Chip-and-PIN Technology!

Unlike Europe and other countries, most US banks issue credit cards with only a magnetic strip on the back.  This old technology can make them easy for criminals to hack.  If your card is hacked, your liability is limited to $50 as long as you report the fraudulent charges within 2 business days.

Both Chip-and-Signature and Chip-and-PIN cards have a Chip which encrypts your card information to protect from fraud.  While Chip-and-Signature cards only require a signature (which is easy to forge), the Chip-and-PIN cards have the added security of requiring a 4 to 6 digit PIN.

Chip-and-PIN cards are most common outside the US.  When Emily and I traveled to Europe, we discovered there were certain places that wouldn’t accept cards with only a magnetic strip.  We had to use our Chip-and-Signature cards to buy train tickets, rent bicycles, and use vending machines.

But US Chip-and-Signature cards won’t work in all vending machines or at gas stations, so this change to Chip-and-PIN will make it more convenient for folks who travel overseas.


Emily and I Use Chip-and-Signature Cards When We Travel to Europe

Which Cards Are Changing?

Here are the Chase cards which currently have a Chip:

I’m surprised that Chase doesn’t include a chip in their business cards such as the Ink Plus or Ink Bold.  I suspect it is only a matter of time before they start coming with a Chip!

Why Is Chase Changing These Cards?

We can speculate why Chase is changing the cards to the Chip-and-PIN versions, but the bottom line is that it will be easier to use certain Chase cards outside the US – especially in automatic machines!

I personally wouldn’t rush to get one of these cards just for the Chip, unless you were already planning to get one.

You don’t *need* one to travel to Europe, but it does make it a little easier.  Just be sure to use a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees!

Bottom Line

Chase is changing several of their cards to Chip-and-PIN versions later this year.  This will improve security and make them a lot easier to use outside the US.

The new Chip-and-PIN versions of the cards will be good for folks who travel to Europe and other places where Chip-and-PIN cards are used.  But you don’t have to have a Chip-and-PIN card to get by in other countries!

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38 responses to “Good News for Overseas Travelers: Chase Introducing Chip-and-PIN Cards

  1. Both my Marriott and my CSP both have had the chip for a few months, Recently Citi sent an email asking if I want to upgrade my AA cards to chip versions.

  2. Dan's the Man

    @ Chad While the chip has been available the post says the new cards will be Chip & PIN. Yours are Chip & Signature. While they look the same they don’t work the same. Chip & PIN is standard in Europe and requires you to enter a PIN when purchases.

  3. Canada also uses chip & pin technology!

  4. Hope Barclays Arrival follows suit. They could really use it that would make it the perfect card!

  5. Would this be considered a different product than the older CSP? Would I be able to get the sign up bonus again?

  6. same question as ^PJ

  7. Would these new cards make it harder to use in the U.S? Let say if you try to use CSP at a restaurant, would you be asked to enter a pin or would a signature be enough?

  8. Kind of sucks. I called the other day to have my Sapphire card switched over to the new chip card. I was told the MasterCard version did not offer that and I would have to switch to a Visa. I don’t want to give up my MasterCard since we shop a lot at Sam’s Club.

  9. the Ritz-Carlton card is actually a JPM card not a Chase card.

  10. It is not a different product but it just an added feature.

  11. @PJ and @vaughn, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the same card, just with a new feature. You will not get the sign up bonus again.

  12. My wife and I just came back from a trip to Europe. Since the chip and signature cards didn’t have a pin we just hit the green arrow on the machine and it would skip right to signature. We never had a problem using chip and signature.

  13. Just be sure to read the fine print. Now that you have a PIN you’ll likely technically be liable for any transaction where it was properly entered, even if fraudulent, because the onus to keep it secret is on you. Cover that PIN-pad!

    Here’s a news report on it:

  14. We have 6 weeks overseas this summer, will we be able to get a Chip & PIN card before the trip?

  15. The case you’re referring to is a Canadian one, and thus has absolutely zero applicability in the United States.

  16. Finally! I personally can’t wait to have a pin number on my card so I can use it in ticket vending machines when I travel abroad. It was a real pain standing in line at the Amsterdam train station ticket counter for 30 minutes just because the machine wouldn’t take a non-chip card.

  17. Correction – a chipped, but non-PIN card.

  18. @Lisa My wife and I had the same problem in Amsterdam. The train station kiosk wouldn’t take our mag stripe or chip & signature cards. It also didn’t want our larger denomination Euro bills. In order to make our flight, we just had to sneak onto the plane. Thankfully we didn’t have to jump a turnstile or anything and we weren’t busted by the conductor.

    • @Justin – You could switch out of the BOA cards to the Ink. Compare the benefits of the Ink to AMEX and then move spending over based on which works better. United has a hub in Newark, so Ink could be better. Also if you have the green corporate AMEX cards, you can pay a very nominal monthly fee to have them become transferable Membership Rewards points!

      @ed – I’ve occasionally put business expenses on personal cards and personal expenses on business cards. The only downside is the hassle in sorting out the accounting for taxes!

  19. I tried to ask Chase when will the conversion to Chip and Pin card occur. I got the song and dance of they currently offer only Chip and Signature card. I’m leaving for Europe and Asia at the end of July. Does anyone have any new news concerning when the new Chip and Pin cards from Chase will be introduced? I’m also going ahead with apply for the Andrews Air Force Base Credit Union Chip and Pin Visa they offer.

    It’s more for conveniences, last year I took a little extra cash to Europe and purchase most of the train tickets using cash and only used my credit card for a few items. This year might be more difficult because I will be in the UK, Europe, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Tokyo.

  20. @Ray Louie:

    I just called them too – while they still only claim to know about chip & signature, the service rep did admit that they are getting more and more phone calls asking for chip & pin.

    The announcement in February by Chase said “later this year”. I’m hoping that is before the beginning of July as I have a month of European travel planned. Mostly it doesn’t matter, but in Scandinavia a lot of gas pumps are unmanned and want chip & pin cards. Fortunately the last time I *needed* gas in that situation my USBank ATM card worked. Amazingly.

  21. I am eagerly awaiting chip and pin. Any update from Chase yet?

  22. Pingback: New Barclays Arrival Plus: How the Changes Help You | Million Mile Secrets

  23. I just spoke to Chase Sapphire Preferred customer service and they said they have no plans to incorporate chip-and-PIN anytime soon. Maybe I spoke to an uninformed CSR?

  24. Greetings from France!! I have both mag stripe and chip/signature cards. I’m finding the toll roads are unpredictable. Some booths take my cards; some reject all of them. I’ve had a few pissed locals lined up behind me while I sorted things out. Hoping chip and PIN will solve the problem (but don’t see where to enter a PIN at the toll booths….).

  25. I’m confused about the benefit of chip-and-PIN. Presumably the real advantage comes if a thief possesses your card but can’t purchase anything because he doesn’t know your PIN. But if all chip-and-PIN’s also allow vendors to go the swipe/signature or chip/signature route, what’s to stop the thief from using your card the old fashioned way and forging a signature? Especially in the US, vendors largely never check a signature in the first place, so if they’re not in the habit of doing that, let alone strongly encouraging the PIN method, what’s the benefit of chip-PIN? In Europe, too, most human vendors will allow you to sign, so if a thief can fake your sig, you’re out of luck there, too. At least the liability stays off of you in that instance, though.

    Am I right that chip-and-PIN card issuers allow for signature verification, at least as a fall-back? If so, and especially if US vendors aren’t stringent in requiring that chip-PIN card users what’s the benefit?

  26. Just spoke to Chase. They have chip/sig but for Visa only, not MasterCard. Also, no chip/pin.

  27. Sorry for the re-post, but I wanted to get better verification with Chase. They confirmed that Chase is actually moving all MasterCards to Visa, which will have Chip/Signature. There will be no chip/pin.

  28. I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred with chip+signature, and I spent 3 weeks in Spain.

    When using the card at vendors and restaurants, you are required to sign the old fashioned way instead of entering a PIN (signature is a very ineffective, archaic, and silly form of authentication in my opinion).

    When using the card at kiosks, it has worked for most of them. Some of them would prompt for a pin (I used used the same pin that I have assigned for cash advance), some of them won’t prompt for a pin at all, but will still complete the transaction. A few machines did not accept the card at all.

    It seems to me (please correct me if I am wrong), that automated machines for EMV cards work like this:

    -IF the EMV chip has a pin assigned to it, then it will prompt for a PIN, but still conduct the transaction online or offline.
    -IF NOT, then it will try to make a connection to the transaction server, if it can (it will need to do this for chip+signature cards).
    -IF it can’t connect (OFFLINE only), then the chip+signature card is rejected, in that case only chip+pin accepted.

    I remember at one time, my card was rejected at a kiosk at a train station, and a rep at the information desk mentioned they were having network connectivity issues that day, and that my card requires a instant live connection for the transaction to be completed. My card was accepted on all other occasions.

  29. Sorry for re-posting, but I called Chase yesterday asking them when they would offer true chip+pin cards, and the rep told me that they don’t have any definite or known plans of offering them. It seems to me that there are a few credit unions in the US which offer true chip+pin. Also, Barclays apparently has a US issued card that is chip+PIN.

  30. I just returned from 5 weeks in various European countries and used my Barclay Arrival+ Mastercard exclusively, with the exception of car rentals. It was accepted everywhere, but since it’s primarily a chip & signature any machine that could print out paper to be signed did so. However, for places (unmanned gas pumps in particular) where there was no way to print paper the machine asked for the pin code and accepted it.

    It would be better (much easier) if the card defaulted to chip & pin but it works this way so there isn’t much to complain about.

    I think I will be calling Chase to ask once again about chip & pin for my sapphire preferred and point out that I spent my vacation using their competitor’s card because chase is falling behind.

  31. I just talked to a Chase rep, and they say they have no plans for Chip and PIN.

    Did they delay for some reason? What’s going on?

  32. Just looked at the Chase site and talked with a rep – still chip & signature only, no plans for a PIN other than for cash.

    It would be good if blogs saying that C&P is coming soon would follow up the story.