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

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Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 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.

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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