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

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

Million Mile SecretsGood News for Overseas Travelers:  Chase Introducing Chip-and-PIN CardsMillion Mile Secrets Team

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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.

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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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.

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?

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.

Million Mile Secrets

@rob – Thanks for this 1st hand report!

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.

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.

Million Mile Secrets

@JK – I believe the Barclays card is truest Chip & Pin card in the US.

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