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We recently received word from a reader wanting to know if any credit cards issued by U.S. Banks have the “chip and PIN” technology that is standard in Europe and other parts of the world. The reader noted that when traveling in the U.K. a few years ago, many retailers refused to accept a card that didn’t have this feature.
What is ‘chip and pin’ technology, anyway?
Chip and PIN is actually a brand name (like Visa or MasterCard), that banks in the U.K. adopted to refer to new smart payment system on credit and debit cards. The high-tech cards feature a computer chip embedded in the plastic that allows retailers to read the card by proximity rather than requiring them to physically swipe a card with a magnetic stripe. All chip and PIN cards also require a personal identification number (PIN) common to U.S. debit cards but not credit cards.
U.S. credit cards with ‘chip and PIN’ technology
Although U.S. banks have not yet adopted the chip and PIN system for domestic use, some have started to offer cards marketed towards foreign travelers. Here’s a partial list:
We recommend the
- BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card ($0 annual fee)
- U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® Card ($0 annual fee the first year, then $49).
- Citi Thank You Card ($0 annual fee)
All cards offer generous travel rewards and other benefits.
Other U.S. credit cards offering chip and PIN technology with higher annual fees include:
- Citi® ThankYou Preferred Card
- Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card
- Chase Marriott Rewards Premier
- Hyatt Visa Signature
- British Airways Visa
I’ll bet we’ll start seeing some more come out in the next couple years.
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