Chip and PIN Credit Cards In The USA For 2015?

The past year’s rash of data breaches proved just how vulnerable old-school magnetic stripe cards can be. Could the more-secure EMV chip technology that’s become the standard internationally be the answer?

As a countermeasure to thwart fraud, EMV “smart card” technology (a joint effort of Europay, MasterCard, and Visa) was concocted in the 90’s and rolled out during the 00’s throughout the world … but not in the U.S. That’s changing, however, in light of the October 2015 EMV liability shift, which went into effect Oct. 1, 2015. Now, whichever party (merchant or issuer) hasn’t upgraded will be held responsible from card-present fraud costs.

That’s a powerful motivator to adapt. Yet, while an increasing number of cards are sporting chips, others are lagging behind.chip and pin on card

How EMV works
EMV cards thwart some of the most common ways thieves clone cards and steal data. They come equipped with a microprocessor chip that encodes the information transferred to the merchant, such as account numbers, differently with each transaction. So, even if thieves manage to get data from a merchant (as they did in the Target breach), it’s like stealing an expired password — useless. EMV chips are also tougher to clone than magnetic stripes are.

While EMV technology won’t make data theft disappear (several successful breaches overseas are a testament to that), it does up the ante for thieves, making their job harder — when it comes to card-present fraud, that is. EMV technology doesn’t do anything about online fraud, unfortunately. So, if your card information is stored in an online shopping account or other website and that information gets compromised via a bug like Heartbleed, or a colossal hack (like the 2013 Russian cybergang hack that compromised 1.2 billion online login credentials), the little chip on your card won’t protect you. The only thing you can do is have hard-to-guess passwords and change them often.

The EMV cards being rolled out stateside are a bit different than those rolled out in other countries. Most U.S.-issued cards use what’s called chip and signature technology, while the EMV cards being issued overseas generally use “chip and PIN” technology. The chip and PIN cards require the cardholder to type in a PIN to complete a transaction, making it difficult for a thief who gets ahold of the card to use it. Although chip and signature cards still have the more-secure computer chip, they require a signature for the transaction, rather than a PIN.

Some U.S. cards have PIN capabilities, though, meaning that, if a terminal abroad requires a PIN, you can use one. Select cards from Wells Fargo, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard and the Sam’s Club card, for example, now have the ability to function as chip-and-PIN cards, when needed.

Chip and PIN EMV cards to the rescue?
Even if every card issued in the U.S. gets a chip, those cards will offer no extra defense unless retailers update their equipment from their antiquated mag stripe card readers. That will cost merchants money (as in hundreds of millions), but the card networks (Visa, MasterCard, AmEx and Discover) are giving both them and card-issuing banks an incentive (both a carrot and a stick) to upgrade by October 2015. At that point, the networks will institute a “fraud liability shift.” That’s a fancy way of saying “adapt or pay.” If a consumer’s card is involved in fraud, whichever party involved in the transaction (the bank that issued the card or the merchant that accepted it) that didn’t upgrade to EMV will be held accountable.

Where can I get one in 2015?
Many cards have been upgraded well in advance of the 2015 liability shift deadline.
Given the prevalence of EMV throughout the world, banks have realized that smart cards are a travel benefit that can be touted, just like travel insurance and no foreign transaction fees. Many of the major issuers therefore already have them, as well as some credit unions (including Pentagon Federal, State Department Federal and Andrews Federal).
Use the chart below to find out which issuers are providing EMV chip cards for Americans. This list is periodically updated as new cards come onto the market. Please note that technically speaking, most of the cards issued in the US are chip and signature. A few, however, have PIN capabilities. That means you can set a PIN, allowing the card to be used in situations where a PIN is required (generally at unmanned payment terminals abroad). However, even signature-based EMV chips will still work with most international merchants (a possible exception being unmanned terminals at gas stations and tollbooths). If you notice your card is listed on the chart, but doesn’t have a chip, you can request a replacement from your issuer.

Read on after the chart for a closer look at some chip and PIN cards that are particularly good for travelers.

Compare U.S. EMV card offerings
Financial institutionU.S. cards with chipsOther details
American Express (a CreditCardForum advertising partner)Various consumer, OPEN and corporate cards, including Delta SkyMilesIf your card doesn't come with a chip, request one by calling the number on the back of the card.
Bank of AmericaMerrill Lynch-issued cards; BankAmericard Travel Rewards; BankAmericard Cash Rewards; airline cards for Virgin Atlantic, Alaska and Asiana; Royal Caribbean and Norwegian cruise line cards; consumer and small business debit cards
BarclaycardAviator cards; Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard; Barclaycard Arrival; Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® Apple Rewards card; Carnival World MasterCard; Diamond Resorts International MasterCard Barclaycard Arrival Plus will have ability to set a PIN.

Apple card is chip and PIN.
Capital OneSelect cards, including Venture and Venture OnePlans to implement EMV on most of its cards by end of 2015.
JPMorgan ChaseSapphire Preferred; Chase Freedom; Chase Slate; Ritz-Carlton Rewards; Hyatt Credit Card, JPMorgan Palladium;British Airways Visa Signature; Marriott Rewards Premier; Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier
CitiSimplicity; Double Cash; ThankYou cards; Citi Prestige; AAdvantage Platinum Select; AAdvantage Executive; AAdvantage Gold; Diamond Preferred; Expedia+; Expedia+ Voyager; Hilton HHonors cards; AT&T Access cardIf your current card doesn't have a chip, you can request a replacement online.
DiscoverIt cardsAvailable upon request.
USAAPreferred Cash Rewards World MasterCard; Cash Rewards World MasterCard; Cashback Rewards Plus American Express cardExpects to have all its credit and debit cards replaced by early 2016.
US BankFlexPerks Travel Rewards (Visa and AmEx); FlexPerks Select+ cards (Visa and AmEx); SKYPASS cards; Cash+ card; REI cardCurrent cardholders can expect to be issued a chip card on their expiration dates. Replacements issued sooner will be chip enabled.
Wells FargoCash Back Visa and Visa Signature; Propel World American Express; Propel 365 American Express; Platinum Visa; Secured card; Wells Fargo Visa Signature; Home Rebate Visa and Visa Signature; Rewards Visa; Cash Back College cardExisting cardholders will have their cards replaced over time, but you can request one sooner. New applicants will automatically receive chip cards.
Synchrony BankSam's Club 5-3-1 card; Wal-Mart MasterCardSam's Club card will have the ability to set a PIN. The non-MasterCard version of the Wal-Mart card does not have an EMV chip.
Diners ClubDiners Club Card, Carte Blanche Card, Diners Club Card Premier, Diners Club Card Elite

Best EMV cards for travelers

British Airways Visa Signature Card

British Airways Visa
Chase was the first major U.S. bank to make EMV a priority. One of the first cards they added this feature to was the British Airways Visa Signature (since 2011). The rewards program on it is pretty good: 1 Avios points per dollar on regular purchases and 3 Avios on British Airways purchases.

Don’t fly British Airways? You can redeem points with their partner, American Airlines, for domestic flights in the U.S. There’s no dilution in point value when you do that, so it’s a great deal.

Other benefits include no foreign transaction fees and a British Airways companion ticket (aka “Travel Together” ticket) every year you spend at least $30,000 on your card. The annual fee is $95.

Use this link to earn 50,000 bonus points

American Express Platinum Card

AmEx Platinum with chip and pinThe annual fee is $450, and it’s NOT waived the first year. So be prepared to pay $450 on your first billing statement. This may seem expensive, but trust me, if you travel a lot, the benefits are well worth it. A few of the most impressive perks are:

  • $200 per year in airline fee refunds for qualifying airlines – Receive up to $200 in statement credits every year for reimbursement of baggage fees, in-flight meals/entertainment, flight-change fees, etc. You can choose one qualifying airline for this each year.
  • Airport lounge access – Cardmembers get a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, which allows access to more than 600 lounges worldwide. In addition, you get access to participating Delta Sky Clubs when flying with them, Airspace lounges and Centurion lounges.
  • Valuable benefits at numerous hotels – Through the Fine Hotels & Resorts program, you can get free room upgrades, 4 p.m. late checkout and more when available at many participating properties.
  • Convert points to frequent flyer/hotel programs at a 1-to-1 basis – Convert your Membership Rewards to various frequent flier accounts, including Delta, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Frontier, Air Canada, AeroMexico, KrisFlyer, KLM/Air France, Iberia, ANA and more.

Get 40,000 Membership Reward® points after you spend $3,000 in purchases with your new card in the first three months. American Express is a CreditCardForum advertising partner.

Apply for this 40,000 points offer here

Updated Oct. 1, 2015

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

it is such a great idea for chip and pin in the usa, hopefully the same idea will be implemented here in my country since there are too many credit card fraud that will frighten the users

I work for Dept of Defense, which has about 800,000 civilian employees and about 1 million active duty plus 1.2 million reservists. Our individual Citibank travel visa cards required for travel expenses at hotels, flights, gas stations, etc were recently updated to Chip and Pin, although the literature also says they will work as Chip and signature if needed. In the next month or two, it will be interesting to see how the conversion works and the implications both abroad in various countries worldwide and here in the States, etc.

I have traveled all over Europe with my Andrews Visa card. Yes, at manned merchants it is chip and signature but I have no issues getting cash advances with pin or tickets via a kiosk. Andrews customer service is horrible and plan spending hours on the phone if you have an issue. They are over zealous about foreign purchases so let them know in advance. And watch your payments they do mess those up all the time too. American Express is my card of choice but hard to travel with in Europe.

Barclay’s is also Chip and Signature also. Just got mine last month. Went to Europe and every device (except the unattended kiosks) asked for signature. SOO FRUSTRATING

UNFCU Visa Elite–works perfectly. PIN every time.

Once you use the barclaycard as chip and signature for the first time, apparently you can set up a pin, according to what I’ve read. I haven’t done it yet, but plan to. My understanding is that when used in a signature enabled machine, it will default to signature, but on those unmanned terminals, you an use it with a pin.

I have a State Dept Credit Union EMV card (they have some people abroad….) and it like MOST US issued EMV cards have sig over PIN priority. In the 3 years I’ve had it, having been to europe 3 times, only ONCE has it worked with a PIN and that was at a kiosk in a Madrid McDonalds for a macaron. I thought I’d have to try a McD macaron. Wasn’t bad. Unattended Toll booths, gas stations, etc all reject the card because no one is around to take a signature. One toll both (1 euro) in france gave me 49 euro coins from a 50 (the smallest bill I had) because it wouldn’t take my EMV card. You stand in line for something, people are putting in their cards and punching their PINs into a hand held machine and they are off, this BS EMV card goes in, the person holding the machine is dumbfounded (signature what ?) and the other people in the line get riled up. Morons setup this system.

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AMEX Gold card is EMV also

Isn’t this a chip and pin thread? “EMV” doesn’t reveal anything about the “pin part” since many EMV cards (as I recall including this one) don’t support pin except possibly for cash advance. Always try to include whether the card has pin capability and, preferably, whether it is signature vs pin priority, and if possible, whether it supports online vs offline (or both) pin.

My wife and I are in London blissfully using our UNFCU Visa Elite cards. Entering our PIN, never having to go through the hassle and embarrassment of needing a signature. I haven’t pulled any other card out of my wallet–nor do I plan to do so. Thank you UNFCU!

Kirk… Great to hear about another UNFCU successful ‘PIN’ Visa, in Europe.
I loved the amazement of waiters and merchants, that an American had this technology !

Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red is now Chip and Pin capable. I believe it was only going to be Chip and Signature.

This card is no longer available. Telecon with Barclay rep.

Chase and Wells Fargo customer service still have no idea what Chip and Pin verification is let alone offering cards that have it. They refuse to believe I am not asking for a pin for cash advance. Pathetic.

You got that right. We’ve been going around and around with that question. A week and a half now.

Our Wells Fargo Signature Card is Chip and PIN, but Wells Fargo still soaks us the 3% international currency conversion fee. That said – at least it is usable in Europe’s automated Chip and PIN situations for tolls, gas pumps, train ticket kiosks etc.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus: I used this card Late April 2015 for travel to Europe as a chip & pin card for automated kiosks. The card worked flawlessly at parking garages, unattended gas pumps where pin was required. I also had the Andrews Chip & Pin which failed to work at the unattended kiosks 1/2 the time. I did reach out to their customer service for some pre-travel questions and they were on the phone within 30 seconds and addressed not only all of my questions, but sent a follow-up email asking me if my questions/issues were addressed by their customer service.
This is now my preferred card for travel outside of the US. Kudos to Barclaycard!

I just received this email from UNFCU regarding my Visa Elite card. I assume this refers to the 1% fee they had been charging.

“Effective 1 June 2015, use your UNFCU Elite credit card worldwide and save on foreign transaction fees. No enrollment or action is needed from you.

This change will be automatically implemented on 1 June 2015 so that you are no longer charged a foreign transaction fee when you use your Elite credit card to shop outside the US or to make purchases in a currency other than USD.”

True…but bear in mind this card comes with a $50 annual fee. The free card still carries the obnoxious 1% fee.

Heck, I pay annual fees much higher than that. Doesn’t faze me a bit. The key was investing in V, MA and AXP. That would cover a multitude of annual fees (smile).

I received a mailer saying that the GAP Visa will be chip and sign this summer. Current Gap Visa cards are going to be replaced with the card, as the older cards will stop working soon after the new cards are mailed.

Here’s my post vacation follow up from March . UNFCU Visa card ALWAYS worked as a Chip and PIN card. We traveled in France, Switzerland, Italy, also Vatican City and Germany airports. What a time saver when we were at unmanned kiosks in out of the way Metro stations in Paris. A few times the waiters were amazed that their hand held
charge card machine actually asked for a PIN, and never a signature. Since the dollar was at an all time high, the 1% fee was a non issue. ( We were in Switzerland when the Dollar was actually stronger than the Swiss Franc. ) So YES , it was worth it to jump through all the hoops to get the United Nations Federal Credit Union , Visa card. 100% recommendation.

Yes, my wife used hers abroad for the first time (in Canada) and it asked for a PIN each and every time. We will both be in the UK next month and i can’t wait to be there and have an actual Chip + PIN card. I have hated using Chip + Signature. It will get all of my business while there, and I’ve even been using it regularly here in the States, to reward them, so to speak. The 1% fee is a non-issue for me–regardless of the dollar rate–just for the ease and simplicity of using a Chip + PIN. Thank you UNFCU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I Just came back to the USA after a four week stay in the UK. My Andrews card worked as a chip and signature the entire time. Not once did it require the pin. I spent most of my time in central England, and the cashiers in the stores were amazed because I was required to sign instead of submitting a pin. I had to show them a picture ID before they let me complete the transaction. A pin was not required when I ordered train tickets online and went to the station to pick them up via the ticket machine. I inserted the Andrews card and out came the tickets. My verdict – the Andrews ‘chip and pin card ‘ is a failure.

“My verdict – the Andrews ‘chip and pin card ‘ is a failure” is really not a very fair statement. ALL US “chip and pin” cards that I have researched (alot!) except UNFCU (1% FTF offset by 1%+ points), Harvard Alumni/Employee (not available to general public), and Diners Club (still not taking apps?) fit the same “failure” definition. They are all chip and pin, but with signature priority. Thus, the pin will virtually never be used since it is only required at unmanned terminals that don’t override it with not even requiring a pin (no CVM). Probably because the CVM list indicates it has enciphered online AND plain text offline pin (which few cards do), the Andrews card was more successful for me during my recent travel at unmanned train ticket machines in Amsterdam Centraal train station, whereas HSBC and even Arrival+ gave me grief. The offline pin is critical when needed. My hope is that the First Tech CU MC card will have chip and pin priority AND offline pin.

While the U.S. Gets up to speed on having pin enabled cards, they worry about adaptation by consumers and by retailers that would be weary of adoptions an new method, and the costs of updating systems, respectively. We complain that our banks are too far behind Europe that have adopted this over 10 years ago, but the banks aren’t the slow ones, it’s retailers that pushed back. Ironically, the technology was invented by and American bank, JPMorgan.

Most credit card issuers are offering chip and signature right off the bat through demand, and not advertising that they can give pin enabled cards. Both my husband and I have chase freedom and capital one quicksilver, and by request we were both assigned a pin that works in Europe (tested and proven). If you’re worried about using your card abroad, before applying for a new card, check with your credit issuer to find out if they offer PIN service on new chip enabled cards. I’d also suggest calling, as I found nothing on capital ones site about the ability (they flat out say it’s only signature) or through chat. But by calling I was able to express that I needed a PIN and was guaranteed one with my new chip enabled card.

Best of luck everyone!!

Somewhat misleading. Yes, you can request a pin for every card issued by a USA bank or even choose one yourself. However, in almost all cases these are online pins for use when making a cash advance from an ATM a practice that for the most part, but not always, subjects you to hefty cash advances fee in addition to the interest clock beginning to run. There are a few banks which have no cash advance fees and since the interested while high on a yearly basis is computed daily, if you immediately pay it off, it’s no big deal. But those banks are few and far between.

Having said that, there are a few kiosks which do recognize online pins. For example, last June I used a kiosk at CPH airport to purchase a 1 day transport ticket in a kiosk and it asked for and accepted the cash advance pin from my Bank of America Travel Rewards card and yes the transaction was a purchase; no cash advance fees that the clueless csr’s at Bank of America told me would be imposed if I used the pin in a kiosk.

I would wager my usual nickel that you were not once asked to enter the pins you obtained for the above cards. Like it or not, the networks in the USA have been very adamant that the USA cards will be signature priority cards and as of today, there is only one bank, UNFCU that issues a chip and pin card that will always ask for a pin at Walmart, the only USA retailer supporting offline pin transactions. The card networks have been working very hard to try to ensure that kiosks outsides the USA will no longer reject USA (and other country) chip and signature cards for lack of a pin. I have noticed that the kiosks at French train stations do seem to have converted and no longer reject USA chip and signature cards which don’t have pins. (Many USA issued cards do have offline pin as a lower priority verification method than signature and in those cases a pin may be requested). the cards you mention, however to the best of my knowledge, do not support offline pin and so while I wouldn’t say the pin is worthless, you probably will almost never use it for purchases.

I keep hearing that ATM pin = cash advance for purchases for those cards that specifically have no purchase CVM for pin, but I have never had a cash advance fee on any transaction using a card by BofA or Chase – which both always claim that purchases with pins trigger cash advance fees. That is consistent with purchases vs cash advances being totally different types of transactions and unrelated to whether pin is used. In addition, very bad press would occur on any credit card that charged a cash advance fee for a purchase and thus be very expensive for the issuer pr wise. Unless the software is badly designed to equate pin = cash advance, these purchases should not be related in any way to cash advance and thus not trigger that fee. Please provide a least one specific example of a purchase triggering a cash advance fee.

I’ll try with Capital One — thanks for the tip. Customer Service still not sure what I am talking about…

Capital One is worthless. My daughter is in Europe this summer and NOBODY except major hotels takes her CapOne card. And CapOne won’t lift a finger for current customers who need a Chip card to travel this year. If you apply for a NEW card (in my case, a 2nd account that I don’t want), you might get their “Venture” card that’s Chip and Signature, but not Chip and PIN. Again, nearly worthless for international travel. So don’t waste your time with CapOne as I have.

I just contacted Capital 1 and was told they have no chip+pin option on any of their credit cards and no plans to offer it. If you have more information or a particular number to call or person to speak with, that would be most helpful!

I returned in June from a trip where I visited Israel, Greece, Italy, England and Scotland. I used my Capital One VISA card in every country and had no problems whatsoever.

I moved to USA from Europe in 2011, and I could not believe how backwards is the entire banking system here. No chip and pin cards, no ability to send money to someone else by a regular bank transfer (except for wire that costs a fortune), and moving money between my own accounts at different institutions takes 3 days or so.

In Europe, chip and pin cards are widely used for almost 15 years (!). One can send a bank transfer (that costs a nominal fee or nothing) to any person or institution, and it appears in their account either instantly, or within 24 hours (very often within 4 hours). Banking is so much easier there!

The only advanced banking things in USA is the possibility to deposit cheques using mobile devices; I do not know if any bank does this in Europe. And of course the drive-through ATMs (in Europe, ATMs are everywhere, but available parking spaces are not….)!

Did anyone else perk up to the new rules facing credit unions? They can no longer get members from associations designed just to broaden membership beyond their natural constituencies. So getting cards from UNFCU, Andrews, etc will become more difficult–maybe impossible, through the associations many of us joined to get them. Fortunately, those of us who have them are grandfathered in, which would have created a huge backlash if they had tried to eliminate those.

My read of this WSJ article:
“Regulator Sets New Rules on Credit-Union Membership
NCUA moves to prohibit credit unions from setting up associations designed solely to attract customers”
concludes that your statements are alarmest. Most associations I know about that are required (if not already qualified) to join a credit union have very real non-credit union related purposes.

Thanks Paul. Wasn’t trying to be alarmist. I assume that ruling was aimed at some organizations–even if not UNFCU. Can’t see why they would have dreamed that regulation up, if it wasn’t being abused. I think it’s over-regulation anyway, but I can understand the opposite view too.

Not that they’ll do it, but would it be that difficult or expensive for a card issuer to let each customer decide if they want chip+PIN priority or chip+signature. Then they could just program it one way or the other when they issue the card.

I’d like to know this as well. I’d prefer to enter a PIN for an extra layer of security if I lose a card. They can be programmed to give priority to signature on machines that accept both, why not offer PIN as a priority. I called capital one and they have no plans to even offer PIN capabilities. Is it really that much more expensive. Debit cards already do something similar?

Received my Wells Fargo debit card w/ chip a few weeks ago. Finally was able to try it at Walmart the other day as a debit transaction. I selected a debit transaction on the PIN pad, inserted the chip debit card and the terminal kept cancelling the transaction – didn’t even ask for a PIN. The cashier ultimately took my debit card and swiped it on her end, I entered my pin, and the transaction went through. What’s the point in having a chip when it doesn’t work? Or did I miss a step in there?

It’s possible (I know very little about this specific card or any of these technologies) that the chip on that card is used only for when it’s working as a credit card. I’m guessing it has the following ways of interacting:

Swipe, act as debit card, requires pin
Swipe, act as credit card, no pin
Insert to use chip, act as *credit card*, *no pin* since it’s a chip-and-sign card.

My Bank of America debit card does the exact same thing at Walmart. I do the same thing you did and I get the transaction cancelled message as well. I’ve used chip credit cards there though, and they work just fine. I contacted Bank of America, and the rep that helped me said that her debit card did the exact same thing. I hope Walmart figures out this issue so we can use our cards there! Are there any other places you’ve been able to try out the chip?

I had the same problem when trying to use my chip card at multiple locations, and I have yet had a place that worked using my card. I work for Wells Fargo and have tested the cards and they work. The issue is that the merchant or card readers are not yet set up or working properly because they are not obligated to till October of this year. So I believe its the vendor who have not made the total conversion yet. Soon we will all be familiar with the process.

While many US retailers have installed new terminals to accept Chip enabled card, only a handful of merchants have activated the capability. The reason is many merchants have not updated the backend requirements allowing them to process using EMV at this time. By October, we should be seeing many of the large retailers allowing chip cards to be processed on those new POS devices.

UPDATE: EMV Debit works at Walmart now–kind of. I tried it today to see if anything had changed since the October 1st deadline, and it took it now! It didn’t ask me for a pin though, however it did ask me if I wanted cash back, and I selected no, which could’ve been the reason why it didn’t ask for a pin. I’ll try again next time and ask for cash back, and I’ll report back here!

Parclay Apple rewards card is NOT chip and pin priority (as stated above). I recall it has same CVM as Arrival+

“Will I sign a receipt when I use my chip card?

Yes, in most cases. Your card is designed to accept a signature as the primary verification method, but it also has a PIN for use at unattended terminals such as train ticket kiosks. Most often, you’ll sign a receipt, but you may be asked for a PIN. Just follow the prompt at the terminal. Unlike when using debit cards in the U.S., you cannot choose whether to use a PIN or a signature.

If you make a purchase in the U.S., you’ll continue to swipe your card and sign, when required, as you do today.”
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Just returned from Belgium two weeks ago and visited Amsterdam in November 2014. Besides hotels, chip and signature cards are nearly worthless. I couldn’t buy train tickets, pay for taxis, or even a sandwich at the local restaurant with my credit cards in Amsterdam but I did have plenty of euros. Italy seems a little slower to adopt the chip and PIN (at least during last visit in September 2014) so the signature cards still work for now.

Chip and PIN can’t come soon enough to the USA.

My Andrews card worked last week (2015-04-15) in Amsterdam Centraal station NS airport train ticket machine after Barclay Arrival+ failed (only tried once) with “technical error”. Barclay card should have worked per the CVM list I think.

I just yelled at CapitalOne customer service after receiving my new capitalone chip credit card. Direct from capitalone website which say “good news, capitalone does not require a pin so you don’t have to remember a number”. SHAME ON YOU CAPITALONE and all other AMERICAN CREDIT CARDS that don’t offer PIN PROTECTION. If someone pick pockets me in a mall and runs to the apple store to charge up thousands, there is no protection other then the same legacy response that i’m not liable. That’s the thinking that put america behind rest of world in credit card protection. It’s still a hassle to get my name cleared and provide documentation that i didn’t steal. There is no reason to not mandate PIN PROTECTION for american consumers. WE SHOULD ALL INSIST ON PIN PROTECTION FOR OUR CREDIT CARDS to discourage thieves. Imagine if our bank atm cards didn’t have PIN protection. It’s the same thing when a credit card doesn’t have it.

HSBC Platinum MC confirmed in Amsterdam today – chip and signature (contrary to HSBC clearly stating chip and pin overseas)

Andrews worked as chip and PIN in NS (airport/regional) yellow ticket machines at Centraal Station in Amsterdam but Barclay Arrival+ “technical” error msg (tried only once). Sorry, didn’t try GVB ticket machine because single journey tickets are quite expensive at about 2.80 for 1 journey (hour?). The local OV-chip transit pass card has 7.50 euro purchase fee (5 yr term) and requires min 4 euro travel credit balance to use.

Well you can scratch Navy FCU from the list of credit cards that are priority chip and pin. According to somebody on Flyer Talk, he or she discussed the matter with somebody in the cc department there and this person admitted that although the original intent was to issue cards with priority #1 being offline pin, they have decided for reasons they refuse to divulge to go the primary signature with pin capabilities route a la Andrews FCU and Barclaycard Arrival+. With Diners Club apparently dead or in a deep coma and no new applications being taken from US residents, that means UNFCU is now sticking out as the only US card, apparently, which is a pure chip and pin card. Of course the price you pay to use it outside the USA is the 1% ftf they impose. It seems that in this country, you just can’t win if you feel the only cards worth having are “true” chip and pin cards. I wouldn’t hold my breath for First Teach either.

…..and I’ll gladly pay the 1% premium for the pleasure of using a true chip + PIN card. I HATE having to hassle with signature cards when in Europe.

Just talked with two Chase reps – the first said clearly that they only offer Signature cards, I said in that case I’d cancel mine and I was passed to another department to do that. When the second rep heard my reason she said all I had to do was request a PIN and I’d be able to use my card.

It doesn’t really fill me with confidence.

Chase Ink Business Plus and prior Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa ($95 AF after 1st yr; points xfer to United)
1 Online PIN – unattended cash — Fail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful
2 Signature (paper) — Apply succeeding CV rule if this rule is unsuccessful
3 No CVM Required — Fail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful

No purchase pin (only cash advance). You can have confidence in the CVM list from the card!

I also talked to Chase today about the Chip and Signature VS Chip and Pin. According to the Chase agent Chase will give you a PIN code and then when you use the PIN code you will be charged as a Cash Advance (5% and daily interest fees). Looking for another card as we speak.

I just talked with JP Morgan–not the basic cardholder services number, but someone in the executive offices. According to him, they are planning to convert cards from Chip + Signature to Chip + PIN sometime in the last quarter of this year.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Still glad I recently went through the process of getting the UNFCU Visa Elite card.

Did he actually state “convert” or add pin capability not currently supported (which would most likely be chip and signature still everywhere except unmanned terminals)? Worlds apart in actual use.

I have a PIN with my current card, not that I’ve ever had to make use of it. I stressed the PIN priority. He said they had received lots of complaints about the signature version. So, we will see.

I just just called Chase after receiving my Chase Marriott Signature Visa which is chip and signature and not chip and pin which is what I really need for Europe. The rep said Chase doesn’t offer any and doesn’t know when they will. I hear some credit unions are actually ahead of the curve on this so that’s my next call.

If you want chip and pin card that actually requires pin entry most of the time, then UNFCU is really the only current verified choice available to the general public.

Harvard Alumni is verified pin priority but only available to folks there.

Diners Club is also pin priority but not currently taking apps.

First Tech is reportedly coming out with a pin priority MC version in June.

HSBC reportedly has a pin priority.

Otherwise, the “chip and pin” cards you see advertised will require a pin ONLY at unattended terminals. The other 99% of where you chip dip them will require a signature (the current US “standard” – backwards from what most of the world expects and uses). These “chip and signature cards with pin support” include Barclay’s Arrival+ ($89 annual after 1st year, $460 signup bonus!, not no fee Arrival, which has $230 signup bonus) and Andrews are 2 that have no foreign transaction fees that have offline pine.

Recently got my HSBC Premium MC. Sadly, it is NOT chip and pin priority, as confirmed by the CVM list (signature, then online pin) and local test at a shop that reported that chip and pin cards (from abroad) do ask for pin. I’ll be in Europe by week end for 5 weeks, so I will try the card and report back. Despite their web site boldly stating most transactions will request a pin while abroad, since the CVM list is the same as BofA Travel Rewards and signature priority, I can’t imagine it asking for a pin EXCEPT at an unmanned terminal that is online (no offline support either!)


Update: Sadly, HSBC card is DEFINITELY NOT pin priority despite multiple assurances from customer service reps and web site language – totally misleading! The CVM list clearly shows signature first. It asked for signature everywhere I traveled in Europe recently except unmanned kiosks (which only asked for pin once and otherwise used no CVM at all).

I am puzzled about the article statement:

“Chase was the first major U.S. bank to make chip and PIN compatibility a priority.” Although they announced in early 2014 they were going to add purchase pin support, I don’t know of any Chase card that has purchase pin support and the reps still insist repeatedly that their cards only have pin for cash advance AND that any purchase made with a pin (both can’t be true!) will be treated as a cash advance. Please update the article or provide evidence of which Chase card has pin support for their chip. Also, if the card is actually chip and signature everywhere except unmanned kiosks (99% of the terminals), then it is really chip and signature with the rare (unmanned terminal) pin feature. This is very misleading advertising by all banks that advertise “chip and pin” feature since 99% of the time pin is not requested despite pin pad being available.

Chase has plans to have available a travel credit card with Chip & PIN technology, so the PIN is for security, not cash advance. It is due to happen late October, but will not be widely available. These cards will most likely have an annual fee attached to them.
I had 2 long conversations with Chase today as I a preparing for a trip to Italy, and it looks like if I need gas or groceries at an unattended station, I have to use my Bank ATM card.

So Chase is only about a year late in actually delivering the product, so articles citing their “first major US Bank to make chip and PIN compatibility a priority” really need to be updated to reflect that major delay.

Besides, UN FCU has had a chip and pin card WITH pin priority for years so it actually allows pin entry instead of 99% of the time requiring a signature like all major US Bank cards that are advertising the huge benefits of having “chip and pin” (including Chase when they deliver that new card?) yet force their customers to use signature virtually all the time. That behavior makes it effectively a chip and signature card and thus their advertising is as close to a lie as possible without technically being a lie.

A US Bank ATM card with chip and offline pin required in some gas stations and other offline terminals is very rare as far as I know. A offline pin Barclay Arrival+ or Andrews credit card would be a much better choice. If you meant get cash at an ATM, that will work only if the unattended terminal accepts cash.

Thanks, that was exactly my question for the CreditCard rep. Italian unmanned train kiosks require a PIN with any card.

I’m traveling to Italy in June, does anyone know it I can use a chip and signature card there?

Mostly. For tourist areas, even magnetic strip swipe mostly works.

The answer is complicated. Signature obviously (no one there to approve it) won’t work at unmanned terminals such as some train stations, car parks, toll booths, etc. For those, you will either get the transaction approved with no pin, or a pin will be required. If a pin is required and the terminal is online, then either online or likely offline pin card should work, If offline terminal, then only offline pin capable card will work. Offline = no access to network and thus card processor to retrieve pin from card issuer.

You can see which chip cards support which type of pin and more:

Note that the order of the supported verification (CVM) methods determines which will be preferred/used first. If a signature is higher in the list than a pin, you will ALWAYS be asked for a signature anywhere a signature is allowed unless “no CVM” is higher in the list and the amount is below the “no CVM” threshold. “unattended cash” = ATM “manual cash” = teller

Absotively, posilutely.

I have posted a detailed update on First Tech chip and pin rollout:

Current chip VISA cards are signature + cash advance pin only.
MCs coming in about June are true chip and pin priority, but online only.
Banks and VISA strongly favor chip and signature due to higher swipe fees than pin. First Tech favors higher security and hopes fraud reduction will offset lower transaction fees.

Going to Switzerland in May, 2015. Anybody had any problems using a chip and signature card in Switzerland? I have one that I recently got as a replacement card but haven’t used it abroad yet. Thanks for any feedback.

we used a chip and signature card in Switzerland last September with no problems. However, you have to go to a manned line to buy train tickets for example. You can’t use unmanned payment terminals without the PIN capability.

I was at Zurich on 3rd week of February. On my experience chip and signature cards were accepted everywhere other than ZVV tram stations.
>I could use Amex platinum and Amex corporate cards at ZVV tram stations without prompt for PIN.
>I could not use Bofa Travel rewards and Citi Thank you premier cards at ZVV self service kiosk because system prompted for PIN for both cards.
>Charles Schwab debit card and UNFCU Visa Azure worked seamlessly with PIN all places (on both self kiosk and in person store terminals.)

For the BofA Travel Rewards, did you simply not have or try to use the cash advance pin?

Worth noting is that Schwab card has no offline pin support, so it should only work on online terminals.

“JEFF S March 12, 2015 at 12:32AM Have to reply to myself as apparently this forum only allows two nests of replies to posts. But since you are also on Flyer talk (as am I), Paul, are you or anybody else in your family retired US military? Apparently, Navy FCU is offering a “true” chip and pin card. Hasn’t been verified yet. …”

TIP: “add your own” reply with manual quote of original post avoids the 2 response limit. Also, it’s posted at the front of the blog – so others don’t have to search through the posts by month to find new replies buried throughout the blog.

After my thorough (and continuing) research (I thought!) and resulting significant waste of time with First Tech, someone else can volunteer to verify FCU pin priority.

Concerning identity theft, I’ve had my id “verified” by a merchant by flashing a credit card (rather than drivers license). Every bit of info that zeroes in on an individual is one step closer to a workable id theft profile. There is a very active market selling credit card numbers – who really knows what the info is actually used for? For the extra paranoid, airline boarding passes can be printed using any credit card number registered to an individual – scary that those terminals have access to ALL or most of my credit card numbers!

Regarding your last comment, the terminals don’t have access to all you credit card numbers. They are reading your name off the magnetic strip on the credit card.

Great if true. Since there is no way that I know of to enter my name directly, and my name can be slightly different between cards, I assumed there must be more to it.

Great if true. Since there is no way that I know of to enter my name directly, and my name can be slightly different between cards, I assumed there must be more to it. Update: Here’s one example that makes me a bit nervous:

“To check in at an airport kiosk, you will need a major credit card or United MileagePlus frequent flyer card. Select driver’s licenses or passports with machine-readable characters are also accepted.”

The operative word is “major”. All credit cards should have similar info on the mag strip/chip. So, why are “major” cards specifically required unless they are the only ones in a data base used to identify me. Probably paranoid, but …

I contacted USAA yesterday (via their email) and asked them to confirm whether their new credit card (MasterCard, btw) is CHIP & Pin or CHIP & Signature. The USAA reply stated that the card is CHIP and Signature. He also stated that it wasn’t insecure due to RFID hacking. WHAT?? These people have no clue and they are not concerned about their customers’ security. It is just a shame that these banks are opting for reduced cost rather than increased security. And, we have learned, that without end-to-end encryption, we are all at risk every time we use a credit card – even with CHIP & Pin. And the financial powers in the US have decided to not spend for end-to-end encryption. Grrrr

I understand the USAA card is currently chip and signature with pin fallback (used to be the other way around like UN FCU continues to be).

Asking whether a card is chip and pin with the intent of trying to determine whether it will ask for a pin or signature isn’t precise enough to get a very useful answer.

Please ask if the card is chip and pin WITH pin priority (asks for pin even if signature supported), and ask if pin is online AND offline (supports offline ticket machines, etc).

Confirmed the Barclaycard Apple rewards card is Chip and Pin. Apparently, on first use abroad, use it as chip and signature then after that you can use it at automated machines. Finally.
Some info:

I’m afraid you misunderstand. The cards Barclay Bank USA has condescended to add the emv chip to (of course it should be all their cards but curiously they only added the chip to cards with annual fees) are and remain chip and signature priority whether used in the USA or abroad. The card will default to signature verification if the merchant’s terminal recognizes signature and almost all pos terminals even in Europe do so. Yes you can set your own pin, as a backup in case the terminal say at an unpersonneled kiosk does not and what is described is how to activate the backup pin. But the card will remain signature based as the primary cvm.

I received my First Tech CU Visa credit card yesterday (about 10 days after applying). The CVM list is disturbing. It doesn’t seem to have either purchase pin nor offline pin support. I tried it at a local chip enabled merchant and it asked for a signature! The cashier confirmed that it always asks for a signature for chipped credit cards EXCEPT those used by visitors from abroad Only they are prompted to enter a pin. This seems to prove that the terminal is set up to accept chip and pin cards and, sadly, the US Visa version (MC version not available until about May) is NOT chip and pin at all except for cash advances! The reps, except for one or two, continue to flatly say that it is a chip and pin card, as does their web site.

The only possibility I can figure is that the MC card is hopefully the chip and pin priority card that First Tech is currently promoting (as being available in May shortly after I return from my 5 week trek through Europe) and the reps haven’t received info that the VISA card pin support is different than the MC card. I have a few calls into First Tech to try to expedite whatever solution they might have to get me a real chip and pin card before my April 2nd departure to Istanbul.

You posted similar statements on the Flyer Talk board which is okay. But the feeling I have had is that chip and pin is a future offering and that there is no reason to think that currently they are still offering their chip and signature card. Somewhere along the line, I got that feeling.

Glad you approve! Different audiences that both can benefit from this info. I try to report verifiable facts. Most recent development (read: rumor) is that First Tech Odyssey credit card is the only current chip and pin card they have (would have been nice, if true, that the reps had that info). After reconfirmation from the source somewhere in a hopefully more informed area of their organization that claims that that is why I got a chip and signature version, I will try to expedite the process of converting to that version. It does have a $50 annual fee after the first year and generates less desirable points (for me) than cash back, and since the MCs are coming in May, I should be able to downgrade then to avoid that fee.

Willing to take another run at the elusive pin priority credit card.

Have to reply to myself as apparently this forum only allows two nests of replies to posts. But since you are also on Flyer talk (as am I), Paul, are you or anybody else in your family retired US military? Apparently, Navy FCU is offering a “true” chip and pin card. Hasn’t been verified yet. While I would prefer, as I’ve said, a “true” chip and pin card, my main issue is not the small amount of greater security chip and pin provides over chip and signature and in reality, it’s only a small amount for the case of actual loss or theft of your card, at least as of now although I have few doubts that the vermin running the card hacking gangs will eventually if not sooner be able to counterfeit emv compliant cards or turn their attention to online fraud. My main concern is not fraud. And for the benefit of everybody else, credit card fraud is more assuredly not identity theft. In the USA and other places, thanks both to legislation and the fact that banks make humongous profits on their credit card operations and don’t want to do anything to discourage use of these cards, ultimately we enjoy zero liability for credit card fraud. Yes it can be a bit of a pain to notify those of your billers of the new number and I don’t like to do it, but there are no lasting consequences of credit card fraud that cannot be dealt with relatively quickly. Identity theft is another thing entirely. But in any event, assuming visa is able to pull off prohibiting the vast majority of merchants from rejecting otherwise valid chip and signature cards and extend that to kiosks and the like, then it will be at least for me a moot point. Things seem to be pointing in that direction and really it may well be that chip and signature, which will obviously be the way the USA is going, will work almost universally. No guarantee on that but that seems to be the way this thing is moving.

If First Tech phone reps state that chipped CREDIT cards are not available now (DEBIT card won’t be until about September), I suggest that you do a face to face at a branch. I was told that there was a “stock” of VISA chipped cards for use now and when they run out Mastercards would be issued (assuming that “stock” is available). I hope my postings haven’t run that “stock”! Folks might want to ask specifically if there is a shortage of the VISA version now and be sure to be clear about travel plans since that should provide a higher priority to get the chipped version sooner.

Paul: thanks for the quick reply. As a result, I called a third time and this time I was a tad pushy (nicely, though :-) ). Told the rep that I had read online that there was a stock of Visa cards etc. She went away and called their credit dept, and came back and confirmed it. So I (i) joined the FFA ($8); (ii) drove to the branch here in SoCal, where I; (iii) opened my account ($5) and (iv) applied for the cash back platinum Visa chip & PIN. An hour later I got an email approving it. So with luck, a week or so from now I’ll have the card. Thank you for the heads-up. Best wishes.

I agree that you you can use Chip + Signature cards in most places where I’ve been recently in Europe–mainly the UK and Sweden. However, I HATE doing it. It’s clunky and cumbersome–the clerk finding a pen, sometimes they ask for ID, etc. It’s not the way I want to conduct business overseas–or, eventually, here.

I have used my Diners Club MC for smaller purchases–despite the 3% fee–just to avoid the hassle. Now, I have a UNFCU Visa, which has a fee, but less than the DC/MC fee, and I plan to use it a lot on upcoming travel over there. I’d rather pay the small fee than put up with the hassle of Chip + Signature.

It amazes me that US financial institutions, including AXP, are so far behind the curve on this issue. It’s irritating that none of the bigger ones (JPM/Chase, AXP, etc) are willing to step forward and be a leader. They’re all a bunch of cowards. UNFCU will get my business until others get it together–assuming they ever do.

While I’m at it, worldwide adoption of Apple Pay would really be great!

I completely agree. Usually, you can use a Chip-and-PIN card by swiping it, if the POS terminal does not support EMV; if the terminal does support EMV, Chip-and PIN is both easier and more secure.

First Tech FCU recently changed to Mastercard and the 3 reps I chatted with as well as the press release indicate that it will be a PIN PRIORITY card and even OFFline pin!

Anyone have experience with this recent development?

My many conversations with many folks at First Tech during my application process a few days ago was informative and reassuring – and a pleasure in general. They were very helpful, sincere, and prompt.

Some details revealed:

1. The pin priority feature has been confirmed by at least a half dozen different reps! Yeh!
2. The pin will not be card holder selectable until later this year (fall?).
3. The chipped version of any of the 4 credit card products MUST be requested during the application process (near term travel abroad plans helps) or the card may come without it for now. Platinum Cash Back Rewards version has 1% cash rewards.
4. They are issuing VISA cards until they run out of “stock”, then MC cards.
5. ALL debit card (but NO credit card) ATM fees are waived worldwide with the Platinum Cash Back Rewards account subject to 12 debit transactions + 1 ach (deposit OR bill pay) per month + online statement. It also yields over 1.5% interest! All credit and debit cards now have no annual or foreign transaction fee (except 1% ISA fee on debit cards only)
6. They use a “loan” application process so income and expense (+ credit score from Experian) based. On my app, they ignored all investment income, including rock solid rental property income, except social security and projected minimum monthly payments on ALL credit card and credit line accounts reported by the credit bureau. Thus, since I am retired, my expense to income ratio was over 50%, yet they approved a $10k limit the next day. I suggest that anyone applying without w2 income stress the value of their other income sources.
7. Although the announcements state the pin is on the card, and thus should be offline capable, most reps were unsure, and a few stated that it wasn’t offline pin even after double checking with internal resources. Until I get the card (7-10 days) and review the CVM list on it, I can’t determine whether offline pin is supported.

In summary, the card seems likely the real deal: 2nd pin priority card available to US residents, and doesn’t have the 1% ISA fee and much smaller $5 qualification fee (if not employed or retired from hi-tech company) for Financial Fitness Association than UN FCO has. Their application process was pretty good and efficient(for a loan app). Their online system is great (they sent status emails confirming each step of the process), and their online system supports unrestricted date ranges for listing transaction history (unlike many major banks like BofA and Chase which limit to 90 day or so period for each report and may not even let one start with a date over 365 days ago – a major pain for year end accounting.)

Oh yes, the debit chipped card version won’t be available until about September. Since I’ve never had an issue with a mag strip debit card at an ATM (since they are always online to verify entered pin, I don’t see this as much of an issue (yet!)

Paul – I’ll be interested to hear how this goes, because – prompted by your post, and in preparation for an upcoming trip to Europe – I just called First Tech; the representative said that the chip & PIN cards won’t be available until May. Just in case I’d spoken to a rep who gave me incorrect info, I called back a few minutes later, and spoke with someone else, who told me the same thing…not issuing them until May. So, if your card has the chip & PIN, please let me (us) know how you managed to get it! Best wishes..

As far as Capital one card goes this information is incorrect. I contacted Capital one on two occasions and I was told that they could not issue a new chip card until some time at the end of 2015. They do not care if you need the new card for travel purposes!!

Target promised a chip and pin but as of today none of their stores even accept a chip and signature card. The CEO of Target should be ashamed of making big statements about chip and pin and now we have nothing from them. I got myself a pure Chip an Pin credit card from UNFCU.

I have a BarclayCard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard and they have issued chip and pin cards without asking. Make sure you set up the four digit pin. If you want to use cards at unattended toll booths or fuel stations you must have a chip and pin (NOT a chip and sign). We already found this out the last visit to France last spring.

Unless BC A+ changed very recently, it is still chip and SIGNATURE priority with PIN fallback. This results in it using PIN ONLY when signature is not supported. Try it at Walmart chip terminal with purchase large enough to exceed their “no authorization required” threshold ($50?). If it asks for a signature, then it will do this pretty much everywhere worldwide EXCEPT unmanned train kiosks and (hopefully) toll stations in Europe because they are unmanned and thus no signature supported. The exception is those stations that don’t require either signature or PIN (typically for smaller amounts).

Here is an excellent tool to understand how a chip card will prioritize signature vs PIN and whether card has OFFLINE PIN capability (required by offline chip reader stations at European train stations, toll stations, car park, etc):

The only reliable way to determine card behavior is to review the CVM Cardholder Verification Method list for that card. Even then, some kiosks will only take local and even only debit cards – so no 100% certainty possible. One of the toughest places in Europe seems to be anywhere in Holland away from the major transport stations (my experience).

We are leaving in Aug for Spain and France In France we will be driving and using the tolls. We have a Wells Fargo card with a pin & chip will this work.
I have read the blogs and am confused with all the differ chips

No. The card is chip AND SIGNATURE, Not chip AND PIN. You may have a pin assigned to it for ATM withdrawals but that’s not the same thing as a chip and pin card. Wells Fargo has no chip and pin cards.

Chip and signature is just a stupid in-between step until we catch up with the rest of the world. We are in the same boat as you and are looking at this card: Even this card is primarily chip and signature but will work as a chip and pin card if a signature isn’t supported like at a toll booth or a train station.

Don’t use BofA debit card abroad (Travel Rewards CREDIT card great except for ATM cash)! 3% FTF (added Nov 2013) PLUS possible $5 ATM fee from BofA (and possible additional ATM operator fee) if not Global Alliance partner bank ATM (different one per country).

Most practical debit cards are Schwab (completely free and now only savings account required with no balance) or State Farm Bank. Both are no annual or FTF fee AND rebate cash withdrawal specific ATM fees (State Farm rebates ALL ATM fees, even inquiry, but has $10 per statement period limit if no ACH transaction that period so easy to avoid). Both support ACH direct deposit links from other banks, State Farm also supports deposits at ATMs whereas Schwab requires mailing those deposits. They might also have smart phone deposits but I don’t use due to typically low amount limit. Schwab has online PIN only. State Farm has no chip (never been an issue at ATMs for cash withdrawal for me). There are subtle fees with many other debit cards.

indicates that Wells Fargo has at least 2 Chip and PIN (Amex Propel) cards (which have annual fees but no FTF!). Since these are OFFLine PIN capable, they should work at unmanned offline terminals like toll stations and possibly train stations.

Wells Fargo actually has 5 cards that have chip and pin capability. Unfortunately they are chip and signature priority (CVM1) and then offline chip and pin. This is per the EMV Card list that you can find on Flyertalk.
I have one of them (Rewards card) and it also has contactless. FTF fees are high at 3% though.

I have used credit cards even with only a magnetic stripe to pay highway tolls in France, and it always worked. You should have no problem.

How will chip and pin impact traffic exiting airport car parks in the US? Increased transaction times, declined cards etc must have the potential to cause serious tailbacks at unattended exits. Has anybody got hard evidence of how this works in airports without pay on foot machines ie all payments transacted at exits? Liam

Capital One DOES NOT offer a chip-pin card. Their card is chip-signature.

“Dan H February 12, 2015 at 1:06PM

I spent 6 months in Europe last year and one month already this year (15 countries last year, 5 this year). My pin and signature card did not work at ANY of the unmanned kiosks where I tried it even using the ATM pin for it. Gave up after about 10 tries in different countries and reverted back to cash for metro tix, train tix and parking.”

Without citing which specific card you were using, your report cannot be used.

Probably, the card you were using had a faulty implementation by the bank.

The BA Chase chip and signature card does work overseas, but using it is embarrassing. Enter the card into the reader and I always give the person on the checkout a heads up to find a pen – which as I’ve discovered they probably won’t have. One even joked if they should get out the old carbon copy mechanical swipy thing… And when you do sign, be ready to hand over something with a good signature for them to scrutinize in addition to the card because it’s so foreign to them… Airports I think are used to our outdated cards, but not so much elsewhere.

On the issue of automated machines – the toll road on the M6 in England – it doesn’t work. Had to have someone come over, open the gate and they let me through for free.

One final point – in the UK at least, it’s all touchless cards there now. Chip and pin is so last decade.

In the fall of 2014, Bank of America became (as far as I know) the first bank in the US to begin placing chips on debit cards linked to deposit accounts.

I asked BoA to send me a new debit card with the chip, for a $5 card replacement fee, and I received the card in the mail. The brochure included in the card implied that using the card in a chip reader abroad would prompt for a PIN, which would be the same PIN used to withdraw cash from ATMs.

Has anyone tried using this card abroad yet? I was wondering where this card falls in the ¨chip and pin” versus ¨chip and signature¨ debate now underway.

Don’t use BofA debit card abroad (Travel Rewards CREDIT card great except for ATM cash)! 3% FTF (added Nov 2013) PLUS possible $5 ATM fee from BofA (and possible additional ATM operator fee) if not Global Alliance partner bank ATM (different one per country).

Most practical debit cards are Schwab (completely free and now only savings account required with no balance) or State Farm Bank. Both are no annual or FTF fee AND rebate cash withdrawal specific ATM fees (State Farm rebates ALL ATM fees, even inquiry, but has $10 per statement period limit if no ACH transaction that period so easy to avoid). Both support ACH direct deposit links from other banks, State Farm also supports deposits at ATMs whereas Schwab requires mailing those deposits. They might also have smart phone deposits but I don’t use due to typically low amount limit. Schwab has online PIN only. State Farm has no chip (never been an issue at ATMs for cash withdrawal for me). There are subtle fees with many other debit cards.

This blog seems to be drawing two different conclusions. I would disagree with those that said a Chip and PIN card is not required in some transactions in Europe. My experience is quite different. The toll roads of France require a chip and PIN card. The funicular ride in Lyon to La Fouviere requires a PIN. Many unmanned petrol stations require a PIN. They will not accept chip and signature cards. Most merchants will but they aren’t the problem

I have spoken with customer service at all of my issuers which include BofA, Chase, Capital One, and USAA. Of that group only USAA issues a true chip and PIN card based on those conversations. Most of the other customer service reps I spoke with had not idea what I was talking about. What they did say is that I could request a PIN for my card but if I used the PIN in a transaction, the transaction would be posted as a cash withdrawal rather than a credit transaction. We all know that means that interest starts accruing from the moment the PIN is entered. That is not what I want. I travel a lot and the interest cost from using the cards in that way would be a sizeable amount of money. At least one of my issuers is issuing true chip and PIN cards to some of its business customers but not to consumers.

Several points. Toll roads in France have little to do with chip and pin. There have been ongoing problems with those. Also visa and mastercard claim they will be addressing the problem at unpersonneled kiosks and will be moving to prohibit them from refusing to process any emv commpliant card. This is supposed gto come into effect in July of this year. Also, USAA no longer issues true chip and pin cards. They are chip and signature priority cards today after initially being offered as offline pin priority.

To address another point. The csr’s are WRONG like in WRONG when they say if you use a pin it automatically posts as a cash advance. It is simply not true. In some limited cases, the pin will work as an online pin. For example, when I was in Copenhagen last June, the kiosk where I purchased my local transport card asked for a pin and I used the pin provided. It is an online pin and the transaction went through as a purchase. Why the csr’s continue telling this lie is beyond me.

Again, to repeat, as it stands today 29 January 2015, the only true chip and pin card with offline pin priority available to American residents today is offered by UNFCU. Period.


How can a non-manned kiosk (online or offline) allow a large euro transaction on a chip and signature card. Without the pin, anyone with the card can make big purchases there with impunity?

I have a USAA World Mastercard Chip + PIN card. The card was NOT accepted at the autoroute automated toll booths in May 2013. After that embarrassment, I only used cash to pay for tolls. I didn’t have any problems using it in stores though, where I input the special PIN provided by USAA without any problems. When paying for gas, it seemed that I was always directed to pay the clerk. I don’t remember ever inputting my PIN at the pump. As a matter of fact, I do remember that it was one thing the USA had going for them because having to go in to pay every time (May and December 2013/January 2014) was really inconvenient.
I guess that what Jeff S is saying when he states that USAA no longer issues “true” Chip + PIN cards is that the cards still have a magnetic strip so they can work in the USA too. But when I was in France, I definitely was asked for a PIN every time I used the USAA Mastercard World Chip + PIN card.
I just got off a live chat with American Express who told me that they only issue Chip + Signature cards (no PINS) and that I won’t have any problems using such card in France. I have a feeling that I’ll favor the Mastercard and once again carry cash for all the tolls that I’ll be incurring since I’ll be driving all over the country. Since I rarely use cash over here, it’s a major annoyance to me, on top of the cost of exchanging cash.

Natalie…I don’t know when your USAA card was issued but at this point in time, all USAA cards being issued with emv chips are signature priority cards. They will fall back on offline pin at most kiosks and places like unpersonneled petrol stations but if the pos terminal transaction with a live human being accepts signature cards, that will be the priority and hence for that reason would not be considered a “true” chip card. This was not true when the cards were originally issued but changed around April 2014.

As far as automated tolls on French autoroutes, that has been an ongoing problem and many discussions have ensued about the inconsistency of some taking US cards and others not.

Hope that heolps.

Last September I used a new Barclay Arrival Plus Master Card in Europe. The card is free for one year. Best part: it worked everywhere. I used it on autoroutes in France, train stations in France and Belgium and unattended gas stations. It charges no conversion fee and has a 2% reward for travel expenses. The card reverts to chip and sign at attended terminals. Except for cash withdrawals (for which I use only debit cards), no interest is charged.
Still, I have traveled most of Europe and with the exception of unattended places such as above, have had no problems paying with chipless cards.

Thanks for that info, Karl. I just got that card in anticipation of an upcoming trip to Scandinavia. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I found trying to use my my BofA Travel Rewards chip & sig with PIN capability in England, France and Spain in 2013 mostly confusing. Didn’t work with PIN at any unattended kiosks which is really what we need desperately; PIN acceptance at attended retail POS is nice, but standing in a long queue to add a few £ to an Oyster card or getting Velcroed to toll booth isn’t.

Wells Fargo EMV Card

I just ran my Wells Fargo EMV credit card through Cardpeek and found the preferred Cardholder Verification Methods the card supports. It goes like this:

CVM1 – Online PIN at unattended terminals
CVM2 – Signature, if terminal supports it
CVM3 – NO CVM required, if terminal supports it
CVM4 – Offline PIN

Can anyone correct me but doesn’t this mean the WF card defaults to online PIN but will operate as an offline PIN only if the previous methods are exhausted?

Please clarify with exact language from reader on CVM1. Typically CVM1 with Online PIN is for ATM cash advances only.

If paying via credit / PIN debit card authorizations, ONLY shop at retail merchants that have implemented Transarmor encryption + tokenization, in addition to EMV, (or online via Transarmor tokenization-only mode). This is double-layered cyber secure protection and these intelligent retail merchants will not be exposed to major data breaches as were Home Depot, Michael’s, Neiman Marcus, Target, White Lodging, etc.

For all those CC representatives saying chip and signature works in Europe, I say Go to Europe as they do not work at Most ( > 90%)of merchants have card readers only for chip and pin. After ten years US still does not get it. I am still searching for a true pin and chip or an upcoming trip to Europe. I got screwed last time with exchange fees and transactions to have cash as few places ( one month in Europe, BE, NE, DE and Fr, only had ability to do payments with pin and chip cards. Don’t accept chip and signature as you will be sorely disappointed and maybe in a bind dining out.

Sorry Paul…you couldn’t be more wrong. In almost 100% of merchants I have used for my many trips to Europe (at least 3 times a year) I have never had one bit of difficulty using a chip and signature card. None. Zero. Kiosks? Many of the signature priority cards will fall back to offline pin depending on the cvm on the card

You want a true chip and pin card? Try UNFCU.. But believe me, it is not necessary and will become less so in June.

Jeff is absolutely correct given our experience in Belgium and France this last November. Worked virtually everywhere except a train station kiosk in Brussels.

In reviewing the CVM lists for many cards, there are VERY few that have OFFline pin capability AND no FTF. UN FCU (has FTF), Pentagon FCU, Barclaycard Arrival+, Andrews, Diners Club, possibly Wells Fargo, ??? Neither BofA nor Chase have ON or OFF line pin. Schwab (no FTF or AF) has only ONline pin. Only Andrews+Pentagon have no AF.

A very cool resource to get to the facts:

I spent 6 months in Europe last year and one month already this year (15 countries last year, 5 this year). My pin and signature card did not work at ANY of the unmanned kiosks where I tried it even using the ATM pin for it. Gave up after about 10 tries in different countries and reverted back to cash for metro tix, train tix and parking.

Unfortunately the information in the blog is incorrect. Most of these cards are pin and signature, not pin and chip. I know this definitely goes for both Amex platinum and Barclays travel card since I have both those cards myself

I’m betting you meant chip and signature, not chip and pin.

I want to thank everyone in this discussion for their advice , especially Jeff S. I decided to get the UNFCU card since it had been out longer than Diners Club, and no matter what you have to spend up front money. I jumped through all the hoops . From beginning to end it was about a month long process… Joining UNA-USA , then joining UNFCU , then applying for the Visa card. Got it in the mail last week and then the PIN letter yesterday. All for our 3 week trip to France, Switzerland and Italy in 3 months, where it’ll get a real test in all the local transportation unmanned kiosks.

I gave it the Wal-Mart test today and it double passed ! First I had a $58 transaction and put the card in the reader (did NOT swipe) ,chose ‘Credit Card’ and then it asked for my PIN, and the transaction went through. Later today I went back and made a $13 transaction. Same GREAT result.

I still plan on first trying my Visa card that gets me ‘Airline Miles’.
If that doesn’t work I now have a card that should work. I’ll let you know in April how things went.

Ross…bear in mind, UNFCU charges a 1% foreign transaction fee. Not to try to rain on your parade at all but also bear in mind that there are not all that many reports of merchants refusing to continue the processing of chip and signature cards (all pos terminals will process chip and signature cards; there were worries that some merchants after the pos terminal processed the transaction would refuse to continue and void the transaction. There have been few reports of this practice increasing and visa which seems to be the prime mover behind the USA going chip and signature says it will be putting some teeth into regulations banning the practice. Visa (which means all the networks) also says it will ban the practice of unpersonneled kiosks rejecting non offline pin cards as of July 2015. Whether such regulations will be effective is anybody’s guess but if they do, it will be the end of the problem some people express about chip and signature cards like such absurdities that they are useless yada yada yada.

All I’m saying is I would not, but this is me and you certainly may feel differently, I would not use the UNFCU card as my primary card and would get a chip and signature card such as Bank of America travel rewards that does not charge a ftf and use that one as my primary card for foreign travel.

We used the UNFCU card on our trip to London and Paris in 2014. Agree that they charge the 1%, that said – we only used it on Tube and Paris Metro (subway) systems – which is where you have the automated ticket kiosks. For that it was invaluable – and given the ticket costs were generally <10 Euro – paying 1% was a non-issue for us. The rest of the time we used our Amex (chip and signature); but surprisingly we mostly used our Chase United Visa (no chip) – all the shops we went to had not problem using the mag stripe.
So – I would not hesitate to get the UNFCU particularly if you plan on needing a gas station, or using public transportation with only automated kiosks

As long as technology is to solve the problem with identity theft , if available to hackers , hacking will continue , The answer is Chip , finger print cards , no more pass words or pins , All major financial transactions , opening of new accounts , home loans , car purchases , all should require DNA in the same way diabetics measure the blood sugar level , a small blood sample will be taken during an account opening with a print at that same time , and every time a card is used you must activate the microchip with a finger print in the activation area of the card , all your information in the hands of a merchant should only open from where its stored by the flash of your print from a print with a body temp , the hackers cant do nothing with out a finger print and your DNA , that put them out of BUISNESS .

You can request Discover chip card

On a recent trip to England my daughter tried to use her credit card with a mag strip at the departure lounge at Heathrow airport and was told that they only accept cards with a Chip.

If the cards with a mag strip cards are not accepted at the airport then is not much chance of it being accepted elsewhere.

Magnetic stripe acceptance in the UK is fairly good, I’m shocked that a shop at the airport refused it.

Agreed – I was in Scotland last year, and only ran into one store that didn’t accept a signature. It ended up that it was just that the clerk there didn’t know how, as I later returned to the same store and used my card with a signature.

Somehow, in my experience, places like an airport are the most likely places, where this happens.

I often get told that stores do not take swipe cards. I insist that they try. They usually do and the card is accepted. I was refused in IKEA one time (after several uses). I insisted on speaking to the manager. He came out and said that the cashier was wrong not to take my US credit cards and that it is a legal requirement for shops in the uk to take an international credit card. I knew this already and was about to quote that to him.
I am sorry to hear your Duaghter had that happen to her but in the future, no matter how difficult, it is best to stand your ground. And the other thing is, HeAthrow airport stopping some one from using an international credit card. What would they be thinking of? Isn’t the place filled with international travellers?
Best of luck for the next time.

I have the Andrews Federal Credit Union Global Trek Rewards card that is SUPPOSED TO BE chip and pin, as noted in this article. I just got back from a trip to London and was very disappointed (and inconvenienced) to discover that this card functioned ONLY as a chip and signature card. It didn’t work at any merchant as a chip and pin card. I have sent them a question as to why this is, but I wanted to let everyone here know that the Andrews Federal Credit Union “chip and pin” card isn’t always chip and pin (before you do like I did and go out of your way to get the card SPECIFICALLY because of the promise of chip and pin).

Tracy…have you read through the comments here? That point has been made over and over here. Let me again state, that with Diners Club temporarily, or so they claim, not taking applications for their $95 true chip and pin card, the only chip and pin card available to Americans that will always function as chip and pin in places where chip and pin is the norm are several visa cards offered by UNFCU. All other emv compliant cards being issued in the USA, at least as of today, have chip and signature as their number one priority for purchases in their lists of card verification methods. The Andrews card, as well as some others, will function as chip and pin in many unpersonneled kiosks.

However, you were in London and I would wager a nickel, my maximum wager, that your card, despite being chip and signature priority, worked everywhere you tried it out.

The Andrews credit card is chip and pin IF the merchant is not capable of doing signature. The way to think of it is that the Andrews card is “signature priority”.
There are 3 types of chip cards…
1. signature only….what most newer American cards are.
2. Pin priority….will do signature if pin isn’t capable. What they have in Europe now.
3. Signature priority… will do pin only if signature isn’t possible. This is what the Andrews card is.

The whole thing is a mess and too confusing for most people.

As I understand it, there is an order of card verification methods (cvm) embedded in the emv chip. All cards available to US residents today with one exception have signature priority above pin priority (and pin priority comes in two different varieties, a few short of Heinz 57 but nonetheless different. The fact is, as I understand it, all pos terminals in Europe are capable of doing signature verification and will default on these US cards to signature verification first. Now this is okay but there have been a few, very few to be fair, reports of merchants refusing to continue processing a transaction as soon as the signature required message flashes on the screen. But in reality almost all the time the chip and signature cards being pushed in the USA will work in almost all European pos terminals and as of July 2015 will be required to be able to work in unpersonneled kiosks.

Thank you for this; it is one more reason I do not like doing business with Andrews FCU.

There is an issue with changing the PIN. If you change it, you may need the old PIN for offline chip based transactions. The card needs to be updated with an online chip terminal. Until the chip is updated with the new PIN, the old PIN needs to be used in those situations. I would try the new one then put in the old one. I have written the old PIN on the card and I have memorized the new PIN.

In your case it sounds like they wouldn’t even give you he opportunity to put the PIN in at all.

UNFCU has confirmed the “Chip and PIN” PIN cannot ever be changed or selected for their card.

Here is the page for instructions on changing your PIN with Andrews FCU:

It finishes with this:
5) You’re done! Your new PIN will work immediately for swiped and ATM transactions. Please note, chip based transactions may take several transactions/merchants to update, your old PIN may be required until the chip is successfully updated.

The Andrews default is chip and signature, so you will never see the PIN component if the merchant terminal can handle signatures. I’ve used the Andrews card many times during many trips in Europe, and it is extremely rare that the PIN is necessary. But when it’s necessary (e.g., unmanned kiosks in train stations), it works perfectly. To be sure, it’s still incredibly frustrating and old school to have to deal with the signature, but at least you have a PIN back-up when necessary. Plus they have no annual fees or international surcharge (like the UN card).

I have a Marriott Rewards VISA card that has a chip but also says, in small print below VISA, SIGNATURE. I think it’s a no brainer that this is in fact a chip and signture card. It’s from Chase, and apparently they give you a hint. Also I have a pin, but that is to be used for cash advances only, not purchases. If you have a card, look closely at it. The chip is easy to see, and it’s much heavier than the non-chip card. Also, the hologram is not a chip, it is simply a holgram. Hope this adds some resolution to the question about ships, pins and signature cards.

I thought the same thing when I first noticed it but…visa signature is a brand of visa cards that has some premium perks. Has nothing to do whether it’s chip and pin or chip and signature.

A ‘Chip and PIN with signature’ card (such as the Barclaycard Arrival or your Marriott card) are as useful or useless as a standard Chip and Signature card when you travel outside the USA.

It will default to Chip and Signature every time unless you are using an unattended kiosk (train ticket machine for example).

Merchants can set their card readers to accept Chip and Signature rather than just accepting Chip and PIN but there is a huge disincentive for them to do so. Liability for a Chip and PIN transaction rests with the bank in most countries whereas Chip and Signature liability rests with the merchant. Consequently, most merchants outside the USA will not accept Chip and Signature.

Visa Signature has nothing to do with PIN vs signature authentication, it’s Visa’s brand for their premium cards.

The card is actually lighter than the non-chip version of those Chase cards was, because of a hole drilled in it to accommodate the chip. It is heavy because Chase decided it was a good idea to make cards out of stainless steel, not because it has a chip.

I had that same card. A manager at Chase told me that chip and signature was more secure than chip and PIN. I canceled the card. Not because it wasn’t chip and PIN but more because of the Mis-Information Chase disperses to its customer service staff.

Does anyone know is it possible to open a foreign bank account, and apply for a foreighn CC through them? Or are we forbidden in the land of the free to do that?

Never mind, I just applied for membership in the UNFCU (despite having to fork over $25 for membership in their UN Assoc of the US, which chaps my a$$) in order to eventually apply for their card. I’m guessing if we’re traveling in April, they should be able to get me a card by then. Thanks for the information, it’s really imortant to me as I really wanted everything on this trip to go well as we will be in Europe for a good length of time, and I don’t really want to carry several thousand Euros and such with me.

Certainly you as an American you can open a foreign bank account and get cards, etc. issued on it. I have had several of them over the years. Just be careful of fees, etc – practices vary widely between countries.

I don’t think you have to report it to the IRS unless it is over $100,000, and in any case, this is just for information, it does not mean you will necessarily be taxed on it.

You can do that, although if do not reside in that country, it will be harder for you to do it. Generally, with no residence a higher account balance will be required. You will probably need to report a foreign bank account on your tax return.

I called both my local bank Southside State, and Scottrade Bank.
Both claim to have never heard of any chip and pin and stated that my swipe card will work in any ATM overseas.

Yea right….

ATM’s (Automatic Teller Machines) still use the Magnetic strip and ALL require your PIN. What international network your Bank uses will show which ATM’s will work.

So when they said “any ATM” they should have said “any ATM in our network.”

From the letter to me informing me of the new HSBC card:

“The contactless technology…will allow you to simply tap your…card on contactless payment readers at checkout…No signature will be needed.”

HOW DOES THIS MAKE ME SAFER????? The chip is in the card. The card, let’s say, is in SOMEONE ELSE’S possession. AND MY SIGNATURE IS NOT REQUIRED!!!! ANYONE can use my card if they steal it! I AM MUCH LESS SAFE!

Normally I don’t make comments in blogs, but I feel strongly about this issue. My understanding of true chip and PIN involves two criteria. The first is that a PIN must be stored in the chip so that offline validation of the PIN can be accomplished. The second criterion is that PIN verification must be the first option in any sequence of validation processes.

Early this year my wife and I received chip and PIN cards from USAA. By separate mail we received the PIN stored in the chip. We tested the cards at Walmart and they did indeed require us to enter the PIN. In August we traveled in England, France, and Spain and all transactions took place without a hitch. It was obvious to us that true chip and PIN was the appropriate technology for European travel.

Earlier this month (October, 2014) USAA claimed our account had been “threatened” and they replaced our cards. We received no PIN by separate mail. We promptly took the card to Walmart to test it and discovered it did not ask for a PIN. We contacted USAA twice and both times, when we mentioned Walmart, we were told USAA is not responsible for how the merchant validates the card. No matter what we said, we repeatedly received this same speech, which obviously was a script. Our conclusion was that USAA had abandoned the true chip and PIN card they had been offering, replaced our true chip and PIN on the ruse that the account was threatened, and sleazily avoided admitting to us that what we now had was not what we had applied for. We didn’t close the account but we did cut up the new cards and throw them away.

I fear the trend in America is to move away from true chip and PIN cards. Travelers to Europe represent too small a segment of the bank customer base to bother with. Getting down to brass tacks and ignoring the glowing reports from travelers who have survived Europe with only signature or chip and signature cards, it seems to me most of the cards discussed on this site fail the definition I provided above for true chip and PIN. Most of them fail because they do not store a PIN in the chip. Although the Andrews FCU card does store a PIN in the chip, it fails the second criterion because it defaults to signature rather than PIN. In a post dated 10 September, Jeff S says the UNFCU card is the only true chip and PIN being offered to American residents. The test he gave it at Walmart would indeed indicate it is a true chip and PIN card by my above definition. Is this indeed the only true chip and PIN card available to us poor slobs who are at the mercy of the American banking system?

You are absolutely right. I traveled to Europe some years ago, armed with my
Visa card (no microchip or pin) and found to my dismay that I could not use it anywhere because the majority of systems are set up to ONLY accept cards with
the chip/pin technology. When I returned to the U.S., it took me months to find a card (either Visa or Mastercard) with the chip/pin. My Am.Ex does but it is not acceptrwd by all retailers. It is dilema for me particularly now because the issuer of my Visa with the chip/pin very nicely transferred the account to a different bank who sent me a Mastercard without the chip/pin.
Back to square one!!!

I think Jean you have to take it on a country by country basis and even city by city basis within certain countries. Yes the situation is deteriorating regarding acceptance of magnetic strip cards but to say the card is useless totally is simply not true. For example, in London and Paris, almost all merchants know how to handle magnetic strip cards and there are not many problems. Holland, though, is quite different.

Incidentally, in the UK because of pressure by some groups representing handicapped people who claim it might be a hardship to require a pin, provisions were included by law that merchants must make provisions for non pin cards and the solution in the UK was and remains chip and signature. One should not have any problems using a chip and signature card in the UK.

That doesn’t ;mean the USA should not go to chip and pin; it simply means that as of now, it is an exaggeration to say a non chip and pin card is useless. It will work in most places but I understand if the one place you want to use it won’t take it, you’re stranded up the river without a paddle.

No, the VAST majority of systems that take Visa/MasterCard/Amex will take a swipe card with no problem. Issues aren’t as common as they’re made out to be. Annoying? Yes. But not as common as some online claim, at all.

In parts of Europe, especially Germany and the Netherlands, credit card acceptance is very low and most of those merchants only accept local debit cards.

You can add the newly resurrected Diners Club card to the list of true chip and pin cards available to Americans; but it’s cheapest version comes with a $95 annual fee and is in reality a MasterCard with a few perks; you have to decide if those perks are worth the annual fee. The good news is these Diners Club cards have no foreign transaction fee. So now there are 2!

Just to try to make you feel a bit better. USAA, bear in mind, charges a 1% foreign transaction fee on all purchases. With their rewards program, if you have it, you will break even. There are banks around, although chip and signature priority who have no foreign transaction fee and offer rewards programs. For example, you can get a Fidelity Amex card which does have a 1% foreign transaction fee but offers 2% on all purchases. It is, however, a chip and signature card with no provision for offline or online pin.

While not trying to defend USAA or the decisions the banks and credit card networks have made, they claim they will be making provisions to ensure chip and signature cards will always be honored at card is present pos terminals While it happens any pos terminal that accepts emv compliant cards will honor chip and signature. There have been a few cases reported where merchants have refused to complete the transaction but they are small in number so as to be almost a non issue. You and everybody else should be fine with chip and signature cards at pos terminals where a human being is present.

Kiosks are another issue but many of the cards, including apparently the USAA card have provisions to work as an offline pin in such circumstances so again while not the best solution, for the most part these cards will do the job.

Finally you might wish to try to contact the ceo office of USAA with your complaint. I went through the same runaround with the csr’s last May and when I finally found somebody who had some idea of what I was talking about was told it was a “business decision” to downgrade the card. The point is the networks, especially visa but mc, amex and discover have followed visa’s lead have decided in the USA for a variety of reasons chip and signature is best suited for the American payment system and there is apparently very little you or I can do about it but complain and unfortunately I doubt extremely it will do much good. But bear in mind, the only real benefit of chip and pin over chip and signature is if the actual physical card is stolen or lost and that is simply in the eyes of the banks not a significant problem.

I understand that Diners Club (Mastercard) is PIN priority, and for the $95 annual fee also includes somewhat spotty coverage airport lounge access.

I recently received a new USAA chip/pin card. Having read similar comments to yours online, I called them, and they insist my PIN is the same and still works. I found that the older version worked at Esso stations (unattended) in France this past summer, although it would not work at the port parking lot in St. Raphael. Only a European issued card worked there. No explanation.

(the web site screwed up the previous post)

So, why is it that every article I read about Chip & Pin conveniently forgets to mention that the number one change in credit card fraud response is to shift the cost of a fraudulent charge to the consumer if the system thinks a pin was used for the transaction?

In other words, while is it true the number of fraudulent transactions being reported have finally started dropping after 10 years of use in Europe, the primary reason for the drop is because any charge reported as fraudulent where a pin was reported as used is in fact NOT reported as fraud but instead accepted and charged to the consumer as valid. This is despite the fact that new vulnerabilities in the EMV system are reported monthly.

Expect this trend of refusing refunds for reported fraudulent pin based transactions and instead blaming the consumer for negligence or complicity to continue in the US.

A new distinction I just discovered concerning the Andrews FCU cards.

The CREDIT card asked for a $3 fee at one of the two ATMs listed on Andrews ATM locator site I tried in Oregon, but their DEBIT card should not (there is a “*” with fine print that indicates that the ATM fee exclusion applies only to the debit card).

Anyone get charged an ATM fee abroad using the CREDIT card for cash advances?

Because Andrews does not charge a fee and absorbs the VISA 1% fee for cash advances (only daily interest), but passes that 1% through to customers for the DEBIT card, a cash advance may be net better for short term cash advance balances.

A few more useful distinctions I’ve noticed about chip+pin cards:

In the US, a much higher percentage of the terminals are always online so online vs offline PIN validation is mostly a non-issue here. Not so for some of the rest of the world that I have experience with.

If the card supports online (but not offline) PIN validation (like cardpeek reveals about the BofA Travel Rewards card), then it should work with online (but not OFFLINE) terminals, so that may explain why some folks, but not others, report it working at sometimes offline terminals, such as at some train stations, while traveling abroad. Even if a transaction is done online, it may still required OFFLINE PIN validation, so that’s another subtle consideration.

The threshold for requiring validation should be merchant (not card issuer) set, thus online access may be required to get each merchant’s threshold (unless it is programmed into each terminal locally?) This suggests that OFFLINE terminals may not have that info and thus, for this situation, may require validation for all transactions (assumed 0 threshold).

Finally, some countries (reportedly France and others), are limiting terminals to accept cards issued from specific countries.

All of these variables (and hidden/difficult to uncover/unavailable details) will continue to make the answer to which US card issuers work where more complex than hoped for.

Perhaps some reasons for signature priority being the standard in the US is that, unlike signatures, PIN validation can take significantly more time than essentially no (=signature) validation – and, of course, signatures are burned into most all of us, but a much smaller group may remember their pin. In addition, unlike the rest of the world, businesses and customers in the US are used to and thus expect signature requests for credit transactions and PIN requests for debit and ATM transactions. For example, this behavior reminds me which type of card I am using and thus helps me use the intended type. These habits will have to be adjusted to match the rest of the world – a good thing but a bit of work!

Here is a list of EMV cards I have researched for chip+pin capability as reported by my $20 IOGEAR card reader+free cardpeek software (sorry for the wrap):

No Transaction Fee Chip+Signature[+PIN] Card Type P Customer Verification Method Action if CVM is supported REVISED: 10/18/14 PH
Andrews FCU [GlobeTrek] Rewards Platinum Visa
1 Online PIN: ATM cash Fail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful
2 Signature Apply succeeding CV rule if this rule is unsuccessful
3 No CVM Required Apply succeeding CV rule if this rule is unsuccessful
4 OFFLINE Plaintext PIN Fail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful

Barclaycard Arrival+ MC
1 Online PIN: ATM cash Apply succeeding CV rule if this rule is unsuccessful
2 Signature Fail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful
3 Online PIN Apply succeeding CV rule if this rule is unsuccessful
4 OFFLINE PIN Apply succeeding CV rule if this rule is unsuccessful
5 OFFLINE Plaintext PIN Apply succeeding CV rule if this rule is unsuccessful
6 No CVM Required – Always Fail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful

BofA Travel Rewards Visa
1 Online PIN: ATM cash Apply succeeding CV rule if this rule is unsuccessful
2 Signature Fail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful
3 Online PIN Apply succeeding CV rule if this rule is unsuccessful
4 No CVM Required Fail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful

Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa
1 Online PIN: ATM cash Fail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful
2 Signature Apply succeeding CV rule if this rule is unsuccessful
3 No CVM Required Fail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful

Delta Skymiles Business AmEx
1 Online PIN: ATM cash Apply succeeding CV rule if this rule is unsuccessful
2 Signature Fail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful
3 No CVM Required – If not attended cash and not manual cash and not purchase with cashback Fail cardholder verification if this CVM is unsuccessful

NOTES (assuming amount exceeds the issuer set threshold that requires a customer verification):

1. for signature (even if also PIN) capable terminals, for US issued cards, all transactions will require a signature (signature priority). Of those, there MAY be a slim chance of being able to use a PIN as a fall back (see below).

2. for ATM cash advances via chip (or mag strip), all transactions will require online PIN verification.

3. Of this card group, only Andrews FCU GlobTrek and Barclaycard support OFFLINE (no online connection exists or is down) PIN validation. This feature is REQUIRED to use offline/network down terminals that are common in Europe (such as many gas stations, markets, train stations, etc), AND those online terminals that require OFFLINE PIN validation. Unfortunately, a signature will still be requested anywhere a signature is supported (attended terminals) even where PIN validation is supported, which is annoying and delays the transaction, and may prevent the transaction simply because the merchant chooses not to accept the signature. Another potential failure is when a terminal only allows the first Customer Verification Method (signature for all US cards for non-ATM cash transactions) and thus ignores other CVMs that might include PIN validation. If available, choosing a DEBIT transaction may allow the PIN entry method to be used instead. Reportedly “0000” may possibly work in some situations?

Hope this helps!

Free Single Sites

Really like is like the wind, you can not see it but you can feel it

bank of america debit card have chip now

I called and requested a debit card with a chip from BOA and the rep and manager told me that I had to either wait until my card expires in 2016 or pay $5 to have a new debit card issued…. The manager also stated that the fee couldn’t be waived even though I’ve been banking with them for almost 10 years… So I chatted with an online agent and the agent was able to issue me the new debit card with the chip in it, waive the $5 fee and expedite the card for me. BOA call center reps have the Worst customer service skills

Whether they waive the fee or not (they’ll report it “lost”), depends entirely upon the person you’re dealing with. My wife had hers waived, they wouldn’t waive mine *at the same bank location.* We applied for the chip-and-PIN cards on different days.

I chose the wrong day, obviously.

BofA recent (Nov 2013) BIG change in debit card fees: As of November 2013, they now charge 3% foreign transaction fee even when using global alliance (BNP in France, BNL in Italy, etc) bank ATMs. They also charge an additional $5 ATM fee when not using their partners. Don’t know about debit card purchases, which in my experience have always charged fees even when ATM didn’t even prior to this newly added 3%. This now makes the BofA debit card much more expensive than State Farm bank or Charles Schwaube (which charge no fee and rebate any ATM operator fees). Bottom line: BofA debit card, even with PIN feature is no longer worth doing.

I also just received (not limited to military – anyone anywhere in US with decent credit can get) my Andrews Federal Credit Union Chip and Signature (will be used if signature possible) + PIN (if no signature possible) which has no fees (except possible ATM fee if non-bank operated in europe or non-AFCU/CO-OP ATM in US). My replacement Arrival+ MC also has the signature+PIN. Now if they’d only switch to PIN priority since signatures are rarely verified!

Hope this helps.

BofA foreign transaction fees? Yes and no is the answer. They continue to offer some clients both foreign currency transactions without any fees, as well as ATM use within their “partner” network (e.g. BNP in France) with no fees. I don’t know what their criteria are.

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I have a Chip and Pin card World MasterCard from USAA. When I called to explain that I needed a Chip and Pin card, they explained the procedure:

Apply for and receive the World MasterCard. What you receive will be a standard USA type credit card.

When you receive the card you then call them back to request a Chip and Pin version of the card. They need for you to give them the 3 digit security code on the card to complete this process.

They will then send you a true Chip and Pin version of the card and a few days later, you’ll receive the Pin that you must remember and CANNOT change. The Pin is tied to the Chip.

It works. I traveled in Europe in July and used the card many times. You plug it into a machine and enter the Pin to complete the transaction.

I saw some comments about what happens after the card expires. It may be that you have to do the standard card/Chip card process over again. I’ll find out in two years.

The “standard” USAA mastercard has no emv chip. Are you saying that you used this card at point of sale locations (a place where there was a human being say Boots or Tesco) and you were asked for a pin? I would wager a nickel with you that you were asked to sign. Tell you what you can do. Go into Walmart and if you are one of those who doesn’t like to shop at Walmart buy yourself a chocolate bar for $1.25 and use your card. If it’s a “true” chip and pin card it will request your pin. But I will bet you a nickel, as a matter of fact I am so sure of it, I will do something I never do and bet you a dime it will not ask for a pin. It will not ask for anything as Walmart does not require a signature on what should be signature transaction for amounts under $50. Let us know what happens and then I’ll havge you send me my dime through paypal. It is not a “true” chip and pin card, it is a chip and signature card with chip and pin capabilaities at unpersonneled kiosks. It will fail the Walmart test.

USAA has both the standard as well as a Chip and Pin card that can be requested if you are traveling internationally. At this point it is limited to international travel but they are planning on issuing these for all credit cards next year. You are right that in the US,it will behave just like a mag strip card but in places where chip and pin are used, it only works with a PIN.

As Chip and Pin terminals become active in the US, this will change but for now, the new cards work both ways.

Shaun…I will repeat what I said and I now have proof unless in the lastseveraln weeks USAA switched back. It is true that in order to get the World Mastercard from USAA with an emv chip you first need to open a world mastercard account and then request the card with chip if you are travelling. I did so last April (2013) and used the card during the summer of 2013 at several places in Europe just to check it out. It is not my favorite card because it has a 1% foreign transaction fee and I have several cards which do do not impose this obscene fee on their customers. In any event, last summer it indeed operated like a true chip and pin card and for all transaction within Europe, I was asked for a pin.

Before leaving for my trip this summer, I decided to request a new card as the card had been damaged. USAA issued me a new card and right before I left, I tested it out at Walmart which as you may or may not know has turned on its emv terminals. Lo and behold I was not asked for any pin and since the charge was under $50 no signature was required. This rang the alarm bells for me. After many exchanges with USAA, I finally got somebody to admit they had changed the priorities for card verification in April (this was verified by several on flyer talk who have the equipment to read the card verification priorities on emv enabled card. When I travelled in Europe this summer (2014) at every pos terminal I was asked for a signature not a pin (in accordance with the card verification methods on the card). Yes it is probably capable of being used as a chip and pin card at unpersonneled kiosks but that is not, by definition, a “true” chip and pin card. It is a chip and signature card with chip and pin capabilties.

OTOH I got the UNFCU card and gave it the first use at Walmart for a small purchase yesterday. Lo and behold, it asked for a pin as the card issued by UNFCU is a “true” chip and pin card. The USAA card with emv chip has been downgraded to a chip and signature priority card. Period. No matter what USAA says. If you don’t believe me, use the card at Walmart. If it was issued after Spril 2014, it will either ask for a signature for purchases over $50 or no card verification, either signature or pin, for amounts under $50. That is the test of whether or not a card is a “true” chip and pin card. I stand by the statement. As it is today, the only “true” chip and pin card being offered to American residents is by UNFCU. Period. End of discussion.

In July, I used the USAA World MasterCard in Europe (Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, France). Even when there is a person at the counter they slide the credit card reader over to you and you insert the card and enter the pin. At NO time did I sign with a signature.

The card also has a magnetic strip for use in the USA. I can use it as a standard card here, although it’s not the one I carry with me. I have not tried it on any chip card readers here in the USA, so it may be that they are assuming that most chip cards people have here are ‘chip and signature’ and not true ‘chip and pin’ cards. Therefore, it probably always defaults to asking for a signature.

I got the card for use overseas where you often run into automated, unattended kiosks at train and bus stations, or, for small businesses in out-of-the way places that aren’t used to American tourists and don’t have the obsolete machine to read the strip, or, if they do, it takes them 15 minutes of scrounging around to find it.

This makes overseas travel much easier.

When did you get the card? If you got the card before this past April, then you did get a “true” chip and pin card. In April, USAA switched its policy. I have read the emv chip and the card I was issued in May has signature as the first priority. Unless USAA switched back (and that is always possible) but we haven’t heard from them whether they have and nobody has claimed yet they have a USAA mastercard issued after April that functions as a “true” chip and pin card, to the best of my knowledge they are issuing chip and signature cards with chip and pin capabilities. I would love it if what you’re saying is true and the card was recently issued but the card I was issued in May is most assuredly chip and signature priority. If you get a chance, just use it at Walmart to see whetherr they request a pin which if it is a “true” chip and pin card they will do so for any purchase or if they request a signature for purchases over $50 and nothing for purchases less than $50. That will be the true test.

@Jeff S

You are 100% correct. No PIN — or signature — is required at Walmart. Cashier told me signature is required over $50. So it’s not even the Chip and Signature card. Have not used it at an “unpersonneled Kiosks” (is that really a word, lol) as yet. Not even sure what that is.

I have had a Chase Sapphire card for 2 years with a chip and signature feature. It is very fast to be approved in Central America, but all US stores comment on how heavy it is. Chase has not allowed any fraudulent purchases on this card [numerous attempts were made all over the Midwest]. The US is SO backwards when it comes to technology, but that is because the money makes all the laws!

The AMEX Skymiles card is Chip & Signature, not Chip & PIN. It is still unclear to me (after talking to the AMEX folks) how I would use this in an automated kiosk that expects a PIN. I know that in some cases a PIN of 0000 will work, but not in all. I have had cases in Paris (e.g. the Louvre) where a card reader sensed the chip and then expected a PIN, and because it sensed a chip would not read the mag stripe. But, a mag stripe only card would work.

Dobry den,

I was traveling most of EU for business with several groups of colleagues. In that 5 months I had plenty of experiences with many cards. Depending on the country, you should expect declining capacity for mag CC acceptance, except at hotels and the costly tourist traps. Once you venture out with the fun common folk, you should be carrying more cash.

I found least amount of Mag or Chip&Sign acceptance in least to most accepted:
NL – Most grocery stores and small pubs have changed machines that don’t accept MAG. Only gas stations on highway and IKEA will swipe and sign. C&PIN was required to most in Holland.
DE – North of Frankfort getting hard to find swipe and sign. South is better unless you are out-of-tourist locations, then Chip&Sign is maybe 50% functional.
CZ – Chip&Sign worked most of the time even on kiosks.
HU – Mag was still covered well (70%) except in unmanned (100% required C&PIN).
FR – Mag was working in Paris, but Lyon only hotel and 5 star eats. C&Sign worked in almost all other spots.
AT – Mag was worthless (2 hotels would not accept) as was much difficulty using C&Sign as many merchants had to find the paper roll to load into the machine!
IE – Only used C&PIN for kiosks. Everywhere else C&Sign covered everything with some ability to use Mag.

Question about Chip cards that are signature priority with pin capability. Does the decision to use signature or pin come from the card itself or is it part of the electronic transaction to the credit card company at the time of purchase? In other words, is it possible to change a card from signature priority to pin priority?

From whagt I understand, there is a list of card verification methods (cvm’s) embeded on the chip in priority order. Priority 1 on most cards issued in the USA seems to be online pin verification for cash advances. Thus if you use your credit card in an ATM you will be prompted for the pin which is inherent in the bank not on the chip. There is no if fails for cash.

Then priority 2 which is the first priority for purchases on US issued cards is signature verification. Then it goes on to the next priority if this priority fails. But if the terminal accepts signature verification and almost all pos terminals do, it never advances beyond that. Therein lies the rub. It then may go on (if fails) to the next priority which may be online pin for purchases. Thus, as an example even though the csr’s at Bank of America don’t know it, the next priority on the Bank of America credit cards with emv chips (Travel Rewards, Cash Rewards) is online pin for purchases. That is why, often when prompted for a pin (signature verification fails) in some instances the cash advance pin on Bank of America cards may work. (It did for me at the Copenhagen airport to buy my one day transit pass in a kiosk). If that fails, it may go on to the next priority which could be noffloine pin for purchases or it might say no cvm.
US issued Amex cards go from signature to no cvm, for example. If the terminals needs a cvm, you’re out of luck.

At least from reading flyer talk, this is my understanding of the way it works. But I’m no geek. The problem is you asw the consumer have no control over it. That is the failing of chip and signature cards being issued in the USA. If the merchant decides he or she doesn’t want to accept a signature based transaction, he or she can void the transaction even if the terminal accepts it. Once the terminal accepts it, you can’t tell the card to ignore signature verification even if a laterr priority is pin based.

While not a big problem at present, even one time if a merchant doesn’t want to accept my signature based card is too many for me. That is what the American banks who have all decided to go with signature priority at the urging of mastercard and visa apparently are doing their cardholders a disservice. But you can’t make them understand that. Their attitude is that the merchant’s agreements specify they must accept all valid cards. The fact they make no effort to enforce that is why we often can get screwed.

I requested a chip&pin MC from USAA and took it to UK. It was rejected, rejected, rejected. Upon return, I asked USAA what’s what. They said verbally with written follow-up that “to activate it you have to repeatedly submit, accept rejections FIVE TIMES before it is really activated; you can go to Walmart to use their special terminals….” THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS.
Among other thins, there is no convenient Walmart, but what is this? Are others finding this problem? Is there any other place where “special terminals” would be available?
Please advise.

I did the same with a new Master Card from USAA, tried it in London and it seemed to work Ok. I alerted them that I was in the UK. It was not rejected but always demanded a signature which was annoying since I was promised it was supposed to be a chip and pin. Same exact thing with the State Dept Federal Credit Union Visa chip and “pin” card. What’s going on here???

Both of those cards are chip and signature, their claim of chip and PIN is just wrong. They have a PIN, but they’re not chip and PIN cards. They’re chip and signature cards with a PIN backup.

We also just returned from a trip to London and Paris and had applied for a UNFCU Visa prior to our trip. UNFCU is a true chip and pin card, we successfully used it on the London Tube and Paris Metro. As others have posted, applying for the card is a *process* – you have to join the the UNA-USA in order to quality to get an account. Then you need to apply for a savings/checking account. Finally you can apply for a Visa. You should give yourself a minimum of a month, longer to be safe, to apply for the account and receive your card.

Another caveat – we only used the card for the automated kiosks for Tube and Metro tickets. UNFCU passes on the 1% Visa FOREX fee so we didn’t use it for any other purchase(s). We used our regular Visa that does not charge any FOREX fee.

One thing that did surprise me is that all the credit card readers (meaning the readers in all stores, restaurants, and hotels) do accept US magnetic stripe cards. My primary travel card only has a mag stripe, but I was able to use it everywhere where there was an attendant (restaurants, stores, hotels).

I’m glad I got the UNFCU card, however, after traveling for 9 days in Europe – found that I could travel without it – what you would need to do in the subway stations is to carry cash, and purchase your tickets using cash vs. a credit card.

Now if you are driving, and need to buy gas, you will definitely need a chip and pin card for the gas stations.

Last comment about Germany – not sure if you can use a US credit card (even with chip and pin) on the train system (S-Bahn). I believe Germany issues a “cash card” to German citizens that they use for their kiosks. If you purchase tickets at the Airport (in my case Munich); the kiosk at the airport does take chip and pin credit cards, and in some cases non-chip Amex cards (for some reason). However, we were never able to purchase tickets at one of the train stations using a credit card. Fortunately we were traveling with some German locals who were able to purchase our tickets.

Just a comment, not a criticism. I have used both mag strip cards and chip and signature cards without any problems on the machines in both the London Underground and Paris Metro. My aproblem was with the machines in Paris maintained not by RATP (the local Paris transport company) to those on the RER operated by SNCF (the French national railroad).

Also you’re quite correct. London sees so many American tourists that it is no surprise that most places don’t want to cut off their nose to spite their face and indeed still accept the archaic American cards. In London the only places I have had difficulties using magnetic strip cards and indeed either chip and signature cards are some of the mobile phone outlets of the telecom companies. I’m sure there are others.

There are some co9untries such as Germany (Holland is another) where cash is king for some reason and many placs, especially those that don’t cater to tourists, just don’t take credit cards. In other words, the use of credit cards in Germany is nowhere near as universal as it might be in the USA or in the UK for example. Just the way it is.

But I’m glad you found success with the UNFCU card. I might add it to my portfolio just in case and right now, it is really the only true chip and pin card an American can get no matter what some of the other banks say.

Read through the thread or better yet if you have a free afternoon, there is a 450 page thread on flyer talk. For whatever the reason, and the reasoning is not clear, the networks and banks (which may be one and the same) have made the decision that cards issued in the USA will primarily be chip and signature. Many will have chip and pin capabilities at unpersonneled kiosks but that is a secondary priority. Some will not have pin capability at all. Why? Nobody knows.

As it stands today, the only true chip and pin cards being issued are several by UNFCU. Period. All other cards whether they are advertised as “true” chip and pin cards at best are chip and signature cards with chip and pin capabilities. In many cases, I would say in most cases, the customer service rep-s don’t know what’s going on and have scripts they are told to read.

The problem is that there have been a small number of reports of people using their USA chip cards, the pos terminal accepting the card but the merchant deciding on his or her own not to complete the transaction claiming they can or will only accept a pin. The problem is even if tghe card has a back up of pin capabilities, if the pos terminal accepts the chip and signature card verification method, it never gets to priority 2 i.e. pin. The terminal conatrols which verification method is used.

If you want a “true” ;chip and pin card, the only place to turn is UNFCU. Membership is open to anybody swho joins a charitable organization regarding US participation in the UN. That’s it no matter what anybody else claims.

London Underground kiosks are just fine with chip and signature, they’ll run as no CVM.

We used the UNFCU Visa chip and pin on our recent trip which included the UK, Italy and France. Worked fine at kiosks for the Gatwick train, London Underground and Paris Metro. Worked at gas stations in Italy. Due to the complexity and non-English instructions of unmanned toll booths in Italy, we just used cash, but I’m guessing if we understood Italian, it probably would have worked there as well. Seems to be a true chip and pin card. Now getting the card is another matter. Plan about 2-3 months in advance. You have to join the United Nations Association first, and they are a complete black hole. We joined, but have never received a single piece of correspondence from them. Finally called and asked for our member number. Then before applying for the credit card you must join the UNFCU and deposit money into an account. After that you can apply for the UNFCU Azure Visa Card. The pin arrives separately about a week after you get the card itself.

Looks like Wells Fargo is now issuing chip & pin cards upon request:

Sorry to burst your baloon. The card is no different than all the other emv chipped cards. Reading through the Q & A, it will be a chip and signature priority card with chip and pin capabilities. I don’t consider that a chip and pin card; it is a chip and signature card. And frankly, that’s not a surprise.

I just want to give everyone a heads up – Charles Schwab is one of the first US banks (not credit unions) to issue a Chip And Pin Debit Card for their checking accounts. You have to call and request it though – they are issuing it on a test basis (as of July 2014). I got mine couple of days ago. Chip And Sign Credit cards are widely available from Chase, Citi and Bank Of America – I strongly suggest every traveler to have a few. They work fine overseas, except for some automated kiosks (where Chip And Pin should work).

I just called to get one and was told it’ll be Chip+Sign at merchants. It’ll be my go-to when I need cash, but I’ve already got Chip+Sign cards that earn rewards. For merchants where that won’t work I’ll be using my Canadian Visa debit card.

I just wanted to share my experiences in the UK with two alleged chip-and-PIN cards on the list, the Wells Fargo Propel World Amex and the USAA World MasterCard. I returned yesterday from a two-week road trip around Great Britain (from far northern Scotland to London). Everywhere I used it, including unattended gas stations, parking machines, and railway/Underground ticket machines, the USAA card worked flawlessly as a chip-and-PIN. When presented at a point of sale (where signature would have been an option), it still used PIN authentication. I never had a transaction refused by a machine that accepted MasterCard.

In contrast, the Wells Fargo Propel World NEVER worked as a chip-and-PIN. Not once, for any purchase transaction, did it prompt for a PIN, and it never worked at all in unattended machines. The only places I could use it were at staffed points of sale where it worked by signature authentication after it was inserted, as a chip card, into the reader. (I tried it in the gas stations, ticket machines, etc., since it doesn’t charge USAA’s 1% fee.) In short, it offered no practical advantages over a chipless card, since all or virtually all chip readers that can handle a signature can also handle a swipe. Very disappointing; I will be canceling it before I incur an annual fee.

Enjoy your USAA mastercard chip and pin feature until it expires. Your replacement card will be a chip and signature priority card. Somebody on flyer talk ran the USAA MC through a chip readers, a newly issued one, which confirmed that USAA while it was originally issued as a “true” chip and pin card, is being replaced by the same hybrid cards i.e. chip and signature priority with chip and pin capabilities as the originally issued ones expire.

That’s my experience. Just got my USAA MC last month and as far, everywhere in Ireland I’ve used it, it’s been chip and signature. Quite disappointing.

Can someone with the UNFCU card confirm whether its default verification method is PIN, and only reverts to signature mode when PIN isn’t available?

I have the Andrews card and while it works perfectly in European situations where PIN is required (e.g., gas stations, train kiosks), I’m extremely annoyed that its default verification method (CVM) is signature. It’s still a good backup card because it has zero fees and does provide true PIN functionality when necessary, but the default to signature is extremely frustrating. I find it a bizarre business decision — I (and many others who travel) would use this as a “go to” card for everyday purposes if they just flipped the default. Instead, it gets used a dozen times a year for relatively small purchases at kiosks. They’ve already gone through the expense of deploying true PIN and chip; now just change the default (or give us the choice).


Chase Freedom chip is avaible to get. Just ask for it.

I lied. It is only for selected small group of people. There is no firm date when everyone will receive one.

We finally obtained our United Nations VISA card. I have to say the UNFCU is not well organized or efficient. It was a frustrating nightmare working through the application process. And after all the effort, the cards arrived after we returned from our trip abroad. I do not recommend them.

It has now become very clear that the USA will not be embracing chip and pin despite what some of the banks are falsly claiming. The United States’ entry into the world of emv will be chip and signature.

I recently finished a trip to Europe. I had intended to use my USAA MC which for logistical reasons I had to have replaced in May. Last year it functioned perfectly as a chip and pin card at several places in Europe. Well the first thing I did was change the pin as they suggested I could now do online.

I arrived at CDG and went to use the kiosk to buy a RER ticket to Paris. A 30 minute queue was outside the “manned” window but the machines were free. Insert my card and went prompted for the pin was told incorrect pin. None of my other chip and signature cards worked either. Had to wait on that queue.

Did try to use the card about five or six times while in Europe and each time although last year I was asked for a pin, this year I was asked to sign. At one self service check out at Boots, I had to wait close to 10 minutes until some person got off their you know what to enter the override code and generate the slip for me to sign.

I have been in constant touch with USAA and can’t get anybody who has a clue as to what is going on. I have demanded to speak to the head honcho in the credit card department and of course they won’t let me speak to this person. They claim they haven’t changed anything. (The priorities of the CVM have been changed). They claim it is the merchant’s pos terminal that determines pin or signature verification. I have also read several articles that make it clear that visa and mastercard are very vehement that the USA will be going chip and signature as Americans are used to signing for their purchases rather than entering a pin and they claim chip and pin is not signficantly more secure than chip and signature.

People should be aware that even if a card issued in the USA is advertised as chip and pin, unless it is the UNFCU card, it is a chip and signature priority card which may or may not work in those kiosks requiring a pin.

It was my understanding that you can’t change the PIN on a true C&P card. A changeable PIN might be associated with the ATM side of the card like a regular signature card?

Can’t believe chip and signature is anywhere close to as secure as chip and pin especially since no one seriously looks at signatures. The age old mantra regarding good security practices is to require something you have (i.e. chipped card) and something you know (i.e. pin).

I’m guessing the USA is going chip and signature to keep people using cards. Remembering different pins for different cards would be hard enough that many would probably gravitate to using a much smaller number of cards than we see in circulation today.

They can be as vehement as they like, but the fact remains that if someone steals your EMV-with-signature card, it can still be used to make purchases until the card company blocks it after being notified of the theft. No one ever compares a signature on a charge slip with a signature on the back of a magnetic card, so why would anyone act differently if the card had the EMV chip instead? The PIN system makes it much harder for a thief to use the card unless someone provides the PIN number. Unlike the U.S., in Europe the merchant usually bears the loss if the card is used by a thief, though that is now very difficult because of the PIN requirement. Under the existing magnetic stripe/swipe system in the U.S., the bank usually bears that loss. When EMV-with-signature cards are issued by US banks, will that change?

To prove CuriousDave’s point, after the Target hack I was provided a new MC. Instead of signing it, I put a strip on the back that said “Request Photo ID”.
Virtually no one EVER asks to see ID, or even notices that the card is not signed. We should all go to a “cardless month” until we get EMV chip.

EMC chip?PIN I meant.

I have been fighting USAA for almost nine months on this very issue. They originally issued me a chip and pin card that worked in Europe in April of 2014. It replaced an existing card without chip/pin technology I had used for a few years. When the expiration date occurred in June 2014, USAA sent me a new card (same account) that did NOT work as chip and pin – only chip and signature. Their customer service staff repeatedly told me it was chip and pin and sent me two replacement cards that were still chip and sig. I have stopped using the card in Europe because it is useless in kiosks and a waste of time for merchants and me. I am looking for authentic chip and pin, but so far, I haven’t found one issued by my current stable of card issuers.

I don’t know if you’ll ever read this reply. Indeed USAA decided to join the rest of the USA banks and issued chip and signature priority cards. We believe they should work in kiosks as pin is a card verification method although below signature. In any event, according to the networks new regs will be promulgated by June prohibiting merchants from not accepting chip and signature cards and prohibiting kiosks that do not take chip and signature cards.

As it stands right now today, the only US financial institution you can get a true chip and pin priority card is UNFCU. Period. Go to their web site to see how you can apply but this card charges a 1% foreign transaction fee but if you are worried your chip and signature card will not work, it is good to have in your pocket.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® only functions as chip and signature. Unusable at unattended terminals – which was the reason I applied for the card.

Many of our so called chip and signature cards with chip and pin backup are useless in kiosks. However, this seems to be the direction the USA is going in its move to emv. Chip and signature will probbly be the primary card verification mode.

Many of our so called chip and signature cards with chip and pin backup are useless in kiosks. However, this seems to be the direction the USA is going in its move to emv. Chip and signature will probbly be the primary card verification mode.

I recently arrived in London with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®. I used it to top up my Oyster card from an automated ticket machine in a tube station. The machine asked me for my PIN, which I entered and everything worked fine. The next day I used it at the self-serve checkout in a Tesco express and it asked for a signature, and required a staff member for assistance.

So in some machines it works fine as a PIN card.

I just got my Barclays Arrival Plus WE MC to week ago and I because I’m paranoid, I read the “Important Information” on the back of the page holding the card:

“…In most cases when you travel abroad, you’ll be asked to sign for your transaction. But at some unattended terminals, such as train ticket kiosks, you may be asked to enter your PIN instead of signing…”

So goody, don’t we all enjoy a mystery with a small side of anxiety while traveling?

Also, this:

“When you travel abroad, please note that you must sign for your first transaction at a location with a cashier or attendant. After your first transaction has gone through, your PIN will be activated and you’ll be able to use your card at unattended terminals where a PIN is needed.”

Sigh. One More Thing.

Actually, it worked fine for me. I used it several times in France, The Netherlands, Germany and Denmark in September. If there was a cashier or attendant present, a signature was required. If used at a “kiosk” (rail stations, metro, parking garages, gas stations, etc.) no signature was required.

Doesn’t sound right since CVM list:

1: Signature (paper)
2: Enciphered PIN verified online
3: Enciphered PIN verified by ICC
4: Plaintext PIN verified by ICC
5: No CVM required

clearly shows it supports both online and offline PIN.

Please provide specific examples of unattended transactions that failed.

Been there, done that.

The Wells Fargo by Invitation is a true chip-and-pin. It defaults to a chip-and-signature when it can. It has worked on autoroutes in norhern France,but not in the south on Escota. It worked for me at an automated gas station on the autoroute in northern France. It also does not work at automated (unattended) gas stations in southern France. I don’t pay any currency conversion fee with this card, but it is only a benefit in the north of France. The USAA chip-and-pin card also does not work on the Escota autoroute system, but does work at automated gas stations (Esso) and the automated credit card pumps at Elf (now the discount end of Total. USAA charges 1% for currency conversion. Neither of the two would work at the port parking lot in St. Maxime, France. Fortunately, I also have a Societe Generale debit card which works everywhere.

In France, there are some locations/facilities which only work with a European-issued chip-and-pin card. I had success with an Amex green chip-and-pin card issued to a friend who lives in Italy. It is frustrating that Amex won’t issue these to US residents, but will to European residents.

I have a chase Brit air and BofA travel card both with chop but no pin.i travel to Europe several times a year and I have yet to use these in an unmanned location. I called chase about getting a chop and pin card. It was a nightmare. First , the staff did not know what I was on about. Secondly, they told me they had no idea when the cards would be pin . To top it all off I was called by the fraud section as they did not recognise the Skype number I used to call about enhanced chip and pin and thought it was a potentially fraudulent telephone call ( because criminals call asking for an enhanced chip and pin card ) . It’s frustrating and pathetic .

I have a chase Brit air and BofA travel card both with chop but no pin.i travel to Europe several times a year and I have yet to use these in an unmanned location. I called chase about getting a chop and pin card. It was a nightmare. First , the staff did not know what I was on about. Secondly, they told me they had no idea when the cards would be pin . To top it all off I was called by the fraud section as they did not recognise the Skype number I used to call about enhanced chip and pin and thought it was a potentially fraudulent telephone call ( because criminals call asking for an enhanced chip and pin card ) . It’s frustrating and pathetic .

I have credit cards issued by US HSBC as well as by Hong Kong HSBC. The World card from US HSBC has benefits of no foreign transaction fee and full insurance coverage (up to $50K damages) for rental car, which could be a real good saving while travelling in Europe. My recent trip to Switzerland with 3 weeks of rental car, the US HSBC World card that I used to pay for car rental at Zurich airport saved me more than two thousand dollar of car insurance cost. However, the US issued credit card does not work with unattended parking garages, which are everywhere in Switzerland. We went to many towns and cities travelling in Switzerland and I had yet to see a parking garage with attendants, same for purchasing train/tram/bus tickets. The US issued card does not even have a chip just the magnetic tape. However, my World card issued by Hong Kong HSBC does support chip and pin. It didn’t occur to me while in Switzerland to try my HK issued card to pay for the unattended parking, until I read this blog. Next trip to Europe will definitely try my HK issued card to pay for parking and other unattended payment machines. It is sad to see banks in US are so far behind in technology to protect the consumers from credit card fraud!

I was able to use at Walmart stores my BoA Travel Rewards EMV card (I asked for chip and pin but got chip and signature, never have been able to use the PIN at terminals in Italy). You need to insert the end of the card with the chip into the bottom of the Walmart terminal and then it will tell you and the cashier to wait. The first few times it never asked for a signature, but the last time I used it, it did. Walmart says the transaction fees they owe the bank are lower for EMV chip and pin than with transactions that use a signature. This difference in fees might account for the resistance of banks to offer the true EMV chip and PIN. I think most customers and many cashiers don’t know about the EMV capabilities of the terminals, it’s a chicken and egg situation.

Victor Poleshuck

I have a new USAA Chip and Pin MasterCard which clearly has chip and pin priority! Wonderful. I was in Toronto over this past weekend and despite having the ability to swipe or use as a chip and sign card, clearly the priority on the card is chip and pin. I used it in multiple places, some with an attendant (restaurant) and some without (parking lot) and in all cases it worked as a chip and pin card.

In April we got the Chase Sapphire Preferred chip card and it has worked great for us. We just got back from a 3-week trip to Europe (England, Scotland, France) and the card worked fine almost everywhere, even though it wasn’t chip and pin. With cashiers and waiters, etc., they asked for a signature. At automated kiosks, including the Tube in London, the Train at Heathrow, parking garages in Edinburgh, and the Metro in Paris, the card worked just fine without asking for a PIN or anything. There were only 2 times it didn’t work: once at a Starbucks in Paris (although it worked at another one down the street), and once on the Eurostar in transit, and the cashier said that there was a network problem.

For what its worth, I am currently traveling in Finland and so far my Chase Sapphire Preferred (with a chip) has not been accepted as a chip card in a single point-of-sale terminal I have tried it at. At one place I was able to swipe it and sign but at five other locations I was unable to swipe it either and was forced to use another card. Needless to say I am quite livid at this since the main reason I got this card was the 0% foreign fees. Seeing that used “dmq” was able to use his elsewhere in Europe I wonder if this is a local problem.

I had the same problem with my AndrewsFCU “Global” card. It was supposed to be chip and pin but NEVER worked outside of the US.

To finish my story:

Upon returning to US I asked Chase if it was possible to verify whether the chip was functional. They told me no but replaced the card all the same.

I just got back from Italy and can happily say that the new card worked without issues everywhere I used it.

I have recently (May 2014) traveled to Spain and had no issues whatsoever with the BofA Travel Rewards VISA. The CVM (cardholder verification method) sequence is chip and signature first but If that’s not available it also works with chip and PIN. I’ve successfully used it at subway or other railway vending machines with the chip and PIN authorization.
In more than a week and probably close to 100 transactions It has never been rejected by a merchant.


How did u get this chip and signature card to function as a chip and pin? BofA told me that they DO NOT offer it with pin.

It just worked. As I mentioned if available it will ask for signature but it worked with the PIN number at the public transportation unattended vending machines.


I work in the payment card industry and wanted to give you an answer. What happens is the issuer ( banks or credit unions) in this case BofA will select parameters when they are setting up their card programs.

One set of parameters is chip and pin. Another is chip and signature. In this case it seems that BofA has elected the chip and signature route which would not allow for chip and pin as the primary method of cardholder verification.

Zulu was allowed for the pin entry because when the chip and terminal communicated to authenticate the card and cardholder the first preference for the issuer is signature and if that is not available on a terminal ( e.g. unattended machines) then the chip and pin will communicate until they reach a common method of verification.

Basically, card issuers elect the primary verification method( commonly seen in the US as chip and signature) when the terminal and card make contact the terminal reads the chip on the card to dtermine how the card and cardholder will be verified. They will communicate until a common verifcation method is reached. Keep in mind the card always has the control of the verifcation based off of what the card issuer has in their parameters with their card program.

Hope this helps!

The BofA travel rewards is not chip and pin- it’s chip and sig. I have it. the pin is for cash withdrawals. SOME people report that at an unmanned machine just punching in an ATM pin, or even 0000 is enough to carry out a transaction. I have not tried that with this card. Down below, a former BofA employee discusses when the bank will/might make the card a true chip and pin

When using the BofA Travel Rewards card at a Chip & Pin terminal, which PIN did you use?

The PenFed card was a bust after repeatly asking them if it was true chip and pin and being told it was I was excited to use it turns out its a chip and signature, it wasnt to big of a deal other then having to wait for people to get you a receipt to sign at automated cash registers as everyone else is speeding thru one nice thing about the card no foreign transaction fee my wife had the Andrews card it was the same situation.

“My wife had the Andrews card it was the same situation.” cowbell: Did you mean that the Andrews card she had was chip and signature? Or that it was chip and pin?

She was also told that it was a true chip and pin but turns out chip and sig

The Andrews card defaults to chip and signature, but comes with a PIN for those transactions that require chip and PIN.

Applied online for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite and what a piece of cake. Easy to apply for and they confirm that it is a true C+P card. Cross that problem off my list.

I am sorry to report to you that it, like just about every USA issued card with emv chip is not a “true” chip and pin card. It is and will be chip and signature priority both in the USA and abroad. Their web site confirms that where they, unlike many other cards that claim to be chip and pin but are really chip and signature priority with chip and pin capabilities, explain it quite well.

As a matter of fact, I am sorry to report that one of the only banks in the USA that has been issuing “true” chip and pin priority cards, USAA, has now gone back in the other direction. They sent me what was supposedly an “updated” USAA mastercard when I joined their rewards program. Now this card had indeed functioned as a true chip and pin credit card in Europe last year asking me for my pin at several places where my other emv chipped card had spit out a form for me to sign. Lo and behold when I used the card the new card at Walmart this week, instead of prompting me for a pin, it spit out a receipt to sign. I thought maybe it was just an abnormality at the Walmart EMV terminal but no; others have reported Walmart asking for a pin on their cards. A close reading of the q&a on the USAA credit card sub website confirmed that the card is now a chip and signature card with chip and pin capabilities. It is becme more and more evident that this will be the standard in the USA and while our cards will have emv chips, they will all be chip and signature priority.

What is the trick to getting information on the chip-and-pin BarclayCard? Their website only allows email from existing customers?

Samuel Woodbury

I have lived in Germany for several years and I recenty moved to Belgium and I got by just fine with my Bank of America and Service Credit Union Visa Debit Cards with a magnetic stripe for cash withdrawals from ATMs. I found that I needed a chip and PIN card for card at many stores in Germany that did not take VISA, but cash withdrawals were not a problem. However about a week ago (22 May 2014), Belgian ATMs that used to recognize my Visa Debit Cards, started refusing them. What’s worse, the full amount of the withdrawal request showed up on my statement as if I received the money, which I am currently trying to resolve with my two banks. This seems to be a fairly recent problem, and hopefully it is a technical glitch that can be easily fixed, but I am not planning on using a US style ATM card in Europe for the forseeable future. Fortunately I have access to US ATM machines on military bases here, but this could be a problem for tourists or business travellers that don’t have a chip and PIN card.

thank you, thank you for the calmer, more measured yet informative sill missive … by definition, the high-tech world is bound to encounter technical glitches random or not….. and the backdrop will certainly not make them vanish… again,thank you for the clear and concise posting! wishing you best in your ‘Belgian” experience both professional and personal

Called Bank of America today, most of their credit cards offer “Chip Technology” eg Chip and Signature. The rep I talked to said they were working on Chip and Pin, and she thought it would likely be out in months, not years.

I spoke today with Bank Of America and the rep said she will send me a pin for my current BankAmericard Priveleges Cash reward card which has a chip already. We will see if it works.

The B o A chip cards are only chip and signature. If B o A offers you a PIN today that is for cash advances at an ATM, not for in-store purchases.

I am a retired BofA executive. I had the chip and pin problem in Europe after the BofA person who approved the card insisted it was chip and pin. It was, but only to get cash at an atm. You can’t use it at unmanned kiosks (subways, bus and train stations or unattended gas pumps). So I spoke with my former colleague, Brian Moynihan, BofA’s CEO, who put me in contact with the man at BofA who is heading BofA’s true chip and pin. There should be something later this year (2014), but they don’t have one at this writing.

I got the same response.

Oh, turns out if you have a Photo on your credit card they do not/can not send a chip card. Getting it switched to a chip card requires explicitly removing the photo apparently.

I have a State Dept FCU(SDFCU) Visa chip and pin with no foreign transaction fee. I used it in Madrid in Jan. to buy a subway ticket w/chip+pin. When I used a mag stripe card in the dept store I had to show my passport. You can join SDFCU by belonging to a consumer group if you aren’t in the gov’t. Their site lists eligibility.


I have a WF Visa Signature and I called a week ago to get an EMV card. Today I received my new card and I was expecting a chip and signature card but according to the literature that came with it, it is an actual chip and PIN card. From the brochure: “Q: How do I make purchases … abroad? A: With the microchip facing up, insert the chip end of the credit card into the terminal. If prompted, enter your PIN.” and “Q: Do I need to use a PIN to make purchases in the U.S.? A: Not typically… Outside the U.S., you may need to use a PIN at some payment terminals and unattended kiosks, such as the French rail systems or gas pumps.” The only drawback is that it has a 3% foreign transaction fee but at this time I’m willing to pay that fee if my chip and signature cards won’t work.

Barclaycard (US), has a chip and pin with 0% foreign transaction fees. I just ordered one today for my trip in June. I already had an account with them.

Which of their cards? According to the Barclaycard blog post below from March 19th, they don’t have the chip and pin available. I just replaced my Wells Fargo card with one with the chip and pin. They do have the 3% foreign transaction fee. I’m trying to find one with 0% transaction fee.

I just came back from (primarily) the Benelux region- a chip and pin card is not merely convenient, it’s a necessity. You cannot, for example, buy transit tickets at kiosks in Holland with either euro coins or a C+P card. You can’t buy tickets in Belgium with a non-Belgian card- you have to go to the desk. Many businesses and museums have eliminated the swipe option, and you will frequently see that machines which still include swipe groove are taped over, or a little sticker with card with a red line through it has been placed on it. Also, some grocery stores- particularly in Belgium- do NOT accept cash, and only accept C+P for payment. I brought my AFCU (C+P, sig priority) and my UNFCU C+P, cards. I used the UN card for everything. No problems whatsoever at manned and unmanned terminals anywhere (Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Luxembourg, Sweden). If you are a frequent traveler- and not just to Europe- you must get a C+P card.

*can only* buy tickets in holland with euro coins or a C+P

can you tell me what is the UNFCU chip and pin card? What is the full title of this card”? thank you.

US issued EMV cards (all) have signature over pin priority. What this means in practice when you are in Europe for example is that places with a card reader that expect you to punch in your PIN because they see the chip on your card become flummoxed when they wait and wait and then it says ‘get signature’, meanwhile people behind you in line are getting antsy. They claim that you can use the PIN at unattended card readers at gas stations and toll booths. This is abjectly false. 10/10 tries to do that this month resulted in failure. The EMV cards issued are useless, maybe worse. Choosing the signature over PIN neuters the card, and card companies are stupid for issuing them.

H Bosch–I was afraid of that when I saw a recent news article about US issuers going to chip and signature cards. As someone points out below, they will NOT work at unattended kiosks, which is the main problem with carrying US swipe cards in Europe. This move to a half-assed technology to save a bit of money reminds me of Firestone, back in the 70s, which tried to produce radial tires using its old bias-belt machinery–and lost a ton of money in the disaster that followed. Now in this case, US issuers may not lose a ton, but their preferred, cheap solution won’t really be adequate.

UNFCU offers true chip and pin visa elite and visa azure credit cards. Join UNA-USA to be eligible for membership in UNFCU and apply for one of the cards.

Thanks very much, Jola!
I just did exactly what you suggested.
Can you tell me if your UNFCU credit card charges 3% exchg fee?

Is that you John Wayne? Is this me?

Just spoke to Wells Fargo. They do now have a Chip and PIN card that they linked to my checking account. I confirmed that it is C&P, still 3% International Service Charge, but whatever. 3% is worth not looking like nerd, what with the waving of hands and making of swipey motions to indicate that this is stupid US bank card. I can pass now! Let’s see how she works in Finland!

I was on the chip and pin blog and saw you had a chip and pin linked to your WF account. Did you go to Finland and did it work? My husband has a WF account and we are going to Germany and Spain but WF told him they didn’t have a chip and pin?? I see alot of them say they do though

Many of the cards listed above are Chip and Signature, not Chip and PIN. A few credit unions in the US offer true Chip and PIN cards. PenFed is one of them, but I don’t see them in your list above. Most of the bank credit cards are chip and signature only, and aren’t usable at automated kiosks, etc., as they require a slip to be printed out, signed, and handed to a human.

I have the BofA TravelRewards card listed above, and it works well in Europe AS LONG AS there is a human at the register to take your signature. I couldn’t use it to buy train tickets at the airport kiosks. That is a royal pain.

For that reason I also got a PenFed VISA card that has a PIN for my next trip.

why America does not want Chip and PIN Credit Cards is a mystery,by not using this technology you deserve credit card fraud.

You are correct sir. What’s worse, our lousy chip and sig cards cannot be used at unattended locations, like gas stations and toll plazas. Nearly useless!

Jeffery Sikes

One word why America has not changed to chip & pin …. Infrastructure

American companies are not willing to pay for more advanced machinery in order to accept credit or bank cards, while the ones they currently have work fine for business transaction. (its the same reason America is still not on the metric system)
It will be difficult if not near impossible to force American businesses to change their credit card machines. Expect this to become the norm in America as they slowly migrate to chip and pin (about a decade plus).

not our choice if it’s not offered

I live in Europe and have the Chase card with strip. Got it in the US – no foreign transaction fee and it works everywhere as a ‘chip and signature’. Even works in metro machines (not sure of regional trains). So, not really a problem to find a card that works here AND in the US :)… ps) BofA debit cards work here w/BNP with no extra fee – for your cash withdrawals.

Walmart stores in the US, and soon Target are taking all Chip & PIN as well as Chip & signature. If you have one of these new fangled cards and try to use it in Walmart, the register will prompt you to insert it, if you were to try to swipe it. Yes even the US issued ones that have a chip for “traveling.”

The Walmart in Gulf Shores, AL does not recognize my Marriott Premier Visa Pin/Signature card. I have to insert it, then swipe it, three times for it to take. The software for these card readers do not recognize the Marriott Premier Visa Card with the Chip/Signature design.

Nope. Walmart terminals are Chip and signature, not chip and pin. One has to insert it from the bottom, but it does not ask for pin.

Mary Branscombe

the Walmart terminals are chip & PIN because my UK card, which is chip & PIN (we don’t have C&S) worked in one just fine last month; cashier and terminal both told us to insert the chip end as usual and then the terminal prompted for PIN. As the commenter above explained, it’s the priority set by the card issuer that makes the terminal ask for signature – if a C & S priority card doesn’t work unattended, the card issuer may have blocked other auth methods, which is just bizarre, frankly…

I have been traveling regularly to europe for years and am now extremely frustrated with this stupid Pin and Chip mess. This is what I have learned and others who need to travel to Europe should be very aware of before you end up having wash dishes to pay your bill in Europe.

1. There are 2 types of Pin and Chip cards,
a pin and chip credit card (these are now becoming available in US)
a pin and chip debit card (these are not available in US)

2. Once they started using the Pin and Chip credit cards in Europe, everyone stopped accepting the traditional Magnetic Strip and Sign cards. No matter what the credit card compianies tell you, the establishement will refuse to accept it.
Believe me, I have argued untill I am blue in the face with the establishements.

3. Now that they have also introduced the Pin and Chip debit card in Europe, and only large establishement will accept the Pin and Chip Credit Card. So even though they show the sticker in the window that says they accept Mastercard, you need to ask if its Pin and Chip credit or Pin and Chip debit. Major pain in the #$&*()

4. I dont not think there is any way to get Pin and Chip Debit card that works in Europe. If anyone knows how to please respond.

Extremely frustrated that the credit card system is now so screwed up under the guise that it is protecting us from Fraud. It is working, I cant even use my US credit card anymore.

Larry Hatteberg

Just got back from Ireland and Scotland. Used my Amex Platinum Card w/chip (it’s chip and sign)…never had a problem.
Used my Hyatt/Chase Card (chip and sign)…never had a problem.
Used my old Bank ATM card to get cash at ATM’s….never had a problem.
Just FYI..

did you buy gas at an unattended station?
did you use it at a toll plaza?

I have traveled to Asia last month , what a nightmare I had been through .
When I came home(USA) , I called up BofA , they said we will gping to issue a chip and signature but we dont have chip and pin yet .
I said this is going to be a problem again when I travel .
Her response was this is a very costly move/change to catch up .
Dont these credit card companies/banks aware how much business they are losing every day let alone putting us in dark ?
Hello America why are we so behind in this arena ?

Open an international Bank Account next time you’re overseas and keep it solvent. Of course, you will pay exchange fees but you’re going to do that anyway.

I have the andrews fed credit union chip and pin card for almost 2 years and I don’t meet any of the criteria for people to join mentioned. They have a category for people like me which means checking a box that I’ve joined a literacy program , it’s free, then I had to open a new savings account with at least $5.00. I did this. It took awhile but I got the card. I’ve used it over the past 2 years on 4 trips out of the U.S. and it has never asked for my pin. It always goes through with a signature. In Holland it wouldn’t accept it either way at a train station because it was a credit card–they only accept chip pin Debit cards! I used cash. However, there are no foreign transaction fees so I like it. I will get rid of this account if the US finally moves into the 21st century with my other cards.

Andrews FCU does issue a true Chip and Pin, but here is the statement from Andrews FCU on eligibility:

a) Active Duty or Retired US Military Personnel (or their spouses, dependents or dependent survivors) assigned to, or are eligible to and are currently receiving benefits or services on a regular basis from, either Joint Base Andrews or Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, OR

b) Civilian personnel of US Military units (or their dependents or dependent survivors) who work at or are assigned to Joint Base Andrews or Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, OR

c) (for Overseas eligibility) Active Duty US Military or Civilian personnel (or their dependents or dependent survivors) of the Department of Defense who have a valid Uniformed Services Identification and Privilege Card and who are authorized logistical support in accordance with the appropriate host nation Status of Forces Agreement, AND who have a work or residential address that is within Andrews’ assigned geographical territory, consisting of areas in: the Netherlands, Belgium, and northern and central Germany.

Don (AFCU member)

Andrews Federal Credit Union issues the Global Trek true chip-and-pin card to anyone who is a US resident, by completing the “apply for Global Trek” process on their website. You do not have to have any military or US government affiliation, as they accept your free membership into an affiliate membership club which qualifies you to be an AFCU member. I used the card in unattended rail station kiosks in France and Belgium and also at midnight at an unattended gas station and it prompted me for, and accepted, my PIN in all of those situations. The card itself is produced in Canada where the chip-and-pin technology is standard. Apparently AFCU went to this source since no US producer is capable of manufacturing and configuring the card with the same long track record and assurance of usability in Europe that is a “given” in Canada. No foreign transaction fees on this card, and best competitive conversion rates. Love it. Nevertheless it is still “chip and sign” priority, not chip-and-pin priority, and consequently you get prompted for signature when there is an attendant there. When no attendant, it prompts for PIN. Wish all US card issuers would have the guts to produce a card with chip-and-pin priority.

I am about to go around the bend.

USAA appears to offer the only chip and pin card in the US, but you need to be military-affiliated to get it. I got chip cards from AmEx and BofA, but they will be just magnetic stripe usable in Europe where I will be for 7 weeks.

Aargh! Wake up, US credit card issuers.

Suntrust has a chip and pin mastercard.

SunTrust is only offering a commercial card with chip and pin, not a personal card.

USAA does offer one of only a few true chip-and-pin cards. I’ve had mine for more than a year and used it both in Northern Ireland and Mexico.

Anecdotally, while trying to buy some wine in Cabo San Lucas, the store clerk tried several times to swipe my USAA Mastercard (chip and pin), each time getting a message that the card was invalid! I hadn’t noticed how she was trying to process my card until she returned it to me asking for another valid card. I pointed to the chip, which she had not originally noticed. She inserted it appropriately into the EMV slot and handed me the terminal. I followed the prompts, entered my PIN, and voila it all went through. Had my card been chip-and-sign, the terminal instead would have spit out a receipt for me to sign.

In this case a point-of-sale terminal that was enabled for EMV chips did not recognize the magnetic strip on a chip-enabled credit card.

I have the Bank of America travel card and am currently living in Europe. It has a chip but it is NOT a PIN and chip card. The pin is for ATM withdrawal only. You’ll be stuck if you find yourself in need of late night gas.

I just requested a chip-and-pin card from USAA. It will be a true chip-and-pin, I am told. Does anyone know of a place to test it out before we travel to Europe? (Also, it is zero annual fee and has cash back rewards which will offset the 1% Foreign Transaction Fees).

Apparently Sam’s Clubs are now requiring you to use the chip and pin feature if you have a chip and pin card. I had to enter my PIN last time I used my USAA chip and pin MasterCard at Sam’s.

I converted my usaa card to chip an pin a few months ago and it worked great in the uk.

I would like to thank you all for the very interesting article and comments. However, I have a question for you all: I live in Europe, I have just requested a new MasterCard for traveling abroad (mainly USA…) for business and looks like the bank issued a Credit Card with NO MAGNETIC STRIPE. Whoa! I immediately thought that this is gonna be bad for the US. It is a classic MasterCard credit card, nothing strange, but there’s just a colored stripe instead of the tradizional “black” mag stripe on the back.
I was wondering…will it work, somehow, in the US? Ok, I’ll bring my debit cards with me, no problem but: I will have to rely on this credit card for hotels, car rentals and other stuff…is this gonna be accepted?

Thank you guys, I know that for US travelers the European Chip technology is a pain…apparently it can be annoying even for European travelers!

I can’t see your card, obviously, but I bet that colored strip IS the magnetic strip.

They’ve been issuing creative magnetic strips for years now in the US — some are silver holographic, some are different colors.

Mag stripes don’t have to be black that’s just what people are used to seeing. if there is a stripe on the card then is can be swiped and read. Also you can manually key enter a credit card number as well. You should be fine.

Without a magnetic strip, you will find very few places where the card will work smoothly. The merchant can type in your number and it will work that way, but many will probably freak out if they don’t see the mag strip.

A call today to Chase revealed that they do not offer any Chin and Pin cards, that the British Airways card is actually Chip and Signature. They would not state when they will offer Chip and Pin. this is very disappointing given he annual fee charged for the Chase-issued United Mileage Plus Explorer card.

I just couldn’t leave your web site prior to suggesting that I actually enjoyed the usual info a person supply on your visitors? Is going to be back ceaselessly in order to check up on new posts

kurt brittingham

will there need to be “new” card readers to go along with these new credit cards and if so, who will be distributing them?

The British Airways Visa Signature Card is advertised on the Chase website as Chip and Signature, *not* Chip and PIN. Many domestic providers (I’m looking at you, Andrews Federal Credit Union) don’t grasp the distinction. There are few experiences in life to match being at an unattended tool booth on the Autoroute with no working credit card.

Been there done that… Kept pushing the “help” button… several cars lined up behind me. Police came and lifted gate and waved me through, then waved all waiting cars through as well.

Don (AFCU member)

While I used the Andrews FCU chip and pin “Global Trek” card at unattended gas stations at night and at rail kiosks in France and Belgium where they all prompted for the PIN, and it worked fine, the autoroutes in France are an altogether different story, not related at all to the chip and pin capability of the card. The machines seem to give priority to national (i.e., French) cards, and sometimes consistently and sometimes randomly do not accept credit cards of any type, whether mag strip only, or c+p. Sometimes only mag strip cards work, but I have never found the AFCU chip and pin card to work on the autoroute. Oddly, American Express mag strip cards seem to work most consistently, but no always. Best is to keep a lot of 2 euro coins with you and then use those if your cards (always try at least three) don’t work.

got all excited about the Bank of America and Chase Banks cards until I talked with them. They are chip and signature, not chip and pin. They haven’t moved their technology to chip and pin like your article states.

Then you’d better read it again. Pin to come later this year from Chase. I got the chip in my Chase Sapphire but have not taken it to Europe yet. That’s in May. Hope the PIN comes out by then. Used it in Thailand in Jan. though. It worked fine but I don’t know if I would have had the trouble with magnetic there like I do in Europe.

I have a chip/pin/signature card from BofA. You have to request the pin from them – it is not automatic. Just request it and you’ll have it in a week or two at the most.

Glenn- are you sure that’s not a PIN for use at an ATM? I have the BofA and it’s only sig (and CS – and the website say that’s as good as it gets). I’d more than love to be wrong…

The BoA credit card is chip and signature. I just called the BoA credit card customer service and the BoA rep (who is from Europe and travels frequently to Europe) 4.3.14 and BoA have NO chip and PIN technology at this point, only chip and signature.

Is that BofA card through Visa or MasterCard?

The BofA PIN is only for cash advances (with associated high fees). It will not work in things like a ticket kiosk in Europe. I have this card.

I have an ignorant American question. How does a food server, in a table service restaurant, take a true chip and PIN card at the table when the customer must enter a PIN, or do they?

They generally have handheld devices they bring to your table that you scan your card, then enter your PIN. The transaction is completed then and there, so your card never leaves your sight.

Most will bring a portable PIN terminal for you to enter your PIN while at the table. Some will have you walk up to the host stand to enter your PIN on a counter terminal.


At a restaurant, they bring the machine to you, your card never leaves your sight. You insert your card, then your pin, remove your card and a receipt is printed on the spot. The server stands by while you complete the transaction.

They have a mobile device that the server takes to the table. In Canada,it also has the capability to accept tips on the keyboard either in per cent or dollars. I’ve also seen some in Europe that allowed tips (in local currency) but not %.

In Canada, for example, the server brings a wireless payment device to your table. The card is never given to the server (extra security). You check the amount, break up the bill among the guests at the table (and pass the device to each person paying), add a tip, then swipe, tap, PIN, sign, whatever, print your receipt, and hand the device back to the server. My understanding is that this is typical around the world: Your card never leaves your hand.

they bring you a portable card reader and you enter the PIN, it is designed to be confidential

They bring the card reader to the table. You can add tip on machine if you desire, then you add your pin and accept. Reader than spits out receipt and you leave. This is great, because card never leaves your sight and leaves no chance for someone to hijack your card number.

Larry Hatteberg

They bring a hand-held card reader to your table. You put in the PIN and add the tip. I wish they did it this way in the U.S. Your card is never out of your sight!

The first AMEX rep I spoke to on the phone told me that AMEX does not yet offer these cards. I went back to the AMEX website and opened am online chat with another rep who gave me a toll-free number to call. The agent I talked with at that number arranged to replace both my AMEX business cards with new chip-in cards.

Dave Collins

I just obtained a Chip and Signature replacement card from AmEx, it also has a magnetic strip like my prior card. I was told by the telephone rep they do not yet have the Chip and Pin cards available. Just to muddy the water there is a pin number associated with my card but that is for cash advance up to 1k.

I spent an hour on the phone with Wells Fargo about the Private Bank by Invitation Signature card. They can’t handle it over the phone. You need to be a Private Banking client and using them for your brokerage account in order to get the Private Bank By Invitation card. The very helpful person on the phone talked to quite a few people at his site and they were very negative about anyone off the street being able to get this card.

It’s fascinating and annoying that many companies treat chip and pin cards as so great and powerful they are not available to mere mortals, only those (in many cases) with upper echelon/”private” accounts. Even THEN a client still has to inquire as to whether a C+P exists, and can he get one. You must know the secret handshake and password. Wouldn’t it be smart for a bank to advertise this feature? Surely it’d draw in more customers.

Hmmmmm….. I just got off the phone with Wells Fargo and they said I would have my replacement card in 10 business days. I am NOT a Private Banking customer.

chip and sig, or pin? this article is kind of vague about what which.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013.

Wells Fargo is expanding its offering of EMV chip credit cards to all its Visa credit card holders as the payment technology slowly migrates onto U.S. shores.

The bank said Monday that its Visa credit card customers can request a chip card by calling the customer service phone number on the back of their current card. (The chip program is not available to the small number of Wells Fargo credit card holders who have a MasterCard or American Express card, according to company spokeswoman Natalie Brown.)

EMV chip cards are nearly impossible to counterfeit because the embedded microprocessor chip uniquely encrypts the transaction and card each time the card is used. Chip cards also are widely used abroad and sometimes pose problems for Americans who try to pay with traditional, magnetic-stripe cards in foreign countries.

Wells Fargo was one of the first U.S. banks to jump into the EMV ring. It launched a pilot program with Visa in the spring of 2011 and began offering chip cards by invitation to Visa Signature cardholders in 2012.

Other credit card issuers have followed suit. Bank of America, Chase, Citi, U.S. Bank and American Express all offer chip cards to some of their corporate and individual customers. The rollout of chip cards goes hand-in-hand with the push by Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover to force U.S. retailers to accept chip cards over the next several years.

I just talked to Wells Fargo. They have a true chip and pin card. However there is a 3% foreign transaction fee on the card. They offer an American Express card which can be converted once you have it to a true chip and pin card. It does not have a foreign transaction fee but it costs $45/year. Does anyone know of a VISA card you can get without opening a new bank account, that does not have a foreign transaction fee and doesn’t have an annual fee? I’m not finding that combination.

I have applied and received approval for the UN Azure visa (true) chip and pin; Andrews FCU Globetrek chip and pin (with signature priority) and converted my BofA visa to a chip and pin with signature. For the UN card, you must apply and receive an approval for a checking or savings account (join the USA-UNA and you qualify for a UN FCU account), then you can submit the visa app. The process has taken almost 3 weeks and I should get the card this week. AFCU has approved my visa, but I have yet to receive it 4 weeks after applying. My new BofA card too 4 weeks to receive as well. In short, plan on getting one of these cards LONG before you will travel.

I’d like to correct a mis-type and say the B of A is chip and SIG only

I requested and have just received an American Express blue card with a chip (no pin, just a signature). The agent who expedited it on the phone was most unpleasant but I did receive the card.

Ok so let’s clarify something about the European chip+PIN business;

1. First of all are those real credit cards anyway? What I mean is this: does the money come from a bank account real-time or near real-time as in true liquid cash transfer or does it bill to a credit account which is later invoiced and must be paid off (that’s the real credit scenario) like a true debt?

2. Are those European chip+PIN cards true transnational vehicles or is cash loaded onto them and then off-loaded as payment is made. The test is this: does real communication occur at the time of sale with a bank/corp body for the purpose of authorizing the charge or is it simply subtracted from the loaded amount on the chip? The other test is how does the merchant get its money?

3. If the PIN is hard coded onto the card, as some would suggest, then something sounds fishy meaning true communication with a bank/corp is unlikely; the test is this: can you pay at a dumb kiosk – one which doesn’t communicate with a back-end in real time to approve the charge?

Yes, some of the euro chip & pins are actual credit cards and some are debit cards. I have a visa from BNP Paribas (France) that is an actual credit card. Money isn’t on the chip. The chip is simply a means of authentication. You don’t “load” the chip with anything. The chip is a highly secure replacement for the mag stripe.

I would address your other comments, but frankly it’s like trying to explain something in English to someone who studied Chinese and thought it was English.

Wells Fargo does have the Chip and PIN. Call the credit card phone # 877 302-3767 or 800 642 4620. I called a Wells Fargo Branch and the Phone Bank, both told me the chip and Pin was not available.

I called the 877 302-3767 number and was also told they did have a chip and pin card (Amex). I was told I would need to apply for the propel 365 and upon receiving the card would need to call back and then request the pin and chip.
I have the card and am now told I can get a pin number but the chip is not available until May 17th. Very frustrating!

European Traveler

Why is it that sites reporting on banks currently issuing chip cards state that the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is available simply upon request to current card holders. Possibly to current Sapphire Preferred customers? I just called them twice and it is NOT available upon request. Chase employees emphatically state that it is a totally different product, requiring current card holders to apply for a NEW card. I asked which of their numerous available cards types will be able to upgrade to the Sapphire Preferred, thinking that I just have the one card that will not upgrade. I was told that not one of their cards will upgrade to a Sapphire Preferred. Their rep will graciously transfer your call to that department, and you get a rep in the Philippines only, who will take your financial information over the phone. The Philippine people I’ve met are lovely, but I’ve visited their country where over 90% of the people live in shacks made of plywood, metal and whatever they can find and do not include indoor plumbing. I just don’t want my banking information shared among that degree of poverty, it is too much temptation. I was told that if you don’t want a second credit card with Chase because each card you have counts against your credit rating, it would require closing your current card and yes you will loose any travel rewards that you have accumulated and not used, because this will be a totally different account.

In general, a true PIN will come already set in the card and it cannot be changed. At least that is the way European Chip+Pin cards work.

So, if you have to so go have a PIN set for your card, or if you can change the PIN it is NOT a true Chip+PIN. Those PINS are usually for ATMs, etc but not Chip+Pin point-of-sale terminals.

Barclay’s Arrival+ pin is on the chip and changeable (and offline capable).

Virtually all advertised “chip and pin” cards in the US are actually chip and signature with pin fallback. Many of those may not even work at offline terminals due to lack of offline pin support.

For me, “true” Chip and pin card has:

1. pin priority (asks for pin even if signature capability available).
Only UN FCU card currently has this feature. Without pin priority, signatures will be asked for everywhere except at unmanned terminals.

2. offline pin capability (pin on the chip and is allowed to be compared against entered pin). Without this feature, card will not work at unmanned offline terminals like train ticket, bus ticket, toll booths, etc unless pin validation is waived due to low purchase amount.

I just went on line to apply for USAA Mastercharge World card. Chip and pin (you call in after they mail the card to establish the pin). Easy application on line. No annual charge, 1% foreign transaction fees. If it really works this is sweet. Only issue: you have to be active, or separated military, of child or spouse of same.
I went through pure hell and frustration applying for the Andrews Fed Credit Union chip and pin card (first apply to be in credit union, then qualify for a loan, then apply for card, ) and it still didn’t work on the British rail system!

I too have a USAA Chip and Pin credit card from USAA. But I had to wait 60 days after establishing the account. I am a veteran but no longer active. I had a DOD form 2012? (Department of Defense) showing an honorable discharge. I plan on getting one for my daughter as well. Very impressed with customer service and I did not have to explain what a Chip and Pin was. Of course, it has a magnetic stripe for domestic use.

I also have a Travelex MultiCurrency Passport Chip and Pin debit card. My son used it on a recent trip to Europe. It can be loaded with Euros, Pounds, Canadian Dollars and Yen with a preferred currency. The Pin was mailed separately and I did not set it. You have to memorize it.

Since USAA changed from pin priority to signature priority (with pin fallback) a while back and I haven’t seen any reports of changing back, you probably just signed up for a chip and signature card.

Since USAA changed from pin priority to signature priority (with pin fallback) a while back and I haven’t seen any reports of changing back, you probably just signed up for a chip and signature card.

Sorry, replied to March 2014 post!

Just got a true chip and pin to replace my Wells Fargo Visa Signature — simply called and asked. Also got a chip and pin from the Pentagon Federal Credit Union. PenFed doesn’t charge a conversion fee for foreign transactions.

have you tested it in Europe? I just applied and was approved for their Promise card. they let you choose a pin during the application process. I’ll be going to Iceland in late May, so it will be nice to know whether it will work as a true “chip and pin” card.

Please report if it actually asks for a pin or signature – virtually all cards in US are signature priority with pin fallback. Thus only ATMs and other unattended terminals will every ask for a pin.

I just went to my Chase branch office to get my Sapphire preferred card upgraded to a Chip and Pin version – they are only offering Chip and signature (not PIN). FYI.

I leave in Europe and I am frustrated that our cards still have a mag stripe on them (just to be compatible with the US system) and a CVV code engraved. The mag stripe is so easy to clone, and the CVV is like having my password ready for an Internet thief. It is not true that we a liable for card fraud if the mag stripe was used in a transaction, even if the card was chip and PIN. We are liable only for chip and PIN transactions or 3D Secure transactions over the Internet. By the way, all the banks I know in Europe require two-factor authentication (hardware tokens) for Internet transactions. Banks in America are so used to push the fraud costs to merchants and insurance companies, that’s why you think it costs nothing to you. But this does not mean that you are not exposed to fraud.

USAA Bank offers “Chip & PIN” on MasterCard but not VISA Card. I recently, (Feb 2014) converted my USAA M/C to a chip and pin version. No problem. No annual fee BUT…1% Foreign Transaction charge. Unlike USAA Insurance, whose membership is restricted to military, vets, families, some Federal agencies, anyone can open an account with USAA Bank and apply for credit card. Rewards aren’t great but customer service is outstanding.

WECU, a credit union in Western Washington just announced that EMV chip credit cards will be available later this year, while debit card will be EMV in 2015. Membership is limited to people who live, work, or go to school in Whatcom County.

The Wells Fargo “The Private Bank By Invitation VISA Signature” credit card has these advantages:
1. No annual fee
2. Both a magnetic stripe and a chip. The PIN for this chip arrives later than the credit card. Some transactions are chip + signature, some transactions will prompt you to enter your PIN, like at payment kiosks or the French rail system.
3. Usually Wells Fargo charges a 3% foreign conversion fee. This fee is waived for the Wells Fargo By Invitation VISA Signature credit card.
4. Earn reward points for purchases.
5. A concierge phone number is available for cardholders.

One negative: I see that the back of my Wells Fargo By Invitation Signature credit card has the symbol for Wi-Fi, so this card needs a protective RFID shield.

The need for an RFID shield for near field cards is an urban legend.

Currently on the phone with Wells Fargo to find information about this card – they say they don’t have anything matching the description but it may be something offered by their financial adviser department, so I’m on hold while they’re being asked.

Looks like they do but you’ve got to already have a Wells Fargo card and then have it upgraded. So I’m applying for one and will see what happens after that.

Well this explains something that puzzled me when I was in Finland last year. Everyplace I went I noticed the credit card transactions of my companions (Aussies) required a pin. I had taken cash out at an ATM when I arrived and just paid cash for everything.

Before traveling to Europe last summer, I opened a 2nd Wells Fargo checking account and received their chip + pin Visa debit card. My intent was to limit my exposure and not put my credit cards or primary checking account at risk. (I had already reserved and paid for my flight/hotel reservations online with one of my Rewards credit cards before leaving the US.) I accessed ATM’s for cash advances while in Europe, and paid cash for meals, activities, etc. I had 2 of my other cards for backup, but encountered no problems. Also, the foreign transaction fees were under 3%.

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa – chip and pin. No fee.

I just got off the phone with AAA to get a card for a future trip to Italy.

I asked the person, and they said theirs COMES as a Chip + Signature, but that you can then request a PIN for the chip. I pressed him further to verify that this was NOT an ATM PIN, and said “YES, the ATM access is a separate PIN”.

So, he was saying the right things….does anyone know differently?

I just got the Marriott Premier card because my daughter is spending the semester in London. I’ve made several phone calls and also gone into my local Chase branch and spoken by phone with the higher ups at their credit card division.

I was told that it is only chip and signature (even though they sold it to me as a chip and pin) and that “chip and pin technology is not yet available anywhere in the U.S. from any institution.”

They said that the chip will allow the card to work in some foreign machine purchases (say, in the subway station) without signing by pressing “cancel” when prompted for the pin. However, this is a try and hope for the best scenario. It might or might not work she said. The Chase woman said to use the card abroad but make sure to have alternative forms of payment.

I used my Chip card in Paris subway, dint have pin it was, the Citi Hilton reserve card. Some subway station only takes chip cards. I put the Chip + signature card and it printed the tickets. But I was not able to use the card in Madird station without PIN

I have had a chip and signature card for around 2 years. We spend about 3 months each year riding around Europe on motorcycles . I have a chase and a B of A card. Both will work a manned business. If the business is unmanned the card will either work or be denied it doesn’t ask for a pin.
the people at the banks don’t understand the difference between a pin and signature card. We just rec’d new B of A cards and were told they would be new card with chip and pin. They were signature cards. We called B of A and they said they would send us a new card with a pin. Talking with them makes me think that the new card will only be a chip and pin at an ATM machine. The signature card does work some times at gas stations, toll booths, train tickets, subways and hotels,(yes many hotel are unmanned). There’s nothing like needing gas on Sunday when most stations are closed.


BUT there is a 2% international transaction fee. I was not offered a PIN for the chip. Perhaps if I call back…

I too am frustrated that when I go to Europe many merchants no longer have machines that read swipe cards. I was able recently to convert my Mastercard to a chip card and was told my PIN would be send by mail later. I received the PIN but when I called to ask about it, I was told that the PIN is only for ATM withdrawals. It will not work for purchases. Are there really any true chip and pin cards here in the US. BTW, Canada also has chip & pin now. Why are we so far behind?

The pin is for cash access, not for credit card transactions of the chip and pin type.

i have called all the banks listed above. the andrews fcu is the only one that offers a chip and pin card. the rest only offer chip and signature cards. as one of their representatives told me when i asked about the pin vs signature – you just have to find an attendant to sign for your purchase, not likely at an unattended vendor.

Mr. Ferkins I had an Andrews “chip and pin” card. While in Europe, even with chip and pin readers, it always functioned as chip and signature. Consequently, upon my return to the US, I cancelled the card. On my next trip, I will *require* a true chip and pin card because of unmanned gas stations. Have no idea how I’m going to find one. Good luck.

The AFCU card worked perfectly as a Pin & Chip card in Sweden, Denmark, and Germany in places like Gas stations, restauarants, parking garages and many other place. No problem at all.

Gas for Europeans is more valuable than gold. One would give up a testicle in exchange of a free fill up so IMHO the true test is this: WILL THE CARD work at unmanned gas pumps? That’s the true verification whether its chip+PIN or not

Did you get your question answered? I was in Uk December 2013 and found that my ‘signature US Credit Card’ was not accepted at major stores. In 2012 I had no problem with it. What a difference a year makes. This year I will be hiring a car and need a ‘no hassle’ Chip and Pin card that I can use at an unmanned gas station…..? Think I’m going with the Andrews C & P because I read somewhere that the EMV Signature card may not be accepted, either..they need a PIN. I’ll be in the suburbs where the hired help go into a panic if the card is even slightly different than what they’re used to. Thanks for bringing this up. BTW, I’m only going to the UK. Thanks for bringing this up.

Great article. After reading it I only have one question

Chip and PIN Credit Cards In The USA For 2014?

who offers chip cards in the USA?

Just adore their service and they saved me time.
it consulting.

We just emailed Cyberooth Tech and they fixed it.

A US Bank FlexPerk card IS NOT chip and pin, it is chip and signature, a major difference. Speaking from experience, the FlexPerk card does not work in European chip-and-pin readers, has a magnetic stripe AND RFID chip to work in US and legacy readers, and is much less secure than a standard magnetic stripe card due to the RFID chip. I have one, but never use it.

The computer chips in credit cards are NOT RFID, they do not emit anything. The chip has to be in actual physical contact with the credit card reader to be read.
Also most “chip and signature cards” as issued by US banks will not work in any automated point of sale, like gas pumps, train ticket kiosks, London Underground ticket machines, etc.

fyi, i just received my updated US Bank FlexPerks card. It now has both the Chip and a Pin. I can go online and change the pin. I called the customer service line and they said it works in europes chip and pin readers. Anyone used the FlexPerks WITH the Pin?

I contacted US Bank and was informed they do not have any cards with chips.

US Bank does offer a few cards with emv chips – see recent blog post:

Used my USAA chip and PIN Mastercard all over Spain, it worked well and I had no problems with it. In Puerto Rico most grocery stores also have this technology and accept the pin without the need to sign the slip
Thanks USAA still the best bank around

Tracy Reasoner

I just contacted USAA and they said they do not offer pin and chip! Very strange!

Tracy, it’s not that USAA does not offer the chip and PIN, but that they temporarily stopped offering them. Apparently, USAA had an overwhelming number of USAA members ask for them following the Target data breach incident. From what I have been told by USAA, they plan to offer chip and PIN once again starting in the middle of March, 2014. Stay tuned!

These are all sad commentaries on the DISability of the US to be cutting edge at protecting people’s accounts. Hope the health care people aren’t working on it!

birdmom: the chip/pin cards are extra money and the teatards are against them. the ceo’s don’t want them either. They are there to make money not give good service. the usa is just for big business making more and more money from the 99%.

For true chip and pin for overseas, the best answer for me after months of investigation was the Commerce Bank visa signature card. You have to request chip and pin and you have to set up your pin over the phone after the card arrives. In France it worked perfectly at all unmanned kiosks; it did revert to signature at restaurants and the like which was fine but mildly annoying to me.

Unfortunately, according to Commerce website, you have to visit a Commerce Bank branch to obtain a new chip & pin Visa card. The bank’s region is limited: Illinois, Missouri,Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado. Since I live outside this region, I made a phone call to their products department and was told they don’t usually issue cards to anyone residing outside their footprint, but maybe would, if household income was at least $150,000. Very strange. I could try to apply, but might be rejected.

The United Nations Federal Credit Union just opened up membership to anyone who joins the United Nations Association ($25 fee). This is the only true Chip and PIN card that has open membership right now. USAA is also true Chip and PIN but has restricted membership.

I believe the United Nations Fed Credit Union VISA Elite Credit Card has an annual fee of $50, in addition to the UN Assoc fee. Does anyone know their foreign exchange fee?

the elite does have that fee, yes. Tha azure has NO such fee and frankly if all you’re looking for is a chip and pin, without frills, just get the azure. the fee imposed by VISA for transactions is 1% to 3%.

Victor Poleshuck

Read the below posts. I am still waiting for a response from Andrews FCU. I email them every 3-4 weeks and get a “we’re still working on it” response. I’ve used the AFCU card in Canada and Costa Rica recently, and it worked as a chip-and-sign card, but I didn’t need it to work as chip-and-pin as there was always someone there. Others in the same location with chips on their cards, however, were using them as chip-and-pin. I’ve asked Andrews FCU to change the priority on the card to chip-and-pin and still have no response.

What a promotional high this would be for the financial places. I would change to a place where they had chips/pin on their cars.

Victor, What is the latest news on Andrews priority for chip-and-pin? Planning on trip to Norway and apparently going to need this.

Our Marriott card worked in Ireland and Scotland with signature. Merchants were amused.
Had to cancel it when someone in West Vir. used after we got back to US. Agree with comment that it’s sad that companies would rather eat charges than provide a safe card. We’re hoping for chip & pin before next trip overseas but not holding our breath.

Prior to an upcoming European trip, I just tried to find out if my AT&T MasterCard via Citi was chip-pin or chip-signature. Bottom line (30 min. on the phone with ‘India’ and finally US) I was told there is no PIN, so it’s chip-signature.
We’ve had problems in the past since we did not have chip-pin (ref. Carl on July 15, 2013) and, hence, needed cash. To the service reps on my call, I described trying to use a card when there is no person who could compare signatures (on the card & on a receipt). The people at Citi simply could not comprehend the scenario I was describing.
Perhaps US CC issuers (banks and/or the issuers like Visa and MC) feel it’s less costly to ‘eat/absorb’ fraudulent charges than implement chip-pin.

Perhaps next decade …

When I got my Citi world w/chip card they also sent a PIN. I thus assumed it was chip+PIN but whenever I’d go to use it in Europe after inserting it’d immediately print out a receipt for signature. The vendor would either immediately start searching for a pen or just look confused and throw it away.

One time in Sweden though I was using the card to reload money on my transit card at a self service terminal and it asked for a PIN. I didn’t recall the PIN so just tried 1234 thinking it might not be necessary if chip+signature but it wasn’t accepted. I then looked up the PIN which luckily I had saved in my phone and it worked. Go figure. Guess it’s chip+sign but PIN when self service?

FWIW I once read besides the cost of new hardware and cards one of the big reasons that chip+pin wasn’t being pushed in the US is for consumer protection. With signature purchases the consumer isn’t typically liable for fraudulent charges, however, with a PIN they likely would be as the chip ensures the card is legit and they should protect their PIN so the card is useless if lost (outside from if it also has a mag strip).

regarding the State Department Chip and Pin card use in Italy: The card is actually a signature first, PIN second. I found this out once I arrived in Italy. The SDFCU has no way to change the priority right now, so it’s basically a chip and signature card.It has always worked fine at any machine where there is a person directing the transaction. It prints out a slip and I sign it. No problem. It has also worked fine at ticket machines in train stations (doesn’t ask for a PIN or a signature). But it has not yet worked in an unattended gas station, which is really quite annoying because finding an attended gas station is difficult (and I’m not even sure that would work all of the time). Don’t expect these cards to work everywhere because they are not set up correctly to use the PIN. This is only my experience in Italy. I’m pretty pissed that they claimed this is true chip and pin and even sent me a pin, but it is really chip and signature.

I understand now what I just got. Thank you. A Chip and Pin Card from SDFCU which gives priority to your signature. Also, if I understand you correctly, the pin worked sometimes like at ticket machines and at other times it did not work like at unattended gas stations.

So the pin is a true pin and not just a pin for ATM withdrawals. Is that fair to say?

I got the Chip and Pin from SDFCU last year, used it with the PIN in both London and Germany and was never asked for a signature, just the PIN. Perhaps Italy is using some different technology.

“It has also worked fine at ticket machines in train stations (doesn’t ask for a PIN or a signature).”

Well that’s really convenient if you wish to lend your card out to someone.

Even a perfect stranger.

Chase’s chip and PIN works, but only as a cash advance and not as a credit card. Be careful when you use it!

There is no mention of the Hyatt Chip and Signature Visa Card. Very similar to the Marriot card as far as rewards, but $75/year……I’ve had it for a little over the year, it’s chip and signature.
I hate the Andrews card, very iffy as to be able to use in England kiosks and a real pain to apply for.

Hi Stephen. I just read the post. I wanted to know if this card actually worked as a chip & pin in all circumstances. I’m a travel blogger planning a trip to Scotland for 2014. thankx.

If you deposit $100,000 plus at HSBC US you can open a Premier account. Once done you can contact HSBC UK or other overseas unit and open checking and credit card accounts and get pin and chip cards. You can transfer money from the US to the UK accounts. Also when using the ATM cards you won’t pay any service fees to HSBC. There are no international transaction fees. It worked great for me traveling for an 18 month vacation. Also no fees for transferring money to and from other US banks. Mt $100,000 was parked there in an IRA. Set up auto payments on the US account credit card. The UK people are great to work with but the US account. managers were pretty useless. OK for basic stuff. One more thing, use Capital One Signature card or comparable Chase card for almost everything. Better points. Last comment, HSBC web site is 3rd rate compared to almost ever other credit card site I’ve ever seen.

Victor Poleshuck

I sent the following letter to Andrews FCU today:

I have recently obtained your Globe Trek Visa Card because of the need I have to use a chip and pin card in Europe. An acquaintance did also, and just came back from Europe where the card only worked as a signature card. It would not work in kiosks or gas stations as a chip and pin card. On complaint to you, his reply from Tonia Vines stated that Visa has recommended that the card have chip and sign as first priority and chip and pin as secondary priority. Yet if that’s true, chip and pin did not work when he needed it to.

Are you able to change the priority on the card to chip and pin and have chip and sign (or swipe and sign) as secondary? If not, the card is worthless to me and all the hassle I went through to get the card (including the time on the phone to your people and the cost to you of issuing the card) was for naught.

PLEASE tell me that you are able to change the priority on the card to chip and pin and ignore the “recommendation” from Visa. I have four overseas trips planned in the next few months and really need a chip and pin card.

Mr. Poleshuck,

I also went through considerable hassle to get a Globe Trek Visa Card for my recent trip to Switzerland. While I was able to use my card in chip readers, I was never, not one single time, prompted to enter my PIN. It was always signature even though I saw people ahead of me in line entering a PIN when they used the reader. So much for the “extra security” of the PIN card. On my next trip, I will need a card that works at gas stations and kiosks, so I promptly cancelled my Globe Trek card as soon as I returned home. Wish I had better news for you. I’m starting over in my search for a *true* chip and PIN card

AMEX Chip and Signature

Here’s an update on AMEX. I have a regular AMEX green CORPORATE credit card. I just called the number on the back and they sent me an new credit card (same number) with a smart chip. It’s Chip and Signature, not Chip and Pin. But you don’t need to have AMEX Platinum. Corporate cards are also allowed.

Victor Poleshuck

Chip and pin card from Andrews FCU has arrived after an amazing hassle (see prior post), and it works here in the USA as a swipe card–have used it twice. I’ll be going to Canada in the near future and will try it there as a chip and pin card.

Opened account at Andrews. There are only 3 issuers of true Chip&PIN that have actual branches, and they are all in the Washington, DC area, lucky for me, coincidentally that’s where I live. They are:

– Andrews Air Force Base FCU
– State Department FCU
– Pentagon FCU

I chose Andrews because they had retail branches in Brussels and Amsterdam, both of which I was visiting shortly after I opened my account.

Andrews is very ‘mom and pop’ and the help at the DC location, in South East (not so great area), is nice, but little bit ghetto, and not very well informed. The tax returns for a wimpy credit line card are a bit excessive, and they just went through a major systems upgrade so many customers may have problems signing in; I plan to go to that branch this weekend and get everything sorted. I’m literally writing checks and putting stamps on envelopes. Ancient!

The card itself, worked most of the time but seemed to bomb out at a public transport kiosk in Brussels. It might have been a mistyped PIN but I don’t think so. Now, if this card doesn’t work in Europe, I just throw my hands up.

Having said that, I still think Andrews is the best Chip&PIN option out there now.

Edited to add, it does seem USAA does have a very few Financial Service Centers. They also have forex fees, which Andrews does not have.

Just received a call that my Andrews Federal Credit Union chip and pin card is on its way to me. This was a total hassle! We have had a freeze with the three credit reporting agencies since an attempt at ID theft a number of years ago (it’s good to have!). The credit card application at Andrews FCU is completely separate from application for membership at the credit union, and one uses Experian (membership) while the credit card application checks Equifax. I had to undo the freeze at both places, submit a large number of documents, and then, the final step today, after everything was approved, was to electronically sign two documents more online. Really a hassle, but now I’ll have a chip and pin card. We almost had a disaster in France this spring when we were almost out of gas on a holiday and there were no attended gas stations. Fortunately a kind motorcyclist allowed me to give him cash and he put gas in our car with his chip and pin card. No future worries now, but it was a major hassle!

Just goy off the phone with American Express and I was able to order the pin and signature card. I have a Gold Rewards account but definitely not the Platinum Card.

The Bank of America Travel Rewards card is chip and signature. I have a PIN assigned to mine and it only works for cash withdrawal at an ATM. I know because I have had it rejected at train stations (both kiosks and customer service desks) and restaurants in Europe before a few calls with B of A customer service to finally confirm that it is chip and signature. They do not offer a consumer card with the true chip and pin technology you will need for travel in Europe.

This works fine when you’re you’re dealing with a person but gets rejected at all the kiosks I tried – toll booths, gas stations, parking garages & ticket machines.

I had a trip to Ireland planned for the end of May. I was at my wits end trying to obtain a chip & pin card. Since I was well aware that my banks issued debit card would not be accepted everywhere. Having credit problems in the past I did not have a credit card to use. I did research online & found 2 ways to obtain a chip & pin card. Both were credit unions. I couldn’t apply at one since you had to be a federal employee. The 2nd was Andrews Federal Credit Union. I had to open a savings acct, and apply for a secured credit card. My credit limit was the amount with which I opened the savings account with. I did receive the card in time for my trip. The card was accepted every where I presented it in Ireland. Though I wasn’t issued a pin number, I consistently was asked for a signature. This card saved me from carrying large amounts of cash, or having to resort to traveler’s checks. Or using my Harris debit card constantly in ATMs, and the exchange fees etc. I would recommend this to someone who is not a frequent international traveler, and more than likely also issue non secured credit cards for people without bad credit histories.

We just got back from 2 weeks in Ireland. They are used to US travelers not having the Pin and Chip. We had no problem with our non Pin and Chip Visa and used it for almost all purchases.(we always had enough cash on hand in case the card was refused) We also used it at atm machines without problems, and at least with our credit union it was cheaper than the ICE, International Currency Exchange locations.

I was recently in the Netherlands and France with both a USAA Chip and Pin card and a Chase Marriott Chip and Signature Card.

The Chase Marriott Card worked fine at restaurants in France and at hotels and manned gas pumps. Almost all restaurant waiters carry handheld readers that work for chip cards but probably not for magnetic stripe cards. The readers print out receipts for you to sign.

At automated gas pumps, the Chase Marriott card did not work, of course, since it has no Pin. As for the USAA Card, I could not get it to work at an automated pump in France. However, I was able to get it to work at an automated gas pump in the Netherlands, where it accepted my PIN. It did not, however, work at the main supermarket chain (Albert Heijn) which has several of its checkout lanes now designated for Chip and Pin only.

It seems that some chip cards work in such a way that you have to “put money on your chip.” There are machines that you use to transfer money from your account to the chip, and then that money can be used – it doesn’t draw directly from your account in other words. Another complication.

Bottom line is that travel in Europe has lots of money-related complications these days that didn’t exist a mere decade or so ago, when you could still pay everything in cash.

In the Netherlands you may have encounter ChipKnip which is a NL only pre-paid debit card. It is not a Visa or MasterCard card. This is something rather unique to the NL.

I have a JP Morgan Signature VISA from Chase. When I got it, the Chase rep told me it was chip and PIN, but with a blank PIN (ie she said to just press enter when prompted for the PIN), but it’s in fact chip and signature. On a trip last month it worked in a Paris Metro machine, but did not work on French autoroute toll booths. Funny side note – I just called Chase to ask if they planned to provide chip and PIN in the future, and was told that “everyone is moving towards chip and signature”. I also called AmEx and was assured that the Platinum is chip and signature, with no plans to roll out chip and PIN. No one was able to tell me why it’s preferable to them to provide chip and signature instead of chip and PIN.

Just returned from Sweden where chip & PIN is a must. After reading this thread before my trip, found a true chip & PIN from USAA. (called all my existing card companies first.) Tried to use my AmEx first everywhere – but only at the airport was it successful. Gas stations (no attendants!) & train kiosks are only, only chip & pin — ran into many Americans in dire straights because their chip & signature cards didn’t work. My advice, don’t go to Sweden without one, or plan to use paper money everywhere.

I spend many months each year in Sweden; you are right that any credit card purchases required chip and pin. However, if you have an ATM card you can almost always swipe that and use your ATM pin. The only problem I have found is that some unmanned gas stations will limit the amount you can pay to around 500 SEK. But you can just use the ATM card and enter the PIN again to fill up more.

My partner and I just returned from Iceland and the Faroe Islands. In Iceland, we had no problem with a conventional Capital One credit card with signature. In the Faroes however, most places required a chip card or a PIN with your signature card which, since we didn’t know our PIN, restricted the card’s use to merchants who knew a work-around (many stores didn’t). We were also told, although not verified by us, that Norway and some other countries now require chipped cards.

Anyone know if you can simply buy a prepaid chip and PIN prepaid Visa or MC upon arrival in a country where this technology is the norm? I travel internationally only once or twice a year and really want a card with this technology but no interest in having another credit card.

Travelex has discontinued their “Cash Passport” as of Feb 2013 (was a prepaid chip and pin card, and one could load or unload the balance to cash without fee).

Huh. I think they may have discontinued SOME of the cards. I just bought a multi-currency card today. It looks like it will be the perfect solution for me, as an occasional international traveller.

Take my word for it, chip and signature cards are worthless in France. I have one and they don’t work at unattended gas stations and tollgates, which are becoming the norm there.

Absolutely true. And the signature kind of card is rarely acceptable in the UK. My new Bank of America cards came today with “chip ‘n pin” technology. At last!

I just called Bank of America and was told they are Chip and Signature only. Are you sure the PIN is for purchases and not for cash advance?

I just talked to BofA today and they do not offer Chip and Pin as of today. I think you may be confusing the ATM pin with the chip pin.

So true! Signature is worthless in france. Chip/PIN required for tolls, gas stations (unattended, which is a lot) and restaurants and gas stations.

Does anyone know what is so special about the US adopting PIN?

They talk about the “expense” of it all.
… as the banking industry racks up multiple billions
a year in profits. Naaaa…they’re just lazy.

They do nothing they are not federally mandated to do.
They are not there for you.
They are not there to provide security.
They are there to do the minimum as required by law.
They are there to take your money.

Tim Templeton

I just called Wells Fargo to follow up with their pilot chip card announcement from last year, and the rep said they were not continuing to offer the card since it was, in the rep’s words, a security risk. I called Citi AAdvantage and they immediately said they’d send me a chip card. There might be some pre-qualification criteria – she had to look at my account to see if I qualified. I’m a long time customer and have spent a significant amount with them. I asked if it was chip and PIN or chip and signature, and the rep said the PIN was built in and I didn’t have to do anything. Not sure if she understood but when I get the card I’ll see if there’s a PIN selection process. Hopefully it was that easy.

Hmmm. I recently asked Citi to replace my existing card with the chipped version. Rep told me when I ordered that it’s signature, not pin. I still ordered it, figuring it was better than non-chipped card.

you are correct same with me, only signature.

The Citi AAdvantage Executive card (I have one) has a chip, but is signature and not PIN. I am currently on extended travel in Europe. Curiously enough, I have found some kiosks at Italian train stations would not take my CITI chip and signature card, but would take my American Express mag stripe card! Others would take neither. Go figure!

In trying to do my part to push this issue along, I make it a point of writing CITI Card via email once every three months asking when they will get a true chip and PIN. If we relentlessly make our points directly to the card issuers, maybe they will hustle this issue out the door.

As soon as I return, I will be applying for either the Andrews FCU or Pentagon FCU cards and solve the problem for the near term. But I really don’t want another card to carry!

Re: the Wells Fargo VISA Signature, By Invitation credit card. It has a chip and the PIN for that chip comes later (by USPS or FedEx) and cannot be changed. That PIN can be used in a credit card purchase OR an ATM machine, but the ATM use incurs massive interest charges (since it’s a LOAN). So, for international travel, these are the advantages of the Wells Fargo VISA Signature, By Invitation credit card: no annual fee, the usual Wells Fargo 3% foreign conversion rate is WAIVED for “By Invitation VISA Signature card holders :-) ,purchases earn reward points, and a concierge phone number is available to cardholders. WIN, WIN, WIN!

I have the Wells Fargo VISA Signature, By Invitation credit card and currently traveling through Europe (Germany, England, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal). Sadly does not work and a true chip/pin. ATM only.

The Chase Marriott Rewards Chip and Signature card did not work for me in Europe. Not only did the chip not work, but its presence prevented the magnetic stripe from being read when merchants tried to swipe it. The only way I got it to work was to have the merchant manually enter the card number into the reader keypad.

This was not an isolated case. Among the places where the Chase Marriott Rewards visa failed me were the Paris metro ticket machines, the Louvre museum, two restaurants in Paris, a restaurant in Munich, the London Paddington Station ticket machines, a sushi restaurant near that station, and a couple of other places I forget.

The worst part is the ticket machines. I was able to use my local credit union ATM card’s “Visa check card” functionality to have it work like a plain old (mag stripe) visa, but the fancy chip and signature card from Chase wasn’t worth a damn. And there’s no way to make a machine enter your account number by hand.

To me, Chip and Signature is a half measure at best. It holds no consumer benefit. Hold out for chip and pin.

I checked with American Express recently (2/10/13) and according to Platinum Card Customer Service only a Chip and Signature card is available. Amex isn’t currently issuing a Chip and PIN version.

The only two true “chip and PIN” cards (that are NOT “chip and signature”) that I know of in the USA are from:

Andrews Federal Credit Union (Globe Trekker Visa) — at the time of this writing no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. You also have to be a member (which I believe any US citizen can, if you open a checking account with a $100 deposit).

Commerce Bank (Visa Signature Card) — at the time of this writing has a $29 annual fee and foreign transaction fees.

Neither have great rewards programs, but if you need a true “chip and PIN” card in your wallet to cover you at un-manned train ticket kiosks, these will work. I keep my Andrews CU card as a back-up in those cases.

Just returned from our second trip to Europe with the Andrews card – and it has NOT worked as a chip card. Works fine w/ the magnetic strip. AFCU just told me it is not intended to be used at unattended gas stations. It doesn’t work if the credit card machines are offline. Duh! So, what else do I need it for? My magnetic strip card works fine wherever there’s a human to interact with. Guess I’ll wait to see if Capitol One begins to offer one soon. No need to use a card I don’t get perks with – and that won’t work where/when I really need it.

I have a chip and signature from Marriott.

The State of Texas issues food stamps / WIC benefits with a true chip & pin card – No magnetic strip. When the beneficiary receives a card, they chose a pin and then it is imprinted on the chip with a special chip reader machine.

Could I take my chip and signature card to the welfare office and imprint a pin onto the chip, thus allowing it to work at the automated kiosks in Europe?

Would this work to turn my card into a chip and pin AND chip and signature card? Or would this just break my chip?

William McLeese

Jane – I doubt that what you are describing would work in Europe unless it is a name brand credit card, like Visa or MasterCard. You never know for sure until you try it, but I would investigate some of the options mentioned below, such as USAA Bank.

By the way, you should avoid using a credit card to take out cash from an ATM in Europe, as this will result in a rather stiff cash advance fee. Better to use a debit card for this purpose. At least for now, it seems that most ATM machines in Europe still accept magnetic strip cards.

Stephen M. Cobaugh

Pentagon Federal Credit Union in Alexandria, VA, offers several credit cards with either chip & PIN or chip & signature. Their particular niche is DOD and military service members, however, you can join one of two defense organizations (one is $15, the other is $20) to make you eligible as a civilian. Their Promise Visa has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, no balance transfer fee, no cash advance fee, no late fee, no over credit limit fee and no penalty APR. As a condition of membership, you must deposit $5 to become a share holder. I just got the card. The process was no hassle and I’m looking forward to using this card on travel to Europe this summer.

Great information! How long did it take to receive it?

Contact them TODAY and ask if the card has Signature over PIN priority. See below what that means…..

Thank you. I joined today. It was easy and fast. My credit card is on its way.

Richard Feinberg

Dear Stephen,

Thanks for the detailed information on the Pentagon Federal Credit Union credit card. I am working on getting one today.


Richard Feinberg

I got a denial letter from PenFed since I refused to send them my last two years of IRS returns or pay stubs. They said they would not lend money without these documents. I was not asking for a loan. Only a credit card. My FICA score is near 800 out of 850 with no payments due anybody. Weird company.

Hi Richard:

I may be facing the same dilemma at the State Department Federal Credit Union.
My credit scores are also high. May I ask what you did? Did you try another credit union? Did you splurge for an Amex Platinum Card? I’d very much appreciate your thoughts. Thanks, bob

Richard Feinberg

I gave up trying to get a Chip and Pin card, then to my surprise my new National Education Association card issued by Bank of America came in with a chip. I already had a pin number with them and that transferred over also.

Finally I can buy train tickets in Europe without standing in line.

Archibald Garfield LaMonte, IV

Well, you really were asking for a loan. A card that allows you to borrow money and pay it back over time is a loan. if they required 2 years’ tax returns, I would guess you are self-employed or for some other reason your income is not documented by an employer on W-2s.

Priscilla. Ennis

Hi Stephen. I just read your post about the chip & pin card that you acquired for your summer trip to Europe. I am very interested in finding out if this card actually worked as a chip & pin in all circumstances.
I am planning a trip to Italy for September 2014.

USAA Bank has a true chip and pin mastercard with reward points. 3% cash advance fee, 1% foreign transaction fee, no annual fee. They send a regular card, then call and order w/ chip and pin.

As an airline crewmember I travel to Europe regularly. It’s been a couple of years since I could use my signature based cards there. I have Been requesting from my CC companies to issue Chip & Pin cards for as long.

Just spoke to USAA representative today and they now have “Chip & Pin” cards available. I did not need to change my CC account nor are there any fees. They will send the cards and pin info in different mailings.

thank you. I love USAA, the best company ever. I’m so glad to know this information before my month in Paris.

William McLeese

I honestly don’t see the point of chip and signature. The main reason you need a chip and pin card is that so much in Europe is now fully automated. That means there is nobody there to accept a signature. If there is a cashier there, you can normally use your regular magnetic strip card.

I was on a driving trip in southern France last year, and it was an enormous hassle not to have a pin and chip card. Fewer than half of the gas stations had a cashier in attendance. Years ago, the automated gas stations had machines that accepted paper money. Not any more – its chip and pin or no gas. I was really worried about running out at one point.

You also need chip and pin for parking meters in many cities (Amsterdam, for example), for public telephones, and often now for public transportation.

Does anyone know why the US issuers are only offering the useless “Chip and Signature” instead of what travelers really need, i.e. chip and pin?

It is because any credit card transaction that goes through under a signature network, verses a pin network, garners the credit card company a higher transaction fee. Its all about the money they will collect from the merchant and hence you indirectly.

Beware of SDFCU, bunch of idiots in their credit department. Took over a month of back/forth after providing them with everything including W2s with income well over 100K and credit report over 814 and zero debt. It took them a month to tell me they rejected the application. It is true they reject for no reason, just a warning to fellow travelers to stay away and don’t jump through their hoops.

Hold on…..maybe you are lucky. I got one, took it to Europe to find out that “Signature has priority over PIN”, what does that mean ? It means every frickin use of the card requires a signature AND that means people in line behind you get mad, the shopkeep doesn’t have a pen, doesn’t know how to proceed….sometimes after swiping the card, gives up and requires cash. That instance meant I paid TWICE for an item. So I go to France, try to pay a toll, buy gas and several instances where chip/pin is the ONLY option. It didn’t work. Rejected. The card is useless and the back and forth you mention to obtain it, same here. Worse than getting a mortgage. so listen up people, FORGET SDFCU cards and MAKE SURE YOUR CARD DOESN’T HAVE SIGNATURE OVER PIN PRIORITY.

I am almost through the SDFCU application. I’m ready to bag it based on your email. Where do I go from here? Help appreciated. bob

Just tried to apply for the DinersClub chip&pin — found out they’ve been taken over by Bank of Montreal and all credit card apps are ‘on hold’.

Even the ticket machines in Paris metro will take the chase card with the chip, just put the card in and leave it till it says remove. No pin needed.

This was not my experience. My Marriott (Chase) card would not work anywhere in France.

just received my andrews federal credit union globe trek visa. I had called hilton honors and capital one but they were chip and signature. this is a true chip and pin card it cost 5$ to join the credit union but no annual fees or foreign transaction fee. the process was cumbersome and took some time but at least we have a card that will work. leave for italy next week, if it doesn’t work as expected i will post a comment

How did the Andrews Credit Union chip+pin card work in Italy? I travel to Amsterdam every week and need a chip+pin card that will work in their country. I read about this Global Trek card and have applied. I would like to know how well it worked for you in Italy. Thanks, Bronko

I just went through the same process with Andrews. Yes, it was slow and cumbersome, but I have he chip/PIN Visa in hand. My PIN arrived a few days later, and they assign it. Not your choice. Will be using the card in June/July in England.

Ed call them and ask if the card has Signature over PIN priority. See above for what that means.

how did that card work for you in Italy?

so what was the result?

USAA MasterCard now offers chip and PIN, but you must request that type card. No annual fee and 1% foreign currency fee. I received my requested card and PIN a few weeks ago, but have yet to use it.

What about the State Department Federal Credit Union’s card? It is an EMV card, but they are unclear if it’s chip and pin or chip and signature.

The SD FCU card is chip-and-signature, not chip-and-pin as reported elsewhere. I’ve got one and used it several times in the UK and always had to sign. I opened the account solely for this purpose, so now I’ve got to close it.

I hope the US never adopts this technology – it is proven to be at least as vulnerable to fraud as mag stripes.

Chipped cards exist for one reason only – to indemnify the card issuers from fraud claims. Since their adoption in the UK, it has been virtually impossible for any consumer to reclaim fraudulent charges. While Europe has been in the forefront of anti-consumer laws, the US fortunately has legal protections that keep the liability with the card issuers, but the card issuers are putting all their lobbying efforts behind removing these.

Yeah, try saying that after you’ve had your debit card skimmed. Liability on that starts shifting to you if you don’t notice soon enough– first it goes to $50, then it goes up to $500. And even if the bank says “zero liability” they still have the right to hold your money until they sort it out- not an appealing prospect.

Mary LaGrandeur

We bought Travelex cards, believing they were chip and pin, but must tell you they did not work in gas stations in France last year. Very frustrating…

I just received an American Express Platinum with a chip and pin. Hopefully they will be expanding this to their other classes of cards.

Hey John, is it really a Chip and Pin? Or a Chip and Signature? So many kiosks abroad will not take my Amex Plat Chip and Signature! People get the two very confused. A chip and signature to me is no different than the Mag Stripe!

Amex Platinum is chip and signature. I just called Amex to switch from my mag-strip only card because I thought they were offering chip and pin, which, as others have said in these comments, is near-essential in Europe. Amex seems to think people want to use their card only to buy stuff, not for the necessities of daily life, like train travel and highway fees.

The US Amex Platinum is Chip and Signature, not Chip and PIN.

I have a chip-and-pin credit card from State Dept Credit Union which has no forex fees, but it took me forever to get it up and running and I had to get it in a secured version (no annual fee though).

That said, they have good customer service and are open to civilians so long as you join the American Consumer Council (free of charge).

I have a question for you – is it a true chip and pin (e.g., will it work at restaurants, not just for cash advances)? Also, was the long part of the process with the State Dept or the American Consumer Council?

Andrews FCU is listing the following advantages to their GlobeTrek chip and pin Visa card

Every GlobeTrek Visa® Rewards Card comes standard with some amazing benefits, like:

/// No balance transfer fees
/// No annual fees
/// No cash advance fees
/// No International/Foreign Transaction fee
/// 5,000 points with your first purchase

It seems that they have eliminated the forex fee. Quite a bit of “hassle” in their application and approval process compared to other cards…but for a card with no annual fees….I grit my teeth and got the card.

I wanted to get a Hilton Honors card but they said it is a chip and signature

I just applied for the Citi ThankYou Premier Rewards Card. The agent I talked to confirmed that it is a chip and signature card, not chip and pin. At this time, they do not offer any card with chip and pin.

Hi, that’s correct. Please see above, as unfortunately there are no true chip and pins available in the US from any card issuer.

“Please note that technically speaking, all of the US cards available are chip and signature (which is slightly different, since there is no PIN to enter). That being said, these signature-based EMV chips will still work with most international merchants.”

USAA offers a MasterCard with Chip and PIN (NOT signature) technology if you ask them for it

As the other commenter said, USAA offers one. I just received it today and the included documentation does demonstrate that it is PIN not signature.
Have not used yet, however.
Only the World MasterCard, and you must request it after receiving the non-PIN version.

I got an AAA Visa emv card issued by B of A just before going to France and Italy. It’s a chip and signature, which was very helpful. I could use it in the Paris Metro, and many other places, especially in the more remote areas of Le Marche, Italy, didn’t seem equipped to handle swipe cards. However, if you’re out on a Sunday be sure to have cash, because the petrol stations are not manned and the machines take only chip and pin cards.

Chase BA card is Chip & Signature

This article does not include another big reason for lack of chip and pin adoption. Mag strip readers are cheaper to lease and thus the additional cost to upgrade has prevented merchants from upgrading. Visa is trying to change the rules and make the Merchants liable for fraud on magnetic strip reader card transactions.

Now that there is incentive to upgrade to chip and pin, merchants will get the new upgraded hardware.

Thank you for information. I had more than a few anxious moments in Sweden last month. Many gas stations will not take cash and will ONLY take a chip and pin card. That meant driving around in an unfamiliar town, or through miles of un developed countryside – once late at night looking for a gas station that would take cash or my card. Some restaurants and some stores could not accept my magnetic strip card without a pin number and I had to scramble for cash.
So happy to hear that chip and pin is coming to the USA – magnetic strips are not safe – too easily deciphered and cash points (gas stations, money matic machines are easily tampered with). If US banks don’t want to go to the trouble of changing the technology (handheld machines for one for restaurant and store use) then at least issue chip and pin cards for those of us who frequently do travel abroad.

Just found that travelex sells prepaid chip and pin cards.

BA is Chip and Signature :(

I am currently searching for a chip and PIN card and some of my findings seem to be in conflict with yours.

– The Chase Select and Palladium are noted as being Chip and Signature, not Chip and PIN on their website.
– I am unable to tell if the Chase BA or the Chase Hyatt are PIN or Signature cards.
– Bank of America seems to be offering their Chip card (maybe signature or PIN) to individuals at this time.

– The Chase Hyatt is chip and signature, not chip and pin.
– The Bank of America card is chip and signature, not chip and pin.

Does anyone know if there are ATMs in the states that will accept a chip and pin card? I have a foreign exchange student and his card is chip and pin only. No magnetic strip.

US Bank locations seem to work with Travelex–they seem to be into making this whole chip/pin stuff work. I would check with either of them.

That card is not a Visa or MasterCard, then so it won’t work in the US. All Visa and MasterCards have a magnetic stripe. If it’s Chip and PIN only, it’s probably limited to that specific bank’s network.

The United Nations NYC credit union supposed to have chip and pin card but not available to non-employees.

The BA credit card with chip is not a real chip, it does not require a pin to complete the transaction, it is not safer than a regular slide card and is not accepted, by example, in all automatic auto route toll booths or parking booths in France. I speak with experience.

Mike Jacoubowsky

Worst thing about not having a real chip & pin card comes when it’s time to return the rental car, and you have to fill the tank. On a weekend. When the only gas stations open are automated and don’t take anything but a chip & pin card. That has cost me a lot of $$$ more than once.

I just went to request a new card online for my Citi Card and they gave the following option:

Global Chip Card. I would like a Global Chip Card. I understand that this card, and future cards on the account, will also be issued as Global Chip Cards for all users. I’m excited that US Cards are finally starting to issue the cards. I get strange looks overseas when I pay without a chip and pin card. I might as well tape a big target on my back that says “American”.

Unfortunately Capital One does not yet offer the chip and pin. I called them a few months back and the rep didn’t know what I was talking about. I finally got a supervisor who ensured me that everywhere could still process the old magnetic strip, and he didn’t know when or if Capital One would be upgrading the cards. The best benefit of Capital One cards are their now foreign transaction fees. You’d think they’d be focusing on keeping their overseas traveling customers happy.

Citi US offers Chip and Signature only, not Chip and PIN

Bank of America now offers chip and pin on its travel rewards Bankamericard (and possibly others) but it’s not advertised and only available upon request.

This is chip and signature, not PIN.

Al, I just got done doing business with them and they said my Pin was on the way. When it got here It was still for cash advances only. I finally found an agent that said “You can’t get a PIN for your purchases yet just advances.”

What you don’t acknowledge is the transition costs for the US.

Even though we have interstate banking laws to streamline commerce between states there are still state regulatory hurdles get through. Then if you consider all the Point of Sale (registers and kiosks and handheld terminals) which have to be replaced/upgraded, and then all the marketing and re-training for 300 million consumers and sales personnel. Rolling it out to an EU country of 5 million is a much easier task.

Rapid Travel Chai

The Chase cards are all chip-and-signature which is still a problem at automated kiosks (train stations, gas stations, etc), which is the main chip application for travelers.

The Andrews Federal Credit Union GlobeTrek Rewards card is still the only reasonably easy to obtain, true chip-and-pin card available in the US. Unfortunately it has a 1% foreign exchange fee unlike the Chase cards and its rewards program is nothing special, but it works.

As an American Express Platinum card holder, on arrival at CDG last September, I was faced with an impossible situation. Purchasing a train ticket to the Gare du Nord was less than 10€ but exact change or chip and pin credit card was required.

The SNCF ticket office had over 200 people in line attempting to purchase tickets. I had over 100€ in cash but no one, including my airline, Air France business class, customer service or ticketing was willing to change a 20€ note.

Finally, exhausted and angry I took a taxi to the Gare du Nord at a cost of about 60€. After returning home and complaining to American Express I was reimbursed for the taxi fare but no one available in Platinum Card customer service, including a supervisor, had any idea when American Express US would introduce their secure chip and pin credit card.

I am still disgusted with American Express for this, but in January of this year I received my new Diners Club chip and pin card. Why is American Express so far behind Diners Club in card security and acceptability? Guess which card I will use on my next trip to Europe!

Same here France is chip and pin. There is 1 machine at CDG that takes US cards. I even brought back the Air France chip and pin application from the Skyclub and Delta AMEX Reserve couldn’t issue it in the US

As far as Chase, they just said we don’t issue, but it’s not a problem. <= agent hasn't been to France.

That is because Diners Club US and Canadian cards are issued by BMO Harris which is owned by BMO, the former Bank of Montreal. They’re already Chip and PIN ready being ultimately Canadian.