Chip/pin no forex fees CC options

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by Bay Pisco Shark, May 8, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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    It seems like for the programs I have, I'm out of luck. My only no forex fee CC is IHG, and Chase doesn't offer chip for that card. BofA does for my AS card, but there's a forex fee.

    The places I earn points/miles in various degrees are:
    AS
    VX
    UA
    WN
    SPG
    HHonors
    IHG
    Best Western

    A reasonable annual fee (especially if includes a perk) is acceptable. Thoughts?
     
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  2. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    As far as US issuers are concerned we'll just need to be patient. All the ones I know of personally do have Foreign Transactions Fees.
     
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  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Will you accept Chip+sig? If so there are a few more options (e.g. CSP, BA, AmEx Platinum) but I don't think there are any Chip+PIN options from US banks.

    Both of those cards have an annual fee.
     
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  4. Ed Chandler
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    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    PenFed - It's easy to qualify for membership.

    Drop $25 in a money market account and get the "Plus" version of the Platinum Cash Rewards VISA.

    Chip & PIN, no Forex, and 5% back for gas at the pump
     
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  5. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    There's Diner's Club, but they're not accepting new applications, and I doubt they ever will.

    There are some credit unions that have Chip & PIN, but they all have crappy (IMO) fixed-value points rewards programs.
     
  6. Ed Chandler
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    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    5% cash back at the pump is fixed-value, but I wouldn't call it "crappy."
    When I'm in the US, the card sits in my glove box waiting for fill-ups.
    When I'm abroad, it's in my wallet, and only used when Chip & PIN is necessary.
    For all other transactions I use a "normal" card with no Forex and better rewards.
     
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  7. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    For foreign spending I place more value on low forex fees than on getting the most points (e.g. not using a Starwood Amex even at foreign Starwood properties), which means I would consider cards from outside my usual set of programs. Here are some ideas for you:
    • Chase Sapphire Preferred: ultimate rewards points transfer to UA or IHG (though why bother?) and to some other useful places, like BA Avios. Add the Chase Freedom card to enhance UR earnings domestically.
    • Hyatt Visa: I think the points are valuable in their own right, and the free annual hotel night softens the blow of the annual fee.
    • FIA Fidelity Amex: removed this suggestion since it has a 1% forex fee and no chip. Furthermore, it's issued by FIA, so customer support is sub-par.
    I find that a rarely need a chip card, which could mean that a non-chip no-forex card will solve 95% of the problem, and a no-rewards, no-fee chip card (like the credit union ATM cards mentioned) could cover the other 5%.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
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  8. Ed Chandler
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    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    That's EXACTLY what I was trying to say, but didn't express well.

    Clarification: Those aren't ATM cards. They're credit cards. If you want a good ATM card for foreign use, look no further than Schwab.
     
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  9. Muerl
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    Muerl Gold Member

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    I have thought a lot about picking one of those up just for that reason. Gas and automated kiosks abroad.

    My Pin & Sign CSP (and to a lesser extent HHonors Reserve) worked fine for 99% of my purchases in AU/NZ which was my most recent overseas trip.

    I seem to recall people recommending Andrews Federal Credit Union Visa as well.
     
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  10. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    Especially for Muerl, since he's Boston-based: Service Credit Union (primarily in NH, one branch in Falmouth MA, several branches on US military bases in Germany) will issue a chip-and-pin debit card and they rebate the 1% Visa ISA fee on both the chip card and their conventional debit card.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
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  11. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    If I can't transfer the points earned to FF miles on a 1:1 basis, it's crappy IMO.
     
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  12. Muerl
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    Muerl Gold Member

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    But if you're using it in limited situations, will it really matter? Or are you looking for a single card to use while traveling? I too wish the CSP was PIN&Chip.

    My solution so far has been a Fee Rebating and FXFree Debit card to have ~$50 in local currency to cover situations where my CSP doesn't work.
     
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  13. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    You can buy points galore at better than 1:1 when you've a 5% rebate cash to work with.
     
  14. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Yes, since I don't spend a great deal of money generally.

    No, I'm looking for cards that will earn me miles/points I can redeem for an international F/J ticket. On a cash back card, you'd have to spend a ridiculous amount of money to earn enough points to redeem for one of those. http://milepoint.com/forums/posts/2344128/
     
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  15. Ed Chandler
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    Ed Chandler Silver Member

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    Okay, I get your point, ... really I do. But if you absolutely have to have points you can take your 5% cash back over to AA.com (for example) where you can buy miles all day long at 2.3¢ each -- maybe less if there's a promo. That makes your 5% cash back card effectively a "2.2x" AA card. (Which is better than AA's own cards, even when spending on AA!)

    ... or take it over to United and it's a "1.33x" United card.
    ... etc.

    If you're willing to use points to "buy" a ticket instead of using money, why wouldn't you be willing to use money to buy the points? (I'm not disparaging your way of thinking - I just think you're undervaluing ours.)
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  16. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Good points. Factually, a good cash-back almost always trumps pure points. IMHO, the only exception might be when the points card has specific not-directly-financial benefits such as Medallion Qualification Miles with delta Reserve and/or lounge access, baggage entitlements or priority boarding/seat assignment.
     
  17. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    USAA also offers a true cash-back Chip &PIN Mastercard - but alas, it charges forex fees, so the PenFed card is better if you can qualify for it.
     
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  18. Fishing4Deals

    Fishing4Deals Silver Member

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    The New Barclaycard Arrival Plus?
     
  19. Muerl
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    Muerl Gold Member

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    One of the blogs mentioned this, but for the life of me I couldn't find which one, and there seems to be nothing on the offical site about it being pin & chip, so I would assume its just Chip&Sign.

    Okay Apparently my Morning Google Foo is better than my midnight google foo. @mommypoints says it is pin and chip. Not sure if its Just the Plus card or also the NAF card.

    http://boardingarea.com/mommypoints...chip-and-pin-capability/#sthash.D97H8TeU.dpbs
     
  20. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    Millions of Milecard Sign-ups (MMS) says it is C&S "with the option to default to Chip & Pin to process a transaction in case Chip & Signature doesn’t work"
     
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  21. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    That's got to be the most confusing statement ever. As far as I know, ALL chip & PIN cards issued in the US also have a magnetic stripe so they can be swiped and signed (and chip and signature is useless pretty much everywhere). if the card can be used as a chip & PIN card, why don't they just say it has true chip & PIN functionality?

    Still, it's nice to see a major travel rewards card, and a bank that's not associated with the military and that will therefore issue cards to anyone, getting aboard the chip & PIN bandwagon!
     
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  22. othermike27

    othermike27 Silver Member

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    What's confusing to me is the number of options the card issuer has for setting up a cardholder verification sequence on a chipped card. It could be Chip+Signature first, then defaulting to a secondary method that could be Chip+PIN or no CVV required. Or it could start with Chip+PIN first (like the USAA MC). Then you layer on online or offline PIN verification, and maybe some other options. And that doesn't even consider whether the card has a swipe strip.

    For the terminally curious, you can buy your own card reader ($15-25) and view the contents of your EMV cards (view = see, but probably not understand everything!): check out the wiki or post #3615 of the thread "USA EMV cards available today (Chip & PIN -or- Chip & Signature)" on FT.

    I'll keep my USAA card because I have verified (through personal use and via a card reader) that the CVV sequence is Chip+PIN first, as compared to the AFCU card, which is Chip+Sig, "with the option to default to Chip & Pin to process a transaction in case Chip & Signature doesn’t work" just like boondr quotes above. For now, the combo of USAA MC and Chase CSP (Chip+Sig only) works for me in Europe.
     
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  23. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    That's the combo I use as well. USAA MasterCard at automated kiosks, Chase Sapphire Preferred anywhere a swipe & sign card works. But I'll be curious to see how the new Barklaycard works out, as it would certainly be nice to have a Chip & PIN card with no foreign exchange fees.
     
  24. nonstopski

    nonstopski Silver Member

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  25. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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    I'm considering the HHonors Reserve Card - $95, with a chip, no forex fees, 2 weekend nights with a small spend, and HH Gold.
     
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