Chipped cards in Europe?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by dogwalker, Nov 13, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. dogwalker

    dogwalker Active Member

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    Hello everyone. This is my first post since joining MP. I've learned a great deal from all of you and wonder if you can help with a credit card issue.
    I understand that credit cards used in Europe should have an internal chip. These cards are necessary for unmanned gas stations etc.
    In looking at lots of credit cards programs, I can't tell if they're chipped or not. Can anyone help please?

    Thanks much!
     
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  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    If you are referring to cards issued in the US... 99.9% aren't chip'ed. Those few that are probably would explicitly highlight that as a feature.
     
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  3. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    The chips you are talking about are the EMV chips. There are very few cards issued in the US that have these chips.
    Off the top of my head I can only recall four cards:

    US Bank offered some of its FlexPerks customers the EMV chip, as did Wells Fargo, but I don't know how they select who gets one.
    http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/20/u-s-bank-and-chase-add-to-e-m-v-chip-cards-for-travelers/

    The UN Credit Union also offers EMV credit cards, but most likely you must work for the UN in some capacity to apply for this card.

    Then there's the JP Morgan Palladium card, which I hear is actually made from Palladium. However, you have to have a private banking account with them (aka be an ultra-high net worth individual). I don't think there is a public application.

    The only one with a public application that I know if is the JP Morgan Select
    Here is the application:
    https://creditcards.chase.com/credit-cards/jp-morgan-select-card.aspx
    It has a $95 annual fee (waived the first year), but also has no foreign transaction fees and you earn Ultimate Rewards points. It's basically a watered down clone of the Chase Sapphire Preferred. In exchange for no bonus and lower point earning you gain the EMV chip and actually pretty generous travel related insurance benefits.

    The rip is that even with the EMV chip your card isn't guaranteed to work at every kiosk in Europe.
    There are two threads on FT that discuss this:
    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/credit-card-programs/1256202-j-p-morgan-select-visa-signature.html
    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/cred...nounce-emv-cards-chip-pin-chip-signature.html
    To summarize, the major difference is that European cards are Chip and Pin where the US EMV cards are Chip and Signature. If you ask for a pin number for your US card, then that's the pin number for use in ATMs (aka cash advances with their terrible fees) and not the same as the European Pin used for all c.c. sales.

    From what I gather, the chip and signature works fine at any manned pay-station (whereas the old magnetic stripe can confuse some cashiers who aren't used to it). The scanner prints a receipt for you to sign instead of asking for your pin (or you just hit enter when it asks for your pin).
    It works at -some- kiosks, but not all and it's impossible to predict where.

    With all of that being said.... it may not be worth going out of your way to sign up for the EMV cards unless you plan on doing a lot of transactions in Asia/Europe/Other EMV countries. I was just in Ireland and the UK and my magnetic stripe card worked everywhere I tried it - at worst I had to tell the cashier that it was a magnetic stripe, but they all have the equipment to accept it.

    A strategy, if you have the time before your travel and you really want the EMV chip, may be to sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred and get the 50k point sign-up bonus, then after it posts (and after the 7% point dividend posts in Jan/Feb) you can call Chase and ask them to convert your account to the JP Morgan Select.
     
  4. dogwalker

    dogwalker Active Member

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    Thanks much!
     
  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    So far the only places where I had problems were subway/train stations and a parking garage. But I worked around it by feeding the machines cash. I suspect when the problem becomes more prevalent, US banks will be forced to offer these cards. Until then I'll probably survive without... or just get one issued in Europe :)
     
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  6. PhlyingRPh
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    PhlyingRPh Silver Member

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    I have more problems using my non-chipped US credit cards in Asia than I do in Europe/UK.
     
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  7. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    Should I get an EMV card when I go to Thailand, Japan, Korea and Germany? I thought I would be fine with a regular card, currently have the Sapphire Preferred so don't mind asking for a change to the Select.

    EDIT: Gave a call and was told that it would require another application since it hasn't been a year yet. Was also taught a good amount of information. Great CSRs on the Sapphire hotline so far.
     
  8. PanAm
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    PanAm Silver Member

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    Travelex has chip and pin Euro and GBP "travel cards" prepaid reloadable card (MasterCard I think). There's a ~$10 fee for a new card, not sure about a reload fee. I've thought about getting one, with a small amount on it, just for emergency or backup.
     
  9. Valentine

    Valentine Silver Member

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    I have to agree. If you absolutely need to carry around plastic for security reasons, getting a prepaid card would be the next best option. They're widely available in Europe.
     
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  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Travelex is offering them at US airports such as SFO.
     
  11. Grace
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    Grace Silver Member

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    I thought about that, but the fees are pretty high and the exchange rate wasn't too good. I'm not headed to Europe soon, but I'm going to give the JPM card a try.
     
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  12. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    Several members of my family have the PMA package from Wells Fargo and one or two Wells Fargo CCs. Still no offers to get their chip-and-pin option. So account size is not a factor. My sister was offerred a debit card with no forex or ATM fees, but not a chip-and-pin.
     
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