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EMV Chip Security Explained and Which Credit Cards Have It

The next generation in card payment security is the EMV chip. See the full list of credit cards that offer EMV chip technology.

We stand as witnesses to a major change in how we pay for things with our credit cards. It comes in the form of a small chip called an EMV chip.

The chip, which select consumers already have on their cards today, is designed to better protect your information whenever you use your card at a store.

How does it work and where can you get an EMV-chip credit card? Let us fill you in.

emv credit cards image

What Does 'EMV' Stand For?

EMV is short for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, the three global card companies that originally developed the new security standard for payment cards in 1995.

It is widely regarded as the safer card technology compared to the traditional magnetic strip that you see in most U.S. credit cards today.

Embedded in your cards, EMV chips are read by inserting a card at the payment terminal (similar to using a debit card at the ATM), as opposed to swiping.

Basically, the chip scrambles the transaction information when you make a purchase.

Even if someone stole that information, it would be extremely difficult to use the data to commit fraud, usually in the form of unauthorized purchases.

Considering the string of data breaches -- having affected Target, Home Depot and more -- that have plagued retailers, banks and consumers in the past year, think about the headaches that would have been saved by EMV chip technology.

EMV to Become the U.S. Standard

If EMV is the better way to go, why aren’t all our credit cards already equipped with it? Well, the U.S. hasn’t found a big enough of a reason to ditch the traditional magnetic strip on payment cards, until recently. Those data breaches surely played a role in emphasizing the need for a more secure card payments.

In fact, EMV chips are already the standard card technology for many foreign countries, especially Europe, where card fraud got out of control. The U.S. is just playing catch-up, after being criticized for being late to the party.

So, these are the two major reasons that we should switch over from magnetic strips:

  1. Safer in-store shopping
  2. Card acceptance when traveling outside the U.S.

Fortunately, we will soon see many more credit cards with EMV chips because of the concerted effort by the four big U.S. card processing networks.

In policies that will take effect in late 2015, American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa will make card issuers and/or merchants absorb the losses that come from fraudulent purchases if they don’t offer EMV-chip credit cards (card issuers) or don’t accept them (merchants). The rules will apply at a later date for gas stations.

Card issuers and merchants who don’t want to foot the bill for fraud would want to ensure that purchases were made through EMV-chip cards.

See the upcoming policy changes for each of these card payment networks:

EMV liability shift deadlines

Card network Rule for shift in fraud liability Deadline
American Express Liability for certain types of fraudulent transactions will shift away from the party (card issuer or merchant) that has the most secure form of EMV technology. Oct. 1, 2015 (Oct. 1, 2017 for gas stations)
Discover Liability for fraudulent transactions will shift away from the party (card issuer or merchant) that has the highest level of payment security. Oct. 1, 2015 (Oct. 1, 2017 for gas stations)
MasterCard The party (card issuer or merchant) that made the investment to process EMV chip transactions will be protected from financial liability on card-present fraud losses. Oct. 1, 2015 (Oct. 1, 2017 for gas stations)
Visa The party (card issuer or merchant) that is the cause of a chip-on-chip transaction not occurring will be financially liable for card-present fraud losses. Oct. 1, 2015 (Oct. 1, 2017 for gas stations)

Find an EMV-chip Credit Card

Many of the largest U.S. credit card issuers have begun to offer EMV-chip versions of their credit cards. American Express, Chase and Citibank are a few of the big names doing this.

You’re more likely to find the chips in travel credit cards because you’re more likely to find merchants that require EMV-chip cards when traveling abroad.

There are actually two types of EMV-chip cards: chip-and-signature and chip-and-PIN. The differences may be obvious. Chip-and-signature would require just a signature when making purchases. Chip-and-PIN would require you to enter a number that only you would know.

Since a signature is easy to fake, chip-and-PIN is considered the safer of the two types. Currently, most EMV-chip cards in the U.S. are chip-and-signature cards. People are calling for chip-and-PIN, however, because of the added security.

Some banks are picking up on the demand. Chase, for instance, issued chip-and-PIN credit cards in late 2014 -- the bank has been handing out chip-and-signature cards for a few years already.

Below, you’ll find a comprehensive list of the EMV-chip credit cards that are currently available in the U.S. If you have a card that is available with an EMV chip, you should call the phone number on the back of your card and request an upgraded card.

Cards with EMV chips

Financial institution Card(s) Type of EMV chip
Alliant Credit Union Platinum and Platinum Rewards Chip-and-signature
American Express Nearly all American Express charge and credit cards Chip-and-signature
Andrews FCU GlobeTrek Rewards Chip-and-signature/chip-and-PIN
Bank of America BankAmericard Travel Rewards Chip-and-signature
Bank of America AAA Member Rewards Chip-and-signature
Bank of America BofA Debit Chip-and-signature
Bank of America Royal Caribbean Chip-and-signature
Bank of America Norwegian Cruise Line Chip-and-signature
Bank of America BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Chip-and-signature
Bank of America BankAmericard Chip-and-signature
Bank of America BankAmericard Power Rewards Chip-and-signature
Bank of America Virgin Atlantic White Card Chip-and-signature
Bank of America Virgin Atlantic Black Card Chip-and-signature
Bank of America BankAmericard Privileges with Travel Rewards Chip-and-signature
Bank of America BankAmericard Privileges with Cash Rewards Chip-and-signature
Bank of America Virgin Atlantic Black Card Chip-and-signature
Bank of America Asiana Airlines Chip-and-signature
Bank of America Alaska Airlines Chip-and-signature
Bank of America Hawaiian Airlines Chip-and-signature
Barclaycard/Bank of Hawaii Hawaiian Airlines Chip-and-signature/chip-and-PIN
BMO Harris Bank Diners Club Chip-and-PIN
Capital One Venture Chip-and-signature
Charles Schwab Charles Schwab Bank VISA Debit card Chip-and-signature
Chase Chase Freedom® Chip-and-signature
Chase Hyatt Chip-and-signature
Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Chip-and-signature
Chase British Airways Chip-and-signature
Chase J.P. Morgan Select Chip-and-signature
Chase J.P. Morgan Palladium Chip-and-signature
Chase Ritz-Carlton Chip-and-signature
Chase Sapphire Preferred Chip-and-signature
Citibank Platinum Select Chip-and-signature
Citibank ThankYou Preferred Chip-and-signature
Citibank Diamond Preferred Chip-and-signature
Citibank Dividend Chip-and-signature
Citibank Simplicity Chip-and-signature
Citibank Forward Chip-and-signature
Citibank AAdvantage Gold Chip-and-signature
Citibank AAdvantage Platinum (Visa) Chip-and-signature
Citibank AAdvantage Platinum (MasterCard) Chip-and-signature
Citibank Hilton Honors Reserve Chip-and-signature
Citibank ThankYou Premier Chip-and-signature
Citibank Prestige Chip-and-signature
Citibank AAdvantage Executive Chip-and-signature
City National Bank Platinum Chip-and-signature
City National Bank Signature Chip-and-signature
City National Bank Crystal Chip-and-signature
Commerce Bank Visa Signature Chip-and-signature/chip-and-PIN
Fidelity American Express Chip-and-signature
Fidelity Visa Chip-and-signature
HSBC Premier World MasterCard® Chip-and-signature
HSBC Platinum with Cash or Fly Rewards Chip-and-signature
HSBC Platinum Chip-and-signature
NC SECU Visa Check Debit Card Chip-and-signature
PenFed Promise Chip-and-signature/chip-and-PIN
PenFed Gold Chip-and-signature/chip-and-PIN
PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Chip-and-signature/chip-and-PIN
PNC PNC Premier Traveler Reserve Chip-and-signature
PNC PNC Premier Traveler Chip-and-signature
Sam's Club/GE Capital Sam's Club Mastercard Chip-and-signature
Star One Credit Union Visa Classic Chip-and-signature
State Dept. FCU Platinum Rewards Chip-and-signature/chip-and-PIN
UNFCU Azure Chip-and-PIN
UNFCU Elite Chip-and-PIN
US Bank Perks+ Chip-and-signature
US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Chip-and-signature
US Bank KoreanAir SkyPass Classic Chip-and-signature
US Bank KoreanAir SkyPass Secured Chip-and-signature
US Bank KoreanAir SkyPass Signature Chip-and-signature
USAA Cash Rewards World MasterCard® Chip-and-signature/chip-and-PIN
Walmart Walmart MasterCard Chip-and-signature
Wells Fargo Platinum Chip-and-signature/chip-and-PIN
Wells Fargo Rewards Chip-and-signature/chip-and-PIN
Wells Fargo Cash Back Chip-and-signature/chip-and-PIN
Wells Fargo Propel World American Express Chip-and-signature/chip-and-PIN
Wings Financial Visa Signature Chip-and-signature/chip-and-PIN

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Ask a Question

SimonMBT
Monday, 01 Dec 2014 2:57 PM
<p>Hi Lauren, there appears to be a problem with our table tool. We're working on fixing it. We'll let you know when it is back.</p>
disqus_PCkZp7aPyD
Monday, 01 Dec 2014 1:56 PM
<p>I don't see a table posted of banks that offer EMV cards...I just see "[Table=1069]".</p>

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