"Chip" Credit Cards -- Available in US?

Does anyone know if you can get one of the new "chip" credit cards in the U.S.?

Posted by Jaime
Tucson, AZ, USA
15 posts

I have read an article that said the US credit card companies have no plans on making the chip cards in the US anytime in the near future.

Posted by Tom
Orlando
191 posts

American Express Blue is a chipped card. I had one in my wallet in Europe with the idea of using it for Velib, the bike rental service in Paris. But circumstances led to not renting a bike. I do not know how widely accepted American Express is in Europe, but I believe its more limited than MC or VISA and I never used the card for any reason.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10884 posts

It is my understanding that the US chip technology is different from the European approach. Other than high end shops and hotels it is rare to find AE accepted anywhere.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17783 posts

Frank, AFAIK the protocols for "chip" technology are the same for all countries, as it wouldn't make sense to limit the cards to one geographical area.

I'm assuming that Canadian and U.S. chip cards use the same technology as in some cases the Banks operate in both countries. I know from recent experience that my Canadian Visa chip card works just fine in Europe.

Carroll, You might check the websites for Banks operating in your area. Most of the Banks here are starting to roll out chip cards, so I'd be very surprised if that's not also happening in the U.S. as well.

Cheers!

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
6840 posts

It's not happening in the US. The only US credit card that uses the chips used in a lot of parts of Europe is American Express. But the catch 22 is that only a few places accept that form of payment. The only chips being embedded in US MC/Visa cards are RFID chips, in selected metropolitan areas. Although RFID credit cards are in use in Europe they don't use the same "older" chip that allows you to use automated machines across the pond.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17783 posts

Michael, The U.S. card issuers have been slow to adopt the new "chip & PIN" technology, however to paraphrase a line from the Star Trek series, resistance is futile, they will be assimilated.

You might enjoy reading This article on the subject. While it's going to be expensive to change all the POS terminals, I suspect it's going to happen eventually. The chart embedded in the article is interesting, as it shows which countries have converted, and the timeline for conversion.

In my experience, most of the merchants in this area now have the new POS terminals (easy to spot as they have an extra slot in the end for the chip cards). However, not all merchants who have the new machines have their computer systems set up for the chip cards yet. From what I've seen so far, I'm able to use my chip card at about 50% of the merchants in this area.

Cheers!

Posted by JumpinBug
BC, Canada
345 posts

My Canadian chip and pin card has worked just fine in England. The tech is definitely the same here as it is in Canada.

Posted by Michelle
Vicenza, Italy
319 posts

All I have to say is, "Huh?" I've been out of the states for too long and have no idea what you're talking about. But that's ok, the last thing I need is another credit card.

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
6840 posts

"resistance is futile"???? Isn't that what they said about the metric system, single payer health care and soccer? This is the USA were talking about...we do things differently;)

Posted by Peter
Manchester
461 posts

Other than high end shops and hotels it is rare to find AE accepted anywhere.

I would slightly disagree here. I live in Europe and use American Express and although it is not universal like VISA/Mastercard I can use it more often than not.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are lots of places that don't take AE and I would never rely soly on an AE card but I think its "uselessness" is over exaggerated sometimes.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17783 posts

Michael,

I suspect this issue is going to be different than the metric system debate. As far as "single payer health care", I'm anxious to see what kind of progress your President can make on the health care situation (isn't there a bill or something being debated right now?).

One reason I feel this might be different, is that if the majority of the world changes to only chip & PIN technology (which appears to be happening), there will be a lot of unhappy travellers from the U.S. that won't be able to use ANY credit cards when they travel. Therefore, consumers will "encourage" the banks to adopt this technology. Of course, that doesn't mean that merchants in the U.S. would also have to adopt the technology or change their POS terminals; they could continue using magnetic stripe technology. However, from what I've heard, the magnetic stripes are only an "interim measure" and will eventually be removed from the chip cards.

I suppose we'll have to wait to see how this situation evolves?

Cheers!