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Questions about "embossed" credit cards

Has any one had an issue using the new metal credit cards issued by Chase (and others) where the account number is not embossed into the card but rather is lightly etched onto it? The Sapphire is one example by Chase.
It is a Chip and Pin card.

Posted by
4805 posts

Not that card, but other cards I have are not embossed, and I have had no issues.

Embossing is another of those quaint functional things that has lost it's function, even if a store still had an old machine, they would just have to hand key the information into a computer anyway.

Posted by
3983 posts

We use our Capitol One card in Europe; it's not embossed. No problems.

Posted by
8889 posts

Embossing was first generation method of credit card processing, where you ran it through a machine and carbon paper recorded the number. This hasn't been used for decades and is finally being removed from the cards.

Second generation is magnetic stripe. That is still being retained for use in countries that do not have chip-and-PIN.

Third generation is chip-and-PIN. All cards in Europe have been chip-and-PIN for well over 10 years.

Fourth generation, for small amounts only, is contactloss.

Posted by
79 posts

I have used the Chase sapphire preferred card in France, Germany Austria, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia for about the last 4 years. I’ve never had a problem. It is not embossed, it is “metal” with a chip. No foreign transaction fees.

I also have a similar Chase sapphire (not preferred) card which I use some in the U. S. I don’t use it in Europe as it does have foreign transaction fees.

Posted by
18 posts

Thanks to all of you. I guess we had read some old posts concerning this issue.

Best wishes to all.

Posted by
5019 posts

No issue using that card for the past decade all around the world.

Posted by
5288 posts

Pretty sure I used a non-embossed Chase Sapphire Reserve card for car rental last year, no problems.

Posted by
18 posts

Again, my thanks to all that replied. This puts our minds at ease.

Posted by
1 posts

Signed up to post a warning about exactly this issue as of August 2019.

My wife and I just returned from the UK where we had a nightmare situation trying to rent a car with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The rental company (Green Motion) refused to take the card as it was not embossed. Despite about 2 hours of phone calls with Chase and Green Motion corporate, we got nowhere and ended up having to rent the car with our Chase Freedom card. This cost us an extra £185 for the Green Motion collision insurance; we have no personal car insurance as we both have company cars, and so we rely on the Reserve included primary collision when we rent. Because we were stuck using our Freedom card, we had to purchase primary insurance to make sure we were covered.

Costly and miserable way to start our vacation. And despite explaining the situation in detail to Chase after returning, they offered us nothing other than a "we've never heard of that issue" excuse. Lousy treatment of long time customers (18 years), especially considering how expense the Reserve is on an annual basis.

Posted by
2941 posts

brsm, I think that they told you the truth. It was this one company acting in an unusual manner, not the product of Chase Sapphire Reserve that was the issue. Your anger is at the wrong people.

I've used that card in Europe many times and never had any difficulties.

I am sorry that you had the unfortunate experience. I would avoid that car company in the future.

Posted by
84 posts

I used my Sapphire Reserve card all over Ireland and Scotland the last 3 weeks and never had a problem, including renting a car.

Posted by
929 posts

I had this Sam problem in Mexico at a US car rental company. Non of my cards would work. One of my girlfriends used her card. We tore up the credit slip on return am guess what? I was able to pay with the original credit card!

Posted by
2662 posts

Same as Jane, no problem with my metal Capital One card or my other plastic, non-embossed card.

Posted by
4805 posts

The issue may be how the rental company processes holds. Some old school places will "run a slip" with the embosser, add the amount and have you sign. Upon return they just tear up the slip, if an issue, they process. Most places use an actual processed hold. I suppose the slip saves them a buck or two.