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American Chip and Pin card

Just a heads up that my AAdvantage Red Aviator MasterCard from Barclay just updated my card automatically to a true chip-and-pin card. This card was attached to my American Airlines frequent flyer account, so you may have to open an account with AA (which is free) to get this card, not sure. I also got 50,000 free miles with American when I opened the card. This card will work both as a chip-and-signature here in the US as well as a chip-and-pin card overseas. Another option for those of you who are looking for an American credit card that works well in Europe.

Posted by
2511 posts

No foreign exchange fees but apparently there is an $89 annual fee.

Posted by
9361 posts

"Another option for those of you who are looking for an American credit card that works well in Europe."
Have you traveled with this card so you know it works well, or are you just assuming it will? Have you had occasion to use it as chip and PIN in Europe? Some cards mentioned here as chip and PIN turn out to be chip and signature when they try them in Europe.

Posted by
173 posts

Barclay's claims that it can be used as a chip-and-pin in Europe and that the specific purpose of this card is to make credit card purchases easier when traveling overseas. Their words, not mine. I didn't get the new card until after I had returned from Europe otherwise I would have tried it out to see how well it works. Just providing information on other options for future travelers.

Posted by
1097 posts

We'll try it out next month and see how it goes in the UK and France. I've already bought Palais Garnier tickets and the going rate on the card was exactly what the exchange rate was on www.xe.com.

Posted by
1076 posts

I also have a AA Airlines card from Barclays (the free one). I sent them an email and they specifically said that it work as a Chip and Pin card after I updated it. I have not tried it yet at one of the few local shops that have a Chip and Pin reader.

Posted by
4686 posts

Remember that credit cards have had "PINs" for years, long before chips were around - for (expensive) cash withdrawal using a credit card at an ATM. This PIN will NOT work for making purchases in Europe if the card is not a true "chip-and- PIN" card.

My credit union Visa card is a conditional chip-and-PIN/chip-and-Signature card - it asks for/uses the PIN only at a machine or kiosk (buying a train ticket from a machine), but when a human is on the other side of the transaction (buying a train ticket from an agent for example), a signature is required. I have used it as a chip-and-PIN numerous times - handy to have.

Posted by
173 posts

Andrew, what you describe is exactly what Barclay says their AAdvantage card is for. It is a chip-and-pin card only for kiosks and ticket vending machines, the kind of things that Americans have been trying to use for years but haven't had the correct cards. On my last trip to Europe I had to stand in line a few times because the only ticket machines were for chip-and-pin cards, and I only had chip-and-signature. Hopefully these new cards that gradually become available here in the states will make travel easier for everyone.

Posted by
4498 posts

It is NOT a chip and PIN card - it is a chip and signature with a PIN for secondary validation. The PIN should work in an automated machine but otherwise it will always require a signature whether in the US or Europe. The key will be to remember your PIN, as you will never need it in the US.

Chip & signature cards without a PIN will sometimes work in European automated machines and will increasingly do so as the US fully adopts the chip cards.

Posted by
1076 posts

Just saw an ad for a new Capital One "Travel" Card. This is a quote from the FAQ page: "Both Chip and PIN and Chip and Signature cards offer better fraud protection than traditional magnetic stripe cards. The only difference is that the Chip and PIN card requires you to enter a PIN at checkout while the Chip and Signature card only requires your signature. Good news! Capital One chip cards will be Chip and Signature cards, so there’s no additional PIN to remember."

Note the "good news". Not much of a travel card if I can not use it to buy train tickets from kiosks in Europe!!!

Posted by
3 posts

I just found out that USAA is now issuing Chip and PIN cards! I have both a banking card and a credit card through them. I was able to call them for the Chip and PIN card and they sent it to me in about a week for the credit card. The papers with the card provide instructions/information:
1. "Insert your card chip first into the chip-enabled terminal"
2. "You may be required to sign or enter your PIN to complete the transaction."

Posted by
4682 posts

August, 2015: Shopping at Target in Paramus NJ with my SDFCU VISA credit card, I was ... finally ... ordered by the screen to stop swiping and insert the card at the bottom of the POS terminal. After a long pause, I signed the screen as usual, and got my paper receipt.

On the minus side, verification took at least six times as long as previous Swipe verifications in the same store.

Posted by
2347 posts

I don't think it's the verification that takes longer. It's the little elves inside the card reader that are doing their magic to the chip.