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Chip and pin credit cards 2017

In the past I have had an Andrews Credit Union chip and pin card which works in Europe. But there are 2 problems: first, even though it asks for a PIN at unattended terminals such as train station ticket kiosks, it defaults to asking for a signature FIRST which confuses some European clerks and waiters; second, the credit union is extremely difficult to work with (awkward to authorize foreign travel, customer service nonexistent at best).

Does anyone know of a credit card with no foreign transaction fees that defaults to PIN-FIRST? One with no annual fees would be ideal, but I am starting to think that an annual fee would be easier than dealing with Andrews.


Posted by
7173 posts

I have both Andrews and Capital One chip cards. Both have always worked fine for me for several years now.

Posted by
15578 posts

US PIN & Chip cards ALWAYS default to signature first. The credit card industry knows that Americans are too stupid to remember a 4-digit PIN. Or more precisely remembering 4-digit PIN's for all of their 6 credit cards and 2 debit cards. I've never seen any waiter or clerk have a problem with it. They figure it out. And my Andrews card comes in handy at train station ticket kiosks. Capital One is my go-to card for transactions with humans. I have a different debit card from another credit union for European use that charges 1% foreign transaction fee, most of which is for the Visa network. That credit union is pretty responsive. And Capital One doesn't do travel notifications anymore because they are so good at spotting bogus charges. At least that is what they tell me.

Posted by
18 posts

First Republic Bank is fantastic.
Free ATMS worldwide (charges are automatically credited back to your account).
No annual fee.
No foreign transaction fee, though of course there is a conversion between currencies.
They actually answer the phone quickly with a real person, based in the US who speaks English well.
We have used them in Europe for several trips.

Posted by
1005 posts

What Sam said is absolutely true. All US credit cards with a chip will default to signature first. If it is a live transaction with a clerk, this is usually what happens. The good thing about Andrews or the State Department card is that they default to the PIN code if there is not a live transaction, so you can use them at gas stations, train ticket machines, and toll booths in most cases. With other US credit cards with a chip, it really is random whether they work or not at payment machines that require a PIN. So I'd keep the Andrews card for now.

Posted by
2814 posts

Yes, there are some US cards that have PIN as the first priority, but it's mostly from a few credit unions that probably have membership restrictions. Here's a list:
I too have an Andrews card, and yes, their customer service is horrendous. But I got it and use it so I can get gas at unmanned stations and tickets from train and tram machines. However, I've never had a problem with using it with a person; either they'll notice that it says "Signature" or I'll just tell them that. As to giving Andrews travel notification, I never bother, and it's never been an issue. I figure I'd be on the phone with them all day if I tried.

Posted by
4822 posts

Worth reiterating, in the link I posted above, there are several US cards that offer Pin first priority. The most accessible are ones from the UN Federal Credit Union. I have not looked into them further, but am starting the process. Yes, most of these places have restrictions on membership, but as the site points out, nearly all have "loopholes". As an example, for the UN Federal Credit Union, if you do not qualify by your job or association, you can join an association for $25 that grants you membership. All of the places mentioned in the article, including Andrews CU and USAA have similar "loopholes".

Posted by
8 posts

Some of you, and some of the credit card lists linked mention USAA credit cards as PIN and CHIP. They're not. They're plain old PIN and signature cards like everyone else. USAA used to offer a PIN and CHIP World MasterCard, but discontinued it when they rolled out EVM on all their cards, choosing Visa Signature instead. Sadly, USAA is not currently an option.