The good ol’ signature plastic payment card is about to be extinct. While the jury is still out on when they will go away for good (supposedly in 2016, but there are rumblings of issues), you can already familiarize yourself with the new chip and PIN cards that will be replacing them. While they are new to Americans, they have been around for years in the EU, and are known to be safer and less prone to fraudulent issues. This is great news for all, but you need to know where to look to find a chip and PIN card.
You need to look for cards that are geared towards travelers, since the majority of merchants in the USA are not prepared to accept these cards. Barclaycard Arrival Plus is touted as being one of the best. A great plus – even for those who are not planning to go abroad – is that if it is inserted into a terminals that only accepts signature cards, it will not be rejected. However, if it is accepted into a PIN-only terminal, it works as a PIN card, as it should. It comes with a signup bonus of 40,000 miles, which can be redeemed for a $400 statement credit on a travel purchase. It also gives you 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, with no rotating categories or opt-ins required. When you redeem your miles for travel-related purchases, the card returns 10 percent of them back to you instantly. And the robust selection of specials at its online mall let you double, triple or even quadruple your points if you spend through its chosen partners.
Wings Financial Credit Union also has a chip and PIN option, but it may be hard to get one of their cards, as they are a credit union for members (and family members) of the U.S. air transport industry. Regardless of where you get your card, you need to ask ahead of time if it can be used in-store. Merchant accounts, including many bad credit merchant accounts, are not prepared to handle these cards. Merchants need to make sure that their processor is getting up to date on the changes, like the guys at EMB are. Changes always come, and when they arrive, the ill prepared will suffer.