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Chip & PIN Credit Card

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Mar 18th, 2014, 10:36 AM
  #1
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Chip & PIN Credit Card

I have just applied for a Chip & PIN credit card from the Pentagon Federal Credit Union. I was told that all the credit cards they offer except the American Express one now have Chip and PIN. I got a card that has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee. You don't have to be a member of the military or work at the Pentagon to apply. The woman asked me if I ever gave blood at the Red Cross and that qualified me for membership without a fee. You must also open an account with a minimum of $5 in it. The whole prices took 10 minutes over then phone.
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Mar 18th, 2014, 11:04 AM
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Is it possible that there is more to this process then mentioned above? I have opened remote accounts like this before, and somewhere in the process there is a need to send in applications with real signature, copies of identity documents, and sometimes even more onerous documentation requirements.
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Mar 18th, 2014, 11:07 AM
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Unless you need a chip and pin card this year then just wait. All US cards will be chip and pin by October 2015.
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Mar 18th, 2014, 11:19 AM
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I don't see October 2015 as done deal yet. We have a history of powerful industry special interest groups derailing initiatives at the last moments in the U.S. I have inquired about five banks and they all replied "I know many people who travel abroad often ask for this, but we have NO PLAN to offer chip and pin cards." I don't know if this was the usual "we say nothing" corporate policy or if they thought the conversion would not happen.
Let's see how this folds out around this time next year.
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Mar 18th, 2014, 11:47 AM
  #5
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That was all there was to the process. I had to attest to various statements on the phone. I transferred the $5 from my account by giving the woman on the phone information re my account. I apply for credit cards online and other than filling out the online form, that's it. In this case someone took the info from me over the phone. Can't recall the last time I had to physically sign a form to get a credit card..

I agree that Oct 2015 deadline may not be met. However, more and more cards are starting to slowly offer chip & PIN cards, so progress is being made in the US.
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Mar 18th, 2014, 12:04 PM
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Are you sure it's Chip & Pin and not Chip & Signature? PenFed site doesn't make it clear and most chipped cards so far issued in US have been Chip and Signature, meaning you can't use it in an unmanned situation like automatic ticket machines (some take magnetic strip cards as well), toll booths and unmanned service stations.
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Mar 18th, 2014, 12:21 PM
  #7
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I specifically asked for Chip and PIN and questioned the woman. I do know that they have Chip and PIN cards as I have a friend who got one last summer. I will obviously not know for sure that it is Chip and PIN until I get it and try it.
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Mar 18th, 2014, 02:33 PM
  #8
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I just verified with PFCU that their credit cards are in fact Chip & PIN.
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Mar 18th, 2014, 04:53 PM
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Well actually the answer is sort of. Like many of the so called chip and pin cards being issued in the USA, the direction Pen FCU has chosen to go down is really chip and signature preferred with chip and pin fall back. What does that mean? If the pos terminal recognizes a card, it searches for the verification priorities. If chip and signature is the first priority, as it is with the Pen Fed card, it spits out a receipt. OTOH if you are at an unmanned kiosk which doesn't recogtnize chip and signature, it will function as chip and pin.

But here's the rub. There are various pressures being brought on merchants regarding not requesting a pin and they are being misinterpreted by the merchants. There are reports, albeit not all that many, of merchants as soon as the pos terminal indicates signaturee required saying, no way amigo and voiding the transaction and refusing to process a chip and signature card. The problem is there is no way to get the card to alter its list of priorities in verification. You can't say to the terminal ignore the chip and signature priority 1 and go to priority 2 i.e. chip and pin. I will stress it is not an overwhelming problem but it does exist.

Draw your own conclusions. Incidentally, the October 2015 dead line is not to install chip and pin but rather to sort of require an emv chip. The American banks and merchants are still not set as to whether the cards will be primarily chip and pin or chip and signature. Many of the cards being issued claiming to be chip and pin are similar to the Pen Fed card as described here. Very few credit cards issued i the USA today are true priority 1 chip and pin (USAA MC's are one example of such).
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Mar 18th, 2014, 05:05 PM
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What xyz123 says.

And yestravel, I cannot thank you enough for posting your experience. Way back when (two years? three years? could it be FOUR years??) there were many of us applying for the Andrews Chip/Pin card (which, by the way, still at that time had a 1% foreign transaction fee). We all had to jump through more far more hoops to get it than what we ever had to do to get a marriage license, and we were commiserating daily on this forum.

I am so happy your experience was so great.

A year or two after I completed my exhaustive process with Andrews, my friend's son was backpacking abroad, and I told her, "Make sure he gets ONE Chip/PIN card so that he can use kiosks in train stations." Andrew would not give him one; he got something from Cap One. He was traveling with five other kids, and only his worked in kiosks.

Again, thank you to xyz123 for his constant finger on the pulse of new chip developments and thank you to yestravel for updating us.
Gold Stars
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Mar 18th, 2014, 05:19 PM
  #11
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Interesting explanation, xyz. We already have a Chip and Signature card and I have yet to have it refused. Couple of issues running it thru for some reason, but eventually it worked. Will see how the Chip and PIN does in Portugal and Spain.

AZ-glad it was helpful. I have not had any problems traveling without a Chip and PIN card and avoided Andrews because of all the horror stories reported here and elsewhere. State Dept FCU also has a no fee, no foreign transaction Chip and PIN card. However a friend had trouble applying so I skipped that also.
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Mar 26th, 2014, 12:10 PM
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Below is what I post in the process of getting ready for my trip in April thread. Darn it, I didn't remember to say chip and pin:

Here's some more info and I'm going to copy it to the most recent thread I can find about this subject. When I called American Express to let them know I'd be using the card out of the country, I took the opportunity to confirm that my newest card still had the chip technology. I thought the first one had had it but we never got to try it out. She said no but they are sending me a new card WITH chip technology.

I think she said I'd be able to use it in the U.S. AND overseas. I'll let you know if it works.
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Mar 26th, 2014, 12:18 PM
  #13
 
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Great, TDudette. This all is changing quite fast, and it is so helpful to have everyone updating who is issuing what with the least hassle and the least cost.
AZ
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Mar 26th, 2014, 12:32 PM
  #14
 
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Again, as far as I know from personal experience the chip and pin is for the unmanned ticket machines, petro stands, bike stands, etc.

We were able to use our regular U.S. credit cards at restaurants in 2010 in Menton, Genoa and Lyon.
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Mar 26th, 2014, 01:09 PM
  #15
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Yes, your description is accurate in terms of when you must have a chip & pin. You might want to double check with Am Ex that it is chip & PIN, not chip & Signature which as the name implies requires a signature.

I've been meaning to get a a card and just put it off. We have had 1 issue in all our travels. Quite a few years back on a Sunday in Provence we needed gas. All the stations were unmanned and wouldn't take our US VISA. What spurred me on is an upcoming trip to Portugal. There is a Portugal TR on Fodors that says this past fall or summer they were asked for a Chip & PIN at many places of business. I had never had that happen, but figured I might as well avoid it. SInce it doesn't give miles which I accuse on my CC, we will only use it when a Chip & PIN is required.
BTW, I received my cards in the mail today, one week after applying.
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Mar 26th, 2014, 01:29 PM
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Right, TDudette. Again, no hotel or restaurant or drug store, what have you, has ever turned away our old school credit cards down (and we do travel to Europe at the very least twice a year--the latest trip was Dec 2013 in Spain and UK). We just have to explain from time to time that we have no PIN.

Again, we all have to update each other. Someone has listed that there ARE new kiosks for the Paris Metro where the magnetic stripe will work. I have yet to experience those.

Conversely, I still have no idea why my AmEX (without anything special) worked in Vehib bike rental machines in Paris, but I know that someone on this board had informed me those would work before we left one year.

But as our own in-person confirm was in Fall 2012, I don't want anyone to think, "Well, since AZ's AmEx old school, magnetic AmEX card worked in the Paris Vehib kiosk in 2012, mine certainly will too now." All I can say is that IT DID WORK IN FALL 2012.

That is why I appreciated YesTravel's update in getting his Chip/Pin card. So many of us had an excruciating experience, and it's nice to know that one can now avoid that process and can pass the word on.
Happy trails,
AZ
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Mar 27th, 2014, 06:34 AM
  #17
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One of the reasons I finally got the Chip & PIN was that a TR on this board mentions that the US Credit cards were not accepted in her trip to Portugal where we are headed this Spring. In order to avoid that possibility I finally got a Chip & PIN card. My preference is for our credit card that earns miles but now we will have a fallback if needed.
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Apr 11th, 2014, 12:30 PM
  #18
 
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FYI, when I called my Capital One card today to let them know I'd be using the card overseas, I asked if they'd be changing over to the chip and pin technology. Of course the guy didn't really know but he assured me that when one is dealing with a person who has problems swiping a U.S. Visa or Master card, that if they should try manually entering the card number and expiration date, and the card should go through. He said that Visa has an agreement with the European countries to that end.

I'm posting this to my TR also.
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May 16th, 2014, 04:16 PM
  #19
 
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My Citibank World Mastercard is supposedly sending me a chip and pin card, but according to what I've been reading here it will probably be a chip and signature card.

I also called about my Capital One card, and they told me the same thing they told TDudette; about the European agreement to accept American Visa and MasterCards. We'll see.
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May 16th, 2014, 05:18 PM
  #20
 
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A couple of recent developments. Of course some of it sparked by the Target breach and other hacking situations.

1. Just about all Amex cards issued to US residents are now available with emv chips. The last holdout was the Delta Airlines Sky miles cards but as of 01 May, they are available upon request with emv chips but are chip and signature. Also the Delta sky miles card has dropped th4 2.7% foreign transaction fee usually found on most Amex cards and now has no foreign transaction fee.

2. Barclay's Bank USA has finally made good on its promise to issue its premium arrival card with an emv chip. On their blog, they call the card a chip and signature card with chip and pin capabilities which is what the Pen Fed and Andrews cards are although they advertise themselves as chip and pin. Chase has announced they will be issuing chip and pin cards (all their emv chipped cards are chip and signature) although it is not clear whether the cards will be true chip and pin cards or the same as Barclay namely chip and signature with chip and pin capabilities at unpersonneled kiosks.. BTW Barclay in the past has announced their arrival card for the serfs who don't wish to pay the $89 annual fee (waived the first year) premium card will be available 3rd quarter of this year.

Oh, btw. If you want to get a taste of the future of emv chipped cards, at almost all Walmart's in the USA, the emv terminals have been turned on and if you have a card with an emv chip, you insert it in the front rather than swipe it. And the USAA card I have did indeed ask for a pin! The Amex card indeed no surprise did not ask for a pin. I don't remember if I was asked to sign either the screen on the terminal or a paper receipt as many US merchants today do not require signatures for small purchases. One merchant down, millions to go!
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