18 Best EMV Chip Credit Cards with Security Technology

18 Best EMV Chip Credit Cards with Security Technology

credit card advice

Ray FitzGerald
By: Ray FitzGerald
Posted: December 6, 2017
Opinions expressed here are ours alone, and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by any issuer. Site may be compensated through the issuer affiliate programs.

I’m a history buff and hopelessly nostalgic. I’ve traveled cross-country to attend silent film festivals. My television automatically tunes to Turner Classic Movies at startup. I’ve been known to listen to a few vinyl records after a long day at work. Go ahead and judge me.

That doesn’t mean I don’t like technology. My latest project is creating the smartest Smart Home on my block. New innovations have their place in our everyday lives, but a little refresher in the older stuff makes for a good change of pace every now and then.

One place I don’t like old technology is in my financial products. That little magnetic strip on the back of your credit card is the same tech used on the cassette tapes you played in your Walkman. It was bad then and is worse now. Hence the introduction of EMV chips.

Overall | Rewards | Travel | Business | Student | Fair Credit

Best “Overall” EMV Chip Credit Cards

Chip-card technology, also called EMV (which stood for Europay, Mastercard, Visa — the three companies that originally created the standard — before becoming a registered trademark of EMVco), has been commonplace in Europe for more than a decade. While the US lagged behind in the security-rich technology, companies began a push for widespread access to the chips over the last few years.

All three of our choices below offer top security options with low APRs and rewards that make each at home in your wallet. With the technology is still fairly new in the US, it’s important to choose an issuer that’s ahead of the curve and understands the latest trends in both security and processing. All three options below have a proven track record of success in both areas.

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
15.99% - 24.74% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 12.99%-22.99% variable APR after that
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
12.99% - 22.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card Review

at Wells Fargo'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 3X points at U.S. gas stations, 2X points at U.S. restaurants, 1X point on other purchases
  • Redeem points for travel, gift cards, cash redemption options or merchandise through Go Far® Rewards
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
  • Earn an annual relationship bonus of 10% on non-bonus rewards points if you maintain a qualifying Wells Fargo account
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 13.99%-25.99% variable APR; balance transfer fees apply
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
0% for 12 months
13.99%-25.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

The difference between the chip and the strip is easier to see under the hood. Magnetic-strip cards have specific data embedded in them that never changes. If a counterfeiter gets hold of that data, they can replicate it as many times as they like.

In contrast, EMV cards are run by a microprocessor chip embedded on the face of the card. The chip creates a unique code that generates — and regenerates — with every transaction. Codes are never used twice, so if someone gains access to it, it’s already obsolete.

Along with the virtual impossibility of duplicating the cards, they also include multiple methods of making payments. Chip + PIN, the standard overseas, requires a secure PIN number with each transaction. Chip + Signature — more common in America — uses a signature to verify each purchase. EMV also allows contactless payments, meaning that shoppers can wave the card in front of a pad instead of swiping or inserting it.

Best “Rewards” EMV Chip Credit Cards

We all love to be rewarded — and we want the best rewards we can get. In fact, more than half of US credit cardholders will choose a new card to receive better rewards. And as issuers battle for consumer attention in a crowded market, that number is sure to keep growing.

Alongside cash back percentages and point hauls, most high-end rewards cards also offer sign-up bonuses for added perks if you spend a certain amount within a trial period. Bonuses change often, so check regularly with your favorite issuer to see what they’re currently offering.

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
15.99% - 24.74% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter like gas stations, restaurants and drugstores
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
15.99% - 24.74% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good
Discover it® - Cashback Match™ Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

DISCOVER® RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards instantly at Amazon.com checkout.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
11.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

Rewards are a good way to create a side savings, build up a stash of travel points, or have a rainy-day fund that pays for a night on the town. With responsible usage and regular payments, the rewards can roll in quickly and potentially allow these cards pay for themselves over time.

Best “Travel” EMV Chip Credit Cards

If you plan to travel internationally anytime soon, you should start looking at chip + PIN cards that can help make your vacation abroad a breeze. These cards are standard in Europe and Asia, with many businesses (and most kiosks) requiring a card that can handle PIN verification to complete a transaction.

Indeed, even for something as mundane as train fare, you’ll likely need a chip + PIN card to be on your way. Carrying cash is risky, and paying to convert your money into local currency can get pricey quickly. With the latest security and no foreign transaction fees, here are our choices for the best EMV-enabled cards for your travel needs.

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99% - 23.99% Variable
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Excellent Credit

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 12.99%-22.99% variable APR after that
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
12.99% - 22.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® Review

at Barclaycard'ssecure website

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.4/5.0
  • Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made while traveling abroad
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)
16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% Variable
$89 - Waived first year
Excellent

Credit card issuers have different global footprints. Visa and Mastercard are global brands that will be accepted just about anywhere you find yourself. Citi has gained wider acceptance since its acquisition of Diner’s Club, while American Express has expanded its reach significantly over the last five years.

Before you board the plane, make sure your card is prepared for a safe landing wherever you head. And don’t forget to call your issuers ahead of time and let them know you’ll be traveling. Few things can wreck a vacation like having your cards turned down due to fraud alerts.

Best “Business” EMV Chip Credit Cards

Dealing with credit card security issues can be a hassle, one that can cost you time, money — and a tremendous amount of sanity. Given that most business owners have enough on their mind, it makes sense to avoid the potential pain of a less-secure card by choosing one with the latest technology.

With an EMV-enabled credit card, you can rest assured that the sensitive information transferred during financial transactions is safe and secure. Since 31% of small business owners say they’ve used their card in the previous year to meet capital needs, your card is likely a partner that you occasionally depend on for a boost. Add to that the ability to earn cash back or travel miles at a high rate, and these cards are a great partner to have.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earning unlimited 2% cash back could mean thousands of dollars each year going back into your business
  • Plus, a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Use Spark Cash across all your business spend, with no categories to limit your purchasing
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
  • Get employee cards at no additional cost, and earn rewards from their business spend
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.99% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earning unlimited 1.5% cash back could mean thousands of dollars each year going back into your business
  • Plus, a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Save on interest with 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 13.99%-21.99% variable APR after that
  • No annual fee
  • Use Spark Cash Select across all your business spend, with no categories to limit your purchasing
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 9 months
N/A
13.99% - 21.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 on every purchase, every day
  • Plus, a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account, and there are no categories to limit where or what you buy
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • There's no limit to the amount of miles you can earn
  • Redeem miles for travel, cash back, gift cards and more
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.99% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

+See More Business Cards

If you’ve ever had to deal with identity theft, you know how scary and frustrating it can be. If it happens to a business, it could be a fatal blow. With the rise of EMV technology, most cards are equipped with the onboard chip technology that makes each transaction more secure. If your business card hasn’t yet made the transition, it may be time to look for a new issuer.

Best “Student” EMV Chip Credit Cards

College is a time when many students are more concerned with GPA numbers than credit scores. Life comes at you fast, however, and if you aren’t careful, the transition from student to employee may be a hard one. Many employers today look at credit scores to determine how responsible a potential hire is, and they’re not the only ones. Ever try getting an apartment, cell phone, car, or other necessity with a damaged credit profile? I wouldn’t recommend it.

Get a head start on your financial future with a credit card that’s geared for the student body, while boasting the technology that will keep your personal information away from identity thieves.

Discover it® for Students Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 cash back each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 6 months
10.99% for 6 months
13.99% - 22.99% Variable
$0
Fair
Discover it® chrome for Students Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter - no sign-ups needed. 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 cash back each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 6 months
10.99% for 6 months
13.99% - 22.99% Variable
$0
Fair

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.2/5.0
  • Earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month
  • There's no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn, and rewards won't expire for the life of the account
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Pay no annual or foreign transaction fees
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited

+See More Student Cards

A study in 2015 found that college students with a credit card in their own name had on average 1.5 cards. The median credit limit on those cards was $1,900 (though the average limit through American Express topped them all at $2,333).

That same survey found that students charge 10% of their average monthly expenses on a combination of their own and their parents’ credit cards. That’s a lot to rely on a substandard card if yours isn’t EMV capable.

Best “Fair Credit” EMV Chip Credit Cards

No matter your credit history, everyone has the right to privacy and security with their financial transactions. Identity thieves don’t check credit reports before stealing someone’s identity. If you’re looking for a card that can grow with future advances in technology — as well as improvements in your credit score — the options are plentiful.

With rewards options and low-or-no annual fees, these cards aren’t far off from their brethren designed for good and excellent credit. Instead of settling for a subpar card that offers no bonus other than the ability to use it, why not look for a card that suits more of your needs and lifestyle?

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Use your QuicksilverOne card and get 50% back as a statement credit on your monthly Spotify Premium subscription, now through April 2018
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Fraud coverage if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.99% (Variable)
$39
Average, Fair, Limited

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Pay no annual fee
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
  • Pay by check, online or at a local branch, all with no fee - and pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited
Credit One Bank® Platinum Credit Card with Rewards Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.3

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Find out if you Pre-Qualify without affecting your credit score
  • This unsecured card provides opportunities to raise your credit score
  • Receive opportunities for credit line increases, a fee may apply
  • Monitor your credit with free online access to your credit score
  • 1% cash back on eligible purchases, terms apply
  • Zero fraud liability protects you from unauthorized charges
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99% - 24.99% Variable
$0 - $99
Fair

+See More Fair Credit Cards

Fair credit scores fall within a wide range, depending on the scoring model, but a number in the 600s is generally considered to indicate fair credit. If you’re on the low end of that scale, your card offers could differ from applicants on the high end. Before applying for any card, be sure to understand your current score and what doors it may open for you.

Make Safe and Sound Financial Decisions with an EMV Card

Prior to the introduction of EMV technology in the US market, card issuers were on the hook for any fraudulent charges that took place. With EMV, any retailer that doesn’t accept the technology has to take responsibility. That’s made acceptance of the cards spread at a rapid pace across the country.

At the end of 2012, only 0.12% of all transactions in America were made with an EMV chip. That number has since exploded.

Meanwhile, as music lovers worldwide turn to the internet or their phone’s app store to purchase their new favorite song, few are left carrying bulky Walkman devices to listen to the latest hits. Why carry the same technology in your wallet? If you haven’t switched to an EMV-enabled card for your everyday purchases, it’s never been a better time to do so.