The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

15 Best Contactless Credit Cards

15 Best Contactless Credit Cards

credit card advice

Anna Baluch
By: Anna Baluch
Posted: November 5, 2019

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Imagine you’ve just arrived at your favorite coffee shop on a Monday morning. The line is long and you wish there was a way for you to speed up the purchase process so you’re not late for work. With a contactless credit card, you may be able to do just that.

You won’t have to insert it into the card reader and wait for the approval. Instead, you can simply tap it at the terminal and complete your coffee purchase in mere seconds.

So, where can you find contactless credit cards? Fortunately, most major issuers offer contactless payments on select cards. Keep reading to learn about the 15 best contactless credit cards available from the following issuers.

Capital One | Chase | BoA | Amex | Wells Fargo | FAQs

Best Contactless Capital One® Cards

You can use a Capital One contactless credit card at thousands of merchants, including Starbucks, McDonald’s, Walgreens, and anywhere that accepts credit cards. Even if the register isn’t designed to accept contactless credit cards, you can still swipe or insert your card. While you may have to sign for some purchases, those that are less than $50 may not require a signature.

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.49% - 24.74% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 13.74% - 23.74% variable APR after that
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • 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
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.74%-25.74% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 15.74%-25.74% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
15.74% - 25.74% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

You’ll still be able to make online purchases with a Capital One contactless credit card using your card number, expiration date, and security code, just as you would with a traditional credit card. However, you won’t get the enhanced security you can expect when you make a contactless payment in-store.

Best Contactless Chase Cards

If you see the contactless symbol — contactless indicator  — on the front or back of your Chase Visa® card, you can tap it to pay for your purchases. Contactless Chase Visa® cards are accepted at millions of merchants around the world, so you may also use your card while you’re traveling abroad in countries like Australia, Canada, and France.

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 unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5
  • No annual fee
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
16.74% - 25.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

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!
  • 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 16.74 - 25.49%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
16.74% - 25.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

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 $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.74% - 25.74% Variable
$450
Good/Excellent

Have a Chase card that doesn’t feature the contactless symbol? No problem! You can replace it with one of the contactless cards by visiting the Chase Card Replacement page. If you’d like to apply for a new Chase Visa® credit card, go to the Chase Card Marketplace.

Best Contactless Bank of America Cards

Bank of America contactless cards allow you to make daily purchases quickly without compromising safety. The bank sets a limit on the number of contactless transactions you can make before you are asked to conduct a contact transaction where you will have to verify your PIN.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

0.0/5.0
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings
  • Plus, earn 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1% cash back on everything else
  • Bonus rewards capped at $2,500 is combined bonus category purchases each quarter
  • No annual fee
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 12 Billing Cycles
0% Intro APR for 12 Billing Cycles (for balance transfers made in the first 60 days)
16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

0.0/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere, every time and no expiration on points
  • 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days — that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want — you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles
N/A
17.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good
BankAmericard® Credit Card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

0.0/5.0
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then 15.24% to 25.24% Variable APR
  • $0 Intro Balance transfer fee during first 60 days of account opening. After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% (min. $10).
  • No annual fee
  • No penalty APR. Paying late won't automatically raise your interest rate (APR). Other account pricing and terms apply.
  • Access your FICO® Score for free within Online Banking or your Mobile Banking app
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles
0% Intro APR for 15 Billing Cycles (for balance transfers made in the first 60 days)
15.24% to 25.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

Although you can’t disable the contactless feature, you can use the chip or PIN function on a Bank of America contactless card when necessary. While there are no daily limits for contactless card purchases in America, the bank does set transaction limits in some countries, including Australia, India, and Singapore.

Best Contactless American Express Cards

Most American Express credit cards feature contactless technology. To make sure your American Express card is contactless, look for the contactless symbol on the front or back of the card, which looks like the WiFi symbol turned on its side.

When you first use an American Express contactless card, you can expect to enter your PIN to initiate the technology. It may take up to 48 hours to submit and process the transaction. You’ll still earn purchase rewards when using the contactless payment method on your American Express card.

10. The Platinum Card®

The Platinum Card® from American Express offers a plethora of premium travel perks, including airport lounge access, Hilton Honors gold status, car rental discounts and insurance, and luxury hotel perks.

Platinum Card® from American Express

  • 5X Membership Rewards Points on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel
  • $200 annual airline fee credit
  • $550 annual fee

While there is a hefty annual fee, you may find it to be well worth it if you’re an avid traveler and take advantage of the many benefits this card offers. If you don’t travel too much, you can always redeem the points you earn for gift cards, merchandise, and entertainment, or to make charitable donations.

11. Blue Cash Preferred® Card

You can enjoy a 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 12 months after opening the Blue Cash Preferred® Card. This is a great deal if you need to pay for furniture, a home repair, or other large purchase, and are confident you can pay it off before the promotional APR expires.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, tiered rewards in other popular purchase categories
  • 0% intro-APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months
  • $95 annual fee

In addition, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card offers bonus cash back rewards for groceries, streaming services, gas, and transit. If you like to cook at home, subscribe to streaming services, drive to work, or take public transportation, the card’s rewards may very well pay for the annual fee and then some.

12. Cash Magnet® Card

The Cash Magnet® Card can reward you with 1.5% cash back on every purchase. It’s ideal if you’re looking for a simple cash back card, as you’ll get rewarded regardless of what you buy and don’t have to worry about any spending limits or rotating categories.

Cash Magnet® Card

  • Flat-rate 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • 0% intro-APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months
  • Pay no annual fee

Additional features include roadside assistance, car rental loss and damage insurance, travel accident insurance, purchase protection, and return protection, as well.

Best Contactless Wells Fargo Cards

Contactless Wells Fargo credit cards come with 24/7 fraud monitoring and Zero Liability protection. This means you won’t be liable for any unauthorized transactions as long as you report them right away.

If you like to shop online, you can still make purchases with your contactless Wells Fargo card via the same process you would if it were a chip card. If your existing Wells Fargo credit card doesn’t have the contactless payments feature, you can request one at no additional cost.

13. Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card may be a strong candidate if you’re looking for a travel card with no annual fee. You can earn 3X points per $1 on travel and transit, dining, gas station purchases, and certain streaming services as well as 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

  • 3X points on dining, gas, travel, and popular streaming services
  • No caps on point earnings; points never expire
  • Pay no annual fee

There are other notable features including travel and emergency assistance services, lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation and interruption protection, and discounts on vacation packages. The Wells Fargo Propel Amex Card also offers a generous sign-up bonus if you spend a certain amount of money within the first three months you have it.

14. Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

Looking for a way to earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on all your purchases? The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card is it. You can also earn 1.8% cash rewards on digital wallet purchases, such as Apple Pay® or Google Pay™, during the first 12 months you have the card.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

  • 5% flat-rate cash back on all purchases
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • $150 cash bonus when you spend $500 in the first 3 months
  • Pay no annual fee

Additionally, you’ll get cellphone damage and theft protection if you use the card to pay your cellphone bill each month. There is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn, and you can use it to pay down any loan you have through Wells Fargo.

15. Wells Fargo Platinum Card

The big selling point for the Wells Fargo Platinum Card is its 0% interest on new purchases and balance transfers for 18 months – one of the longest promotional periods in the industry. It also includes access to My Money Map tools, which can help you keep track of your budget and set personal spending and savings goals.

Wells Fargo Platinum Card

  • 0% interest for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • Free FICO credit score with Wells Fargo Online
  • Pay no annual fee

As with other Wells Fargo cards, the Wells Fargo Platinum Card can protect you in the event your cellphone gets damaged or stolen as long as you use it to pay your monthly bill. Since it doesn’t offer any type of rewards program, you may be better off choosing another card if you’d like to earn points or cash back after paying off your balance.

How Does a Contactless Credit Card Work?

A contactless credit card contains a chip inside of it (different from an EMV chip) that emits radio waves. There is an antenna built into the card that allows it to connect to a payment terminal. This is referred to as radio-frequency identification or RFID technology.

When you’re ready to make a purchase at a merchant that accepts contactless payments, you’ll hold the card near the payment terminal — within three or four inches — so that it can pick up the signal, communicate with the card, and process your payment.

The terminal will inform you whether the payment was successful. In the event it could not process your payment, you may have to use a PIN. In most cases, contactless credit cards work without any issues and can allow you to complete purchases in seconds.

You can also connect your contactless credit card to a device like your smartphone, smartwatch, or fitness tracker and pay via contactless technology. To do this, download a payment app, such as Apple Pay® or Google Pay™, onto your device and connect your card.

Fortunately, contactless technology is being increasingly accepted, so you can use it at several stores, restaurants, cafés, and even vending machines. You may also use your contactless credit card to pay for public transportation while traveling in certain cities, like London.

You’ll find that contactless cards are ideal for smaller purchases. While you likely won’t use them when you’re buying a new mattress or couch, you may appreciate them when you want to get a cup of coffee in the morning, grab a quick bite to eat for lunch, or fuel up on your way home. It can save you some time at the checkout line so you can get back to more important things like working or spending time with your family as soon as possible.

Is a Contactless Credit Card Safe?

Safety may be a concern of yours if you’re new to contactless credit cards. You’ll be relieved to learn that contactless credit cards are just as safe — if not safer — than chip or PIN cards. There’s also less risk you’ll lose or forget your card since your card will never leave your hand during a transaction.

Contactless cards only work when in close contact with the terminal, and the terminal can only process one transaction at a time. Therefore, every purchase you make with a contactless card will be intentional and you won’t find any surprise charges on your credit card statement.

These types of cards are a safe way to make small, in-person purchases because your name, three-digit security code (also known as a CVV number), and billing information will never be transmitted. Instead, a one-time code will be sent from the card to the terminal so that only that specific transaction can be identified.

It’s important to note that while contactless credit cards are safe when in your possession, they can be dangerous if you lose them. Report a lost or stolen card immediately, since a thief may be able to use your contactless credit card by simply tapping it to make a purchase. As long as you keep your contactless card with you at all times, you don’t have to compromise safety for convenience when using it.

How Do I Know if My Credit Card is Contactless?

Many credit cards these days are contactless. If you’re wondering whether your favorite card has this feature, all you have to do is look at it.

Do you see the contactless indicator symbol? If so, congratulations — your card is contactless and you can use it to make fast payments on small purchases. You can always call your credit card provider or visit its website to confirm.

Photo of a Visa Credit Card

Look for the RFID symbol on the front or back of your card to know if it can facilitate contactless payments.

If you happen to encounter a merchant that has not yet jumped on the contactless credit card bandwagon, no need to worry. You can complete your purchase by inserting the chip or swiping your card, as usual.

You can also use your contactless card to make online purchases just as you normally would, by entering your name, billing address, credit card number, security code, and expiration date.

If you find that your credit card does not support contactless payments, you can always apply for a new contactless card or request a replacement from your existing issuer. Most credit card providers support their customers in using newer technology to make purchases and will likely be more than happy to send you a free replacement card with RFID technology.

Consider all your options and choose a contactless credit card that aligns with your unique lifestyle needs and preferences. Is earning rewards important to you or do you care more about paying down debt? Think about these things before deciding on your next credit card.

Keep in mind that you may have to activate this feature before you use your contactless credit card for the first time. Once activated, however, you’ll be able to complete future purchases in seconds.

Tap and Pay Your Way to Rewards

If you like the idea of being in and out of your favorite coffee shops, restaurants, and gas stations quickly, a contactless credit card can make your life easier. You can make payments in seconds with a simple tap while enjoying the peace of mind of knowing your transactions are secure.