The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Friday, October 7, 2022

15 Best Contactless Credit Cards

Best Contactless Credit Cards

credit card advice

Anna Baluch

Written by: Anna Baluch

Anna Baluch

Anna Baluch is a finance writer who enjoys writing about personal money management topics, including credit and lending, mortgages, retirement, insurance, and investing. Her work has been published on LendingTree, Business Insider, Experian, Credit Karma, Inc.com, ValuePenguin, MagnifyMoney, and other well-known online publications. Anna holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Northwood University.

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Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience. She has written and edited for major news organizations, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times, and she previously served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Florida. Today, she edits all CardRates content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

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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 | 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 signture.

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through our Partner Lounge Network
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.99% - 26.99% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • One-time $200 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
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • 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 and balance transfers for 15 months; 17.99%-27.99% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
17.99% - 27.99% (Variable)
$0
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 $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
17.99% - 27.99% (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 — — 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

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 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
19.24% - 26.24% Variable
$550
Good/Excellent

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24% - 25.99%.
  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
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
17.24% - 25.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24% - 25.99%.
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
17.24% - 25.99% Variable
$0
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.

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • Get a $300 statement credit when you make at least $3,000 in net purchases within 90 days of your account opening
  • Earn 3% cash back on your choice of one of the following six categories: gas stations (default), office supply stores, travel, TV/telecom & wireless, computer services, or business consulting services and 2% cash back on dining on the first $50,000 in combined choice category/dining purchases each year, 1% thereafter
  • Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Get 75% more cash back on every purchase when you're a Preferred Rewards for Business Platinum Honors tier member. That means you'll earn 5.25% on your selected choice category, 3.5% on dining, and unlimited 1.75% cash back on all other purchases.
  • 0% on purchases for 9 billing cycles from account opening, then a variable APR applies
  • $0 Annual Fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 9 billing cycles
N/A
13.74% to 23.74% Variable
$0
Good

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 25,000 bonus points ($250 value) if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere
  • No blackout dates or restrictions apply, and points never expire
  • 0% introductory APR on new purchases and balance transfers for 18 billing cycles, then a variable APR applies
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 Annual Fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 18 billing cycles
0% for 18 billing cycles
16.24% - 26.24% Variable
$0
None/Limited

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings, and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • 0% Introductory APR on new purchases and balance transfers for 18 billing cycles (balance transfer fee applies), then a variable APR applies
  • Optional overdraft protection option helps prevent declined purchases, returned checks, or other overdrafts when you link your eligible Bank of America® checking account to your credit card. Transfer fees may apply.
  • $0 Annual Fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 18 billing cycles
0% for 18 billing cycles
16.24% - 26.24% Variable
$0
None/Limited

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

All 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.

The Platinum Card® Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

CATEGORY RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 125,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new card to make $6,000 in purchases in your first 6 months of Card Membership
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly through airlines or American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. Also earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels on AmexTravel.com. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.
  • $200 annual hotel credit, $200 annual airline fee credit, $25 monthly Equinox credit, $15 monthly Uber cash credit, $50 bi-annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit, and more.
  • Platinum Card Members have unlimited complimentary access to all locations of The Global Lounge Collection, including 1,400 airport lounges across 650 cities.
  • Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status and Hilton Honors Gold Status. Enrollment required.
  • Choose among three card designs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.99% - 25.99% Pay Over Time
$695
Excellent
Blue Cash Preferred® Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

CATEGORY RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn $400 back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year on purchases (then 1%). Also earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • Earn 3% cash back on transit, including U.S. gas stations, taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
  • $120 Equinox Credit - Use your Blue Cash Preferred Card to pay for Equinox+ at equinoxplus.com and receive $10 in monthly statement credits. Enrollment required.
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable APR applies
  • $95 Annual Fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
15.49% - 25.49% Variable
$95
Excellent Credit
American Express® Gold Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

CATEGORY RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on purchases on your new card in your first 6 months of card membership
  • Earn 4X Points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases. Also earn 4X Points at restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and 3X points on flights when booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com. All other eligible purchases earn 1X point.
  • 0% Intro APR on eligible charges for 6 months from the date of account opening on purchases eligible for Pay Over Time, then a 18.99% to 25.99% variable APR .
  • Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, Boxed and other participating partners. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
  • Delight your senses when you book The Hotel Collection with American Express Travel. Get a $100 experience credit to use during your stay. A minimum 2-night stay is required.
  • $250 Annual Fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 6 Months
N/A
18.99% - 25.99% Pay Over Time
$250
Excellent

You’ll still earn purchase rewards when using the contactless payment method on your American Express card.

Common Amex features include roadside assistance, car rental loss and damage insurance, travel accident insurance, and extended warranties.

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 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.

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