The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Saturday, April 4, 2020

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
Updated: November 18, 2019
Advertiser Disclosure

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.

Keep reading to learn more about these cards and see our list of what we believe to be the EMV chip credit cards out there today. Whether you’re a frequent flyer or a student establishing your credit history, there’s something for everyone.

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.

  • 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 16.49 - 25.24%.
  • 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
  • Chase is not an affiliate partner with CardRates and does not review editorial content on our site
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
16.49% - 25.24% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

BEST OVERALL 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 unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates and fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Transfer your miles to over 15+ leading travel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
14.49% - 24.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good
3

Discover it® chrome

This card is currently not available.

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

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
  • 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 16.49 - 25.24%.
  • 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
  • Chase is not an affiliate partner with CardRates and does not review editorial content on our site
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
16.49% - 25.24% 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 16.49 - 25.24%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • Chase is not an affiliate partner with CardRates and does not review editorial content on our site
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
16.49% - 25.24% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
6

Discover it® Cash Back

This card is currently not available.

Discover® Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

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

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 60,000 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®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
  • Chase is not an affiliate partner with CardRates and does not review editorial content on our site
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.49% - 24.49% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

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 unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates and fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Transfer your miles to over 15+ leading travel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
14.49% - 24.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
5.0

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 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 $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 15+ leading travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

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

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions
  • $0 annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases
  • $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen
  • 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
N/A
N/A
18.49% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions
  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Save on interest with 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 14.49% - 22.49% variable APR after that
  • No annual fee
  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • 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
14.49% - 22.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles – equal to $500 in travel – once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions, and miles won't expire for the life of the account
  • Earn 5X miles on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel℠ using a Spark Miles card
  • Transfer your miles to 10+ leading travel loyalty programs like JetBlue™, Air Canada, and Emirates™
  • Redeem your miles instantly for any travel-related purchases, from flights and hotels to ride-sharing services
  • Fly through security with one statement credit for either the $85 TSA Pre✔® application fee or the $100 Global Entry application fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.49% (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.

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
  • Enjoy no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Get a head start and build your credit with responsible use
  • Get Eno®, your Capital One® assistant, to manage your account via text, receive alerts, and shop safer online
  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (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

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Earn cash rewards without signing up for rotating categories
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • No limit to how much cash back you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire for the life of the account
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (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
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited
18

Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® with Cash Back Rewards

This card is currently not available.

Fair Credit Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

+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.