The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Monday, March 8, 2021

18 Best EMV Chip Credit Cards with Security Technology

Best Emv Chip Credit Cards

credit card advice

Ray FitzGerald
By: Ray FitzGerald
Updated: September 16, 2020
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 $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% 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 $500 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 10+ travel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good
Discover it® chrome Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn cash back on your next road trip with 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. Based Customer Service available any time.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
$0
Good/Excellent

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

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a $200 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!
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
Discover it® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back in any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • #1 Most Trusted Credit Card according to Investor’s Business Daily.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
$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

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases.
  • 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% 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 $500 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 10+ travel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 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 10+ 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)
$95
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

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • 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
  • Purchase above your credit limit with no hassle and no over-limit fees
  • $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
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
20.99% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • 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; 13.99% - 23.99% 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
13.99% - 23.99% (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
  • 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
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
20.99% (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® Student Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • Earn rewards while building your credit history that can help you after graduation. And, get your free Credit Scorecard that includes your FICO® Credit Score and important details that help make up your score.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Refer-a-Friend: Once you become a Discover it® Student cardmember, you can earn a statement credit each time you refer a friend and they’re approved. Over half a million students got Discover Cards from their friends' recommendations.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 6 months
10.99% for 6 months
12.99% - 21.99% Variable APR
$0
Fair/New to Credit

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.6

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
  • Earn $5 per month for 12 months on Select Streaming Subscriptions when you pay on time. *Exclusions Apply
  • Enjoy no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • You can help build your credit with responsible use of a card like this
  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited
Discover it® Student chrome Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • Earn rewards while building your credit history that can help you after graduation. And, get your free Credit Scorecard that includes your FICO® Credit Score and important details that help make up your score.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Refer-a-Friend: Once you become a Discover it® Student cardmember, you can earn a statement credit each time you refer a friend and they’re approved. Over half a million students got Discover Cards from their friends' recommendations.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 6 months
10.99% for 6 months
12.99% - 21.99% Variable APR
$0
Fair/New to Credit

+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

★★★★★
4.6

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
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • 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

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • Pay no annual fee
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
  • Check out quickly and securely with a contactless card, without touching a terminal or handing your card to a cashier. Just hover your card over a contactless reader, wait for the confirmation, and you're all set
  • Pay by check, online or at a local branch, all with no fee - and pick the monthly due date that works best for you
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited
Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® with Cash Back Rewards Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.3

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Qualified applicants will enjoy benefits including 1% cash back rewards on all purchases, no annual fee, and a competitive APR. Terms apply
  • CreditOneBank.com and the Credit One Bank mobile app makes it easy to access and manage all your account information and make payments whether you’re at home or on-the-go.
  • Zero Fraud Liability protects you if your card is ever lost or stolen. Rest easy knowing you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges.
  • Use your Apple device to make purchases securely through Apple Pay®. Apple Pay is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc.
  • Keep an eye on your credit information with free online access to your Experian credit score. Terms apply.
  • Get access to billing statements online when you Go Paperless. Enjoy quicker access to your account documents without the hassle of having to wait ‘til they arrive in the mail.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.99% to 23.99% Variable
$0 - $99
Bad/Poor/Fair/Good

+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.

Advertiser Disclosure

CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.