The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Thursday, December 8, 2022

10 Chip and PIN Credit Cards

Chip And Pin Credit Cards

credit card advice

Eric Bank

Written by: Eric Bank

Eric Bank

Eric Bank has been covering business and financial topics since 1985, specializing in taking complex subject matters and explaining them in simple terms for consumer audiences. In addition to his work on CardRates.com, Eric has appeared regularly on Credible.com, eHow, WiseBread, The Nest, Get.com, Zacks, Chron and dozens of other outlets. A former software engineer, Eric holds an M.B.A. from New York University and an M.S. in finance from DePaul 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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Reviewed by: Ashley Dull

Ashley Dull

With more than a decade of experience as a content manager and marketer, Ashley has specialized in finance coverage since 2015. She has worked closely with the world’s largest banks and financial institutions, up-and-coming fintech companies, and press and news outlets to curate comprehensive content and media campaigns. Her credit card commentary is featured on national media outlets that include CNBC, MarketWatch, Investopedia, and Reader's Digest, among others.

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Advertiser Disclosure

America switched several years ago to credit cards with embedded chips. Today we expect all credit cards to carry chip technology that enhances security by generating a unique, non-reusable code for each transaction. 

Surprisingly, only a handful of EMV chip cards also provide credit card PIN capability that further increases card security. Furthermore, some international merchants require a PIN to complete a transaction, so you don’t want to travel abroad without a PIN-capable card.

Our review of chip and PIN cards will greatly interest readers traveling abroad and those who are concerned about shopping safely.

The Best Credit Cards With PIN Capability

The following list of credit cards is quite varied. The group includes cash back, travel, and credit union cards. Most do not charge a foreign transaction fee for purchases made abroad. We’re confident you’ll find one or more promising candidates for your wallet and your lifestyle.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® Review

at Chase’ssecure website

  • 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 18.74% – 27.49%.
  • 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
18.74% – 27.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® has chip and PIN capability, unlike most other offerings from Chase Bank. You need a good-to-excellent credit score to qualify for this card.

This EMV card comes with multiple goodies, including a signup bonus, 0% intro APR promotions, and an extraordinary first-year Ultimate Rewards rate on travel you purchase through Chase Travel.

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★

4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
19.74% – 27.74% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good

Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

The Citi Premier® Card offers safe shopping and speedy checkout with just a quick tap on a contactless payment reader. This chip and PIN contactless card enables in-person transactions using your secret code for ultimate security. It rewards you with ThankYou Points on purchases that you can transfer to select airlines without a fee. 

In addition, you receive many standard Citi benefits, including digital wallet compatibility, free authorized users, and special deals from Citi Entertainment.

The Platinum Card® Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★

4.7

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

The Platinum Card® from American Express charges a high annual fee in return for premium perks. The contactless card offers generous rewards, monthly and annual credits, and a sizable signup bonus, among several other perks.

The Platinum Card is the best credit card in this group for its handsome travel and purchase benefits. The American Express App lets you discover nearby store offers, explore rewards, and receive credit card fraud alerts while efficiently managing your account from virtually anywhere.

4. Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

This card is currently not available.

Travel 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 Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card offers a signup bonus that can be applied as a statement credit after spending the required amount on purchases in a set period following account opening.

The card frequently offers 0% intro APR deals to new cardmembers for purchases and balance transfers. Late payments trigger a penalty APR and a fee.

PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★

4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no caps or limits. PenFed Honors Advantage Members earn 2% cash back on all purchases.
  • $100 bonus offer statement credit when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR for 12 months, 3% fee applies to each transaction. Subject to credit approval.
  • Your PenFed signature card provides a complimentary concierge* service that can help you enjoy the things you love. Simply pick up the phone to call Visa Signature Concierge.
  • Credit union membership is open to everyone.
  • $0 Annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 12 Months
16.49% – 17.99% Variable
$0
Good to Excellent

The PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card imposes no limit to the points you can earn and no expiration dates. You’ll earn unlimited cash back on all purchases, and the reward rate is higher if you’re a PenFed Honors Advantage Member.

It also provides chip-and-PIN security, online click-to-pay convenience, digital wallet compatibility, and a zero-liability policy.

World of Hyatt Business Credit Card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★

4.6

OVERALL RATING

  • 60,000 Bonus Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 9 points total per $1 spent at Hyatt – 4 Bonus Points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member
  • 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent in your top three spend categories each quarter through 12/31/23, then your top two categories each quarter.
  • 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent on fitness club and gym memberships
  • 1 Bonus Point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Up to $100 in Hyatt statement credits – spend $50 or more at any Hyatt property and earn $50 statement credits up to two times each anniversary year.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
19.74% – 26.74% Variable
$199
See website for Details

The World of Hyatt Business Credit Card is a chip and PIN card that’s an excellent fit for business travelers who prefer the Hyatt hotel line. This Chase Bank co-branded card offers a generous signup bonus to go with its moderately high annual fee. 

You receive bonus points when you pay for Hyatt hotel stays and extra points if you are also a World of Hyatt member. There is also a redemption bonus when you spend a set amount in a calendar year.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★

4.5

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn $200 back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership
  • 3% cash back on groceries from U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 1% back on other purchases
  • Introductory 0% APR for 15 months on purchases, then a variable rate applies
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, and more
  • Find out if you Pre-Qualify for the Blue Cash Everyday® Card or other offers in as little as 30 seconds
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
N/A
16.99% – 27.99% Variable
$0
Good

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card is another Amex offering that boasts chip and PIN technology. It doesn’t charge an annual fee and pays a moderately high cash back rate on grocery, online, and gas purchases. 

The new card signup bonus is easy to earn, and you won’t be held responsible for fraudulent transactions.

Navy Federal Visa Signature® Flagship Rewards Credit Card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★

4.5

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 30K Bonus Points When You Spend $3,000 and Get a Low Intro APR on Purchases + Free Year of Amazon Prime®
  • Receive 3X points on travel purchases and 2X points on everything else
  • Receive statement credits (up to $100) for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • No balance transfer fees, foreign transaction fees, or cash advance fees
  • Worldwide Automatic Travel Accident Insurance, plus travel and emergency assistance
  • $49 Annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
1.99% for 6 Months
N/A
12.99% – 18.00% Variable
$49
Very Good/Excellent

The Navy Federal Visa Signature® Flagship Rewards Credit Card is best for consumers who have very good to excellent credit, and is only available to military members and their families. It offers prequalification on its website so you can gauge your approval chances before applying.

True to its travel nature, the card provides statement credits for Global Entry or TSA Pre Check. There’s also no balance transfer, foreign transaction, or cash advance fees.

JetBlue Card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★

4.3

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • Earn 3X points on eligible JetBlue purchases, 2X points at restaurants and grocery stores, and 1X points on all other purchases
  • Enjoy 50% inflight savings on cocktails and food purchases
  • 0% introductory APR for the first 12 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening (transfer fee applies), then a variable APR applies
  • No foreign transaction fees, no blackout dates, and points never expire
  • $0 Annual Fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 12 billing cycles
18.99%, 22.99%, or 27.99%, based on credit
$0
Good

The JetBlue Card doesn’t subject you to blackout dates, the points you earn are unlimited, and your first checked bag is free. This card is ideal for JetBlue loyalists thanks to generous perks and 50% in-flight savings on purchases made with your card.

You can request a PIN by calling the number on the back of the card and using the automated system. After your PIN is established, you can change it anytime online in your account.

Savings Secured Platinum Rewards Credit Card Review

at the issuer’ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★

4.1

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn Flexpoints Rewards – 1 point for every $1 spent
  • Competitive low rate
  • Use the card responsibly and you can be automatically graduated to a Platinum Rewards Credit Card
  • Visa card benefits like Roadside Dispatch, a pay-per-use roadside assistance program
  • 25-day grace period on purchases
  • Ability to join SDFCU and apply at the same time
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
14.99%
$0
N/A

The Savings Secured Platinum Rewards Credit Card defaults to chip and signature but offers chip and PIN backup. In addition to reward points, the card has a low purchase APR and a 25-day grace period on purchases. 

This card also provides access to free credit scores and the card’s mobile app. If you qualify, you can apply for credit union membership and the credit card at the same time.

What Is a Chip and PIN Credit Card?

Astute readers know their credit cards sport a small shiny rectangle, sometimes adorned with a few stylized circuits. This is your card’s EMV chip, named after the three payment networks (Europay, Mastercard, and Visa) that introduced it in 1993. 

EMV chip cards began in Europe, and it took about two decades for cards with embedded chips to migrate to America.

Before the advent of EMV chip technology, credit cards relied on a magnetic stripe to transmit your credit card account information to card readers. This rudimentary security device often fell victim to point-of-sale (POS) card number theft and counterfeit fraud. 

EMV chip card technology is much more secure because a chip credit card holds your payment data but does not store your account number. Instead, it provides a unique number for each purchase. Since the number is for one-time use only, it is of little value to those planning credit card fraud.

EMV chip card technology relies on a PIN (personal identification number), a four-digit secret code. You use the code for PIN verification of your identity as the cardowner. When you get the card, you choose a chip credit card PIN, and you can change it anytime.

How Does a Chip and PIN Credit Card Work?

In the pre-chip days, you would swipe your magnetic stripe card through a card reader to purchase an item at a POS location. Cards still have magstripes, and swiping continues to work, but EMV chips allow cardholders to insert or tap their cards to pay for their purchases. 

You can insert the card’s chip into a card reader’s slot, but ultra-sophisticated shoppers simply tap the card against the contactless payment reader to be immediately recognized. 

If you have a chip and PIN card, you next input your secret code in the PIN pad. The store compares the PIN you enter to the data on the embedded chip to ensure you’re not using a stolen or counterfeit card. The merchant’s payment network approves the transaction if the numbers match. 

Payment by credit card with terminal. Woman enters the pin code.
PIN-capable cards work like debit cards — tap, insert, or swipe the card, then enter your PIN to complete the transaction.

If PIN verification is successful, the card gives the merchant a unique code and records the transaction data on the chip. The chip encrypts all the information it carries, which helps reduce the occurrence of fraudulent transactions and cut down on counterfeit fraud.

What Is the Difference Between Chip and PIN and Chip and Signature?

While all American credit cards have chips, most do not require you to use a PIN at the checkout counter. Instead, we mainly use chip and signature cards, which require you to sign a receipt (or write your name onto the card reader) instead of entering a PIN.

Chip and signature cards are less secure than their PIN-capable cousins because it’s much easier to create a counterfeit card or forge a signature than to guess a PIN. Chip and signature transactions are safer than magnetic stripe card purchases, as the chip still generates a unique code for each use.

Why Doesn’t the US Use Chip and PIN Cards?

It’s hard to fathom why everyone doesn’t insist on using only chip and PIN cards since they are the most secure. But the timid souls at the credit card companies are afraid that consumers will shun their chip and PIN cards as too inconvenient

If given a choice between a PIN and a signature, the card issuers may fear that consumers will reach for their chip and signature cards rather than face the burden of memorizing and entering their PIN.

“The reason banks say they don’t want to issue PINs is that they’re worried it will add too much friction to transactions and make life difficult for their customers.”

The Atlantic

If you have ever used a debit card, you are quite familiar with entering a PIN for POS transactions. The suggestion that Americans won’t use a PIN on their credit cards seems a little silly. 

Choose the Best Chip and PIN Credit Card For Your Needs

If you worry about identity theft, you can improve your financial security by using one or more of the 10 reviewed chip and PIN credit cards. Prominent players in this arena include Chase Bank, American Express, and several credit unions. 

At least one of the reviewed chip and PIN cards may be perfect for your needs, and owning it will provide extra safety in an unsafe world. Also, to satisfy foreign merchants, you will need a chip and PIN card if you plan to travel abroad.

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 for referrals for many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across CardRates.com (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.