Credit Cards With EMV Smart Chips

After evaluating 1,399 credit cards with EMV chip technology (also referred to as smart chips), here are the most popular credit cards from our partners. These cards offer an enhanced security against counterfeiting or cloning. "Chip and signature" is becoming the standard authorization process in the US. However, this standard is different than the "Chip and PIN" standard used in much of the rest of the world. Still, many frequent travelers find these cards more easily accepted overseas.

After evaluating 1,399 credit cards with EMV chip technology (also referred to as smart chips), here are the most popular credit cards from our partners. These cards offer an enhanced security against counterfeiting or cloning. "Chip and signature" is becoming the standard authorization process in the US. However, this standard is different than the "Chip and PIN" standard used in much of the rest of the world. Still, many frequent travelers find these cards more easily accepted overseas.

Summary
Citi® Double Cash Card
Apply Now

Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent
670-850

Rewards Rate

2%
Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay

This Card at a Glance

Annual Fee
$0
Balance Transfer Intro APR
0% 18 months on Balance Transfers*
Regular APR
15.74% - 25.74% variable
Citi Premier℠ Card
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Recommended Credit

Excellent
740-850

Rewards Rate

3X
Earn 3 points per $1 spent on travel including gas stations
2X
Earn 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants and on entertainment
1X
Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

This Card at a Glance

Annual Fee
$95, waived first year
Balance Transfer Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
16.74% - 25.74% variable
NASCAR® Credit Card from Credit One Bank®
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Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent
670-850

Rewards Rate

2%
Get double cash back rewards at the NASCAR.com Superstore, terms apply.
1%
Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases

This Card at a Glance

Annual Fee
$0 - $99
Balance Transfer Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
20.24% - 26.24% variable
Discover it® Cash Back
 (26,257)
Apply Now

Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent
670-850

Rewards Rate

5%
Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
1%
Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

This Card at a Glance

Annual Fee
$0
Balance Transfer Intro APR
0% for 14 months
Regular APR
14.24% - 25.24% variable
Discover it® Miles
 (322)
Apply Now

Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent
670-850

Rewards Rate

1.5X
Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases all with no annual fee.

This Card at a Glance

Annual Fee
$0
Balance Transfer Intro APR
10.99% for 14 months
Regular APR
14.24% - 25.24% variable
Credit One Bank® NASCAR® Visa® Credit Card
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Recommended Credit

Fair to Good
580-740

Rewards Rate

1%
Receive 1% cash back on eligible purchases and double cash back at the NASCAR.com Superstore. Terms apply.

This Card at a Glance

Annual Fee
$0 - $99
Balance Transfer Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
20.24% - 26.24% variable
Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever
Apply Now

Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent
670-850

Rewards Rate

This card doesn't offer cash back, miles, or points

This Card at a Glance

Annual Fee
$0
Balance Transfer Intro APR
0%* 21 months on Balance Transfers*
Regular APR
16.24% - 26.24% variable
Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit
 (4,616)
Apply Now

Recommended Credit

Bad to Fair
300-670

Rewards Rate

1%
Receive 1% cash back on eligible purchases, terms apply

This Card at a Glance

Annual Fee
$0 - $99
Balance Transfer Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
20.24% - 26.24% variable
Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®
Apply Now

Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent
670-850

Rewards Rate

This card doesn't offer cash back, miles, or points

This Card at a Glance

Annual Fee
$0
Balance Transfer Intro APR
See Terms
Regular APR
14.24% variable
USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card
Apply Now

Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent
670-850

Rewards Rate

5%
Earn 5% cash back on your first $3,000 in gas and military purchases annually on these categories combined.
2%
Earn 2% cash back on your first $3,000 on supermarket purchases per year.
1%
Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

This Card at a Glance

Annual Fee
$0
Balance Transfer Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
14.15% - 28.15% variable

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Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank's website for the most current information.


Comparing EMV Chip Credit Cards

Updated: January 1, 2019

In the last three years, card issuers have been sending out new plastic with a little square on the front that makes all the difference in the world.

Called an EMV chip, this small change has made our cards more secure than the old magnetic stripe technology. In fact, fraud has considerably decreased over the last three years, experts have noticed.

What are EMV chip cards and how do they work?

EMV, which stands for EuroPay, Mastercard, Visa, equips credit and debit cards with computer chips and technology to authenticate chip-card transactions.

EMV cards or chip cards have been used in Europe and throughout the world for decades, and they have been making headway in the U.S. They are touted as more secure than the magnetic stripes that have long been used in the United States until the last couple of years.

While the older magnetic stripes contain unchanging data – which the bad guys can conceivably steal – an EMV card creates a new transaction code for each payment that can't be used again. That doesn't mean breaches aren't possible, but it makes things more complicated and difficult for thieves.

Visa reports a 75% drop in counterfeit fraud dollars between September 2015 and March 2018 among merchants who made the switch and a 46% drop overall. Also Visa reports that 97% of payment volume was on EMV cards in June 2018, and chip transactions grew from $4.8 billion in September 2015 to $76.7 billion in June 2018.

Want to know how EMV chips are made? Check out this video.

How the EMV works

There are several things going on with how a chip card works. Here's Visa's take on this:

  1. Computer microchip. A computer chip securely stores the card data that resides on the magnetic stripe. That makes it nearly impossible to create a fake EMV chip card.
  2. Unique cryptogram. The computer chip enables more secure processing by producing a one-time code for each transaction.
  3. Mobile shopping. EMV technology will also enable a one-time code for mobile transactions and support other security innovations like tokenization.

How to use an EMV chip credit card

Not sure how to use that new chip-enabled card? It's simple:

  1. Insert card. With the chip facing the terminal and facing up, insert the card rather than swiping.
  2. Leave the card alone. Let the card stay in the terminal until prompted to take it out.
  3. Sign a receipt. You may be asked to provide a signature or PIN, although many merchants are now allowing small purchases without a signature.
  4. Remove your card. Some terminals will prompt you to remove your card with a loud beeping noise. Either way, don't forget it!

Major benefits

With safety as a primary feature, EMV chip cards deliver added protection to every purchase you make. And fraud is big business, financial experts have found, so you need all the help you can get:

  •  74%
  • Checks were targeted
  •  48%
  • Wire fraud was targeted
  •  30%
  • Corporate card fraud was targeted

Source: 2018 AFP Payments Fraud Survey

With fraud top of mind for many consumers, a chip-enabled card is a welcome package in the mail. Still need convincing? Here are benefits of an EMV chip card:

  • Can't easily counterfeit. Because EMV chip cards use cryptograms that are unique to each transaction, stolen chip card data cannot be used to create fake cards, says Visa.
  • Less risk of fraud. Visa says the added layer of security provided by chip cards makes credit and debit card data much less valuable, decreasing incentive for the bad guys to steal data.
  • Zero liability. With chip cards, cardholders are still protected from fraudulent purchases with Visa's zero liability policy, which is common in the industry.
  • Easy to use. Once you get the hang of it, you'll find the chip card to be a breeze. If you feel it takes too long, you're not alone (although it actually only takes seconds). A CreditCards.com poll found that one-sixth of consumers felt that it takes too long, although almost three-fifths had no complaints.

Laura is an editor and writer at CreditCards.com. She has written extensively on all things credit cards and works to bring you the most up-to-date analysis and advice. Laura's work has been cited in such publications as the New York Times and Associated Press. You can reach her by e-mail at laura.mohammad@creditcards.com and on Twitter @creditcards_lm.


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