On July 23, Bank of America announced that many of its consumer credit cards will soon have chip technology, which is the standard in Europe and many other countries. The bank began rolling these out earlier in the year for corporate and commercial cards, but this is the first time its regular customers will have access.
How does they work? According to the press release, “Credit cards with chip technology, which is also known as EMV (EuroPay Mastercard Visa), are embedded with a microprocessor chip that encrypts and stores the account information. Many countries outside the U.S. have already converted from magnetic stripe to EMV chip technology.” Additionally, “The new chip technology will increase acceptance and security of the cards for international travelers.” The card will still have a magnetic stripe as a backup, and you will still sign your receipt as always. It will just have a built-in security feature that traditional magnetic cards lack.
A public relations company representing Bank of America contacted CreditCards.com to tell us about a new BankAmericard Travel Rewards card that will use this technology. The card “has no foreign transaction fees, expiration on points or blackout dates, (and) gives consumers the flexibility to use points to pay for a variety of travel expenses.” I think I just found my new credit card!
I’m thrilled because I am a longtime BOFA customer and a frequent traveler. I actually just returned from a week and a half in Ireland. As always, I brought my Capital One credit card to avoid foreign transaction fees. I used it for larger purchases, such as meals. Every place I used it I was able to swipe it, since the terminals still have a place to swipe magnetic cards. Some merchants wanted to see my ID, but I didn’t run into any trouble with it as I have before when abroad. I did go to one cafe that wouldn’t let me use my card unless I spent 10 euros, but everything else was smooth. Quite a few people working at stores and restaurants expressed surprise that we still use magnetic stripe cards and said they seemed so much less secure. I told them we’re almost there!
So as you can imagine, I was thrilled that upon returning to the U.S., I learned that my primary bank is implementing it as we speak. View the press release to see which new cards will include it and which cards can have it upon request. You can actually begin asking for them on the phone or in a banking center right now, and online requests will available later in the year. Are you as excited as I am that chip cards will soon be the norm in the United States? Let me know below after you read my roundup of my 10 favorite personal finance blog posts from the past week!
1. My Dollar Plan shares comments from readers about how they handle life after debt, something that many people don’t think about until the time comes!
2. How do wealthy people get there and stay there? Christian Personal Finance reveals five financial habits that wealthy people practice.
3. Finance Fox experiences shock after witnessing a “dine-and-dash experience.”
4. Debt and the Girl shares how she is adapting to a simpler life with fewer expenses.
5. 20something Finance features a funny dialogue that shows how easy it is for people to rationalize lifestyle inflation.
6. Money Coun$elor explains how vehicle repossessions work and whether it’s a cure for debt.
7. A guest post on Budgeting in the Fun Stuff discusses why personal finance isn’t always about the numbers and can be clouded by obsession.
8. Evolving Personal Finance debates whether abrupt change or gradual change works better for cutting back on food spending.
9. Free From Broke lists five ways to have a frugal retirement and make your savings go further.
10. My Personal Finance Journey discusses the various ways to use a credit card to your benefit, plus a caveat about when you shouldn’t use them.