The next time you travel to Paris make sure your credit card has an embedded SmartChip. I called American Express yesterday to have our Platinum cards re-issued with them. Apparently it’s not standard procedure to re-issue so make the call. With a SmartChip embedded the card works seamlessly for “chip and pin” style transactions favored in Europe. Also, there are no foreign exchange charges when using the Platinum card—make sure you confirm this with your credit card company. The 40 million debit and credit card breach at Target stores reveals that the U.S. is prime hunting ground for credit card fraud. It’s time we became more like Europe and move to SmartChips. Magnetic Strip technology is from the dark ages.
Attention globetrotters and gadabouts! Vagabonds and voyagers! Wanderers and wayfarers! Don’t let your incompatible, incompetent, and all around inferior American magstripe credit card hinder your international travels. For purchases outside the States, you’ll often need an EMV chip-with-signature credit card to make purchases and pay for services. EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) cards are nearly identical to the typical American credit card, but they contain a secure microchip for transmitting data. EMV cards offer a higher level of security and have become the standard in many parts of Western Europe – to the point where some merchants don’t accept our antiquated magnetic stripe technology. Here are the current American chip-with-signature EMV cards along with a few tips for making the right selection. Be sure to check out our list of no foreign transaction fee credit cards to save big on international travel.