Bank of America EMV Chip Credit Cards
When Americans visit Europe, they are often surprised to discover that their credit cards will not work in many situations. Throughout Europe, banks have been using a system that requires that a microchip be embedded in the customer’s credit card. Cards that include these devices, called EMV chips, are now being rolled out to American credit card users. Bank of American has just announced that it will include EMV chips in most of its products issued to American cardholders.
Bank of America has said that the chips will now be standard in its Merrill Lynch, U.S. Trust Accolades, BankAmericard Travel Rewards, BankAmericard Privileges (which has no international credit card fees), and Virgin Atlantic travel credit cards. In addition, existing cardholders who travel internationally will also receive upgraded cards.
Other cardholders can also request a new card with the chip installed. These cards include the BankAmericard Cash Rewards, BankAmericard Power Rewards, BankAmericard, AAA Members Rewards, NEA, Asiana Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines credit cards.
“The new chip-enabled cards will improve convenience and security of customers’ transactions when traveling abroad,” said Bank of America’s Consumer and Small Business Products Executive Susan Faulkner. “We want our customers to have the best possible experience while making purchases with their credit cards anywhere in the world.”
How EMV chips work
EMV stands for EuroPay, MasterCard, and Visa. The devices themselves are small, gold colored chips that are visible on the front of the card. This technology is meant to replace the magnetic strip traditionally on the back of a credit card although American cards still feature both devices. EMV enabled devices are typically found at unattended kiosks throughout Europe and in some parts of the world as well. These kiosks can include train and subway stations, gas stations, and bicycle rental facilities. If a customer tries to use a card without an EMV chip, they will be shown get an error message that doesn’t really explain the problem.
What credit card users should do
If an existing Bank of America customer will be traveling to Europe, he or she should ensure that they have an EMV enabled card. If the chip is not visible on the front of the card, simply call Bank of America’s customer service and ask to have the card reissued with a compatible version. By using the latest technology that is compatible with European payment terminals, travelers to Europe can enjoy a seamless experience when they use their Bank of America credit cards.