We all know most of the country with the exception of USA moved into chip and pin type credit card many years ago. The US credit card company started issuing chip enabled credit card after the security breach at Target that lead to about 100+ millions of credit card information stolen by hackers. Even though the US credit card issuing banks are late into the Chip enabled card it is only half hatred attempt to fix the problem.
Most of the world uses a PIN number with the chip enabled card this to prevent someone from physically stealing credit card and using it. The US chip enabled card comes with the promised security features as long as you use the card in USA but you will have tough luck finding a vendor accepting your Non-PIN Chip enabled card abroad.
Recently I travelled to India, as always I take only few credit cards with me with the fear that my credit card may get stolen and end up having no credit card at all. During the trip I took the following chip enabled cards
Chase Sapphire Visa
Chase United Explorer Visa
Barclay American Airlines Master Card
Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa
I tried to use my Chase Sapphire Visa with one of the vendors since my chip enabled card does not come with a pin I tried to swipe the card then came the error message
This is a chip enabled card please use the chip slot
So I tried to use the chip slot to pay for the transaction, then came the following error message
Sending … Receiving … Error
Despite various attempt, I was not able to get the card processed
I tried my other card Chase United Explorer and Barclay American Airlines Card. Same result error cannot process. I though there was some problem with the vendor machine I ended up paying cash for the transaction
A few days later went for shopping again the same result Chase Sapphire, Chase United Explorer, and Barclay American Airlines Card did not work. I again ended up paying cash.
This issue went on for 3 different shops in 2 different cities, I finally thought of giving it up then suddenly I remembered I have not used my Bank of America Master Card and I used it in one of the shop by swiping the card, it worked.
I do not know why only Bank of America Card worked and other three cards did not work. At the point, I started solely using only Bank of America Master Card for purchase. But one issue with Bank of America card they did charge foreign transaction fee compared to Chase but in that situation I have no other option but to use only BOA card. Recently Bank of America is started waving foreign transaction fee, so it will not be a problem when I use the card during my next abroad trip.
After I came back to USA, I made a phone call to Chase Sapphire, the conversation went this way
Me: Recently I went to India my Chase Sapphire Chip enabled card did not work
Chase : May be the merchant credit card machine is not functioning properly, did you try with other merchants
Me: Yes I tried with 3 or 4 merchant the card did not work
Chase: May be the chip is broken we will send you a new card
Me: Yes that may be the possibility but I tried 2 different cards that also did not work
Chase: Sir we can speak only about our bank cards and not about other bank issued card
Me: No what I am trying to imply that chip and signature card is not working in India they require chip and pin
Chase: I do not think so sir, this is the first time I am hearing such a compliant that our chip enabled card is not working abroad.
Me: Ok send me a new card let me try during my next trip
Either the Chase rep is on the first day of the job or he has never read any of the article that mentions the issues when using chip and signature card abroad.
So it is advisable to take all your card with you during your trip abroad if one card does not work you will have a backup.
Disclaimer : I was not paid to write the above article, the above blog article is my personal experience.