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Credit Cards

Credit Card FAQs

  • A chip card is a standard-size credit card plastic with both an embedded chip and a traditional magnetic stripe. If your card is lost or stolen, the embedded microchip makes the card extremely difficult to counterfeit or copy. You'll enjoy greater acceptance in over 130 countries around the world including Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom, where chip cards are standard.

    Make purchases by inserting your chip card face-up in the chip-enabled merchant terminal. You will be asked for a signature to complete the purchase. In some cases, a PIN may be requested and you will need to communicate to the merchant that you will be signing for the purchase. When chip-enabled merchant terminals are not available, the magnetic stripe on the back of the plastic can be swiped instead.

    Chip & PIN is a very similar technology, except that you use a PIN to complete a purchase instead of a signature. Both chip & PIN and chip & signature offer enhanced security against counterfeiting compared to traditional magnetic stripe-only cards. Bank of America does not offer chip & PIN technology.

    No. Although chip cards are not common in the U.S., this technology has been used around the world for many years. Bank of America has been issuing chip cards in the U.K. and Canada for several years.

    Very secure. First, the chip makes the credit card extremely difficult to copy or counterfeit. Second, you can have confidence in the protection and security features that we provide for all credit card accounts, whether you use a chip card or traditional credit card with a magnetic stripe. Should you notice any suspicious activity on your account, please notify us immediately.

    The embedded chip stores information required to authenticate, authorize and process transactions. This is the same type of information that is stored today on the magnetic stripe. No personal information about your account is stored on the chip.

    In some countries, merchants may be more familiar with accepting chip cards than magnetic stripe cards. Around the world, chip technology is currently in use or is being implemented in 130 countries. This includes Canada, Mexico and most European countries.

    Yes. Advance notification will help ensure that legitimate credit card purchases are approved.

    Chip cards are primarily for use during international travel. However, your chip & signature credit card also has a magnetic stripe to use for U.S. purchases or any time a chip-enabled terminal is not available.

    Credit card offers that support chip card plastics are marked with a Chip Card icon icon. While some credit cards always feature chip technology, many will provide a checkbox option in the "additional features" section of the application.

    No, unattended terminals require a PIN to complete the purchase. Please allow extra time to visit attended terminals when traveling abroad because you will need to sign to complete your purchase.

    You may request an ATM PIN for cash transactions by calling the number on the back of your card. If you have an existing PIN number for your credit card it is for ATM cash transactions only. It will not work for purchases that require a PIN.

    No, PINs are only accepted for ATM-based transactions. All point-of-sale transactions must be chip & signature or magnetic stripe-and signature-based.

    You might experience issues using a chip & signature card at unattended terminals that request a PIN, but you would have the same type of experience at those terminals with a magnetic-stripe card. It is important that you locate a terminal that will allow you to sign for your purchase.

    No. Instead of waving or tapping your card in front of a device as you do with contactless payments, a chip & signature card must be inserted face up into a chip-enabled merchant terminal.

    No. If available, a chip card will be issued to you at no extra cost.

    Many of our most popular credit cards now offer chip technology. Please contact the customer service number on the back of your credit card to find out if your current card is available with the chip technology option.

    The Photo Security® feature is not available on chip cards at this time.