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Privacy & Security
EMV Chip Card FAQs from Bank of America Review the Bank of America EMV chip card FAQ and find answers to your most frequently asked questions about chip card technology on debit and credit cards. Bank of America

Protecting Your Information FAQs

About chip cards

  • Hide Show Why does my Bank of America credit card or debit card now include a chip?

    As chip technology will soon become the security standard in the U.S., many merchants are beginning to accept chip cards and we want you to be ready. You'll enjoy greater security when making purchases at a chip-enabled terminal since the chip provides better protection against counterfeit fraud. Chip technology is already used in over 130 countries around the world, including Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom, so you'll enjoy greater acceptance when traveling internationally.

  • Hide Show What is a chip card?

    A chip card is a standard-size plastic debit or credit card that contains an embedded microchip as well as a traditional magnetic stripe. The chip encrypts information to help increase data security when making transactions at terminals or ATMs that are chip-enabled.

  • Hide Show What is a smart card or an EMV card?

    You may hear chip cards referred to as "smart cards" or "EMV cards" – they're all different ways of referring to the same type of card. Similarly, an EMV terminal is the same as a chip-enabled terminal.

  • Hide Show Where can I use my chip card?

    More terminals and ATMs are becoming chip-enabled throughout the U.S. You'll also enjoy greater acceptance when traveling: Chip technology is common in over 130 countries around the world, including Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Your chip card will still work at terminals and ATMs where only magnetic stripe transactions are accepted.

  • Hide Show Are chip cards secure?

    Yes. Chip technology has been around for over two decades and is already the security standard in many countries around the world. When purchases are made using the chip feature at chip-enabled terminals, the transaction is more secure because of a unique process that is used to determine if the card is authentic. This makes the card more difficult to counterfeit or copy.

    While magnetic stripe cards are still considered secure, chip technology is the next step to providing enhanced security to our customers. Whether you use the magnetic stripe or the chip to make your purchase, you can have confidence in the protection and security features we provide for all credit and debit card accounts.

    Remember, if you notice any suspicious activity on your account, notify us immediately by calling the number on the back of your card.

  • Hide Show Will chip cards prevent third-party data breaches?

    Chip card technology provides an additional layer of security when used at a chip-enabled terminal. The technology may help reduce certain types of fraud resulting from data breaches; however, it will not prevent a data breach.

  • Hide Show Will chip cards prevent all fraud from happening?

    No. As the industry continues to develop new ways to protect consumers, perpetrators continue to look for new ways to commit fraud. Chip cards provide an additional layer of security at chip-enabled terminals, on top of the fraud prevention monitoring we currently provide. As always, your purchases are also covered by our zero liability protection, where Bank of America credits your account back for fraudulent charges.

  • Hide Show Will chip cards allow others to track my location?

    No. Chip card technology is not a locator system. The chip on your card is limited to supporting authentication of card data when you make a purchase.

  • Hide Show Is a chip card the same as contactless payment (for example, PayPass, PayWave)?

    No. Contactless cards employ near-field communication technology (NFC), which has a radio antenna that transmits account information, and work by waving or tapping your card in front of a device. Chip cards must be inserted face-up into a chip-enabled merchant terminal that allows the chip to make contact with the reader to authorize and complete a transaction. (Remember to keep your card inserted into the terminal while the transaction is processed.)

  • Hide Show Do the same benefits come with my chip card that I had with my prior card?

    Yes. You'll continue to enjoy the same benefits with your chip card as you do today with your debit or credit card.

Using chip debit cards

  • Hide Show How does a chip debit card work?

    It's easy. If the retailer has a chip-enabled terminal, simply insert your chip card face up in the terminal. The chip card will remain in the terminal while the transaction is processed. To authorize your transaction, just follow the prompts as you do today.

    You'll be prompted to enter your PIN or to provide a signature as you normally would to verify the transaction. You may not be asked for a PIN when travelling internationally. Your card is available to be removed from the terminal once the transaction is completed.

    If the retailer is not equipped to read the chip card, just swipe as you do today. For transactions made over the phone or online, nothing changes.

  • Hide Show Now that I have a chip debit card, do I need to notify the bank before I travel internationally?

    We recommend that you set a travel notice on any card(s) you plan to use while traveling, to help prevent interruption. To set a travel notice, sign in to Online Banking. If you do not have access to Online Banking, set a travel notice by calling the number on the back of your card and speaking with a Bank of America associate. For your protection, we'll continue to monitor card activity even when a travel notice is set. If you encounter any issues while traveling, we're here to help.

    Please contact us toll-free at 877.833.5617 or internationally by calling collect at 602.597.2395. For business card issues, call 509.353.6656.

  • Hide Show Are there any situations where I could experience issues using my chip debit card?

    When traveling outside the U.S., some card readers at unattended terminals (such as public transportation kiosks, gas pumps) will require a PIN. In these situations, enter your debit card PIN. Some international self-service terminals do not accept U.S. issued debit cards and may display a message such as "Transaction Canceled". This is known to happen on French Toll Roads or Automated Fuel Dispensers depending on location. In these cases, please locate an attended terminal to complete your transaction, or plan for an alternative payment method, such as local currency. 

  • Hide Show What should I do if I’m not able to select either ‘debit’ or ‘credit’ to verify my transaction, or request cash back when using a chip debit card?

    Once you insert your chip debit card in to the terminal, you’ll be prompted to either enter your PIN (debit) or provide your signature (credit) to verify your transaction.

    • Both ways are secure and help protect you from counterfeit fraud. The transaction is processed the same way and funds are taken directly from your checking account.
    • If the merchant won’t allow you to enter your PIN (debit), you will not be able to request cash back. In this case, you may either locate a Bank of America ATM to withdraw cash or try a different merchant.
  • Hide Show Are there any situations where my chip debit card may not work when inserted into the chip terminal?

    Yes, during this transition, you may encounter the following situations:

    • The chip terminal is installed, but not turned on. Some merchants are not yet allowing any chip cards to be inserted. This will occur frequently in the short-term while terminals are becoming chip-enabled. If you insert your chip debit card and nothing happens, please swipe your card to complete your transaction.
    • The chip terminal is turned on for chip credit cards only. Some merchants are only allowing chip credit cards to be inserted and plan to allow chip debit cards at a later date. If you insert your chip debit card and nothing happens, please swipe your card and complete your transaction. This does not mean there is anything wrong with the chip on your card.

    You may always choose to swipe your card first, and if the merchant accepts chip debit cards, you’ll be instructed to insert your card into the terminal.

  • Hide Show When can I expect to receive a debit card with chip technology?

    If you don't have a debit card with chip technology today, you'll receive one when your old card expires or needs to be reissued. Until then, use your standard card with the magnetic stripe.

  • Hide Show Will my chip ATM/debit card work at all ATMs?

    Yes, your card will work at both a chip-enabled ATM and at ATMs where only magnetic stripe transactions are accepted.

    1. Insert your card face-up in the ATM to begin your transaction.
    2. Follow the on-screen instructions (chip-enabled ATMs will hold your card during the transaction).
    3. Take your card when prompted.
  • Hide Show Is photo security available on chip debit cards?

    Yes. To add a photo to your debit card, simply visit a financial center. We'll take your picture and your photo-enhanced debit card will be mailed to you. (In some cases, a replacement fee may apply. Please refer to your Personal Schedule of Fees or Business Schedule of Fees for more details.)

  • Hide Show Are there any additional fees associated with chip debit cards?

    There is no additional cost to have or to use your new card with smart chip technology.  However, there are fees for each requested replacement of a debit card that may still apply. The replacement fee does not apply when we replace a card upon its expiration.  Please refer to your Personal Schedule of Fees or Business Schedule of Fees for more details.

Using chip credit cards

  • Hide Show How does a chip credit card work?

    It's easy. If the retailer has a chip-enabled terminal, simply insert your chip card face up in the terminal. The chip card will remain in the terminal while the transaction is processed. To authorize your transaction, just follow the prompts on the terminal as you do today.

    You'll be prompted to enter your PIN or to provide a signature as you normally would to verify the transaction. Your card may be removed from the terminal once the transaction is completed.

    If the retailer is not equipped to read the chip card, just swipe as you do today. For transactions made over the phone or online, nothing changes. You can request your PIN by signing in to Online Banking or calling the number on the back of your card.

  • Hide Show Do I need a PIN to make purchases with my credit card? What are Chip & Signature and Chip & PIN?

    You may be required to sign or enter a PIN to complete a purchase. The term “PIN” or “Signature” simply refers to how you will authorize the transaction – either by entering a PIN or by providing your signature.

    The enhanced security against counterfeiting is contained within the chip itself. The chip makes the transaction more secure by encrypting information when completing a transaction at a chip-enabled terminal. As a result, both Chip & PIN and Chip & Signature transactions offer enhanced security against counterfeiting.

    You can request your PIN by signing in to Online Banking or calling the number on the back of your card.

  • Hide Show Now that I have a chip credit card, do I need to notify the bank before I travel internationally?

    We recommend that you set a travel notice on any card(s) you plan to use while traveling, so your card access isn't interrupted. To set a travel notice, sign in to Online Banking. If you don't have access to Online Banking, set a travel notice by calling the number on the back of your card and speaking with a Bank of America associate. For your protection, we'll continue to monitor card activity even when a travel notice is set. If you encounter any issues while traveling, we're here to help.

    You may be required to enter a PIN to complete a purchase when traveling internationally. A PIN will also be needed to withdraw cash at an ATM. You can request or change your credit card PIN by signing in to Online Banking or calling the number on the back of your card.

    If you need assistance while traveling, please contact us at the number on the back of your card or internationally at 302.738.5719.

  • Hide Show Are there any situations where I could experience issues using my chip credit card?

    When traveling outside the U.S., some card readers at unattended terminals (such as public transportation kiosks, gas pumps) will require a PIN. In these situations, enter the credit card PIN assigned to your card. Some international self-service terminals do not accept U.S. issued credit cards and may display a message such as "Transaction Canceled". This is known to happen on French Toll Roads or Automated Fuel Dispensers depending on location. In these cases, please locate an attended terminal to complete your transaction, or plan for an alternative payment method, such as local currency.

    On rare occasions, you may be asked to provide a PIN to complete a purchase. If prompted for a PIN, enter the credit card PIN that was assigned to your card when the account was opened. If you do not have the PIN, you may request a new one by calling the number on the back your card or through Online Banking. Your new, randomly generated PIN will be mailed to you along with a form that allows you to choose your own PIN if you desire. Please allow 7-10 days for delivery of your PIN through standard USPS mail.

    Please contact us toll-free at the number on the back of your card, or internationally at 302.738.5719 (you can call collect). For business card issues, call 800.673.1044.

  • Hide Show When can I expect to receive a credit card with chip technology?

    If you don't have a credit card with chip technology today, you'll receive one when your old card expires or needs to be reissued. Until then, use your standard card with the magnetic stripe. Some credit cards may not be available with chip technology at this time.

  • Hide Show Are there any additional fees associated with chip credit cards?

    There are no additional fees associated with chip credit cards.

 

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Report suspicious activity

  • In your email:
    To report a suspicious email that uses Bank of America's name, forward it to us immediately at mailto: abuse@bankofamerica.com.
  • On your statement:
    To report fraudulent activity on your Bank of America account, call 800.432.1000.
  • In texts:
    SMShing” and Smishing are like phishing but sent via SMS text messages to access information. Report attempts at mailto: abuse@bankofamerica.com.
  • By phone:
    Vishing” uses the features of Voice over IP (VoIP) phones to steal personal and financial information. Report it at mailto: abuse@bankofamerica.com.