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Old Jan 15, 16, 6:38 pm   -   Wikipost
FlyerTalk Forums Thread Wiki: USA EMV cards: Availability, Q&A (Chip & PIN -or- Chip & Signature) [2012-2015]
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Posts from 1/1/16 onward can be found here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/credi...signature.html

EMV wikipost volunteers: kebosabi

What is EMV?
EMV is a defacto global standard of technology where there is a visible microchip on the front of the card. It looks like this:

Who issues them?
See Google Docs spreadsheet in Post #1

SFOAMS also has created a list of excellent webpage that shows US EMV cards in a more interactive interface

Another site, which lets you narrow the search for an EMV card by various parameters, is http://www.spotterswiki.com/emv/index.php.

Several credit unions issue some form of Chip-and-PIN credit cards or prepaid cards. Prepaid EMV cards however are not recommended due to junk fees. USAA (currently restricted to members of military) used to offer Chip-and-PIN cards, but as late has backtracked to Chip-and-Signature priority.

Hey that's a cool Google Docs list! I know others that aren't on that list. How can I help by adding them to the list?
My bad for not putting this into the wiki sooner. Right now, the Google Docs is locked out of editing and only in "read-only" view because there were instances in the past where people would just delete the rows not thinking that it affects others viewing the list.

If you promise not to delete any rows and input all the pertinent info (annual fee, rewards, FTF, etc.), I can provide you with edit access. Just shoot me a PM to kebosabi with your gmail address and I'll provide you edit access.

Thanks for helping out!


As of October 2014, no USA-based card issuer offers Chip-and-PIN priority cards except for BMO Harris (Diners Club) and UN Federal Credit Union. Other major USA-based banks such as BofA, Chase, Citi, as well as others issue Chip-and-Signature cards which may work at many automated kiosks. However, bear in mind the word may is used above is a context where there is no absolute certainty of success for certain environments such as automated kiosks due to different natures of offline and online transactions. It is highly recommended to read Post #3 which lists real life FTer examples on how Chip-and-Signature worked and did not work at various transaction environments.

Can I upgrade it right now?
If it's listed on that Google Docs spreadsheet or SFOAMS' Silk page, wouldn't hurt to call/twitter them for a free upgrade. If you get the response you don't like, hang up, try again.

What is the difference between Chip-and-Signature and Chip-and-PIN?
You insert the chipped card into the slot. The physical contact terminal will read the EMV chip and the terminal will automatically read the preferred cardholder verification methods (called CVM) for that card.

Chip-and-Signature means that the terminal will printout a receipt for you to sign. This is the most prevalent authentication for most US issued EMV cards. Chip-and-Signature helps in a way that it will get through to face-to-face merchant transactions where you and the merchant do not speak the same language.

Chip-and-PIN means that the terminal will prompt you to input a PIN for authentication. Some credit union issued credit cards will have this CVM as secondary if Chip-and-Signature cannot be done. Chip-and-PIN is the more prevalent method of authentication used outside the US, especially in transaction environments where no human interaction is needed (i.e. automated gas pumps, toll roads, train kiosks, etc.).

The Google Docs spreadsheet will list which CVM are used in the EMV cards listed. Some cards can only do Chip-and-Signature. Other cards can do both Chip-and-Signature and Chip-and-PIN. And others might have a third option called No CVM (no authentication needed) which is reserved for low value transactions.

One chip can hold a lot more data, therefore it is capable of doing multiple verification methods. That's one of the great things about EMV over the mag-stripe which can hold very little data.

I want to know for sure what my EMV chip does. Is there anyway I can test out my own EMV card to see what the CVM list is?
alexmt has written up a nice step-by-step procedure on Post #3615.

If most of the EMV cards in the US is the Chip-and-Signature type, doesn't that mean it's still useless abroad?
Depends if you see it as glass half empty or glass half full. See Post #3 for further details on how Chip-and-Signature has worked both successfully and unsuccessfully depending on the merchant transaction environment and use your best judgment whether which one is right for you.

Are there any places in the US that are accepting transactions via the EMV chip?
tmiw has created a dedicated Google maps webpage to show where EMV has been proven to work here: http://emvacceptedhere.com/ Per his Post #4240, feel free to add any places with active EMV terminals if you come across one.

As of 2014/05, the EMV terminals in most Walmarts and Sam's Clubs are being turned on. Hence, the best place to try them out would be your local Walmart or Sam's Club. For other merchants, it's slowly being phased in.

I hope people will post them in the Post your receipt of your 1st EMV based transaction in the US thread. cvarming has shown us an EMV transaction receipt from Brooklyn, NY in Post #2380. I myself had my first EMV based (Chip-and-Signature) transaction in two stores in the Los Angeles area, as shown in detail in Post #2705 (courtesy of WhatWhatTech for pointing these two stores out)

I don't want a chip in my card. I heard horror stories all over the media saying hackers can steal my credit card info from a mile away.
There are two types of chips. One is contactless and the other is contact. Cards can be either one or the other, or both.

In the Google Docs spreadsheet, the cards that are capable of contactless payments are listed seperately under the "RFID or NFC contactless chip" column. If it says yes, then that means it has the ability to do contactless payments. If it says no, it doesn't have that feature.

The one that the media has overhyped about hackers "stealing your information wirelessly" was the contactless type like this:

You are worried about this happening, right?

You don't have to worry. EMV is a chip standard that can have both contact and contactless interfaces. With the traditional contact interface, this means you actually have to physically insert the chip into a POS terminal for it to be authorized, like this:

With the contact interface, nothing is wireless. No data is sent out in a stand-alone contact type EMV chip. With the EMV contactless interface, data is sent wirelessly.

Furthermore, contactless chip cards are required to show a symbol (looks like Wi-Fi symbol) somewhere on the card that to denote it's capability as a contactless card. For example, here's an example of a Discover Card with contactless capability (in which Discover calls "Discover ZIP") showing the contactless symbol on the back of the card:

Don't believe everything that the media says. Besides, millions of people all over the world from London to Singapore, uses contactless payments daily in extremely crowded subways and mass transit with nary any problems. There are multiple layers of encrypted securities and keys that are needed to break the code.

Frankly, giving your physical card to a waiter/waitress who takes the card out of your view is much more susceptible to fraud than contactless payments.

Why should I care?
If you are an international traveler, you will want this because majority of the world has or in the process of converting to this payment format.


In fact, in 2012, even North Korea moved to the EMV format, leaving the US as one of the countries in the world that hasn't done so.

In addition, VISA, MC, AMEX, and Discover have all agreed to incentivize the USA shifting to EMV payments by 2015 by shifting liability for fraudulent transactions to merchants if they do not have EMV equipment and the cardholder has an EMV card. So if you travel internationally or would like to get one before the others, you might be interested in getting one.


BS! I had no problems using my card in [insert whereever country], [insert whatever point in time]
If you stick to the tourist path where they have lots of visitors from the US, you should have no problems using your mag-stripe only card in hotels and restaurants, at least for now. But as things can change as things go forward.

However, consider that once you start taking the off-beaten path, go to non-touristy places where they are not familiar with mag-stripes, rent a car and use toll roads, fill up gas, or try to buy train tickets you might end up into a trouble of the machine not recognizing your card because it lacks the chip. Furthermore, a lot of toll roads, gas pumps, and automated ticket machines lack any human assistance to help you when you need it the most.

But [insert credit card company] told me all merchants that display their logo must accept them! All I have to do is report them for violating their agreements, right?
There are several factors against this.

1. You can only speak English. The merchant representative, most likely a part-time clerk earning minimum wage, speaks in a different language, let's say French. If you have no French language skills, how are you going to get your point across? Are you going to whip out your cell phone at exorbitant int'l roaming charges and hope the customer service is going to translate it for you on the spot? Or maybe you might actually know French. But how about Swahili, Farsi, Balinese, or the multiple languages in mainland China?

2. Just like US, the rest of the world's businesses uses part-time minimum wage workers as cashiers to cut down on labor costs. Most of their SOP training manuals are written by MBA types to not to do anything they are not familiar with. Do not expect them to understand the intricate details of credit card mumbo jumbo. You don't expect Taco Bell employees to understand the minute details of Discover-JCB-Union Pay agreements, right? Same thing the other way around: be respectful as a guest in their country, prepare in advance in their ways, avoid being an "ugly American" stereotype.

3. You are a guest in their country. You are a minority. If 99.9% of their country's people and other tourists from around the world uses EMV, do you really think they are going to accomodate the 0.1% of American tourists who only have mag-stripes credit cards?

4. Again, you are a guest in their country. How would you, as an American standing in line, react if a Chinese tourist was clogging up the lines at a local Taco Bell because the clerk doesn't understand the Discover-Union Pay agreement and has trouble communicating between Mandarin spoken by the tourist and English spoken by the Taco Bell clerk? Same way the other way around. You do not want to clog up the lines for everyone. The less hassle, the better.

5. VISA and MC make tons of money from merchants in that country. Say SNCF French Rail. It's a billion dollar company in France. Do you think VISA is going to pull the plug of their relationship with SNCF because SNCF refuses to do mag-stripe processing at their unmanned train station kiosk? Of course not. Be realistic.

6. And lastly, if you're up against an unstaffed toll kiosk, gas pump or train ticket machine, are you going to yell curses at the machine?

But I want my credit card to be able to be used in the US too!
No worries. They have not gotten rid of the mag-stripe on the back of the card for backward compatibility reasons, just like we still have embossed numbers on our cards for backwards compatibility to using those old carbon copy imprinters.

[insert own Hyatt card image front and back together with red arrows pointing to all the backward compatibility features]

You use the chip on the front of the card abroad (for now), and the mag-stripe just like any other card for the US. Basically, you're increasing your credit card's acceptance rate by getting a card that both via the chip and the mag-stripe. You're getting a better deal for free.

And when 2015 comes along and US switches to EMV, you'll be way ahead of everyone else too!


So why did the rest of the world and the US moved/moving toward EMV?
Primarily, due to fraud concerns. You see, the mag-stripe has been with us since the 1950s. It may have been the most high tech thing back in the day, but with the technology that is available today, any shmo can pick up a $100 USB magnetic card skimming device off of eBay and get your credit card info.

And unlike skimming off contactless cards which actually need the person to have l33t programming skills, skimming off a magnetic stripe has become so ubiquitous that nary a day goes about skimming fraud going on somewhere in America, from gas pumps, Michael's stores (2011), Target breaches (2013), restaurant waiters/waitresses, to even McDonald's drive thrus.

https://www.google.com/search?q=skimming+fraud

These type of fraud used to be prevalent in Europe. But once they started switching over to EMV starting over 2 decades ago, this type of fraud went elsewhere. It went over to Asia, Canada and Mexico, Latin America, etc. etc. until they too began implementing EMV to combat skimming fraud. The US is practically the only country left that hasn't done so, therefore all the fraud that used to take place elsewhere is now happening here.


But EMV is old and it's not fool proof. Shouldn't we just skip over it and do something new instead?
Yes, EMV is old. It was developed in the 1990s and its smart card payment predecessor was first introduced in France. But as of today, it has become the defacto global standard of payments.

But then, what else is there? There is no other de facto global standard of payments alternative. For example, if we decide to skip over it and do something new, hypothetically like DNA matching technology, it still means US int'l travelers will continue to have problems abroad with useless plastic acceptance because no other country is using this DNA matching technology except the US.

Besides, nothing is fool proof. You can say that the bank vault isn't fool proof because you can crack it open if enough C4 is used. But your average low-life scumbag isn't likely to get military grade C4 easily either. But the bank vault does make it harder to get the bank's money over say a petty cash box. That's the point here. EMV is akin to a security tight bank vault, the old mag-stripe is akin to a petty cash box lying around inside the drawer.


I'm a business owner and I don't think EMV is going to take off. I'm not going to spend extra hundreds of dollars to upgrade my credit card machine. Convince me other wise why I should.
I can understand the added extra cost to your business once this switchover takes place. But before even saying that, look at your existing POS terminal. Does it have a slot somewhere to insert a card?

Most likely, if you had replaced your POS terminal within the past five years, you already have an EMV capable terminal. EMV is basically just not turned on yet from the processor and acquirer side.

If you have an EMV capable terminal, then a best bet would be to contact your acquirer to have the EMV feature turned on. You did your end of the deal already by having an EMV capable terminal, it is now the acquirers' responsibility to turn it on in accordance to the EMV switchover mandate.

And if you don't, you are going to replace your POS terminal anyway from common wear and tear. It isn't a hard switch-over. You can continue to use your POS terminal until it dies out because EMV cardholders will still have the mag-stripe on the back. And by the time your non-EMV capable POS terminal is up for replacement the market will be full with these newer POS terminals that can accept the mag-stripe, EMV, as well as contactless payments.

In addition, you may also want to check with your acquirer or processor about EMV capable terminals. Some of them are willing to replace your terminal for free in preparation for the US EMV switchover. Call and ask for details.


But what's in it for me? I'm the one that has to pay for the upgrade.
All the major card networks have given incentives for merchants for the upcoming EMV switchover.

If 75% or more of your credit card transactions are done on an EMV contact and contactless terminal, they are going to waive your annual PCI-DSS fees, which usually costs you around $5.00-$19.95/month per terminal. The overall long term cost savings of those compliance fees will be larger than the cost of an one time upgrade for the terminal.

The downside is that once EMV switchover happens and if you do not have a POS terminal that is able to accept EMV, the fraud liability shifts over to the merchant.

I own several fast food franchises. If I upgrade my POS terminals at all of my restaurants, it's going to cost me thousands, if not millions. I don't think anyone is going to use a fake credit card to buy $5 burgers. And if they do, wouldn't it be cheaper for me to eat the fraud cost?
Remember also that fraud isn't just committed by dishonest customers using fraudulent cards. Fraud can also happen with dishonest employees skimming off credit card data from the mag-stripe as in the case of a teenage McDonald's drive thru employee skimming off $13,000 of customers' credit cards in Olympia, WA. Consider the public relations fall out that your business may have if this happens (i.e. the big Target breach of 2013, where someone used a mag stripe card to load malware INTO Target's system). Is it worth risking to take such a huge PR disaster?
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Old Jun 29, 14, 3:29 pm   #5266
  
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Even if so, the 3% FTF would make the effective bonus only 2%, which might not be compelling depending on what other cards you had.
This upcoming quarter (starting Tuesday), the 5% bonus is on gasoline and purchases I believe at Kohl's. But since it's chip and signature, it will probably not be usable at automated gasoline pumps in say Europe. Just how much of a bonus can you earn at 2% net.
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Old Jun 29, 14, 3:34 pm   #5267
  
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This upcoming quarter (starting Tuesday), the 5% bonus is on gasoline and purchases I believe at Kohl's. But since it's chip and signature, it will probably not be usable at automated gasoline pumps in say Europe. Just how much of a bonus can you earn at 2% net.
Discover also has 5% on gas for next quarter (and doesn't have FTF), but their program's redemption options are mostly cash back or gift cards. And has the same problems as any other non-EMV card right now.

Anyway, Freedom (and the majority of BoA's lineup) getting automatic EMV shows that it's moving mainstream. Even with the FTF.
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Old Jun 29, 14, 3:38 pm   #5268
  
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Originally Posted by JEFFJAGUAR View Post
This upcoming quarter (starting Tuesday), the 5% bonus is on gasoline and purchases I believe at Kohl's. But since it's chip and signature, it will probably not be usable at automated gasoline pumps in say Europe. Just how much of a bonus can you earn at 2% net.
I only have used the Freedom card in the US, and I only use it for the bonus categories up to $1,500 per quarter. The useful part about the Freedom isn't the Freedom itself but rather the Freedom + CSP combo. You can earn at 5x in the bonus categories and then transfer 1:1 to any Chase partner: BA, Marriott, United, etc.
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Old Jun 29, 14, 9:10 pm   #5269
  
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Big deal. It has the dreaded, asinine, rip off 3% ftf. DOA.
For some people, it may actually be a big deal. There are people who don't share your views regarding FTFs. They may be in the minority (at least on this board), but they exist.

Furthermore, if the banks thought FTFs were costing them money, they'd disappear rather quickly. Since there are still a lot of cards that have FTFs, we can reasonably conclude that FTFs are not costing the banks a significant amount of money.
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Old Jun 29, 14, 10:37 pm   #5270
  
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Old Jun 29, 14, 11:19 pm   #5271
  
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For some people, it may actually be a big deal. There are people who don't share your views regarding FTFs. They may be in the minority (at least on this board), but they exist.

Furthermore, if the banks thought FTFs were costing them money, they'd disappear rather quickly. Since there are still a lot of cards that have FTFs, we can reasonably conclude that FTFs are not costing the banks a significant amount of money.
But the bean counters never look at things the right way. For example, the bean counters can easily calculate the money that FTFs make for their banks, but they can't easily calculate the money that FTFs lose for their banks (due to people paying with competitor banks' cards).

It's the same reason why airlines can easily calculate the money that they make from TOD upgrades (the extra revenue they take in) but it's a lot harder to quantify the money they lose from those upgrades (elites get fed up with not getting upgraded, decide it's not worth it, and become kayakers, or become elites at a competing airline, which forces the airline to lower seat prices across the board).
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Old Jun 30, 14, 1:05 am   #5272
  
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For some people, it may actually be a big deal. There are people who don't share your views regarding FTFs. They may be in the minority (at least on this board), but they exist.

Furthermore, if the banks thought FTFs were costing them money, they'd disappear rather quickly. Since there are still a lot of cards that have FTFs, we can reasonably conclude that FTFs are not costing the banks a significant amount of money.
Indeed? I bet there are people out there who just love paying an unnecessary extra 3% for purchases processed outside the USA. I mean you buy 4 Aer Lingus tickets for $900 each and use your mastercard (or visa) to pay for it with the ftf. You'll just love getting your bill with an extra $108 fee; especially when no bank can explain or give any justification for this fee. Where did I say banks were not making money on the ftf? Of course it was originally mean to be a conversion fee where visa/mc did the actual conversion and asumed whatever minimum risk of a large shift in foreign currency rates between the time of a charge and the time it was processed but quickly discovered what a nice cash cow and how stupid some people are who continue to use credit cards with this asinine (and it is asinine) fee. Nobody should be using a credit card with a ftf outside the USA when there are so many alternatives available which don't charge the fee except maybe you can show where the rewards are worth more than the fees. True enough if you use your Chase Freedom card for the airline tickets above, you get nicked for $108 but those nice people at Chase rebate you $1.08. Some trade off, eh
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Old Jun 30, 14, 1:16 am   #5273
  
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Of course, Capital One, originally a haven for people with less than stellar credit records, significantly increase its cardholder base when it was just about the only bank that not only did not impose a ftf (which was a foreign conversion fee originally) but ate the mc/visa 1% fee. Many people still hold Cap One cards today even though, for some goofy reason that nobody can figure out, they have adamantly opposed conversion to emv. (Of course buried within this thread are the conversations several have had with Cap One claiming emv is unnecessary because all mc/visa merchants are required to honor all valid mc's and visa's. If you didn't go the Cap One route, and this isn't very long ago, the only other bank that didn't impose the fee was the late MBNA which was bought out by Bank of America (FIA is the descendant of MBNA) and one of its first acts after being acquired by Bank of America was to impose the 3% fee on most of the cards.

In those days, a bank like USAA that simply passed along the 1% visa/mc fee was looked on as a good guy. Of course many of the banks still use the 3% fee as a way to pursuade people away from cards without it but in most cases, you get nicked for an annual fee of anywhere from $80 to well over $400 for all the "perks" including lack of a ftf. I can assure you, there are very few who enjoy paying these fees. But then again, many are quite ignorant and think, for example, or are led to believe that all banks charge the fees and that it is visa (or mc) imposing the fee! Most people here know that's not true. But then again, I might be mistaken. I think not but well that's make the world great. People can have different opinions.
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Old Jun 30, 14, 1:44 am   #5274
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Just asked CapOne on Twitter to see what they have to say...AGAIN! Also asked @ChaseSupport about Freedom EMV
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Old Jun 30, 14, 3:38 am   #5275
  
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Originally Posted by JEFFJAGUAR View Post
(Of course buried within this thread are the conversations several have had with Cap One claiming emv is unnecessary because all mc/visa merchants are required to honor all valid mc's and visa's.
Obviously Capital One US and Capital One Global are on different wavelengths then. Capital One in Europe supply EMV cards with full Chip+PIN and contactless features. If EMV is unnecessary - why do they do it here?

http://www.capitalone.co.uk

That being said, most of the British banks don't do EMV cards in US (Barclays, HSBC etc) so it's obviously not a 'EMV is unnecessary' thing but a conscious decision by the banks in the US market - for some reason.

I suspect if you look up most US banks with European operations, you'll see they supply full Chip+PIN EMV cards.
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Old Jun 30, 14, 5:11 am   #5276
  
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Obviously Capital One US and Capital One Global are on different wavelengths then. Capital One in Europe supply EMV cards with full Chip+PIN and contactless features. If EMV is unnecessary - why do they do it here?

http://www.capitalone.co.uk

That being said, most of the British banks don't do EMV cards in US (Barclays, HSBC etc) so it's obviously not a 'EMV is unnecessary' thing but a conscious decision by the banks in the US market - for some reason.

I suspect if you look up most US banks with European operations, you'll see they supply full Chip+PIN EMV cards.
We know the reasons. That's what the last 350 pages of this thread have been about. And now to top it off, when the USA does go emv it will be the less secure chip and signature rather than the world standard chip and pin; still leaving the possibilities, despite what the banks are saying they can't do, of merchants saying we don't accept cards without pins and the whole question of the use of offline kiosks is still very much in doubt. And when you ask the banks, you're told chip and pin is unnecessary. Chip and signature works just as well and don't worry. Merchants are required to honor all valid cards! Almost embarassing.
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Old Jun 30, 14, 7:14 am   #5277
  
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...how stupid some people are who continue to use credit cards with this asinine (and it is asinine) fee...
I could say the same thing about businesses that charge a surcharge where legally allowed when an equivalent business down the street does not.
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Old Jun 30, 14, 12:59 pm   #5278
  
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Ignorance and laziness is bliss; that's how businesses make money. There's a ton of people in the area where I work and reside who simply accept $3 ATM transactions for withdrawing money in an out-of-network ATM. No point talking to this people, the answers are:

1. I don't care/mind your own business/go away/you're not my boss/etc. etc.
2. It's only $3 who the f--- cares
3. It's a convenience I'm willing to pay for
4. I don't want to "look up stuff" or "OK, I'll take a look at it" (never does)

It's just like life. Those that are smart make it through life better than those who are ignorant will always be that way. You can't change people, they have to change themselves.
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Old Jun 30, 14, 1:28 pm   #5279
  
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Ignorance and laziness is bliss; that's how businesses make money.
My parents are the same way. If they need money overseas they will change at their bank back home or at the airport with USD. I tried to get them signed up with Fidelity, but it's exactly the same line of, "Well, we'll look into it/We don't have enough time before we leave/The bank has usually been able to get us a competitive rate/etc."

It reminds me of when I finally got my parents to switch their local and long distance service after I saw their bill one day and discovered they were paying almost $150/month for local and long distance service. (This was in 2005 when many providers had started offering unlimited local and long distance service for $50++/month.) My mom was furious wondering why Ameritech (now AT&T) hadn't notified her of the money saving package. Businesses prey on those who are ignorant or don't take the time t research the options. A business would have no incentive to price compare and get less revenue if you're already a customer. I can't begin to tell you how many times retention departments have been able to give me a deal they never would have if I hadn't been prepared to walk.

I guess this behavior makes it easy for us to be able to get the best deals.
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Old Jun 30, 14, 2:04 pm   #5280
  
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Verifying now! Will report back
Thanks for info

Got my answer to my question via SM and...
Either Veenadhari Kondapall hasn't received the memo yet or he/she doesn't know what they are talking about
Anyway, said that they don't exist.... Will probably try and call a phone CSR a little closer to home.
Meanwhile, can anyone else verify the card exists? Anyone receive replacement yet?

Update 2
So far if Chase freedom does come with EMV it's really hard to get because no one knows about it at Chase it seems like
Just talked with a couple us based phone CSRs who said EMV freedom does not exist...?
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