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USA EMV cards: Availability, Q&A (Chip & PIN -or- Chip & Signature) [2012-2015]

USA EMV cards: Availability, Q&A (Chip & PIN -or- Chip & Signature) [2012-2015]

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Old Jan 15, 16, 11:38 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
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Wiki Link
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 Feb 26, 15, 6:42 pm
  #9886  
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I've been doing the 12 transactions/month with UNFCU, which isn't as hard as it looks. I think my Feb average is something like $5 each, so I haven't lost a lot of reward points/miles either. BECU here is part of their ATM network, along with Safeway's machines. Note that the required ACH has no actual minimum amount.
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Old Feb 26, 15, 9:08 pm
  #9887  
 
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Originally Posted by Points Scrounger View Post
I've been doing the 12 transactions/month with UNFCU, which isn't as hard as it looks. I think my Feb average is something like $5 each, so I haven't lost a lot of reward points/miles either. BECU here is part of their ATM network, along with Safeway's machines. Note that the required ACH has no actual minimum amount.
I'm thinking $1.50 per Red Box video and a few cups of joe at starbucks should easily do it.

Having another choice for pin priority chip card (First Tech) besides UNFCU that doesn't have the 1% ISA fee that UNFCU has is a welcome new possibility. Even one bill pay meets ACH requirement, so no ACH deposit needed each month. Free ATMs (no reimbursement needed) at CO-OP and 7-Eleven ATMs.

Hope First Tech is actually pin priority.
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Old Feb 27, 15, 12:38 am
  #9888  
 
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Originally Posted by RedLight2015 View Post
Question is, if I were to use an EMV Debit in this situation, would it run as C&S, since he doesn't "do debit cards" (he runs all debits as credit) or would it still be Chip & PIN? Is it only PIN when its over the debit network? Even though he has a PIN pad?
It depends on if it is a chip and PIN card or a chip and signature card on the major network (Visa/Mastercard) AID.

Most major US banks are issuing cards where the major network AID is chip and signature. According to the letter of the (horribly-written) law (the Durbin Amendment), it is actually potentially illegal for an American bank to issue a debit card that is PIN for the Visa/Mastercard AID. However, as someone noted on here, the Fed's interpretation of the law (which has held up in court) is different, and does allow the major network AID to use signature.
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Old Feb 27, 15, 7:59 am
  #9889  
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Originally Posted by AllieKat View Post
It depends on if it is a chip and PIN card or a chip and signature card on the major network (Visa/Mastercard) AID.

Most major US banks are issuing cards where the major network AID is chip and signature. According to the letter of the (horribly-written) law (the Durbin Amendment), it is actually potentially illegal for an American bank to issue a debit card that is PIN for the Visa/Mastercard AID. However, as someone noted on here, the Fed's interpretation of the law (which has held up in court) is different, and does allow the major network AID to use signature.
My impression was that US Debit would always be chosen by a debit supporting terminal. If the cardholder bypassed PIN then the "No CVM Required" entry in the CVM list would get chosen and network selection would cause a signature network to be used (and the corresponding signature slip to print out). The main Visa/MC AID's CVM list doesn't come into play at all.
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Old Feb 27, 15, 8:41 am
  #9890  
 
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Originally Posted by tmiw View Post
My impression was that US Debit would always be chosen by a debit supporting terminal. If the cardholder bypassed PIN then the "No CVM Required" entry in the CVM list would get chosen and network selection would cause a signature network to be used (and the corresponding signature slip to print out). The main Visa/MC AID's CVM list doesn't come into play at all.
But the question was what happens at terminal that does NOT support US debit
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Old Feb 27, 15, 9:18 am
  #9891  
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So what you're saying is whenever I get a chip-enabled debit card, the PIN i sue for my debit card won't be a PIN I could use in Europe?
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Old Feb 27, 15, 9:22 am
  #9892  
 
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Originally Posted by caverunner17 View Post
So what you're saying is whenever I get a chip-enabled debit card, the PIN i sue for my debit card won't be a PIN I could use in Europe?
For major bank-issued debit cards in the US, that is generally correct. They do have online PIN for purchases but only if signature isn't supported.
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Old Feb 27, 15, 9:28 am
  #9893  
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Originally Posted by AllieKat View Post
It depends on if it is a chip and PIN card or a chip and signature card on the major network (Visa/Mastercard) AID.

Most major US banks are issuing cards where the major network AID is chip and signature. According to the letter of the (horribly-written) law (the Durbin Amendment), it is actually potentially illegal for an American bank to issue a debit card that is PIN for the Visa/Mastercard AID. However, as someone noted on here, the Fed's interpretation of the law (which has held up in court) is different, and does allow the major network AID to use signature.
I'm a bit confused by your wording ... potentially illegal to have debit cards use PIN for "credit" purchases, with the Fed "allowing" signature by "interpretation"? That would imply that Durbin (technically) prohibits both PIN and signature?

First Tech, from their press release, seems hell bent on ALL PIN ALL THE TIME for both credit and debit cards to me.
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Old Feb 27, 15, 9:31 am
  #9894  
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Originally Posted by AllieKat View Post
But the question was what happens at terminal that does NOT support US debit
Yeah, but the wording just means that the merchant needs to be able to choose from two networks. I don't think it says anything as to how the card should behave at credit only merchants, so a bank could do a PIN preferring debit card if they wanted. This does have usability issues though ("why can I bypass the PIN at Walmart but not at ______?") so banks probably don't want to do that.
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Old Feb 27, 15, 9:40 am
  #9895  
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I don't think many people bypass PIN on debit cards, but rather expect to use it. Moreover, with all this (somewhat new-ish) CVM waived here at $25, there at $50, and never at all in many cases, folks are inured to the seemingly arbitrary nature of what the terminal will require.
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Old Feb 27, 15, 9:59 am
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Originally Posted by Points Scrounger View Post
I'm a bit confused by your wording ... potentially illegal to have debit cards use PIN for "credit" purchases, with the Fed "allowing" signature by "interpretation"? That would imply that Durbin (technically) prohibits both PIN and signature?

First Tech, from their press release, seems hell bent on ALL PIN ALL THE TIME for both credit and debit cards to me.
Sorry if I didn't word that clearly. Technically, the Durbin Amendment requires that merchants be able to choose between at least two networks, one signature and one PIN (though some merchants tried to argue the intention was TWO of each). Yes, that's actually how this horribly-written piece of rubbish refers to them - obviously signatures and PINs are cardholder verification methods, not types of networks. But no one in Congress picked up on that. Thus, issuing a chip and PIN card that doesn't allow for PIN bypass is illegal per the letter of the law.

The Fed, however, was tasked with interpreting this rubbish into a functional regulation, and they determined that the major international networks are "signature" networks even if they ask for a PIN. Thus, the Fed saved us from chip and PIN debit being outlawed in the US.
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Old Feb 27, 15, 10:17 am
  #9897  
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" ... they determined that the major international networks are 'signature' networks even if they ask for a PIN." So, theoretically, one could bypass a PIN request ... to get to a second PIN request (if the issuer's 'credit' CVM has PIN as #1)? I love it!
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Old Feb 27, 15, 12:24 pm
  #9898  
 
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Originally Posted by Points Scrounger View Post
" ... they determined that the major international networks are 'signature' networks even if they ask for a PIN." So, theoretically, one could bypass a PIN request ... to get to a second PIN request (if the issuer's 'credit' CVM has PIN as #1)? I love it!
Well, I don't think anyone knows exactly how chip debit will play out in the US, that's the big reason chip enablement has been delayed from my understanding. This summer there should be more clarity.
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Old Feb 27, 15, 1:29 pm
  #9899  
 
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First Tech FCU Chip and PIN priority

Update:

ALL reps (6 so far) have assured me that at any terminal (US or abroad), this card will ask for a PIN first, if supported, and then signature (if supported) if not. Also heard that the pin cannot be currently specified or changed until later this year, and that VISA cards will be sent out until the "stock" is consumed, then MCs will start being sent out. They are now insisting that if a terminal is offline, the card will not work (no offline pin? - darn if true!). The chip and pin credit card is now on it's way (7-10 days; 2 days possible for $20 expedite fee) so I'll report the CVM list to confirm or refute this. Concerning international debit card ATM fee rebates, the local branch reaffirmed that all ATM fees here and abroad would be reimbursed, but other folks on the phone stated that International would not be reimbursed. The local rep has promised to email me to confirm that international ATM fees are reimbursed. There is no cash advance fee, so using the credit card, if it doesn't trigger credit ATM fees (which are NOT reimbursed), that might be a good resource if paid off fairly quickly (My credit card is 12% on cash advances).

They have been very responsive and a pleasure to deal with. Their online system seems pretty good, and they specifically allow a full year or more of transaction date range (unlike Chase, and maybe BofA?, which allows only 90 days max and may not allow starting date more than 365 days so the transactions for the prior year may need to be downloaded/printed on Jan 1 to get them all?!?

My app for the CU membership was approved within minutes yesterday, and my $10k VISA app was approved this morning:

"Thank you for your loan application with First Tech. Your loan [?!?] request has been approved"

The process was a bit like getting a loan, despite high 700s Experian credit score.

Upon reviewing and electronically signing the approved loan app this morning, I noted a few typos, which I could not fix, including missing address details and incorrect ownership status of the place I live, despite correcting these issues with the local rep yesterday in person during the app process, and that ONLY my monthly social security check was listed as total income (I'm retired so no w2)!

Might be worth assuring that if you don't have w2 or ss income you get confirmation that other income will be considered.

You must specifically ask for the chip and pin card or you may get a non-chipped card. Chipped debit cards are reportedly not available until late summer or fall.

Last edited by uds0; Feb 27, 15 at 2:00 pm
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Old Feb 27, 15, 2:04 pm
  #9900  
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Is this for the checking account debit card or the credit card from UNFCU?
Originally Posted by Points Scrounger View Post
I've been doing the 12 transactions/month with UNFCU, which isn't as hard as it looks. I think my Feb average is something like $5 each, so I haven't lost a lot of reward points/miles either. BECU here is part of their ATM network, along with Safeway's machines. Note that the required ACH has no actual minimum amount.
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