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Finally! The British Airways Visa Signature Credit Card Goes Chip-and-Pin

November 30, 2011 at 5:07 PM | by | Comment (1)

YESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!! Finally finally finally US credit card companies are getting wise to the need for cardholders to have EMV-enabled cards, which you may better recognize as the ones with the embedded chip on the left side.

We've been following the progress of this since earlier this year when both Wells Fargo and Chase began issuing limited amounts to their highest spending, heaviest traveling cardmembers. Now the technology has finally trickled down to the level of Chase's British Airways Visa Signature.

This card, thanks to generous past sign-up bonuses and the fact it has no foreign transaction fees, is now carried by many American frequent flyers who will no doubt benefit from being able to shop like the rest of Europe—with the chip-and-pin instead of a swipe-and-sign. Like us, who've felt the sting of being turned down because a register was no longer equipped for our archaic VISA (example: Amsterdam Schiphol train station).

The best part is that, for current BA Visa Signature cardholders, the switch to the new card is free and easy. A rep explained it to us:

Current cardmembers can call the toll-free number on the back of their cards to request the EMV-enabled cards. The card has a $95 annual fee (this did not change with the addition of EMV capabilities).

So we did. Call, that is. Indeed we rung up the 1-800-577-0633 line and requested an operator, who verified that we were eligible for the card and now we'll have it in our wallets in time for possible Euro holiday shopping trips.

If you don't have the BA Visa Signature card but want to enjoy the chip-and-pin awesomeness, we'd recommend either waiting until they have another killer miles sign-up bonus or hold out until your own cards upgrade to the chip. If you're interested in simply seeing what the card offers, here's the current details.

[Image: Chase Card Services]

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JP Morgan Select Visa Signature Chip Card

I was able to obtain one of these several months ago, and used it successfully on a European trip in October. Very handy for train tix in the UK and much more. No foreign exchange fees either. More info and application at http://www.selectchipcard.com I do not work for a bank or financial services company, but was regularly asking for a pin-and-chip card when I finally found this one.

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