BofA Chip-Embedded Credit Cards Simplify International Travel

Many Americans have been shocked to find their traditional credit cards don't work in places like Europe. But EMV technology will increase acceptance of credit cards for international travelers, where chip technology has been the norm for many years.

BofA announced that it is rolling out chip technology on many of its consumer credit cards. The new chip technology will increase acceptance and security of the cards for international travelers.

Credit cards with chip technology, which is also known as EMV (EuroPayMastercard Visa), are embedded with a microprocessor chip that encrypts and stores the account information. Many countries outside the U.S. have already converted from magnetic stripe to EMV chip technology.

The bank’s new chip-enabled credit cards will continue to prompt customers to sign for transactions just as they would today. The cards also include the traditional magnetic stripe, which is used by U.S. merchants.

“The new chip-enabled cards will improve convenience and security of customers’ transactions when traveling abroad,” said Susan Faulkner an executive in BofA’s Consumer & Small Business Products division. “We want our customers to have the best possible experience while making purchases with their credit cards anywhere in the world.”

The bank will include the chip technology in all newly issued Merrill Lynch credit cards, U.S. Trust Accolades, BankAmericard Travel Rewards, BankAmericard Privileges, and Virgin Atlantic travel credit cards. The bank also will upgrade existing customers in these card programs who have been identified as international travelers.

In addition, the chip will be an optional feature that cardholders can request for the following credit card programs: BankAmericard Cash Rewards, BankAmericard Power Rewards, BankAmericard, AAA Members Rewards, NEA, Asiana Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines.

Customers will be able to request the chip card options at the banking center or via phone beginning this week and online later this year.

Earlier this year, the bank began rolling out chip and PIN credit cards to corporate and commercial clients in the U.S. This followed last year’s release of chip and PIN cards to corporate and commercial clients in Europe.

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