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AmEx’s best business credit cards to get chips

by Peter Andrew
AmEx’s best business credit cards to get chips

On April 23, American Express announced it was starting to issue U.S. business credit cards and charge cards that are “EMV-compliant,” meaning that each new card will come with a tiny on-board microprocessor chip. EMV, which provides enhanced security through something called “dynamic encryption technology,” has already been adopted in most first-world and some less-developed countries, and cardmembers may find the new plastic more widely accepted when traveling abroad.

American Express, which is starting its roll out with its premium corporate cards, has opted for chip-and-signature, rather than chip-and-PIN, technology. This allows users to continue to sign for purchases, and it has the advantage of not requiring cardmembers to remember yet another four-digit personal identification number (PIN).

Credit cards with limitations

However, AmEx’s choice also has drawbacks, a topic that was explored late last year in Chip And Signature Cards Are Not The Same As Chip And Pin Cards. In many parts of the world, ATMs and other automated devices (toll booths, gas pumps, ticket dispensers and so on) cannot be operated, at least above a quite modest transaction-value threshold, without a PIN.

A couple of years ago, users of the Fodor’s travel website expressed their frustrations with this. And, in some territories that favor chip-and-signature, such as Germany, customers automatically receive PINs for use in such situations. So far, few — if any — American credit card companies that are rolling out EMV in readiness for its planned adoption in the U.S. have expressed a willingness to issue PINs, and AmEx’s press release made no mention of them.

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