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Count on enhanced security and global
acceptance with chip technology

Answers to your questions about chip-enabled U.S. Bank credit and debit cards  

About the technology:

  • What is a chip-enabled card?

A chip-enabled card features an embedded microchip that provides an extra layer of protection against fraud. Plus it provides a convenient and secure way to make purchases when traveling outside the U.S.

  • Why is there a move to chip technology in the U.S.?

We believe that the migration to chip technology will make a significant difference in the security of the U.S. payment system overall by addressing the largest point-of-sale fraud category – counterfeit card fraud.

  • How is a chip-enabled card more secure?

Chip card transactions offer you advanced security for in-store payments by making every transaction unique. Whenever you check out at a chip-enabled terminal, a unique one-time code is created that is required for your transaction to be approved. This code is nearly impossible for counterfeit cards to duplicate. If the card data and the one-time code are stolen, the information cannot be used to create counterfeit cards and commit fraud.

  • What does a chip-enabled terminal look like?

Chip-enabled terminals have all of the payment terminal features you are used to, with the addition of a slot to insert your card. The slot is typically located at the bottom or top of the payment terminal.

How it works:

  • How do I pay at a chip-enabled terminal?

Follow these easy steps to pay at a chip-enabled terminal: 


How to pay, Step 1Insert the chip end of your U.S. Bank card into the chip-enabled terminal with the chip facing up.

How to pay, Step 2
your card in the terminal throughout the transaction and follow the prompts on screen. You may need to sign or enter your PIN. Some transactions require neither.

How to pay, Step 3
your card from the terminal when prompted and take your receipt.

Please note: If you remove your card too soon, your purchase will be canceled.

  • Do I need to enter a PIN?

A PIN is not required when paying with a chip-enabled U.S. Bank credit card. However you may need to sign for your purchase. When paying with a chip-enabled U.S. Bank debit card, you may be prompted to enter a PIN if you select "debit" on the PIN pad. If you select "credit", you may be prompted to sign for your purchase instead.

  • How do I pay with a chip-enabled debit card?

It's easy to pay with your chip-enabled debit card. If the retailer has a chip-enabled terminal, simply insert your chip card face up in the terminal. You need to leave your card in the terminal while the transaction is processed. Then simply follow the prompts on screen. If you select 'credit' on the PIN pad, you may need to sign to verify your purchase. If you select 'debit', you may need to enter a PIN. When traveling internationally, a PIN may not be required. Once the transaction is complete, you can remove your card. Please note, if the retailer has not yet installed a chip-enabled terminal – or if their terminal has not yet been activated – simply swipe your card as you do today.

  • Will chip technology change the way I pay online?

No. Your online shopping experience will not change.

Where to use your card:

  • Where can I use my chip-enabled U.S. Bank card?

Anywhere. Your card will have a chip and a magnetic stripe to accommodate any situation. During the transition to chip, you can swipe your card as you normally would and either enter your PIN or sign for your purchase. If you already know your chip card works there, start by inserting your card then follow the prompts.

  • How do I know if a terminal accepts chip cards?

In some cases, a retailer may have installed a chip-enabled terminal, but the chip functionality may not be activated yet. Be sure to ask a sales associate if the terminal accepts chip cards before you insert your card. If the terminal is activated, go ahead and insert your card and follow the prompts to pay. If it's not yet activated, remember you can still swipe your card to pay as usual.

  • What if the terminal doesn't accept chip cards?

Your card will still have a magnetic stripe on the back, so even if a terminal is not yet chip-enabled, you can use your card as you do today. Simply swipe your card and either enter your PIN or sign for your purchase.

  • When will I be able to use my chip card at all merchant locations?

Every day, more merchants are becoming chip-enabled to increase security for in-store card transactions. So you will start to see these terminals at many of the places you shop today. You will continue to be able to pay at both chip-enabled and non-chip-enabled merchants with the same card.

  • Can I use my chip card outside the U.S.?

Yes. Chip cards are widely used in international markets and are accepted in more than 80 countries. Having a chip card will make it easier for you to make purchases when you travel internationally.

  • Is a PIN needed to make credit card purchases outside the U.S.?

No, not in the vast majority of circumstances. Since chip-enabled U.S. Bank credit cards are set up as "chip and signature", international terminals will automatically route the transaction as signature without requiring that you do anything different. There may be special cases, like unattended terminals – i.e. buying a train ticket from a kiosk or renting a bicycle – where you may be prompted to enter a PIN when using your credit card. This issue will be fixed as of July 2015.


Have more questions?  Just call the phone number that is displayed on the back of your card. 
Our U.S.-based customer service representatives are available 24/7.

The creditor and issuer of these Cards is U.S. Bank National Association, pursuant to separate licenses from Visa U.S.A. Inc., MasterCard International Incorporated and American Express. MasterCard is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated. American Express is a federally registered service mark of American Express.

Deposit products offered by U.S. Bank National Association.  Member FDIC.

The U.S. Bank Visa Debit Card is issued by the U.S. Bank National Association, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc.

© 2020 U.S. Bank