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Chase Sapphire Preferred to be available as a smart card

November 05, 2013|By Catharine M. Hamm | Los Angeles Times Travel editor
  • Later this month, the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card will come with an embedded chip. Foreign transactions sometimes require the chip card.
Later this month, the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card will come with… (Catharine M. Hamm / Los Angeles…)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card is joining the ranks of the smart-card set later this month when it becomes available with a chip.

The card will continue to have a magnetic stripe -- the standard most often used in the U.S, in which the card is swiped, then the receipt signed to complete a transaction. However, the new card also will have an embedded computer chip, the standard used in much of the world.

The new cards will still require a signature; they are, not surprisingly, called chip-and-signature cards. Other chip cards require a personal identification number (called chip-and-PIN cards) instead of a signature. They are said to be the more secure, but they can be difficult to find in the United States. Unmanned kiosks abroad (at train station and gas stations, for instance) sometimes will take only a chip-and-PIN card.

Chase’s Sapphire Preferred also is a rewards card that gives you two points for every dollar spent on travel and dining. It does not charge a foreign transaction fee, which can add as much as 3% to your bill.

If you’re applying for a Chase Sapphire Preferred card at a brick-and-mortar location, you’ll get the chip card starting Nov. 17; the following day, you can apply for the chip card online.

There is no annual fee for the first year; it is $95 a year thereafter. If you’re already a card holder, you can request a new card with the chip.

Information: Chase Sapphire Preferred 

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