Chip cards protect your money from thieves. Here's what you should know to keep your card safe from harm.
If you have a credit card with microchip, you need to protect the card from harm if you want it to work properly the next time you whip it out.
Many financial institutions and credit card companies have swapped out traditional magnetic stripe cards and replaced them with newer chip-equipped credit cards. Chip cards — also known as EMV cards, for “Eurocard, MasterCard and Visa” — offer better protection for users than their magnetic stripe predecessors because they create a unique transaction code for every purchase.
Even if a thief is able to get the code, it’s worthless because it can only be used once. Many chip-equipped cards also have magnetic stripes so consumers can use them even when a retailer isn’t set up to accept chipped cards.
While your chip-equipped credit card does a good job protecting you, the card itself isn’t impervious to damage. Here’s what you need to do to protect the chip:
- Keep your card away from liquids and sharp objects. According to the New York Times, “the smart chips on the front of the card can be damaged by scrapes from keys, coins and other items with sharp edges.”
- Store in a safe place. Digital security site Komando.com recommends that you use a wallet or a card carrier to store your credit cards and protect them from harm.
Many retailers still have not updated their point-of-sale machines to take chipped credit cards, which require that you insert the chipped card into the credit card reader, not swipe it. Once all retailers accept chipped credit cards, the magnetic stripes on the cards can be eliminated.
If you’re in the market for a new credit card, we can help. Check out our Solutions Center, where you’ll find reviews and comparisons of many top credit cards.
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