Sam’s Club Switches to ‘Smart’ Credit Cards

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Sam’s new chip-enabled credit cards provide extra security and enhanced rewards for customers.

Sam’s Club introduced new chip-enabled “smart” credit cards to its customers this week.

That makes Sam’s the first major retailer in the U.S. to employ the more secure chip technology in its cards. The Sam’s Club 5-3-1 MasterCard uses a magnetic strip and an embedded chip, which generates different security codes for each transaction.

That makes it more difficult to duplicate cards, Slate said.

The new credit cards also include enhanced rewards from Sam’s Club, including 5 percent cash back on fuel, 3 percent cash back on dining and travel, and 1 percent back on all other purchases (up to $5,000), said.

The new cards are replacing the Sam’s Club Discover Card.

Sam’s Club beat Target to the punch when it comes to providing customers with more secure credit cards. After its massive data breach in 2013, Target said it was converting its store-branded cards to chip-and-PIN cards. Target said its new cards would be available to customers in early 2015. In the meantime, Target is updating all of its store registers to accept the new chip-and-PIN cards.

Chip-enabled cards are already widely used in Europe, and you’ll likely soon be seeing more in the U.S. Retailers and banks in the U.S. have until October 2015 to upgrade their systems to chip-enabled technology or they will be held responsible for fraudulent purchases, according to CBS News.

The new Sam’s credit card includes a magnetic strip, so the card can be used at other retailers. But if you want the security features the chip-enabled card offers, you’re better off using the card at Sam’s Club. Slate said:

A word to the wise: Because the new Sam’s Club MasterCard comes with both a chip and a magnetic strip, it will be as vulnerable to fraud as any other when used for a normal swipe. Until everyone makes the switch, Sam’s Club is hoping that’s one more reason you’ll choose to shop with them.

Would you feel safer using your credit card if it was chip-enabled? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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