Credit Card News
Advertising Disclosure
Credit-Land.com is an independent, advertising-supported web site. Credit-Land.com receives compensation from many credit card issuers whose offers appear on our site. Compensation from our advertising partners impacts how and where their products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within review lists. Credit-Land.com has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace.
Credit Card Applications » News » Travel » U.S. Bank Goes Global with EMV Chip Cards

U.S. Bank Goes Global with EMV Chip Cards

By
Add to Favorites:

That little magnetic strip on the back of your credit card is looking more and more like an endangered species, as more cards are embedded with EMV chip technology, making them into “smart cards” that allow for contactless payments.

EMV chips are microprocessors that hold all your card information, like a magnetic strip, but more secure and easier to use. Instead of swiping your card, simply wave it in front of the card reader and your payment information is recorded.

This week, U.S. Bank is rolling out a new card for travelers, the Global EMV card, which will be available through the Visa or MasterCard platforms. It will combine magnetic strip technology with EMV chips, making them multipurpose enough to work across the United States, where EMV chip use is still not standard, as well as around the globe.

Around the World With EMV

The Global EMV card will be offered as an option on most commercial U.S. Bank credit cards, and will come standard on the Executive and Executive Platinum cards. Jeff Rankin, senior sales and marketing officer for U.S. Bank Corporate Payment Systems, says that for international travelers “the U.S. Bank Global EMV Card delivers greater convenience and compatibility with overseas merchants. It allows cardholders to go anywhere in the world with confidence.”

This isn`t U.S. Bank`s first foray into the world of EMV, however. Last summer they unveiled the EMV chip on their FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature card. This card is aimed at frequent travelers, which makes sense since the technology is widely used in other countries and customers might have trouble using their non-EMV cards when traveling through Europe, Canada, and other places where EMV is standard.

FlexPerks Travel Rewards from Visa Signature

Speaking of travel and credit cards, how does the FlexPerks Travel Rewards card stack up? Let’s take a quick look.

  • Like many high-rewards travel credit cards, the FlexPerks card has an annual fee. The $49 yearly charge is waived for the first year, and after that you can choose to apply your reward points to cover the fee.
  • The APR of 13.99% to 23.99% will vary depending on your credit history, and is a little on the high side, but that only matters if you plan to carry a balance.
  • Surprisingly, there is a foreign transaction fee on this card. A credit card aimed at travelers could be expected to feature no foreign transaction fee, but this one does not. You`ll pay 2% for each overseas purchase using American dollars and 3% for foreign transactions using foreign currency.
  • The balance transfer rate on the FlexPerks card is 1% above the industry average, at 4%, as is the cash advance fee – also 4%. This probably isn`t the best card to use if you`re planning to transfer a balance or get cash advances.

Travel to Rewards Land

So if there`s an annual fee, a higher-than-standard balance transfer and cash advance fee, and foreign transaction fees, where`s the benefit of this card? We haven`t talked about the rewards yet – so let`s get to the good stuff.

  • When you spend your first $500, you`ll get 10,000 bonus FlexPoints, on top of your standard 1 FlexPoint per $1 spent.
  • In whatever category you spend the most (gas, groceries, airline travel), you`ll earn double FlexPoints.
  • Every year that you spend $24,000 on your FlexPerks card, you`ll get 3,500 extra points.

You can redeem your FlexPoints for cash or for airline tickets, but you`ll get more out of them if you buy airline tickets. 20,000 FlexPoints can be redeemed for $200 in cash, but if you put that amount toward a plane ticket purchase, you`ll get $400 toward the total. Plus, you can use that reward on over 150 airline partners, with no blackout dates or redemption fees.

Taking some average spending numbers, let`s say that in the first year you have the card, you spend $6000 on groceries, $2000 on clothes, $2500 on entertainment, and $5700 on transportation. Double your grocery rewards, since you spent the most in that category, and add in your 10,000 bonus points. The calculation looks like this:

12,000 + 2,000 + 2,500 + 5,700 + 10,000 = 32,200 FlexPoints

Since 30,000 points can be redeemed for a ticket up to $600 in value, you`ll most likely be able to use that reward for a free round-trip ticket to the beach. And one other thing – when you go, you`ll get a $25 airline allowance award which can be used for baggage fees or in-flight food and drinks. Pretty sweet!

Wave Hello to the Future

As EMV chips are embedded in more U.S. credit cards and become industry standard over the next few years, we`ll get used to waving our cards in front of readers instead of swiping them, making EMV chip technology literally the wave of the future.

Add to Favorites:

Related News:

New Brand and Reward Card from US Bank

By Dar Dowling, Posted: April 22, 2014

U.S. Bank has rebranded its small business credit cards as Business Edge, and they've added the Business Edge Select Rewards card for cardholders. It offers a sign-up bonus, flexible redemption options and triple points on one category ... Continue reading
Talking About Money Equals Happiness

By Dar Dowling, Posted: September 23, 2016

Love and money are the two biggies in life and relationships, and now, according to a new study by TD Bank, couples who talk about money have a higher happiness factor than those that don't. Continue reading
Credit Card Limits Up, Up and Away

By Dar Dowling, Posted: September 22, 2016

Credit card limits had an upswing during the first six months of this year, according to a new study by Experian, with credit card limits in both the subprime and deep subprime credit range equaling $6.4 billion – the largest amount in the ... Continue reading
Get the latest news, articles and expert advice delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.
Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit
For Excellent/Good Credit
Earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
For Excellent/Good Credit
$250 Air Travel Credit each year
For Excellent Credit