EMV cards


Chip Card Basics


What is a chip card?



A chip card is a credit or debit card that contains an embedded microchip as well as the traditional magnetic stripe. The chip encrypts information to increase data security when making transactions at a chip-enabled terminal.


Why does my new card include a chip?



The chip protects you from fraud by creating a one-time use code for each transaction at a chip-enabled terminal, which makes it difficult to copy or counterfeit. Chip technology is already used in over 130 countries around the world, including Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom, so you'll enjoy greater acceptance when traveling internationally.


What information is stored on the chip?


The chip stores information needed to complete your purchase, such as card number and expiration date. It does not contain any of your personal information.


What does a chip card look like?



If a card has chip technology, you will see a small metal square on the front of the card above the account number.


Are chip, EMV and smart cards different?



Chip cards, EMV cards or smart cards are just different names for the same technology.


How does a chip credit card work?



It's easy to use a chip card. If the retailer has a chip-enabled terminal, simply insert your chip card face up in the terminal and follow the prompts on the terminal screen. Keep your card in the terminal while the transaction is processed. If prompted, sign to complete your purchase. Once transaction is completed, remove your card from the terminal.

If the retailer is not yet chip-enabled, just swipe as you do today. You can always follow the prompts on the merchant terminal if you aren’t sure whether you should swipe or insert your card.

For transactions made over the phone or online, nothing changes.


When can I expect to receive a chip card?


If you are an existing BrightStar credit or debit cardholder and don't have a chip card today, you'll receive one when your old card expires or needs to be reissued. Until then, use your current card with the magnetic stripe. Whether you use the magnetic stripe or the chip to make your purchase, you can have confidence in the protection and security features we provide. If you are travelling internationally, you may contact us to request a chip card.


Why does a chip card still have magnetic stripe?



Your new chip card has a magnetic stripe, so you can continue to swipe the card at merchants that do not have chip-enabled terminals to make payments the same way you do today.


Did my Visa Zero Liability* Protection Change?



Whether you use the magnetic stripe or the chip to make your purchase, you can count on Visa’s Zero Liability* protection. If your card is lost or stolen, you are protected against unauthorized use of your card or account information. Please notify us immediately if you notice any suspicious activity on your account.


Can I have both a chip card and my current magnetic stripe-only card?



No. You should destroy your old card as soon as you activate your new chip card.


Do I need to notify the Credit Union before I travel?



Yes, please notify us if you plan to travel so we can notate your account to ensure your card access isn't interrupted.


Are there any additional fees associated with chip credit or debit cards?



There are no additional fees associated with chip cards.


Chip Debit Card

Do I need a PIN to make purchases with my credit card?



No, you do not need a PIN to make purchases with your credit card. The PIN issued with your chip credit card is for ATM cash withdrawals only. When traveling internationally, on rare occasions, you may be asked to provide a PIN. Just communicate to the merchant that the credit card requires a signature only. Your PIN will not work for purchases.


Is a PIN on my new chip credit card different than a PIN on my old magnetic stripe card?



Your new chip credit card will have a new PIN for ATM cash withdrawals. The PIN will also be unique for each cardholder on your account. Your old PIN associated with your magnetic stripe card will no longer work.


Can I change a PIN number associated with my chip credit card?


No, currently you cannot change your PIN number associated with your chip credit card. If you forget your PIN, you can request a PIN reminder to be mailed to you.


Are there any situations where I could experience issues using my chip credit card?



When traveling outside the U.S., some card readers at unattended terminals (such as public transportation kiosks, gas pumps) will require a PIN. However, this type of PIN technology is different than what you normally use for cash ATM PIN transactions in the U.S. and the card won't be accepted. In these situations, please locate an attended terminal to complete your transaction or plan for an alternative payment method, such as local currency.


Chip Debit Cards

Do I need a PIN to make purchases with my chip debit card?

You can make purchases with your chip debit cards using either signature or PIN. If you are enrolled in Scorecard Rewards you will earn points only on signature transactions. Some merchant may prompt you to enter your PIN to complete your transaction; you may ask the merchant to bypass the PIN and sign for the transaction.


Can I have both a chip card and my current magnetic stripe-only card?


Yes, you can change your PIN number by calling 1-866-297-3411.  You must know your current PIN in order to use this service.  You can also stop at any of our branches and have a Member Service Representative assist you.


*Visa's Zero Liability Policy covers U.S.-issued cards and does not apply to certain commercial card transactions or any transactions not processed by Visa. You must notify us immediately of any unauthorized use. For specific restrictions, limitations and other details, please see your account terms and conditions.

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