Skip to main content

Chip and PIN

What is a chip Card?

A 'chip' Card is an American Express Credit or Charge Card that has a microchip embedded in the Card. The chip allows you to select your own Personal Identification Number (PIN) and use it to complete transactions on your Card which is particularly handy at self service terminals. Chip Cards have a metal square shown on the front of the Card above the Account number.

Chip

How do I use a chip Card?

How you use your Card will depend on what type of terminal the merchant is using. Your chip Card can still be swiped in exactly the same way as you do today. The only difference is that if you have selected a PIN you will now have the choice of using this PIN or signing to complete your transaction. As merchants upgrade their terminals they will ask you to insert your Card into the terminal. The Card then remains in the terminal during the transaction. If you have selected a PIN you will usually be asked to enter this to authorise your transaction. If you are in any doubt about how to use your Card, simply follow the prompts on the terminal.

Are chip Cards more secure than magnetic stripe Cards?

Security is our number one priority so regardless of whether your Card has a chip or not you'll be protected by our Fraud Protection Guarantee. This means provided you take reasonable care with your Account details and do not unreasonably delay in notifying us if you notice a charge you don't recognise, you won't be held liable for any fraudulent charges.

Can I use my chip Card in an ATM?

If you already have a PIN for Cash Advance, please note that this PIN has not been transferred to your new Card. You will need to set up a new PIN. You can select the same PIN you previously used if you like. The PIN you use will be the same for both ATM cash withdrawals and for purchases made at merchant terminals.

When will I receive a chip Card?

American Express is rolling out chip Cards across our range of Credit and Charge Cards. Once your product is available with a chip you will receive a chip Card shortly before your current Card expires. Until then you can continue to use your existing American Express Card as normal. If you need to receive a chip Card before your current Card expires you can contact us on the number on the back of your current Card and request a replacement chip Card.

Does the chip change any of the other features on my Card?

There are no other changes to the features or benefits of your Card.

What about my Corporate Card?

Corporate Cards will begin issuing chip Cards in 2012. Your Companies Program Administrator will be provided with further details early 2012.

Do I have to select a PIN?

Yes, American Express requires you to select a PIN for each of your Cards. PIN selection can be made during the card activation process, by logging into your online account or by calling the number on the back of your Card. To provide greater security we strongly recommend you use your selected PIN to authorise your transactions instead of signing.

When and how will I receive my PIN?

As you have the option to select your own PIN we won't be sending you a PIN by mail. A PIN can be selected for your Card during the card activation process, by logging into your online account or by calling the number on the back of your Card.
If you have forgotten the PIN you previously selected for your American Express Card you'll be able to retrieve it instantly in our secure, Online Services website whenever you want. Alternatively you can call us on the number on the back of your Card and request a reminder be sent to you by mail.

What if I didn’t select a PIN when I got my new chip Card and now I want one?

You can select a PIN for your Card by logging into your online account or by calling the number on the back of your Card.

What if I forget my PIN?

If you forget your PIN, don't worry. You'll be able to retrieve it instantly in our secure, Online Services website whenever you want. Alternatively you can call us on the number on the back of your Card and request a reminder be sent to you by mail.
For security reasons when using your Card you have three attempts to enter the correct PIN. If an incorrect PIN is entered three times in a row your Account will be locked. If this happens please call us on the number on the back of your Card.

Can I change my PIN?

Unfortunately, you can't change the PIN you nominate for your American Express Card once it has been set. If you think your PIN isn't secret anymore please call us immediately using the number on the back of your Card.

I have a PIN so why does the terminal still ask me to sign?

How your Card is used depends on what type of terminal the merchant is using. In some terminals your chip Card may still be swiped in exactly the same way as a non chip Card. The only difference is that if you have selected a PIN with this Card you will now have the choice of using this PIN or signing to verify your transaction.

Do I need a PIN if I'm travelling overseas?

Globally, an increasing number of merchants prefer customers to use a PIN instead of signing. So if you are planning on travelling overseas, we recommend you set up a PIN for your Card before you go. You can select a PIN on our secure, encrypted website whenever you want, or you can select a PIN by calling the number on the back of your Card.

How do I know if I have Contactless?

You can tell if your Card can be used for a Contactless transaction if your Card has the Contactless symbol on the reverse.

Contactless

Are there any fees for using Contactless?

There are no additional fees for making a Contactless payment.

How can I be sure Contactless is secure?

Security is our number one priority so no matter which way you choose to pay with your Card you'll be protected by our Fraud Protection Guarantee. This means you won't be held liable for fraudulent charges, as long as you take reasonable care with your Account details and let us know right away if you see a charge you do not recognise.
You'll also find extra measures in place to ensure the safety of your Card when using contactless.

  • Your Card must come within a few centimetres of a Contactless reader to confirm a transaction, so there is no risk of making a payment without realising.
  • If your Card touches the reader more than once, only one payment per transaction will be taken.
  • The maximum amount of each Contactless transaction is capped at $80.
  • For your safety and security we have limited the number of consecutive Contactless transactions you can make. If requested to enter a PIN or sign for a charge, please follow the prompts on the terminal.

How much can I spend using Contactless?

Contactless can be used for transactions up to $80. For your safety and security we have limited the number of consecutive Contactless transactions you can make therefore on occasion you maybe prompted by the terminal to enter a PIN or sign for a transaction.
Of course you can continue to use your Card for transactions over $80 by swiping or inserting it into the terminal.

What happens if I tap my Card against the terminal more than once?

Even if your Card touches the reader more than once, only one payment per transaction will be taken.

What if I don't want to use Contactless? Can I turn it off?

The Contactless feature on your Card cannot be turned off. However if you'd prefer not to pay with this option simply swipe or insert your Card in the terminal and either sign or enter your PIN.

Where can I use Contactless?

Contactless technology is gaining momentum and we're working with more and more Merchants to ensure you can take full advantage of Contactless. You can use Contactless wherever you see the Contactless symbol and the American Express logo on a checkout reader.
If you don't see the Contactless and American Express logos on the terminal you can still use your Card by swiping or inserting it into the terminal.