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What is a Chip Card?

American Express is always looking for new ways to enhance our Card Members' experience and products by offering the most up-to-date services and features. Chip technology adds an extra layer of security to your Card transactions when used at a chip terminal. With chip technology, it is more difficult for unauthorized users to copy or access your Card 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. You will still have a magnetic stripe on the back so that you can use it at merchants who do not yet have chip terminals.

Is Chip technology the same as Contactless payments?

No, just because a Card has chip technology does not mean it can be used for contactless payments. To determine if your card can be used for contactless payments look for the contactless symbol on the back of the Card. If there is not a contactless symbol, it is not a contactless enabled Card.

Are Chip, EMV, and Smart Chip different?

Other issuers and companies may refer to chip Cards differently, but all of these are different names for the same technology.


How do I use my chip Card?

When you come across a chip terminal, follow the simple steps below:

  • Insert your Card into the slot in the terminal.  Do not remove your Card from the terminal until the end of the transaction.
  • If prompted, provide your signature or PIN to authorize the transaction.  Some transactions may not require either. 
  • Remove your Card from the terminal when prompted.

If the Merchant terminal does not accept chip Cards, the Card can still be swiped the same way as you do today. Be sure to follow the prompts on the merchant terminal if you aren't sure whether you should swipe or insert your Card.

How will I know whether I need to swipe or insert my Chip Card?

How you use your Card will depend on what type of terminal the merchant is using. During the transition to chip, you can swipe your card as you normally would and follow the prompts. If the terminal is chip-enabled, it will prompt you to insert the Card instead. 


Why did I receive a Chip Card when I did not request one?

As part of American Express' continued dedication to the security and protection of our Card Members, we are now issuing Cards that include chip technology.

As a security measure, when you receive your new chip Card, your old Card(s) will be deactivated soon after if no action is taken. Receipt of your new Card(s) should be confirmed immediately to avoid any interruption to your spending. Confirm you have received your new card by one of the following:

  • Download and use the Amex Mobile App
  • Go to
  • Call the number that appears on the sticker on the front of your Card

How can I receive a Chip Card?

All of American Express Consumer, OPEN and Corporate Cards are available with chip technology. If you have not already received your chip Card, you will be issued one on/before your expiry date. If you wish to receive it earlier, then please go to, and request for a replacement under the reason "Damaged", or call the number on the back of your current Card.

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. Your new chip Card will still has a magnetic stripe on the back so that you can use it at merchants who do not accept chip Cards yet.


Where is chip technology currently used?

Chip technology is used in the U.S. and over 80 countries across the world. Having a chip Card will make it easier for you to make purchases when you travel internationally.

Can I use my new chip Card in the U.S.?

Yes. You can use your chip Card at all U.S. merchants who accept the American Express® Card. During the transition to chip, you can swipe your Card as you normally would and follow the prompts. If the terminal is chip-enabled, it will prompt you to insert it instead. The chip does not change any of the other features or benefits of your Card.

I've never had issues using my current Card outside of the U.S. Do I still need a chip Card?

More and more stores, restaurants and other merchants in the U.S. and around the world are using chip technology, so we designed chip Cards to help make traveling and everyday spending more convenient. We hope you find that your chip Card enhances your travel experience while still giving you access to the great features and benefits that your Card already provides.


Where can I get more information about chip technology?

If you have further questions, please call the number on the back of your Card to speak to a Customer Care Professional.