Cardholder Frequently Asked Questions

How is a chip-enhanced card different from a magnetic stripe card?

A chip-enhanced card contains an embedded microchip. The chip holds encrypted information, making it extremely difficult for the card to be copied or counterfeited. Rather than swiping the card, you will insert your card into a chip-enabled terminal to complete a transaction. In addition to the embedded microchip, the chip-card has a magnetic stripe on the back, and purchases can still be made by swiping the card at merchants that have not yet switched to chip-enabled terminals.

Are chip cards new?

Although chip cards are relatively new in the U.S., they have been used in other countries for many years. In most other countries, chip cards are the standard.

Why was my card replaced with a chip card?

  • We value your financial security. Your new card comes with advanced security because the chip technology makes it difficult for a fraudster to counterfeit your card.
  • Replacing your card with a new chip-enhanced card is one way we can help simplify your purchase experience as technology continues to change.
  • Although magnetic stripe cards continue to be the most common type of card in the U.S., most other countries are switching to chip cards. Giving you a new chip card is one way we can help simplify your purchase experience when you're traveling outside the U.S.

Where can I use my chip card?

Use your chip card at the exact same merchants you do now by inserting the card into terminals that are chip-enabled or swiping your card at merchant locations that have not yet switched to chip-enabled terminals. You can also continue to use your card as you do currently for online and telephone payments.

How do I make a transaction?

When making a transaction with your chip-enhanced card, it's important to leave the card in the terminal until the transaction is complete. If you remove the card too soon, the transaction will end and your purchase will not be processed.

Insert the chip portion of the card into the terminal with the chip facing up.

Follow the prompts on the terminal screen. The terminal will display the purchase amount.

When your transaction is complete, you will be prompted to remove your card.

At restaurants, a portable terminal may be brought to your table. Remember, if a chip terminal is not available, you will still be able to make purchases by swiping your card and signing the receipt.

What are the benefits of a chip card?

  • Advanced security due to the chip technology that makes it nearly impossible for a fraudster to counterfeit your card.
  • Ability to make payments at terminals outside of the U.S. where chip cards are the standard.

How do I know if my card can tap to pay?

Cards that have tap and pay capabilities have this symbol on the front or back of the card.

For smaller-dollar amount purchases, you can tap your contactless card to pay at merchants that have the following symbol on the terminal.

If a merchant does not have this functionality, you will need to insert the card into the terminal and follow the prompts to complete the transaction.

When will I get my new Town & Country card?

All new Town & Country credit and debit cards will be enabled with chip technology. For existing card holders, chip cards will be issued when the card is due to be replaced.