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Friday, February 24, 2012

Buying a Chip and Pin Card in the US for England

I've been researching how to pick up a Chip and Pin card to take to London.

It's so convenient to use one of these cards.

The easiest way seems to be to buy a Cash Passport from Travelex.


Image: Courtesy Travelex

First, here's what it costs to buy $1,000 US Dollars worth of British Pounds CASH from Travelex:



TOTAL: 569.00 GBP
1 USD = .5690 GBP

Here's what it costs to buy $1,000 US Dollars worth of British Pounds on a Travelex Chip and Pin Cash Passport:



TOTAL: 569.00 GBP
1 USD = .5690 GBP

Finally, here's what Google says it costs to exchange $1,000 US Dollars worth of British Pounds CASH:


TOTAL: 629.4450 GBP
1 USD = .6294 GBP

So there seems to be a foreign exchange conversion rate that Travelex makes on the transaction, whether it's to cash or Chip and Pin card.

In this case, it costs $60.445.

You can learn more about who is offering Chip and Pin cards in the US by taking a look at this Google Doc: EMV cards available in the US. Not many options.

Let's go USA and make these Chip and Pin cards more widely available and also add places where they can be accepted.

Update:

MasterCard joins Visa in pushing PINs into America:
MasterCard has published its roadmap for getting Americans to use chip-and-PIN cards in stores, following Visa's lead in proposing to replace swipe cards by April 2013.

Over the next year, Americans will have to get used to entering a PIN when using a credit card, rather than scrawling a name (any name) as they do today. That's because MasterCard has joined Visa in pushing an April 2013 date on the implementation of chip-and-PIN terminals in US retailers.

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