Contact free credit cards

Lucille

My bank says it is sending me one where all I have to do is tap. I'm not sure I like the idea, it doesn't seem to take a huge amount of time to slide my card.

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Elmer J Fudd

The card is read more quickly, it's done for user convenience and nothing else. Same as with the NFC (near field communication) that enables payments with Apple Pay and Google (Android) Pay from a smart phone.


I'm not sure what about it you could find objectionable. I like it but you can always insert the card if you prefer that.

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Hot Rod

There's a daily limit of $30 on the contactless payment method. They're very handy for public transit, such as the Tube in London (which is all contactless, whether you use your own card or an Oyster card). I use it for quick payments at the grocery store too, just for small purchases.

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Elmer J Fudd

Yesterday I paid a $95 tab at a grocery store with a tap. I'll assume the low restriction hot rod mentions doesn't apply to every person or every card. That particular limit might be specific to the specific card type, the issuer, or something else.

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Hot Rod

It's an American Express card - I just assumed all had spending caps to limit fraudulent activity?


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sushipup1

Costco's Visa cards have been using the tap for quite a while now. Haven't had a purchase amount hit any limit yet,, and I routinely spend 100-150.

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Elmer J Fudd

My card isn't a Costco one but it's a high limit bank Visa. A card with such a low tap limit would be useless to me, I wouldn't keep it.

Fraudulent activity of all kinds happens daily, it's as common for a bank as are weeds for a gardener and it's the card issuer's problem, not the customer's. I can't imagine how a tap limit would accomplish anything because such cards also have a chip with apparently a different limit.

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Michael

I use the Apple Card on my phone (not Apple Pay) everywhere I can. It's 2% cashback (daily) on every purchase. NOT afraid.

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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

Isn't everything safer than the old mag strip anyway?

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Michael

Yup. The old mag strip is a skimmers dream.

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maifleur01

A couple of comments. One, Mastercard has been advertising the tap card for at least 5 years that I know of. Two, I received a replacement card several months ago and noticed there were no longer any raised numbers on it and it was much thinner. At that time someone mentioned that they had the thin card and had to have it replaced a couple of times because it became damaged. As thin as my card is I can see how it could easily be damaged. Three, and this is supposition, I have wondered if it was possible with this type of card to simply place your wallet in front of one of the readers. Before I retired several of the men would simply back up to the door entry card reader with the door card in their wallet to gain access. I think holders that prevent cards from being read would not allow this.

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Elmer J Fudd

The real fact to keep in mind is that credit card holders are NOT liable for fraudulent, unauthorized charges. The issuers are getting pretty good at spotting out of pattern use - sometimes a bit too good and they flag valid ones - but they're the ones on the hook. The notification period for bogus charges is pretty generous, I want to say it's maybe 90 days.

We've had a few incidents of various kinds over the years, one because of a pickpocket in a European city (it was my wife's fault, having done something she should have avoided and knew better not to do) and each time we've not had a problem getting charges reversed in full. You should let your credit card issuers and bank ATM sponsors know when you'll be travelling. With that, problems are few.



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nicole___

Lucille...thanks for posting this. I've never heard of it.

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Elmer J Fudd

Hmm, maifleur. My main card is rather thick and heavy - it's a metal sheet sandwiched between two pieces of plastic. I just got a new card and it was accompanied by a return envelope and a message saying something like "Don't try to cut or shred your old card, you won't be able to. Put it into the envelope to return to us"

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maifleur01

I received my new one a couple of months ago and as I stated above it is very thin. One thing I did notice was that the chip in the old one could not be cut. At first I thought the new card was fake. Each bank has several options on how they have their cards manufactured. You can actually request a metal one from some banks.

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Hot Rod

Well, if I used tap payments that often, obviously I'd use a different card - as mentioned above, I only use it for specific things. However, I typically dip it or use ApplePay from my phone or my watch. The card I mentioned is the Delta Reserve co-branded card so we get amazing benefits when we use it. Since we travel a lot, it makes a lot of sense for us to have it. We also have the Hilton Aspire Amex, but that's only used for Hilton reservations. We spend about half the year traveling and both pay for themselves many times over, with free flights/upgrades, or free hotel rooms/upgrades. We recently got upgraded to a three-room suite with a wrap-around balcony in midtown Manhattan, which was quite nice. So I'll take the $£€30 limit on the card. :)

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DawnInCal

Yea, sometimes they are just a tad overzealous when it comes to sniffing out fraud. On our last night in Poland a couple of years ago, we went out for a very nice and expensive dinner. When we gave the server our card to pay the bill, he returned shortly to inform us that the card had been declined. We had to call the number on the back of the card and tell them to reactivate the card and to authorize the charge - pronto!

What was odd about it was that we'd used that card for the entire three weeks we were in Poland and Sweden with absolutely no problem. I have no idea what sent up a red flag at dinner.

My old card expired recently and my new card has a chip - finally. I felt like I was the last person in California who was still using a magnetic strip. Some of the places where I used the old card in the last couple of months were starting to look at me funny!

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yeonassky

Here in BC Canada at least we have a $100 limit on tapping per transaction. Anything over and I have to enter my card and key in my code. That includes for my Debit, Visa and MasterCard. We've had the tap ability for a couple of years or so.

I still at times feel a bit uneasy about it. It just simply seems another easy way for people to steal your money if it gets in the wrong hands.

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Elmer J Fudd

yeonassky, you have Chip and PIN cards in Canada. We don't. Our credit cards don't have PIN codes. That's the difference.

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colleenoz

We’ve had tap and go for a few years now. At first I resisted tapping and swiped instead, but now I just tap. There’s a $100 limit and DH (who is in digital security) is confident they’re OK. As Elmer says, we’re not liable for fraudulent charges- in fact, we did dispute one charge and had it reversed.

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Elmer J Fudd

You have chip and PIN cards in Australia too. In fact, that's the standard everywhere in the developed world EXCEPT in the US. They're much more convenient and more secure for the banks. Another modern convenience for which we lag the rest of the world.

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yeonassky

I didn't realize that using pin numbers with credit cards as well as debit wasn't the same in the states.

Here you have to prove that you weren't negligent with your card when it gets into someone else's hands before they give you the money back.

A young college student went to our National radio station CBC to complain $700 was taken out of his account from cheques that went missing when he was moving. None of the signatures were like those on the signature card but still the person was able to cash them. I know it's not the same thing as a loss of a debit or credit card but it still shows me that banks will sometimes try not to pay when money is stolen in some way from a bank account..

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/td-bank-refuses-to-refund-art-student-600-in-fraudulent-cheques-1.5278144

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/td-bank-agrees-to-refund-600-to-defrauded-art-student-1.5281939

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sephia_wa

You can request a PIN from your bank for a chip credit card. Other countries typically want you to use a PIN with a chip credit card. I've requested one for the credit cards I take when I travel internationally. I learned this the hard way on a trip to China for work. My work credit card couldn't be used because I didn't have a PIN. It does now as do my personal credit cards.

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colleenoz

We have PINs with the chip. If you tap and the amount is over the limit of $100, it will require you to type in the PIN.

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maifleur01

I have never tried the contact thing with the newer card but all of my cards, debit and credit, have had the chip and pin. I did go on line and add a pin to my existing credit card in anticipation of traveling overseas. Someone suggested I look rather than asking for a new card with a pin. It was easy to add the pin number so if anyone is interested in doing so you can go on line and do it yourself. I think it is under "Manage your accounts".

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chisue

No signature is the rule for CCs in the US now. (Fine, since it has been at least 30 years since any clerk ever looked at mine.) I'm glad not to have to bother with that...or a PIN.

I don't understand Debit Cards for *adults*; no rewards and less protection for me and for the bank.

Costco has started requiring an ID, even when we use their Costco-linked Visa CC and even on charges of under $100 and 'no alcohol'.


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maifleur01

chisue it may only be the bank but when my debit card was used for fraudulent charges a couple of years ago I was protected. I received a text message in the middle of the night stating my card was frozen because of suspicious activity. I contacted the bank after checking on line to make certain the text was not a phishing activity. I called the number and walked through the charges. The ones were flagged and the next day the processing removed them. There were three charges that the merchants objected to and although they remained showing on line I had full access to the money that was in my account.

For those that are not aware and I am only aware because I worked at two banks they carry insurance against fraud. You may have to prove you did not provide access to your card or checks. Sometimes if it is friends or family with smaller banks you may be given the option to accept the charges rather than have the person you know be charged with a crime. I was told that the credit card company had the ultimate authority vs the old days when the person whose card was used had to file charges.

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

My bank treats debit cards exactly the same as it does credit cards - same alerts and same protection. I use my debt card daily for all manner of purchases. My bank is not nearby, no one uses checks and few places continue to accept them and I seldom carry much cash so in my world, debit cards are the only way to go. (and I am not an advocate of putting everyday transactions on a credit card. For me those are for emergencies or large purchases).

My bank notifies me of issues of possible fraud by text. This has only happened once in the 25+ years I've been with them (card number used across the country from me). I called them back, verified it was not an authorized charge and the money was back in my account the next day. But the card itself was cancelled and reissued and even expedited, it took a week to get the new one.

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Elmer J Fudd

I got a chip and pin card >5 years ago. At the time, there were fewer than a handful of US institutions who issued them - I got one from a Pentagon-oriented credit union that issued them for military personnel assigned abroad. It was essential for use with machines - payment at gas station pumps, ticket issuing machines for public transportation, etc.

We still don't have the systems they have abroad. When paying in a restaurant abroad, especially in Europe, they bring a little handheld gizmo to your table. Insert the card, enter the PIN, press the green button, Done.

Sometimes, I suspect for cards of American origin, the machine spits out a little receipt that needs to be signed. I haven't been abroad in a bit over a year so maybe that's changing now.

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colleenoz

Chisue, what don’t you understand about debit cards for adults? They’re arguably safer than carrying around big wodges of cash, which is the alternative.

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sushipup1

Colleen, I think the reference is that credit cards carry more consumer protection by law (here in the US) as well as the fact that using debit cards means the money leaves your account right away. Yes, the bank may correct that, but it's more of a hassle. And who needs "wads" of cash. Use a credit card if you don't want to use cash.

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sushipup1

(Must say that I'd rather carry a wad of cash than wodges of cash. Best new word!)

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maifleur01

While I use my debit card for most purchases and keep my credit card for major things I still carry some cash with me. While paying the fees to use the atm at a restaurant that does not take cards is not a problem for some I am cheap. When I first traveled to Philadelphia several years ago it seemed like every Italian restaurant only wanted cash. I embarrassed myself once and that and the additional atm reductions from the machine and my bank was enough.

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sherri1058

"We still don't have the systems they have abroad. When paying in a
restaurant abroad, especially in Europe, they bring a little handheld
gizmo to your table. Insert the card, enter the PIN, press the green
button, Done."

You don't need to go overseas, just head north to Canada. We've had them for years as well..... and if the bill is less than $100, you don't need to insert card and enter PIN, just tap! Love Tap. Costco just raised their tap limit here to $400 (greater than that, you need to enter your PIN) I have tap on both my credit and debit cards.


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Elmer J Fudd

maifleur-

-I've heard more than a few experts suggest that making ordinary purchases with a debit card isn't a good idea. I think it may have something to do with broadcasting your PIN into insecure systems. Use your credit card instead

-Many banks refund ATM fees up to a certain amount each month. Mine does, up to $15, an amount that even considering my use and my wife's together on the same account we've never gotten up to since there's no charge for "home system" withdrawals.

-Small businesses, especially restaurants, often prefer cash payments because it leaves no bank account trail and helps them evade income taxes

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Elmer J Fudd

"You don't need to go overseas, just head north to Canada."

I specifically used the word "abroad" because that means "foreign countries". Americans like Canadians have many foreign countries to go to without crossing over a "sea". Other than frequent visitors in the border states, I suspect far more Americans go to Europe than to Canada and I thought using that as an example would be more meaningful.

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maifleur01

Why is a pin number from a credit card safer than a pin number from a debit card?

Edited I have had a waitress bring that machine to my table when I was in Portland, Oregon last year so some areas in the US do use them.

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Elmer J Fudd

My understanding is from what I read and from my own experiences. Foreign card issuers have lower fraud losses than US ones do. The foreign issuers and merchants follow the EMV Chip and PIN system, US issuers and merchants mostly don't. Chip and PIN, with encrypted codes read from the Smart chip, are apparently highly secure and difficult to decrypt or hack. I have no more information to add.


Credit card processing services like Square have a little dongle that can plug into an iPad to process credit card payments. And I suspect they have other hardware too. I've seen those all over, even at car washes, but I've never seen the little machines that are ubiquitous all over the rest of the world. I'm not sure to what use they'd be here right now, since so many credit cards DON'T have EMV PINs.

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colleenoz

Some people prefer to use the money they actually have (ie, a debit card) than to run up credit card bills.

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maifleur01

Although right now my income is secure I saw too many people when I was younger using their credit cards for all of their purchases. Then the various recessions hit in the 1990s and 2008 and they were in big trouble when they lost their jobs to ever be comfortable placing all of my spending on a credit card. While it will not cause a problem but when I go to sell this house and purchase another one if I had a lot of charge cards the way some do all the credit limits will be considered debt even if there is nothing on the cards. I am not a person to carry much cash with me and have always thought those people having a thick stack of money in their wallets were simply asking to be robbed so I will continue with the debit cards.

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watchmelol

I don't own a debit card. I refuse them and also dislike pins which I will only use when required. Only one card in my wallet requires one. A 4 digit pin is about as useful security wise in my opinion as a four letter password. I do keep cash on hand but 99% of my purchases are with credit cards that carry some sort of reward. The only store card I use regularly is a Target/Mastercard that can be used anywhere. Not going to say no to 5% off stacked on other discounts available. I avoid store cards unless they can be used as regular CCs elsewhere. Also if a store bites the dust like Sears did the issuer will convert them often offer special financing. My Sears card was replaced by the issuer, no hard pull involved, and they offered 1 years zero interest on purchases as if it was a new card. I tend to buy new appliances and major household purchases that way. Use the banks money for as long as I can rather than my own makes sense to me. But I am good at money management and know our limits. Haven't paid interest in over a decade except for vehicle purchases. I juggle about 6-8 cards at any given time. DS is even better at it than me. He juggles dozens and churns. But he is younger,has the capital to do it with, and is blessed with a photographic memory along with his super math brain.

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Elmer J Fudd

"when I go to sell this house and purchase another one if I had a lot of charge cards the way some do all the credit limits will be considered debt even if there is nothing on the cards."

I have a card with just a bit less than a $50K credit limit that's paid in full monthly. I bought a property less than a year ago with a loan from a large national bank/lender. In the liability section, I listed the card and said the balance was $0. They called me to correlate whatever info they got from my credit report. I explained my entry and suggested I could send them statements to show how I use it. They agreed there was zero liability for that card.

I won't dispute what you suggest may be the case with the lenders in your area. You've mentioned many things over time in your town that seem to be quite different and even peculiar compared with practices in my area and elsewhere.

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Elmer J Fudd

"A 4 digit pin is about as useful security wise in my opinion as a four letter password."

The 4 digit pin is mostly used when accompanied with physical possession of the card. In the US, a stolen or lost card in the possession of someone else, that hasn't been reported, can be used at any merchant. In countries where Chip and PIN systems are in place, physical possession of the card is useless without the PIN. I suspect that with a few false entries, the card gets suspended. The likelhihood of getting the right number in, say three tries - 3 out of 9999. Good odds to provide protection

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patriceny

My experience is the same as Elmer's. I've done 2 mortgages in the last few years. I have 2 credit cards. I pay the balance in full every month. Two different banks (one regional, one national) agreed I had 0 liability for both cards, despite the high credit limits.

Watchmelol - I do the same as you. I don't like debit cards and won't use them. I get cash back and other rewards on my credit cards, they're paid in full every month - and if I lose them or they get compromised I don't have to worry about my bank account being drained. Yes I know I'm protected against fraudulent activity - but from an emotional standpoint it's "easier" for me to not worry about a bad charge if it's not from "my" money in the first point. LOL.

I've had bad charges show up on my credit cards twice in my life. Both times it was easy to handle. I called the issuer, explained the situation and answered some questions, they removed the charge, closed the account and send me new cards. Easy.

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maifleur01

It sounds like both of you had to prove you had zero liability. While that is easy enough to do, you had to do it. The lender apparently looked at the limits and it raised a flag.

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Elmer J Fudd

maifleur, I think you're choosing words to re-characterize and misrepresent the process.

When you submit a personal financial statement in a loan application, you have to document the entries. If there's something they want documentation for and it hasn't been previously submitted, they ask for it.

Using your language, they asked me to "Prove" I had homeowners insurance. I sent a bill. I had to "Prove" I owned my residence. A copy of my property tax bill sufficed, it's also a matter of public record that they could have verified themselves online. Did these things slant my loan app in any way? Hardly. No flags were waived.

The loan app process is very perfunctory and done in a mostly thoughtless way (from my experience) with checklists, prescribed procedures, and very little true human analysis. When I griped to the loan officer about some of the nonsense I was asked to do, he agreed with me that many steps were a waste of time in my case. Many were done all the same. I pushed back on a handful of things, saying "No, I'm not going to waste my time doing that", or "You don't need that" and I was mostly successful.

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maifleur01

I agree that many of the steps are wasted on people with a long history of purchasing homes. But for someone purchasing their first home the knowledge of things like providing a clean statement could be useful. Perhaps with so many relying on their cc for daily expenses then paying them off has changed lenders approach for new owners the criteria has changed when they look at amount of possible debt a person could have.

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Elmer J Fudd

"Perhaps with so many relying on their cc for daily expenses then paying them off has changed lenders approach for new owners..."

No, I think it's "perhaps not".

I'm not sure I would describe myself as having a long history of buying houses - before the current addition, I bought my primary residence (and last applied for a real estate loan) over 30 years ago.

One of my kids bought their first house two years ago. They and their spouse use their credit cards for all daily expenses and pay it off monthly. Their loan app process (with a different lender) was exactly the same as what I experienced a bit more than one year later. I know what they faced, I was involved to help. Same thing - send in a couple of statements, show paid off monthly. Result= 0 liability and no issue.

Maybe you should stop speculating?

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chisue

Our DGS has a debit card. He's only 14 and could overspend using a CC until he caught on. A debit card is appropriate for him. Adults should be capable of keeping track of what they are charging. (Obviously I am wrong, or the banks wouldn't be making all that interest!)

CCs have more protection for the bank and for me. They offer rewards; provide as much as a 30-day 'float' on the money; and will usually not need to be replaced if there's attempted fraud.

We are grownups. We know that charges on a CC must be paid in full every month -- minus whatever cash-back rewards we've earned for using the bank's money until the bill is due. You don't have to play the bank's game of charging more than you can afford to pay, then paying the bank outrageous interest. I want to pay the cost of a loaf of bread, not 22% more in interest.

I've used an ATM twice in my life. It's easy to keep some cash on hand to take with me when I anticipate needing it. I get the cash from our bank's drive-through. It takes 10 minutes a couple of times a year to replenish My Private Bank (desk drawer).

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