The idea of paying without having to touch anything has suddenly become much more appealing, don’t you think?
The use of contactless payments (or NFC Technology) in the United States is way behind the rest of the world. Most people are familiar with this technology from using Apple Pay or Android Pay. We’re still at the point where people pull out their phones or use a watch to pay at the checkout and have a look of amazement at the magical ability to pay with just a device.
What if I told you that it’s not necessary to fumble around with your phone or supinate your wrist to tap a watch to a reader in order to use contactless payments?
Banks have added contactless technology to most cards and stores almost always now have contactless enabled card readers. So what are you waiting for?
The Wave symbol. Your key to contactless payments.
It took a week in London to realize that contactless is everywhere. You can tap your card to use the London Underground (and get the lowest fare). You can tap your card to buy your breakfast at Pret A Manger or to get some essentials at Boots. Every little purchase only takes a tap and a few seconds. Compare this to how long it takes to complete a chip transaction or the fumbling to pay with a mobile device and you immediately see the appeal.
All you need now is a card issued by a bank that supports this technology and the list keeps getting longer.
American Express offers contactless cards for many of their products, even the metal cards like AMEX Gold and AMEX Platinum.
If you want a contactless card from AMEX, you’ll need to contact them. New and replacement cards will ship with this technology, like when we received our Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card.
Contactless chip is currently available on the majority of Consumer products and on select Small Business products. You can watch the video to see contactless technology in action. You may request a contactless chip Card by logging into your account at americanexpress.com, logging into your account on the American Express mobile app, or by calling the number on the back of your Card. If you have further questions, please call the number on the back of your Card to speak to a Customer Care professional.
Chase was one of the major holdouts that didn’t offer contactless for their card portfolio, until December 2018 when they did. Here’s my best attempt at all of the Chase cards that now allow contactless payments:
- AARP Credit Card from Chase
- Aer Lingus Visa Signature® card
- Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
- British Airways Visa Signature® Card
- Chase Freedom® Credit Card
- Chase Freedom Unlimited® Credit Card
- Chase Slate® Credit Card
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® Credit Card
- Disney® Premier Visa® Card
- Disney® Visa® Card
- Iberia Visa Signature® card
Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
- Ink Business CashSM Credit Card
- Ink Business PreferredSM Credit Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ credit card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
- Starbucks Rewards™ Visa® Card
- UnitedSM Explorer Card
- UnitedSM TravelBank Card
- United ClubSM Card
- UnitedSM Business Card
To replace your existing card with a Tap-to-pay card, go to the Chase Card Replacement page
Citi has rolled out contactless payments on most of their cards. If your card doesn’t have the contactless symbol, you can go to this website and log into your Citi account to see if it’s available.
Wells Fargo started issuing contactless cards in March 2019. All newly issued credit cards have the technology, as do their debit cards in at least 10 states. Current cardholders will be issued contactless cards their current card expires, but if you want one now you can call the number on the back of your card and ask for one.
Per Capital One’s website, they do issue contactless cards but there’s no list of which cards are available with the technology. I’d say to look at your card to see if it’s already there or call the number on the back of your card and hope the customer rep knows what you’re talking about.
Discover issues contactless cards for most of the portfolio. If you don’t see the contactless symbol on your card, you can request a contactless Discover Card on this website. Contactless cards are not available for all card types.
BANK OF AMERICA
Bank of America issued contactless credit and debit cards to its customers in San Francisco, Boston, and NY (the same cities using the technology for their large mass transit systems.) No word yet about expanding nationwide.
Barclays does not offer contactless technology for any of their card offerings.
Now that New York, Chicago, and Boston’s mass transit systems are contactless, an easy way to get your card to the top of the wallet is if the customer uses that card for their rides, and to do that you need to be contactless.
Previously, I never saw contactless payments as more than a novelty. With newfound respect for the ability to pay without touching anything, my wallet is full of contactless cards (and non-contactless ones are on my iPhone wallet). I’m a convert (Note from Sharon: Me too!).
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary