What is a smart credit card?

A smart credit card is a form of technology that will increase in popularity over time. It has the same features as a regular credit card, but provides more security to the customer than the “standard” magnetic chip type that we are familiar with.

Smart Credit Card Technology

The smart credit card is different from the standard type because it has a microprocessor chip imbedded inside the card. One side of the microprocessor is gold in appearance. This portion is actually a contact pad for the chip. Over time, this technology will come to replace the black magnetic strip that is commonly found on the back of credit cards.

Added Security

The reason choosing a smart credit card is a better choice for consumers is the added security they provide. The magnetic stripe on the back of a credit card contains data that can be easily read by unauthorized users with technology that is readily available. This data can also be deleted and rewritten quite easily, which should also be a concern to credit card account holders.

The microprocessor on the smart credit card can be compared to a computer disc. It has the capability to store information about the account holder on it. This technology is also being used in other applications, such as debit cards and wireless communication of various kinds.

The smart credit card can be used with an electronic reader device. The contact area may appear to be solid, but it is actually made up of a number of gold-plated contact pads. When the smart credit card is inserted into the chip reader, electrical connectors read information from the microprocessor chip. They can even write information on the chip while it is in the machine. No batteries are needed to perform this function; the card reader supplies the power necessary to perform it.

Another way that smart cards are being used is through a non-contact payment method. Some merchants have a terminal set up where the customer only needs to place his or her card close by to have the transaction recorded. This feature is most often found in locations where transactions must be processed quickly. An example of one is in a transit station, where there are many commuters converging in an area who are trying to get to their destination quickly. The smart credit card allows them to pay their fare quickly and efficiently - sometimes without even removing the card from their wallets.

How to Find a Smart Credit Card

For a consumer who wants to have the latest technology in their credit card, it makes sense to spend the time to find a company that is already issuing cards with microprocessors imbedded in them. Keep in mind that over time, other credit card companies will be offering them to their customers.

The Internet can help a person who is looking for a credit card to find out a lot of information before they decide to apply for an account. They can check out Annual Percentage Rates (APR), how long the grace period is before they start getting charged interest on a purchase, and whether the card they are considering has an annual fee.

Other important information needed to choose the right credit card is whether it offers any type of rewards program for customers. While it doesn’t make a lot of sense for a customer to sign up for a card that doesn’t give them rewards they can use, there are enough options available that they should be able to find something that gives them an extra bonus they can use.

Not everyone is interested in collecting air miles or points they can use for travel, but there are other options available. Gas cards give discounts on the cost of fuel, and there are other options that give cash back on eligible purchases. The customer can choose the type of reward option that makes the most sense to them.

One way to find out whether a credit card company is offering a smart credit card now is to visit the company’s web site to find out about the options available. This can be done from anywhere with an Internet connection, and at any time that the consumer finds convenient.

To save time when looking for companies offering a smart credit card, check out our free credit card finder tool on our home page. It offers information that consumers can use, and it’s absolutely free. Click on it to get started finding the best credit card right now!

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Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or any other credit card company or issuer. The opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any credit card company or issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any credit card company or issuer. Credit Card Chaser may be compensated through various affiliate programs with advertisers. As always, Credit Card Chaser is an independent website commmitted to helping people research credit card offers and find the best credit card!