Obtaining an International Chip-and-PIN Credit Card (While in the USA)

Obtaining an International Chip-and-PIN Credit Card (While in the USA) | OMventure.com

Recently, While Still in Seattle

I made a trek to an international bank.

It was a beautiful day. The sun began to shine, my Uber driver delivered me safely, and it was such a delight to speak with foreigners at the bank.

I went to this international bank because, for quite some time, I've wanted a true chip-and-PIN credit card that could reliably work overseas in unmanned/after hours kiosks (as that's where my American chip-and-signature credit card can fail to operate, even if it has a PIN, thus, where a trip to an ATM becomes necessary).


After Living Cashless for Years, I Couldn’t Imagine Tracking Down an ATM to Proceed With a Purchase

But that's what happens if my credit card fails to work.  And I'm a firm believer that life is simply too short for activities such as:

  • tracking down a safe ATM

  • tracking down an ATM that belongs to my bank's network

  • tracking down an ATM that disburses the currency type I need (Euros vs other currency)

  • avoiding ATM fees

  • avoiding bank fees

  • avoiding foreign transaction fees

  • avoiding currency conversion fees

  • finding my way back to where I was trying to make a purchase

  • finding a way to reduce the paper bills the ATM gave me into smaller paper bills and coins

  • figuring out how to place said bills and coins into the appropriate slot/hand

  • wondering how clean the currency is =)


Heaven Forbid, I Also Wanted More

I wanted a true chip-and-PIN credit card that...

  • has no annual fee

  • has no foreign transaction fees

  • pays me points

  • is a VISA or Mastercard (because American Express and lesser known cards are not always accepted outside the United States)

  • comes from an international bank (so I can also enjoy having an international bank account)


And After a Surprisingly Long Search

It was a bit unbelievable to discover how few chip-and-PIN credit cards exist in the USA (I found about five, most of which require special membership dues be paid to a credit union or organization). So I'm so grateful to have stumbled upon HSBC , as one of their chip-and-PIN credit cards more than met all of my needs.

The only challenge was this:  my unique (lack of) address documentation required that I show up in person, at an HSBC brick and mortar branch, to officially apply for my credit card. That’s one trip I’m so okay with.