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If you’ve been looking for a true EMV Chip and PIN card that has PIN priority (so it always uses your PIN when available) AND has no foreign transaction or annual fees, you know the pickings are pretty slim.
Actually non existent.
The UN Federal Credit Union comes close with its Azure card, which has no annual fee and PIN priority, but charges a foreign transaction fee of 1%.
But there’s a new, better alternative.
First Tech Federal Credit Union is switching its credit cards from Visa to MasterCard, and in the process moved to offering PIN priority on the EMV chip of all of its cards.
Existing First Tech card members are gradually getting the new card, but if you’re a new applicant you’ll get one of the MasterCards which has PIN priority enabled right out of the gate.
Reader and First Tech Member JohnV reports: “have used it at Target and had to use my PIN in order to complete the transaction. Also used it at a local grocery store and had to use PIN”
So the cards being offered are true PIN priority.
And there are three card options with NO foreign transaction fees, and no annual fees.
The full trifecta.
How can you get the cards?
You can now apply for an EMV enabled MasterCard account on the First Tech website.
First Tech is a credit union, but anyone in the country can join by becoming a member of the Financial Fitness Association for a one-time $8 membership fee.
Your card choices with no fee are:
Choice Rewards World MasterCard
Earns 2 points per dollar on gas, grocery, household goods, electronics, and telecommunication purchases.
Platinum Rewards MasterCard
Earn 1 point for every $1 purchased
Platinum Secured MasterCard
Earn 1 point for every $1 purchased. You’ll need to put up a security deposit for this card as it’s designed for people with little or no credit history, but it’s a good option for college students looking for a safe Chip and PIN option.
There’s also an Odyssey Rewards card that earns 3x points on travel and 2x on dining, but it carries a $75 annual fee, so you’ll want to focus on the no annual fee options.
The above offers and/or promotions has since changed, expired, or are no longer available.