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Attached are old and new pictures of my Chase Sapphire card. They are quite different.

The first is the old school design:
Embossed w/ silver highlight, name on front, expire on front, dove holo on back.

The new one looks like those fake cards they attach to pre-approved offers.
NOT Embossed. Printing is slightly raised but a very dull gray color. Name on front, name repeated on back, card number on back, expire on back.

Anyone seen these? I've already been refused at a merchant: "we don't accept pre-paid cards". I *really* expect to have trouble with the new card when I go overseas next month- knuckle busters are still used worldwide. Even if Visa International wants to be rid of click-clack machines, I can't find anything, anywhere explaining this card's features. I looked on the Visa site, but the only thing pertaining to "re-deign" or "merchant education" are some PDFs from 2006 when they moved the holo to the back.

Anyone?

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BTK much?

Crazytree (Aug. 20, 2011 @ 11:22p) |

Nope - Got my Sapphire MasterCard a few weeks back....its the new non-embossed version. BTW, BOTH MC logos in the back a... (more)

ColonelHeero (Oct. 24, 2011 @ 12:29p) |

My car service drivers always user those old machines that imprint the numbers from the embossed cards on the slips. Pro... (more)

tbuccelli (Oct. 24, 2011 @ 10:46p) |

Credit card issuers are transitioning to unembossed cards. Customers can't use these at merchants who require a physical imprint of the card. For example, non-embossed cards can't be used at foreign or domestic locations where the merchant:

-- is required to make an imprint do to local regulations.
-- dose not have the ability to do a magnetic "card-swipe" (card reader down, card unreadable, merchant relies on phone or manually keyed authorizations, etc).
-- chooses to require an imprint in addition to a card swipe (Gun Shops, taxis, etc).

5 Important Things You [merchants] Should Know About Unembossed Visa Cards
-- An unembossed Visa card may look a little different, but it is valid.
-- You must swipe an unembossed card through the terminal.
-- If the cards magnetic stripe wont read, you should ask for another form of Visa payment.
-- The unembossed cards flat, smooth surface makes it impossible for you to take a manual imprint.
-- Do not key-enter transactions on unembossed cards. If you cannot prove the card is present (e.g., manual imprint/magnetic-stripe of the card is read) you may be subject to a chargeback.

Source: http://usa.visa.com/download/merchants/visa-flyer-unembossed-card-112210.pdf

I have this card and have not had any issues, only compliments. I'm sure one of these days I'll run across someone who may have a problem.

collegerunner said:   I have this card and have not had any issues, only compliments. I'm sure one of these days I'll run across someone who may have a problem.You have the new design, you mean, or the old one? Mine is old, but I haven't had it replaced in a while...

Also, OP, I would try calling Sapphire customer service and inquiring. They're usually very helpful... One would hope they'd be informed of a major change like this.

collegerunner said:   I have this card and have not had any issues, only compliments. I'm sure one of these days I'll run across someone who may have a problem.

I am just surprised Visa and/or MC haven't issued any merchant guidance- like the Treasury does when the re-deign currency for the umpteenth time. Is credit card cloning a dead scam? This card doesn't even have a holo mag stripe- I could mock up a duplicate and print it out on a PVC card printer lickity-split. Oh well, I guess if it swipes ok then whatev... I'll just use AMEX when/if a merchant complains.

Also, OP, I would try calling Sapphire customer service and inquiring. They're usually very helpful... One would hope they'd be informed of a major change like this.

"We change card designs periodically"... that's all they could offer.

I am a fan of NOT-embossed. No real reason for the raised numbers anymore.

ajh5408 said:   collegerunner said:   I have this card and have not had any issues, only compliments. I'm sure one of these days I'll run across someone who may have a problem.You have the new design, you mean, or the old one? Mine is old, but I haven't had it replaced in a while...

Also, OP, I would try calling Sapphire customer service and inquiring. They're usually very helpful... One would hope they'd be informed of a major change like this.


new design.

UnicornSnake said:   I am a fan of NOT-embossed. No real reason for the raised numbers anymore.

No argument from me. And I am guessing that numbers on the back make for increased security (less chance of someone shoulder surfing). However, I don't see printed numbers surviving until 2014 (my exp date) on a card I use 5-7 times per day, 5 days per week.

CamWalk390 said:   However, I don't see printed numbers surviving until 2014 (my exp date) on a card I use 5-7 times per day, 5 days per week.Pay toilets at your office? Seriously, you patronize 5 to 7 merchants PER DAY?

Pay toilets at your office? Seriously, you patronize 5 to 7 merchants PER DAY?

lol. No pay toilets at the office... yet. Yes I do use a credit card half a dozen times per day since I am on the road constantly. However, even without that kind of use I see bad things for this Sapphire card. I have in front of me my DW's BOA "traditional looking" Debit Card. A card she uses twice per week. After two years you can almost see through some of the raised numbers, and the signature panel and CVV are long gone.

Most cashiers I come across seem to like swiping cards with extreme violence.

OP -
I'm having a very difficult time evaluating the card differences from your pics.

PM me and I will provide an address you can send your cards to so I can use, er scrutinize them more fully.

UnicornSnake said:   I am a fan of NOT-embossed. No real reason for the raised numbers anymore.
Believe it or not, but manual imprint processing is not quite dead, particularly outside the US or as a backup.

Seems like embossed would be useful for sight-impaired use.

I have the new design Sapphire. It's great for confusing cashiers...usually they figure it out when they turn the card over to look at the signature panel and see the Visa logo/hologram.

BEEFjerKAY said:   OP -
I'm having a very difficult time evaluating the card differences from your pics.

PM me and I will provide an address you can send your cards to so I can use, er scrutinize them more fully.


It's be easier to just add you as an authorized user... please PM me your name, address, SS#, and DOB and I'll get you a card ASAP!

i only use cards featuring the finest wood grain

I'm surprised at the non-embossed cards (my replacement Chase Slate MasterCard is like that) ... simply because I worked retail for many years and if a card did not swipe, we had to do a manually imprint of the card to have in the case of a chargeback. It proved the card was in our possession and not just the numbers.

If a customer did a chargeback on a hand-keyed charge and we did not have the physical card imprint, it was an instant chargeback to the store (and this is a national chain store - not a 'mom and pop' thing). In fact, hand-keying the card into the register required a supervisor/manager override code so that he/she could verify the imprint was taken properly.

I think the redesign is to deter fraud, but to me if that's the reason, it doesn't make much sense, for the following reasons:

-Embossed numbers are hard (and expensive) to duplicate. They require 2 separate machines that are extremely expense (an embosser and a foil tipper) plus, on some cards they have a custom embossed character unique to the card issuer (like a V for visa and an MC for mastercards)
-It's easier to steal the card info because it's all on one side. A video camera or scanner now only needs to look at one side instead of two...

ShadowedBlade said:   I'm surprised at the non-embossed cards (my replacement Chase Slate MasterCard is like that) ... simply because I worked retail for many years and if a card did not swipe, we had to do a manually imprint of the card to have in the case of a chargeback. It proved the card was in our possession and not just the numbers.

If a customer did a chargeback on a hand-keyed charge and we did not have the physical card imprint, it was an instant chargeback to the store (and this is a national chain store - not a 'mom and pop' thing). In fact, hand-keying the card into the register required a supervisor/manager override code so that he/she could verify the imprint was taken properly.
Pizza Hut is not going to like this redesign.

CamWalk390 said:   BEEFjerKAY said:   OP -
I'm having a very difficult time evaluating the card differences from your pics.

PM me and I will provide an address you can send your cards to so I can use, er scrutinize them more fully.


It's be easier to just add you as an authorized user... please PM me your name, address, SS#, and DOB and I'll get you a card ASAP!


What a clever comeback! I wish I could be as savvy as you, lol.

nomadwfs said:   I think the redesign is to deter fraud, but to me if that's the reason, it doesn't make much sense, for the following reasons:.

Pretty much a moot point.

Cell-phone based payments likely will replace physical cards embossed or not.

Taxis operating in my town only accept CC payment via a manual imprinter, so it would be frustrating were this to become a trend. Cabbies give us enough trouble as it is to pay via CC!

Since when did Chase Sapphire have a Visa Signature? Mine is a World Mastercard and the World Mastercard is superior to the Visa Signature tier. I was under impression all Chase Sapphire's were World Mastercard.

Seems like they may have had some Visa Signature accounts and did it for those or this was a photoshop job and was faked. I was not aware they did Visa Signature on the Chase Sapphire and in fact all marketting made for this card lists Chase World MasterCard benefits which will not be listed on a Visa Signature tier.

Those of us with World Mastercard's like this shouldn't have issues. Chase is not a stupid firm and wouldn't do something like this. These are premium tier customers who generate a lot of revenue for Chase from merchant fees and removing the embossing would cost them a lot more than the cost for them and they know this.

As far as Visa Signature versions of the card, my initial reaction is this was photoshopped and was fake.

Apparently I checked the Chase website and it used to have intense marketting for the Chase Sapphire World Mastercard with its premium benefit packages. Unfortunately the benefits now listed do not show the World Mastercard benefits no more and so it is possible that they did issue Visa Signature cards and tried to save money on those by not embossing the cards. If so it is a very stupid move by them.

I am hoping that World MasterCard tier customers will not have this issue. It is possible they wanted to give the Sapphire Visa Signature to more customers and so they felt the cost cut of embossing was worth it.

When I got it, the card was listed as a very high premium card and was a World Mastercard with very superior benefits.

We will see what happens with the redesign for World Mastercard customers, but somehow my own guess is that this could just be for the Visa Signature owners of this card if they made those versions.

grex23 said:   Since when did Chase Sapphire have a Visa Signature? Mine is a World Mastercard and the World Mastercard is superior to the Visa Signature tier. I was under impression all Chase Sapphire's were World Mastercard.

Seems like they may have had some Visa Signature accounts and did it for those or this was a photoshop job and was faked. I was not aware they did Visa Signature on the Chase Sapphire and in fact all marketting made for this card lists Chase World MasterCard benefits which will not be listed on a Visa Signature tier.

Those of us with World Mastercard's like this shouldn't have issues. Chase is not a stupid firm and wouldn't do something like this. These are premium tier customers who generate a lot of revenue for Chase from merchant fees and removing the embossing would cost them a lot more than the cost for them and they know this.

As far as Visa Signature versions of the card, my initial reaction is this was photoshopped and was fake.

Apparently I checked the Chase website and it used to have intense marketting for the Chase Sapphire World Mastercard with its premium benefit packages. Unfortunately the benefits now listed do not show the World Mastercard benefits no more and so it is possible that they did issue Visa Signature cards and tried to save money on those by not embossing the cards. If so it is a very stupid move by them.

I am hoping that World MasterCard tier customers will not have this issue. It is possible they wanted to give the Sapphire Visa Signature to more customers and so they felt the cost cut of embossing was worth it.

When I got it, the card was listed as a very high premium card and was a World Mastercard with very superior benefits.

We will see what happens with the redesign for World Mastercard customers, but somehow my own guess is that this could just be for the Visa Signature owners of this card if they made those versions.


I really have no reason to photoshop a fake card up. The embossed card was issued in June of this year. The non-embossed in late July. I started getting pre-approved offers for sapphire back in October 2010, and the fine print on all of them mention Visa.

FWIW, my CL is <10K, and my FICO is around 770. My offer was 25k miles after first purchase, and I signed up in late April. I was given the option to get either a preferred or regular sapphire. The preferred just looked like a waste of $95, so I got the regular. As to card-holder benefits, it has what one would expect: purchase protection, rental coverage, baggage delay/loss, world assist, trip delay, warranty extension, ID theft, etc. But most are worthless- they either have low limits (purchase protection= $50k over *lifetime*... fine print= $500 per occurrence and only as secondary insurance) and/or have onerous documentation requirements. Probably will only ever use the car rental coverage.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but Sapphire isn't so exclusive anymore... if it ever was to begin with.

Did you apply for the card? I had other Chase Cards and was offered it with a big signup bonus so I took it. Received the bonus and the card and got the World Mastercard one which is the superior one.

On the Signature vs World tier cards, World is superior. Mastercard reigns supreme at the high end tiers while Visa is better on the lower end.

Never said it was exclusive, it just wasn't offered to the average joe and was a higher end premium tier credit card which offered a lot of benefits especially for travel since it was a World Mastercard.

The cards I use now are either Visa Signature or World Mastercard. When I got my first card, it was a student credit card. I have since moved up to World Mastercard and wouldn't go back. This card is excellent for prime customers who don't want to pay an annual fee, but it is disappointing if they gave out Visa Signature cards since those are less desirable and I was not aware they had.

So if this wasn't photoshopped and they gave different cards out to different customers (branded Visa Signature or World Mastercard), I am thinking the World Mastercard's will be treated somewhat better and will retain the old embossing on the card.

I recently open a Chase Slate card and it looks terrible too, though the number is at least on the front. Hard to even read the numbers to use online, let alone present an official-looking appearance at the register.

grex23 said:   Did you apply for the card? I had other Chase Cards and was offered it with a big signup bonus so I took it. Received the bonus and the card and got the World Mastercard one which is the superior one.

On the Signature vs World tier cards, World is superior. Mastercard reigns supreme at the high end tiers while Visa is better on the lower end.

Never said it was exclusive, it just wasn't offered to the average joe and was a higher end premium tier credit card which offered a lot of benefits especially for travel since it was a World Mastercard.

The cards I use now are either Visa Signature or World Mastercard. When I got my first card, it was a student credit card. I have since moved up to World Mastercard and wouldn't go back. This card is excellent for prime customers who don't want to pay an annual fee, but it is disappointing if they gave out Visa Signature cards since those are less desirable and I was not aware they had.

So if this wasn't photoshopped and they gave different cards out to different customers (branded Visa Signature or World Mastercard), I am thinking the World Mastercard's will be treated somewhat better and will retain the old embossing on the card.


Yes, I did apply for the card based on one of the 25k mile pre-approval letters I received. Soon thereafter, I got a *50,000* mile bonus offer in the mail... argh!. Anyway, when I went through the application process, I was offered either a preferred or regular card. That was after I had already been approved, and it kind of felt like they were up-selling me, so I passed. If it was in fact a World Mastercard, I would have liked to know that before I declined.

Thanks for the information regarding World MC vs. Visa Signature. I knew both MC and Visa had different premium tiers- signature, preferred, with cheese, etc., but I always thought of it as a marketing gimmick. However, I looked over the respective web sites and I see there are some important differences. Time permitting, I may blog up a comparison chart.

I certainly hope they do retain the embossing on the MasterCard. If you absolutely need to know right now, you can get a duplicate card by submitting a authorized user request in your name. If it arrives embossed you are grand, if it arrives printed, you can save wear and tear on your old one until you need it to travel internationally.

I received a new Chase Slate card in the mail recently as well. Same dark blue color, same non-embossed numbers.

Only thing was that the format was "portrait" (vertical) rather than the usual "landscape" (horizontal) for all logo/writing.

So strange, I've never seen another card using this layout.

Nah it doesn't matter and no I do not have the Preferred one either. Mine came with World Mastercard and the benefit tiers were marketted as such.

Sorry, I can't see the numbers. Can you upload clearer pictures? Thanks!
No, seriously. Banks are being cheap and so are their cards.

My new Chase Sapphire Preferred is that format as well. Kind of slick looking, although it wasn't the format of the card that drew me in (it was the $625 in free travel).

As for Visa Signature vs. World Mastercard, there's very very little difference. World ELITE Mastercard gets you some limited lounge access, but it's not a tremendous benefit.

If you disagree, please highlight what difference in benefits you see that make the World MC more "desirable" than the Visa Signature, I'm curious.

UnicornSnake said:   I am a fan of NOT-embossed. No real reason for the raised numbers anymore.

Virtually all merchants if their CC machine goes down they fall back on embossing. Kohls did it just 2 years ago and I would bet they still do.

BEEFjerKAY said:   nomadwfs said:   I think the redesign is to deter fraud, but to me if that's the reason, it doesn't make much sense, for the following reasons:.

Pretty much a moot point.

Cell-phone based payments likely will replace physical cards embossed or not.


Yeah... in about 10 years. There are still a ton of Luddites that are afraid of online shopping and Paypal.

"If you disagree, please highlight what difference in benefits you see that make the World MC more "desirable" than the Visa Signature, I'm curious."

The card I got from Chase had oodles of top travel benefits. I did not know why they chose World Mastercard and it seems like the benefit sheet is the same for both cards apparently.

So its interesting that I got the World Mastercard One while others got Visa Signature.

err meant Mastercard version not Mastercard One.

I was under the impression that World Mastercard was better and I thought I saw another article which said that but then I saw other say Visa Signature is better so I really have no clue.

But it isn't like Chase gave me a choice. I am curious as to the differences between the two myself and which is better and why they select some for Mastercard and others for World.

It doesn't seem to have rhyme or reason.

Can't say for sure which is better if benefits are the same.

If that looks fake.. i'm having a bad feeling about your bill. I suggest not to use the card just yet.

grex23 said:   "If you disagree, please highlight what difference in benefits you see that make the World MC more "desirable" than the Visa Signature, I'm curious."

The card I got from Chase had oodles of top travel benefits. I did not know why they chose World Mastercard and it seems like the benefit sheet is the same for both cards apparently.

So its interesting that I got the World Mastercard One while others got Visa Signature.
This is an interesting discussion for a few reasons... Let's talk core products: Sapphire, Freedom, and Slate. Chase lists virtually no specific card benefits on their website (aside from Chase-provided rewards), nor do they have card network listed in advertising unless it is for a specific opening promo for a specific version. Why do they do this? It seems they offer as many as four tiers of each of these products, two of them being MasterCard and two being VISA. [Slate is an exception, as I believe it is VISA-only.] So how do you know your specific benefits? You have to call them and request a benefits brochure. You won't find it online, nor (in my experience) can customer service tell you. So how do they determine what version to give you? I can't really figure that out. Certainly there must be a line between, say, MasterCard Platinum/World which is determined at the time of card application, but how do they determine whether to issue a MasterCard or a VISA? This is the more perplexing question. As I said, the only time you'll see the network advertised is in specific opening promo offers. Nowadays, it seems most (if not all) Sapphire/Freedom cards are being issued as some flavor of VISA, but not too long ago, the same was true of MasterCard versions.

My guess is it's a shift in the larger business. These days, Continental and Amtrak seem to be the only cards consistently issued as MasterCard by Chase. Still, if that were the case, it's entirely beyond me why Sapphire and Freedom continue to be advertised (again, outside of specific opening promos) without a card network association. Clearly we need to get some Chase card services employees on here... They are by far the most obscure credit card company I've done business with when it comes to their clarity on product offerings.

Personal anecdote: My Chase Freedom (older account) is a MasterCard Platinum, while my Chase Sapphire (newer account) is a VISA Signature.

Just competition in the marketplace but each one does different things and has different offerings and sometimes but rarely one is found and the other won't be accepted. Also on certain things like Foreign currency or extraneous stuff, fees can also be different.

I have a Chase World Mastercard Sapphire, a Chase plane jane Visa (I guess Platinum) Freedom Rewards, a Chase Freedom Rewards Visa Signature and an Amazon Visa Signature from Chase. So in reality I have a Chase World Mastercard and a Freedom Rewards Visa Signature.

Just how it worked out. I also have a Capital One Venture Visa Signature which I use. More CC's seem to give Visa than Mastercard.

Dunno which is better between Mastercard or Visa but assuming the benefits are the same, then its just two different cards backing you up and differences should be minor overall.

Received the non-embossed cards from TD Bank several months ago; what a nightmare! Card magnetic stripe was very poor quailty; and often would not swipe. Every time that happened; merchant refused the card. Grocery store, clothing stores in mall, you name it. If they can't emboss it, they refuse it. Love being at Shoprite with a cart full of groceries and being embarrassed by the cashier thinking you are a deadbeat! After 4 new cards in 3 weeks and mulitple discussions with bank staff; switched banks. So much better! Their explanation was that the change came directly from Visa.

Found this article and apparently the unembossed cards are fairly recent in the US.

Visa Enables Issuance of Unembossed Cards in the U.S.

Skipping 54 Messages...
UnicornSnake said:   I am a fan of NOT-embossed. No real reason for the raised numbers anymore.
My car service drivers always user those old machines that imprint the numbers from the embossed cards on the slips. Process has not changed in years. I could choose to "prepay", but then I cannot put everything / tip on one charge (I need receipt for reimbursement).

There are still a few reasons to have one, at least until all drivers switch to machines like the cabs have. Considering many are smaller time operators, it may be a while.



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