USAA Visa is chip/sig, not chip/PIN

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Edit #2: I've changed the title to reflect the fact that the real problem is that the new USAA Visa is NOT a chip & PIN card, as their Mastercard was, but just another chip & sig.

Edit #1: I've left my original post, below, but have discovered that I was incorrect -- this is a website problem rather than a conscious action by USAA. When specifying the nature of your inquiry, certain issues do not provide an email form to send a message.

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I sometimes contacted USAA via their secure messaging link. I went to do so yesterday and discovered that all email/messaging links are gone. The only way to contact them was by chat (which was unavailable, at 2 pm) or phone. So I called and 4 minutes into the call, with the issue unresolved, I was suddenly disconnected. I gave up.

Does anyone know of an secure message/email link at USAA? Did I miss it somewhere?

Customer service at USAA is atrocious. I have minimized my business with them. The only reason I have insurance there is after 48 years as a member, I get more than half my cost offset by SSA distributions, but I probably should look into that as well.

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Correction: it is a true Chip + Pin card, however it will attempt to use Chip + Signature first if the terminal supports... (more)

NEDeals (Oct. 11, 2016 @ 5:43p) |

Penfed worked fine as chip+pin while in Canada, no FTF, decent rewards.

gnopgnip (Oct. 11, 2016 @ 6:23p) |

Yes, Barclays Arrival+ and Arrival is Signature-preferred.

xoneinax (Oct. 11, 2016 @ 6:40p) |

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help > contact&support center > then
in the right hand column under "I want to contact USAA"
go down to
"Message
Communicate with USAA"

and you can send emails.
pretty easy.

imbatman said:   help > contact&support center > then
in the right hand column under "I want to contact USAA "
go down to
"Message
Communicate with USAA "

and you can send emails.
pretty easy.

  That's what I used to do, yes. My issue was about the new USAA credit card (chip & PIN or chip & sig?).

If you follow the links you gave, then specify that your question is about banking/credit cards/other, you are told you can start a chat with a representative. There is no way to send an email.

option 1) chat
I just chatted and got an answer to your question. Took less time than you've spent on this thread.

option 2) get creative. Did you try "feedback" "product" "problem" "a general question or complaint"?
- "my feedback is that I have a Credit Card product, and my problem is that I do not know, based on the information online if it's a chip&PIN card or a chip& Sig card. Which is it?

FYI, for MY card (I don't know for 100% certainty about YOUR card)
"It is enabled for chip and pin functions, but when used at a store, more than likely it will be chip and signature"

if you want to know if yours is Chip&PIN,
click on the credit card profile, look to the right of the screen for the 'I want to' section. Click on the 'more services' option. It should take you to the bottom of the page where you can find 'Create or change PIN'.

If you can set your PIN, you have a chip&PIN enabled card

imbatman said:   option 1) chat
I just chatted and got an answer to your question. Took less time than you've spent on this thread.

option 2) get creative. Did you try "feedback" "product" "problem" "a general question or complaint"?
- "my feedback is that I have a Credit Card product, and my problem is that I do not know, based on the information online if it's a chip&PIN card or a chip& Sig card. Which is it?

  Thanks for the suggestions. Yes, I changed the issue and was able to send an email.

I'm glad that you were able to answer the question so quickly. I was not so lucky, after 4 minutes on the phone we were not close to a resolution.  Here's the issue: my old USAA Mastercard was a true chip&PIN. I only used it as a backup on travels to Europe. When using the card, I was prompted for a PIN, and the transaction was completed.

I took the new USAA Visa on a recent trip to France. I tested the card and instead of asking for my PIN, the machine prompted the merchant to get my signature.

my response would be - if you got a new VISA card, and up until today you didn't know if it was a chip/PIN or chip/Sig card, you likely never set a PIN for it.
So even if you had a chip and PIN card, you wouldn't have been able to use it.

That being said - i thought chip&PIN was new to USAA within the last year, so I'm surprised you had an old USAA mastercard that was PIN enabled.

imbatman said:   my response would be - if you got a new VISA card, and up until today you didn't know if it was a chip/PIN or chip/Sig card, you likely never set a PIN for it.
So even if you had a chip and PIN card, you wouldn't have been able to use it.

That being said - i thought chip&PIN was new to USAA within the last year, so I'm surprised you had an old USAA mastercard that was PIN enabled.

 I really do appreciate your trying to explain/help, you've done a better job than the USAA CSRs I've spoken to.

To clarify, my old USAA MC was a true chip and PIN. When it was recently replaced by a USAA Visa, I called and specifically asked and was told that it, too, is a chip and PIN. I was further told that the PIN was the same as my prior card.

I did more searching and found several threads in the USAA community forums w/ complaints about this issue. Members had been using the MC as a chip and PIN but the Visa does not work. Here's a couple of examples:

USAA chip and sig 1 

USAA Chip and sig 2 

The giveaway, to me, should have been when I noticed you can change the USAA Visa PIN online. It is my understanding that on a true chip & PIN, the PIN is embedded in the chip; changing the PIN requires issuance of a new card.

Maybe the VISA version is PIN enabled, but not PIN-preferred.

Can we be FWF already and do some real talk?

All this discussion is irrelevant because there are near 0 times where using a USAA card is the best option for a purchase.

I have 4 USAA cards, all are perpetually sockdrawered.

jd2010 said:   Can we be FWF already and do some real talk?

All this discussion is irrelevant because there are near 0 times where using a USAA card is the best option for a purchase.

I have 4 USAA cards, all are perpetually sockdrawered.

 I agree in general, about USAA not having competitive cards.  However, if you are traveling outside the US and need a true chip & PIN card, your options are limited. The old USAA Mastercard was one of those options, even though it was only 1% cashback offset by 1% FTF. USAA now offers a 1.5% cashback card, no FTF, and if it were a true chip & PIN would be very useful for international travel.

jd2010 said:   Can we be FWF already and do some real talk?

All this discussion is irrelevant because there are near 0 times where using a USAA card is the best option for a purchase.

I have 4 USAA cards, all are perpetually sockdrawered.

  https://www.usaa.com/inet/pages/credit_card_visa_benefits_guide

Price protection, extended warranty (which I know are available on other cards as well), and car rental insurance, (particularly in conjunction with a USAA discount, which significantly caps liability).

As well, they sometimes have targeted offers, such as %5 cb on gas.

As others have mentioned, 0 FT fees.

Not our primary card, but certainly used.

Europe traveler here. About 18 overseas trips in the past eight years. You won't end up sleeping on the streets if your cards are chip and signature. Make sure you know your pins before traveling as you may be asked to enter one anyway. For the few times you may have issues, get some cash out of an ATM to tide you over.

There are more important things in life than worrying about chip and pin.

imbatman said:   if you want to know if yours is Chip&PIN,
click on the credit card profile, look to the right of the screen for the 'I want to' section. Click on the 'more services' option. It should take you to the bottom of the page where you can find 'Create or change PIN'.

If you can set your PIN, you have a chip&PIN enabled card


One thing wrong here: If your card is true chip and pin, the pin must be reset at a terminal, not online. I do have true chip and pin credit cards from two out of the country banks. With those, if I use it at a chip terminal at a place like Starbucks, I will need to enter a pin. Chip and signature I will not. Still know your pin, as it is still possible you'll need to enter it.

burgerwars said:   Europe traveler here. About 18 overseas trips in the past eight years. You won't end up sleeping on the streets if your cards are chip and signature. Make sure you know your pins before traveling as you may be asked to enter one anyway. For the few times you may have issues, get some cash out of an ATM to tide you over.

There are more important things in life than worrying about chip and pin.

Europe traveler here also, about 50 international trips in the last 15 years. We're retired and it's what we do.

My USAA card was a backup only, for those rare times we wanted to use an offline terminal to buy train tickets, etc. This thread was really about confusing and misleading information from USAA about their transition from a chip&PIN Mastercard to a Visa that may or may not be usable as a chip&pin.

Our primary cards are Cap One MC and V, chip&sig, and we use them daily w/o problems while traveling. (When asked for a PIN with those cards, you can just hit the Enter key w/o entering a number, it goes right to signature request, works fine.) But it would be nice to have a chip&PIN as backup just in case.

P.S. Trust me, I am not worrying about this, just another annoyance w/ USAA.

Isn't barclaycard arrival a true chip+pin card?

meade18 said:   Isn't barclaycard arrival a true chip+pin card?
  A conversation I found about this.

Again, I wouldn't lose any sleep over this, just remember the PIN.  I've been to Europe a dozen times in the past eight years and survived with whatever cards I've brought with me.  I've made it back each time, and didn't end up sleeping in the streets.

meade18 said:   Isn't barclaycard arrival a true chip+pin card?
Chip and Signature default at attended terminals.  Chip and PIN at unattended terminals.  YMMV, since it depends on how the terminal is configured.

My previous Arrival+ and current Arrival only worked as Chip and PIN in train and parking kiosks; they would not work at unattended petrol stations.  However, my Chip and Signature Chase Sapphire Preferred worked at unattended pertrol stations with a £40 limit.   

meade18 said:   Isn't barclaycard arrival a true chip+pin card?No, it is not PIN-preferred.

Thanks for the clarification on the barclaycard arrival!

xoneinax said:   
meade18 said:   Isn't barclaycard arrival a true chip+pin card?
No, it is not PIN-preferred.

  
Correction: it is a true Chip + Pin card, however it will attempt to use Chip + Signature first if the terminal supports it. 

 

Penfed worked fine as chip+pin while in Canada, no FTF, decent rewards.

NEDeals said:   xoneinax said:   meade18 said:   Isn't barclaycard arrival a true chip+pin card?No, it is not PIN-preferred.Correction: it is a true Chip + Pin card, however it will attempt to use Chip + Signature first if the terminal supports it.Yes, Barclays Arrival+ and Arrival is Signature-preferred.
  



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