In late August, I received the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard, the 12th credit card in my current portfolio. This card is my only one from Barclays Bank, as it is the only one worth applying for. Recently, I cashed in the bonuses that I earned from hitting the $3000 spending hurdle.
This card is enabled with Chip + PIN technology, which physically looks the same but is different from Chip + Signature, which is what the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has. The U.S. is behind the credit card times in using magnetic stripe technology, which exposes data easily to skilled scammers.
Many merchants in Europe will take only Chip + PIN cards. There are only a few such cards available in the U.S., the Barclay Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard being the only one I know of. Some useful points of purchase, such as the Paris Metro or velib’ bike-sharing system, will take only Chip + PIN. Other merchants can accept Chip + Signature but have assumed my card is antiquated and offered me to sign instead of enter a PIN.
I called Chase customer service recently if it had any Chip + PIN cards available, but the answer was no. In the meantime, I suggest always having at least one Chip + PIN card when traveling abroad.