The main difference between magnetic stripe and chip-and-PIN credit cards lies with their fraud prevention technology.
Magnetic stripe credit cards store personal financial information on magnetic stripes. Upon being swiped at the point of sale, the information contained on this magnetic stripe is cross-checked against a database of known fraudulent credit card accounts and is subsequently either approved or denied.
Chip-and-PIN credit cards require consumers to enter a Personal Identification Number (PIN) that must match the information on a computer chip embedded within the card for a transaction to be approved.
Chip-and-pin credit cards are considered to be more secure than magnetic stripe cards. Cards with both a chip and a magnetic stripe, which is becoming the norm in the U.S., are somewhere in between.
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.
WalletHub members have a wealth of knowledge to share, and we encourage everyone to do so while respecting our content guidelines. Please keep in mind that editorial and user-generated content on this page is not reviewed or otherwise endorsed by any financial institution. In addition, it is not a financial institution’s responsibility to ensure all posts and questions are answered.
Ad Disclosure: Certain offers that appear on this site originate from paying advertisers, and this will be noted on an offer’s details page using the designation "Sponsored", where applicable. Advertising may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). At WalletHub we try to present a wide array of offers, but our offers do not represent all financial services companies or products.