Which Credit Cards Have RFID?

Which Credit Cards Have RFID?

June 24, 2019         Written By John H. Oldshue

RFID stands for radio frequency identification, and it is becoming a popular addition to modern day credit cards. These “smart cards” are supposed to be more convenient than traditional credit cards because you do not have to swipe them to use them. All you do is brush them up next to a credit card reader, and it processes your payment request.

While these cards may seem convenient, they can also be easily compromised. A significant percentage of the high tech credit card fraud taking place has something to do with smart cards and RFID. So it is important to protect yourself if you decide to use a card that has RFID.

Which Credit Cards Have RFID?

The key names to look for in RFID credit cards are Visa PayWave, MasterCard PayPass, American Express ExpressPay and Discover Zip. These programs represent different forms of tap and go technology, and they all function the same way. Some local banks will also offer RFID credit cards, provided through one of the programs mentioned above.

The specific cards that offer this technology change frequently, and many credit cards come in two different versions. You can either select the RFID model or the traditional model, depending on what you want to use. If you’re looking into a specific credit card, see if it promotes something along the lines of “wave and go,” “tap and pay” or “tap and go.”

These features are becoming increasingly common on credit cards.  Another easy way to identify cards which have RFID technology is to look for the RFID icon on the front of the card.  The icon which looks like a series of “waves” is often present on the front of cards which contain this type of technology.

The Problem with RFID

RFID technology makes it fairly easy for someone with a handheld reader to brush up next to you and steal your card information. This can happen anywhere people are present. Credit cards with RFID technology are supposed to be protected with extra security questions to avoid such situations, but new cases of theft crop up time and time again. Some people have reportedly been able to steal credit card information with nothing more than a cell phone and a free app.

Another issue with RFID credit cards is that most businesses still do not have the machines they need to process these cards. Those that do may only be able to work with one or two providers, like Visa or MasterCard. In that case, your Discover Zip wouldn’t be usable, at least not in the tap and go sense. You’d have to swipe it like normal, which defeats the purpose of having an RFID card.

How to Protect Your RFID Card

If you have a credit card with RFID technology, there are a few things you can do to protect it from identity thieves. Try these tricks to help protect your accounts:

  • Tyvek sleeves: Tyvek credit card sleeves are inexpensive, and they have the ability to block RFID signals. You can make these yourself with Tyvek material, or you can buy them already made in the size of a credit card. Tyvek is most often used for construction workers, so make sure you include the term “credit card” if you’re going to run an Internet search for them.
  • RFID wallets: RFID wallets can be a bit expensive to buy, but they will protect the cards you own from hackers passing by. All you have to do is put your money and cards in your wallet, and the material on the outside of the wallet will do the rest.
  • Account monitoring: Simply watching your account could be the best protection possible. You could be a victim of identity theft no matter what kind of card you have.

If you are still concerned about security, try looking for a card that does not have RFID technology, such as an EMV or Chip and PIN credit card.

Who Is Liable For RFID Card Fraud?

Be sure to check your credit card agreement and terms, however almost all major credit cards do not hold card holders liable for fraud on their card.  Should your RFID credit card get stolen by a thief using card reading technology, promptly report any fraudulent charges to your credit card company.  They will most likely cut off your card and issue a new one, while refunding you the amounts of the fraudulent charges.

Will RFID Credit Cards Become The Norm?

We don’t believe RFID credit cards will become the norm anytime soon.  With a variety of other more secure solutions such as EMV/chip credit cards and a shift in consumers utilizing their smart devices to pay, the marketplace for RFID cards will likely dwindle over time rather than grow.

If you’re looking for an easy and secure solution for your next credit card, we recommend looking for a card which offers the following features:

  • EMV/Chip Cards: These cards are probably the most secure available today, and are becoming commonplace across America.  Nearly every major credit card today offers this technology, and LowCards will notate on each card on our site if a card contains EMV technology.  Additionally, you can easily identify these cards by the silver chip on the face of the card.
  • Smart Device Compatible: Find a card that will work with your smartphone, smart watch, and other smart devices.  This securely stores your card information and allows you to quickly and easily pay at a variety of online and brick and mortar locations.

For more information or to find your next credit card, search the categories below on LowCards to find a card based on your exact needs.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of June 24, 2019. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About John H. Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of LowCards.com. He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers credit card rate issues for LowCards.com.
View all posts by John H. Oldshue
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