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Fortunately, most credit cards come with a set of security features to deter fraudsters, but some stand out above the rest. Understanding what your card offers is essential to keeping your card information safe.
Credit cards that offer the best security features overview
5 ways your credit card is protecting you
There are five primary security features credit cards offer. And while not all cards offer them, most of them do.
1. EMV chips
In 2015, credit card issuers starting sending out credit card replacements to cardholders with a chip on the front. This chip is designed to keep your card information safe by creating a unique token every time you use the card and keeping your original card information encrypted.
That way, if someone tries to steal your card information by using a skimming device or a fraudulent card reader, the one-time-use token they get is useless.
2. Fraud monitoring
Credit card issuers use algorithms to track your regular spending behavior to make sure there’s nothing out of the ordinary. If someone else uses your card to make an abnormal purchase, you may receive a text, call or email to let you know of the fraud.
These safety measures aren’t perfect, so it’s still important to keep an eye on your online account. But in many cases, the issuer will stop the fraud before you even notice.
3. Zero-liability protection
Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, the most you can lose if someone steals your credit card is $50. But many credit card issuers go above and beyond federal law, offering zero-liability fraud protection.
In other words, as long as you report a fraudulent transaction promptly, the card issuer will cover the full amount.
4. Credit score monitoring
A decade ago, it was almost impossible to view your credit score without paying for it. But through the FICO Open Access program, many credit card issuers offer access for free.
Some even go one step further and send you emails when there’s a change in your credit report.
With this feature, you may be able to spot new-account fraud—which happens when someone uses your Social Security number to open a fraudulent account—before it wreaks havoc on your credit score.
5. Account freezing
If you lose your credit card, report it to the credit card issuer. They will typically freeze your account and send you a new credit card. Some will even expedite the replacement card so you receive it in just a couple of days.
Depending on your credit card issuer, you may even be able to freeze your account through the issuer’s mobile app or your online account without closing it, giving you time to look for it.
4 credit cards that offer the best security features
In addition to some or all of these features, some credit cards go the extra mile. Here are four credit cards that offer special security features that can give you even more peace of mind.
Discover it® Cash Back—Best for security and cash back
Discover it® Cash Back
Credit Needed: Excellent, Good
- INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
- Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
- Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
- Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
- Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
- Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
- No annual fee.
- See additional Discover it® Cash Back details
|Regular APR||Annual Fee|
|0%||14 months||0%||14 months||13.99% – 24.99% Variable||$0|
The Discover it® Cash Back comes with two major security features that go with the rest of the card’s value proposition:
- Freeze It: This feature allows you to freeze your account through Discover’s mobile app and stop purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers until you unfreeze it.
- Discover regularly runs searches of your social security number on thousands of risky websites to help you know in advance if someone might try to steal your identity.
Discover it® Cash Back also offers 5 percent cash back on rotating categories every quarter (when you activate) on up to $1,500 spent per quarter.
You’ll also earn 1 percent cash back on other purchases, and Discover will double all the cash back you earn with the card during the first year.
See card details/apply or read our full Discover it® Cash Back review.
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card—Best for online security:
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Credit Needed: Excellent/Good
- Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don’t expire
- NEW OFFER: 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening – that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
- Use your card to book your trip how and where you want – you’re not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
- Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
- Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
- 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, then 16.99% – 24.99% Variable APR
- Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
- If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% – 75%
- See additional Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card details
|Regular APR||Annual Fee|
|0% Introductory APR on purchases||12 billing cycles||N/A||N/A||16.99% – 24.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers||$0|
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card makes shopping online more secure through its ShopSafe program.
Essentially, every time you shop online, the bank can issue you a temporary credit card number. That way, anyone who tries to steal your card information through an unsecure websites or Wi-Fi networks will get a number that’s no longer valid.
The card also offers 1.5 points per dollar and 25,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days from account opening.
See card details/apply or read or full Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card review.
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card—Best for fraud detection
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
Credit Needed: Excellent/Good
- Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
- Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Google Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening
- No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open
- Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
- 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers (fees apply), then a 15.99%-26.99% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee
- $0 Annual Fee
- Select “Apply Now” to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions
- See additional Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card details
|Regular APR||Annual Fee|
|0%||12 months||0%||12 months||15.99%-26.99% (Variable)||$0|
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card doesn’t offer any specific safety features that stand out. But the bank was ranked as one of the best in fraud prevention, detection, and resolution by Javelin Strategy & Research.
So, if you want a card that you know has your back, this one is worth considering. The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card also offers 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases, plus an extra 20 percent cash back on qualified mobile wallet purchases the first year.
You’ll also get a $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in the first three months.
See card details/apply or read our full Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card review.
Capital One® Quicksilver®—Best for credit monitoring
This offer requires Excellent/Good credit.
The Capital One® Quicksilver® (and all Capital One credit cards) comes with CreditWise® (you also don’t have to be a Capital One customer to use CreditWise®), a tool that can help you monitor your credit. CreditWise® also tracks the names and addresses associated with credit applications linked to your social security number. So you’ll know if anyone tries to open up an account in your name.
In addition, if you have a checking account with Capital One, you have the ability to lock and unlock your debit card connected to that account whenever you see fraudulent charges. You can also use Card Lock on the mobile app to lock your credit card.
All of these features come with a straightforward unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase, every day.