Bank of America is offering EMV chip technology for many of its consumer credit cards.

The cards are embedded with a chip that encrypts and stores the account information. Many countries have already converted from magnetic stripe to this technology.

This technology will increase acceptance and security of cards for international travelers, the Charlotte company said July 23. Customers will be able to request the chip card options through a branch or via the telephone beginning this week and online later this year.

Bank of America will include the chip technology in all newly issued Merrill Lynch credit cards, U.S. Trust Accolades, BankAmericard Travel Rewards, BankAmericard Privileges and Virgin Atlantic travel credit cards. The bank also will upgrade existing customers in these card programs who have been identified as international travelers.

The chip will be an optional feature that cardholders can request for the following card programs: BankAmericard Cash Rewards, BankAmericard Power Rewards, BankAmericard, AAA Members Rewards, NEA, Asiana Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines.

Last year Bank of America began rolling out chip and PIN credit cards to corporate and commercial customers in Europe followed by providing these options to U.S. corporate and commercial clients earlier this year.

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