Amex - your chip and signature card sir...

Just got my new American Express Blue card at the weekend and was surprised to see that, although it has a chip, there is no associated PIN for use with purchases on the card.

I do have a PIN for cash withdrawals, but it doesn't work for purchases.

Amex say that the card is a `chip and signature' one and that it will be issuing chip and PIN cards by the end of February.

As readers of this security column will be aware, however, PIN day is February 14, after which - in theory at least - debit and credit cardholders in the UK will need a PIN for buying stuff in shops and the like.

Not so, says Amex. The card issuer claims to have special dispensation to allow it to issue cards into March of this year.

Being the cynical sort, I fully expect problems to occur for Amex cardholders at retail point of sale from February 14 onwards...