Credit Card Account Number Anatomy & How to Understand the Numbers
– Credit Card Account Number –
Credit Card Account Number: If you have a credit card, you can need to know your account number so that you can pay your bill or access your details. Luckily, you can quickly locate your account number with or without your credit card on hand.
What Does The Credit Card Account Number Mean?
The account number is the exclusive number assigned to the credit card user, by the financial institution. Every credit card issued around the world will have a unique number, and no two banks will ever issue the same number of cards.
The account number is personal to the owner and this information is needed when making online transactions where the cardholder is not present.
The credit card number will consist of a certain number of digits that will be shown on the front of the card with a security number on the back of the card. It is vital that you keep your details private and report the stolen or missing card if you lose it.
Although most people don’t know, credit card numbers aren’t just random. There is a clear order, and the numbers give very specific information about the card and the issuer.
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Understanding the Numbers on your Credit Card
The very first number of every credit card is an industry identifier that tells which industry issued the credit card.
- Cards beginning with a 1 or 2 are issued by the airline industry.
- If they are travel and entertainment cards they’ll begin with a 3.
- All Visa credit cards start with a 4
- All Mastercards begin with a 5.
- The number 6 is used for Discover credit cards.
The structure of the card number varies by system. For example, American Express card numbers start with 37; Carte Blanche and Diners Club with 38.
- American Express– The digits three and four are the form and currency, digits five to 11 are the account number, digits 12 to 14 are the card number in the account, and digit 15 is the check digit.
- Visa– The digits two through six are the bank amount, the digits seven through 12 or seven through 15 are the account number, and the digit 13 or 16 is the test digit.
- MasterCard– The digits two and three, two to four, two to five, or two to six are bank numbers (depending on whether the digit two is 1 , 2, 3, or otherwise). The digits after the bank number up to digit 15 are the account number, and digit 16 is the check digit.
How to Find Your Credit Card Account Number
Locating the Account Number on Your Card
1. Find the number on the front of your card. Your credit card number will be written or embossed in raised numbers across the front of your wallet. This is typically a 16-digit number, but it can be anything from 12 to 19 digits.
2. Skip past the first 6 numbers on your card. This is the Identification Number (IIN), also known as the Bank Identification Number (BIN). This number informs traders of the type of card you have and the bank that issued your card. This is not part of the amount of your account.
3. Exclude the last number on your card. The last number on your card is known as a check digit and is not part of your account number. Credit card processors use a special calculation known as the LUHN Formula to determine if a card number is authentic.
4. Write down the remaining numbers to find your account number. Once you have excluded the IIN and checked the digit, the remaining numbers will be your account number. If you have a 16-digit card number, your account number will be 9 digits.
Looking up Your Account Number without a Card
1. Check your credit card statement if you get a paper bill. Check at the top of the bill, it might be there. However, due to security concerns, some credit card companies only include the last 4 digits of your account number on your statement.
2. Access your account online if you have that option. Many credit card companies now use online banking as a secure and convenient option for customers to manage their information. Visit your credit card company’s website, log in, and navigate to your account information to find your account number.
- If you’ve never used your credit card company’s online banking option, you may have to enter your account number in order to create a log in. If this is the case, you’ll need to call the credit card company to get the information you need.
3. Call the credit card company. If you do not have access to your credit card and you can’t find your account number on your statement or online, call your credit card company to get your account number. The number for your credit card company should be located on your bill, or you can look online to find it.
The first 6 digits of the number are the Bank Identification Number, identifying the issuing bank. The last digit is a check digit, used to detect errors.
The remaining 9 digits represent the account number assigned to the cardholder. The type of account assigned by the issuer, for example, classic, debit, signature, business, commercial, and prepaid, is one component in pricing the transaction to the merchant.
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