Most people know what their credit card number is. But lesser known is the credit card account number. What is your credit card number?
Most credit card account numbers are from 12 to 16 digits long. It is part of your credit card number. The number of digits in a credit card account number depends on the bank that issues the card.
It is not uncommon for one bank to have a shorter credit card account number than another bank.
The numbers on your credit card account have meanings. It is a unique number that identifies your credit card account from other accounts. Typically, it will consist of a specific amount of digits. These digits are right in front of the card.
How to find your credit card number? You can find your credit card account number on your credit card or, if it isn’t there, on your credit card statement.
Read on to learn more about credit card account numbers, what each digit means, and more.
Credit Card Account Number
Usually, credit card numbers contain from 12 to 16 digits. The length depends on the bank that issued the card. Sometimes it’s shorter or longer and as I’ve mentioned this depends on your bank.
The account number indicated on your credit card is unique. This number exclusively identifies your specific credit card account. It is usually embossed and encoded on the face or the front of the credit card. Your bank account number is also different from your credit card account number.
Typically, the credit card account number will consist of 16 numbers or digits. Each of these numbers carries a specific meaning. These numbers identify the financial institution that issued the card, the unique account number of the holder of the card, and other related information.
Other numbers are on the back of the card as well. These numbers represent the security code used by the issuer of the credit card. They are there to prevent others, such as thieves, from using your card without your consent.
Credit Card Account Number Meaning
Many people who are using credit cards are not aware that the numbers indicated on the face of their cards have specific meanings. And that the bank did not just randomly choose it.
The banks organize these numbers to convey exact information regarding the card, its owner, and its issuer.
Usually, the first six digits of the card represent the Bank Identification Number. They identify the bank that issued the credit card. The last digit of these first set of numbers is used to detect errors. The rest of the 9 digits represent the account number of the cardholder.
You can check your credit card’s validity by going through a step-by-step process using the digits’ order or arrangement.
To help you understand what the numbers on your credit account number mean, let us discuss them one by one:
Major Industry Identifier (MII)
The very first number on your credit card account number defines the type of your card. It is called the Major Industry Identifier or MII. For instance, if you have a MasterCard, the first number will be 5.
Since many industries use credit cards, banking authorities have assigned these industries their own unique MII number.
The following are the assigned numbers to each of these major industries:
2 – Airlines and financial
3 – Travel and entertainment, including American Express
4 – Visa
5 – MasterCard
6 – Discover
7 – Petroleum
8 – Health care and communications
9 – Government
Card Issuer Number
The next set of five numbers in your credit card account number identifies the issuer of the card. It represents the credit card company. American Express specifies the card type and currency with the third and fourth digits.
Unique Account Number
The rest of the digits except for the last one are your unique account number, specifically assigned to you. If you happen to lose your credit card and request for a replacement, these numbers, as well as the last digit, will be changed.
The last digit on your credit card account number is arrived at by using a certain formula. This formula is called the Luhn algorithm. It uses the preceding numbers on your credit card account number to determine the final digit.
This formula was patented by Hans Peter Luhn, an IBM scientist, in 1960. The final digit on your credit card account number is called the checksum.
If there is just one error in the order of the digits when you enter them on an online transaction, this checksum digit will be able to determine if the numbers you typed in are correct or not.
If you type a wrong number on your credit card, even just one number, when you are using it online to buy or pay for some item, an online validator recognizes that you put an invalid credit card number. It will see that the number is not correct based on the Luhn algorithm.
This formula actually adds all the numbers together. Then the check digit is added to the sum of the digits. The final sum should always be divisible by 10.
This is actually beneficial to you because you know right away that you need to check the numbers that you have typed in rather than discovering later on that your purchase was denied.
Your card has another set of numbers that you should know about. They are still important for you to know since online merchants use them to determine if you actually have the physical card in your possession while doing your transactions.
These numbers are for card verification value or CVV. In Discover, MasterCard, and Visa credit card account number, there are three digits in their CVVs. They are indicated on the back or the rear of the card and on the right side where your signature strip is.
If a thief was able to steal your credit card number but does not know your CVV and the expiration date of your card, they will not be able to use your account to make purchases online since they don’t have the physical card with them.
Your CVV is entirely different from your personal identification number or PIN. Note that your PIN is the one you use to withdraw cash from your credit card account on an ATM or make actual purchases using your debit card. And lastly, your CVV will not fulfill the function of your PIN.
Again, is there a meaning behind your credit card number? Credit card account numbers typically have 12 to 16 digits. And the length of your credit card account number depends on your bank. Don’t fret if you have a shorter or longer account number on the credit card.
How to Find a Credit Card Account Number
You may ask, What is my credit card account number? Is my credit card number my account number? Your credit card also bears your account number.
There are two different methods of finding your account number on the credit card.
One is by examining your card, which is the easiest way, and the other is by searching for it in your bills. And the last one is beneficial if you don’t have or have lost your credit card:
1. Examine Your Credit Card
Look at the front face of your credit card.
The account number on the credit card should be located towards the bottom of the card. These digits should either be printed or embossed, or raised from the card surface. They are big enough, so they will not be easy to overlook.
Usually, they are composed of 16 digits. But some banks issue from 12 to 19 digits credit card account numbers.
Ignore the first 6 digits on the credit card. These numbers represent the Issuer Identification Number (IIN). It includes the first digit, the MII or industry identifier, and the next five digits, the issuer’s identity.
These five digits are also called Bank Identification Number or BIN. Merchants used these six digits to determine your card type and the bank that issued it. They are not considered as part of your account number.
Ignore the last number on the card. This last number is called the checksum or check digit. It is not part of your account number. Processors of credit cards utilize the Luhn Formula to arrive at this last digit on your credit card.
The remaining numbers, if you ignore the first 6 digits (the MII and the IIN), and the check digit is the account number for a credit card. If the total numbers are 16, what will remain is just 9 numbers. Those numbers represent your account number.
2. Look Up Your Account Number in Your Bills
If you’re still unsure and find yourself asking, “How do I find my credit card account number?” Below is a simple way to find your credit card account number.
Look at Your Credit Card Statement
However, some credit card companies only indicate your account number’s last 4 digits to prevent others from stealing your personal sensitive data.
3. Look It up Online
If the credit company uses an online banking system, you can look up your account number on their website. Visit their website and log in to your account. You will find your account number if you check your account information.
4. Give the Credit Company a Call
Another method to answer your question, “How to find a credit card account number?” is by accessing your credit card company’s website.
If you can’t access the credit card company’s website and your credit card statement does not have it, your last option is to call the credit card company.
Their phone number should be indicated somewhere in the credit card statement. Be prepared with your personal identification data because the bank may need to verify if you are the real account holder.
Finding Credit Card Account Numbers of Different Banks
You might be using a certain credit card issued by a certain bank, and you don’t know how to find its credit card account number.
Here are some tips on how to find a credit card account number on your particular credit card:
Capital One Credit Card Account Number
To find your Capital One credit card account number, look at the front of your card. The account number is embossed or printed across the card. It will consist of 16 digits. There will be an account and routing number included in the credit card account number.
If you happen to lose the card, you can call the customer support of Capital One. They will verify your identity. Once they have vetted you, they will give you your account number and any other information you may need.
Chase Credit Card Account Number
To find your Chase credit card account number, you also need to check your credit card’s front face. The 16 digit numbers printed or embossed across the front face should indicate your credit card account number.
You can also ask for Chase customer support by calling the phone number indicated at the credit card’s back. Your identity will be checked first, so be ready with your personal information before calling them.
Discover Credit Card Account Number
To find your Discover credit card account number, look at the 16 digits code printed or embossed on the front face of your credit card. The first 6 digits identify the industry and the bank that issued your card.
Your credit account number is the next 9 digits. To find the account number for a credit card, you need to ignore the last digit. It is not included in your account number. It is the checksum digit that is used to verify your credit card.
Citi Credit Card Account Number
To find your Citi credit card account number, do the same thing as the above. Basically, it is included in the 16 digit code printed or embossed across your credit card’s front face.
Conclusion – Credit Card Account Number
The majority of credit card account numbers issued by commercial banks are from 12 to 16 digits long. These numbers are part of your credit card number.
The bank that issues the card determines how many digits will comprise the credit card account number of a credit card.
While most credit cards today have 16-digit credit card account numbers, it is still not unusual for other banks to have fewer digits on their credit cards than the majority.