How Many Numbers Are on a Credit Card and What Do They Mean?

Have you ever wondered how many numbers are on a credit card? Most of us probably don’t give it much thought. After all, we’re more worried about having enough money on the card.

However, these digits serve as an identification code and help protect the user against fraud. In this article, we’ll look closely at each of these numbers and explain their purpose. Without further ado, let’s dive into it. 

How Many Numbers Are on a Credit Card?

A credit card number is typically a 16-digit number. The numbers identify the bank that issued the card, the payment network, and the cardholder. 

Moreover, the string of digits is placed across the credit card in groups of three or four, and it may be located on the front or back of the card.

Three Major Credit Card Networks and Their Credit Card Numbers Lengths

Amex Card Number Length

American Express has a 15-digit credit card number and begins with the number 3, more specifically, 34 or 37. Amex cards are known for great perks. 

Mastercard Digits Length

All Mastercard credit cards have 16 digits. In fact, the first two digits of the card number are between 51 and 55. The first digit of the number is always 5.

Visa Card Number Length

Visa cards always start with the number 4 and have a 16-digit credit card number. These numbers provide essential information used to process transactions and ensure that funds are correctly transferred.

What Do the Digits in a Credit Card Number Mean?

The First Number

The first number on a credit card is called the MII or major industry identifier. This number indicates the card industry and network. For example, if the first number is 3, the card uses the American Express network. 

If the first number is 4, it means that the card uses the Visa network. And if the first number is 5, the card uses the Mastercard network. 

Numbers 2–6

This group of numbers (2–6) is called the issuer identification number. They typically help identify the credit card issuer. However, different credit cards might have different numbering systems. 

For example, Visa uses the numbers 2–6 to indicate the bank identification number. At the same time, American Express uses numbers 3–4 to identify the brand of the card.  

Numbers 7–15/16

Numbers 7 through 15 on a credit card are related to the cardholder’s account. They are called unique personal identifiers. 

The last digit (16) is called the check digit, which helps ensure that all credit card numbers are valid. 

Credit Card Numbers with CVV

The CVV, or Credit Verification Value, is a security code required for online purchases. This code helps to verify that the credit card is in your hands and prevent fraud when making online purchases.

The CVV is a three or four-digit number located on the back of Visa and Mastercard cards. Then again, CVV is located on the front of American Express cards and is four digits long.

The different payment networks call the CVV different names, such as “CVC” or “CVC2” for Mastercard and “CVV2” for Visa. American Express uses the term  “CSC” or “CID.”

Are the Numbers on Credit Card Accounts the Same as Credit Card Numbers?

Your credit card account number differs from your credit card number. In fact, your credit card account number is shorter and unique to you. 

The main difference between the two is that your credit card account number identifies you as the cardholder, while your credit card number identifies the card issuer. 

Fake Credit Card Numbers — How to Recognize Them

The best way to do this is by using the Luhn algorithm. It’s a simple four-step process for validating credit card numbers. First, double the value of every other digit starting from the rightmost digit. If each digit you doubled is greater than nine (a two-digit number), add them to get a single number. 

Second, add all the digits, including the ones that aren’t multiplied by two. Finally, if the final number ends in zero, the card number is legitimate; otherwise, it’s invalid. Using this formula, you can quickly check whether a credit card number is fake.

How to Protect the Numbers on a Credit Card

Here are some tips on how to protect your credit card information: 

  • Avoid sharing your credit card numbers with unsecured websites. A tiny padlock icon indicates a higher level of security. It’s still not a guarantee that your credit card information won’t be stolen, but it provides some assurance. 
  • If you have to take a picture of your credit card, cover up as many digits as possible. Digits 1–6 are not unique to your card. 
  • Avoid writing down your credit card numbers; if lost or stolen, report it to your card issuer. 

By following these steps, you can help protect your credit card data and reduce the chances of fraud.

How Many Numbers Are on a Credit Card: Summary 

In the past, if someone wanted to buy something, they would have to go to a physical store and purchase it with cash or a check. Today, however, we can buy almost anything from the comfort of our homes, and our credit card number is all we need. 

This convenience has led to a surge in online shopping, and businesses have had to adapt to marketing trends to keep up with the times.

Now that you understand how many digits are on a credit card and what they mean, it will be easier to spot a fake credit card number. Remember these tips and know that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is!

People Also Ask

How long is a credit card number?

Typically, a credit card number is 16 digits long. However, an American Express card has a different number of digits—15, to be exact. 

How long are credit card numbers?

They are usually 16 digits long. Then again, credit card numbers can vary depending on the credit card company. 

How many numbers are on an American Express card?

There are 15 numbers on an American Express card. That’s its primary difference from the other major credit card companies, which usually have a 16-digit credit card number.

How many numbers are on a Mastercard?

There are 16 numbers on a Mastercard. Moreover, the first two digits of the card number are between 51 and 55. 

How many numbers are on a Visa credit card?

There are 16 digits on a Visa credit card. In addition, Visa cards always start with the number 4. 

Are all credit card numbers 16 digits long?

Usually, yes. However, the number of digits on an Amex card is 15. 

How many numbers are on the back of a credit card?

Now that we know how many numbers are on a credit card, let’s analyze the back of the card. 

The three or four-digit number typically on the back of a credit card is the CVV code, which stands for Card Verification Value. This code helps to protect your credit card against fraudulent use, and it’s usually required for online purchases.