Have you ever really looked at your credit card and tried to figure out what that huge string of numbers really means? Do these card issuers have so many customers that your account number has to be 16 digits long?
You may be surprised to know that all those numbers you see actually do stand for something, and it's not just who YOU are. Let's take a look.
Most of the major credit card companies operate on the same system when choosing a credit card number. Other cards like gas cards, department store cards and phone cards go their own way. Let's concentrate on the ones that all play by the same rules.
The very first digit in the series will be a 3,4,5, 0r 6. This number designates the type of card as follows:
3 = a Travel & Entertainment Card like American Express or Diners Club.
4 = Visa and Visa-branded debit cards, cash cards, etc.
5 = MasterCard and MasterCard-branded debit cards, cash cards, etc.
6 = Discover