Credit cards and debit cards all have numbers that we use when making a purchase. They are created by a financial institution and the parts of the account number have a role. The number on the credit card is also referred to as the issuer identification number because it identifies the financial institution as well. Easy Answer: What credit card starts with 4147? This number belongs to the Visa credit card. However, this is a major industry identifier or the MII digit for more than one type of card in the United States. The first number on each card identifies the credit card company and the type of credit card. The number 4 is allocated to Visa. What about the other numbers on all the other credit and debit cards?
Banks have their own credit card but is it a Mastercard or Visa? Does this differ from what a credit union might offer? Is this different for online banks like Discover? Where do debit cards fit in all of this? How do the other parts of a credit card number works? What do these Credit card numbers mean? Hence, we have many more questions to ask and to be answered besides what credit card starts with 4147? Is there any security processes built into these numbers? Let’s explore them all.
What are Mastercard and Visa?
Mastercard and Visa are two of the largest payment networks for credit, debit, and prepaid cards. Each payment network offers benefits to the consumer. However, these benefits do not often consider in the decision-making process when applying for credit. Hence, folks are primarily looking to get approved based on their creditworthiness.
Credit Card Type
The major credit card network brands are Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. The smaller brands are Diners Club, Carte Blanche, and JCB. However, neither Visa nor Mastercard issues credit cards directly to consumers banks and financial institutions do. Therefore, a bank credit card could be either a Visa or Mastercard.
There are many different types of credit cards. Bank cards issued by Bank of America or Discover, retail cards issued by Macy’s or JC Penny, and credit cards issued by financial institutions such as American Express and Diners Club. There are also debit cards that are like credit cards in the processing. However, the main difference is the money used is yours, not the financial institutions. However, debit cards have the same fraud protection as credit cards. Click here for information regarding credit card fraud and identity theft.
Credit Unions are considered bank institutions. However, its main difference is it is member-owned. This means they can often offer credit cards with lower rates and fees than traditional banks. Therefore, they should also be considered when in the market for a new credit card.
Credit Card Type and Credit Card Issuer
The next set of digits is a unique string of numbers that identifies each different type of credit card and financial institution. Based on the next five digits of a credit card number you can easily identify the credit card type and issuer. For example, 414700 is a Visa Classic debit card issued by Nordstrom Federal Savings bank in the United States. This is helpful to me because I designate how I used each of my credit cards. American Express for household and travel expenses and Discover card for personal purchases. Hence, it helps me keep track of all my expenses as well as points and cashback benefits.
The rest of the credit card numbers
Let’s dive in a little bit deeper. All different types of credit cards have their identifying sequence of numbers. The first 4 digits identify the type of credit or debit card. The next two digits identify the banking institution. What about the rest of the numbers from the 7th to the 14th or 15th depending on the card? The remaining numbers on the card represent the Primary Account Number or PAN for most cards. These eight or nine Pan digits identify the cardholder. It ensures that the correct person is being charged for the purchase. Use this handy bank identification number database link to look up the bank for any credit or debit card. You can also learn more about BIN numbers.
The last digit on the credit card is the check digit. To avoid erroneously charging the wrong card owner due to typos the credit card network uses the Luhn Algorithm. This mathematical formula is designed to be the final check to verify the correct credit card account by comparing the final digit with the previous digits typed.
The Visa Card
Visa Card numbers start with 4147. These four digits of a visa card are the same for credit cards and debit cards. The first number of the Visa card will always begin with a 4. The next 3 could vary but the 4 is its Major Industry Identifier (MII). The next three numbers after 4 make up the Bank Identification Number (BIN). These three numbers vary based on the bank or credit card company that issued the credit or debit card. The Visa card has 16 digits. Using the example from above, 414700 is a Visa Classic debit card issued by Nordstrom Federal Savings bank in the United States.
Other Cards in the Credit Card Industry
Mastercard cards have numbers beginning with a 2 or 5 as the first digit. However, the next three will be based on the bank issuing the credit or debit card. Like the Visa Card, it too has 16 digits.
American Express card numbers have 15 digits. The American Express Card begins with a 3, more specifically 34 or 37. Diner’s Club Card, Carte Blanche Card, and JCB Card also begin with the number 3.
Discover Card’s first digit begins with the number 6. Discover credit cards also have 16 digits.
Debit Cards regardless if they are MasterCard, Discover cards, or Visa Debit cards, will all follow the same numbering sequencing as the credit card. Therefore, they will also have 16 digits.
Retail Cards that are linked to major credit card networks, such as Visa, Mastercard, or a financial institution will also follow the same number sequence. Hence, they too will have 16 digits.
Other important numbers on your credit or debit card
There are other numbers on your card that you should be aware of. Some are for protection; others are to keep track of the expiration date to ensure the credit card is still valid. Some of these numbers can be found on the front of the card others can be found on the back of the card.
Protection Numbers: CVV/CID
On the front or the back of your credit and debit cards, you will find the three-digit card identification number (CID) or the four-digit card verification value (CID) number. These numbers are a very important security measure against fraud. For American Express, the CVV is found on the front of your card and the CID is typically found on the back of most credit cards next to the signature box. Financial Institutions use these numbers to approve transactions. These numbers are never stored in a database to avoid being hacked. Read What Do CID and CVV mean on a Credit Card for more details on how this protects you from fraudulent transactions online. This post also shares ways you can protect yourself from identity theft.
The expiration date keeps you active
A typical credit expires within three to five years. The length of time depends entirely on the issuer. You can use the card up to the last day of the month it expires. Hence, once the card expires you can no longer use it. Why does it need to expire?
Over time cards may become damaged, or the magnetic strip can wear away, or the chip could become unreadable. To ensure continuous use the expiration date allows the card issuer to automatically send out a brand-new card. These cards are typically sent out 30 to 60 days before the expiration date. Card issuers will typically communicate that a new card is being sent and for you to look out for it. The new card will typically have the same unique numbers unless the account has been upgraded or there is a product or service change. The new card will always be automatically sent as long as you are in good standing.
Managing Your Credit
Credit is a very important tool in building personal finances. If you have good to great credit you can buy the car that you want at the lowest interest rate or your desired home. However, the downside is that if you use credit unwisely you could end up in debt beyond your means. Always start slow, building your credit over time. Hence, be mindful of your credit limit, to keep your usage under 10%.
Do not max out your credit Cards. The amount you owe counts for 30% of your credit score. Don’t apply for a lot of credit all at once, this will hurt your credit score as these are hard inquiries that show you may be a future credit risk. As an account holder, always use your credit to purchase what you can afford to pay off each month. A great card payment history counts for 35% of your score.
Therefore, create a budget, build an emergency fund and live below your means. Over time, your credit score will increase because it all starts with this solid foundation.
Some credit cards have fees associated with the use of the card. As a cardholder, it is up to you to determine if a fee-based card fits within your personal finances. Also, if the additional benefits offered fit your lifestyle. Is it more important to rack up points to use as needed or to get cashback?
Best Way to use your credit card
- Purchases what you can afford to pay off when the bill arrives
- Always utilize up to 10% of your credit limit – Keep the amount you owe low
- Pay all your bills on time – build a strong payment history
- Maintain a mix of credit types i.e., loans, car notes, mortgages, credit cards
- Build the length of your credit history as soon as you are financially able. i.e., stable income, budget, emergency fund
- Open new credit slowly – Lots of credit inquiries can negatively impact your score
- Do not treat your credit card as an emergency fund. Save and build this fund over time.