How To Find Your Credit Card Number Without the Card [Tips]

Ashley Ferraro, Consumer Operations
Aug 22, 2023
 • 
10
 Min Read

Few payment methods are as popular as credit cards. According to the Federal Reserve’s report on U.S. households, roughly 82% of adults in the country owned a credit card in 2022. Many users hold multiple credit, debit, and prepaid cards, so keeping track of various payment methods can be challenging.

Misplacing cards is common, but it does not imply you’ve lost access to them entirely. In this guide, you’ll learn how to find your credit card number without the card. 

Where Is the Credit Card Number and What Does It Signify?

A credit card number is usually located on the card’s front side, above the cardholder’s name. Conventional credit card numbers are 15 or 16 digits long and often displayed in sets of four. The actual pattern depends on the card type and issuer.

Credit card numbers and their various components are identifiers pointing to a lending industry, card network, card issuer, and specific account. Here’s a summary of what different sections of numbers on a credit card signify:

Credit Card Number—Sections
Explanation
Major Industry Identifier
The first digit of a credit card number or the Major Industry Identifier (MII) represents the industry a card belongs to. Examples of MII include 1 for Airlines and 4 for Banking and Finance.
Issuer Identification Number


Together with the MII, the first six to eight digits of the card form the Issuer Identification Number (IIN), which identifies your bank or credit card company.
Account number After the IIN, the next set of digits, except the last one, serves as the individual account identifier, helping the network link a transaction to your specific account.
Checksum The last digit of a credit card is the checksum revealing whether the card number is valid or mistyped.

Source: CardMapr.nl

How To Get Your Credit Card Number Without the Card—Potential Solutions

If you need your credit card number but don’t have access to your physical card, you can try retrieving the number online or from your credit card statement. You can also contact your card issuer for assistance. The following sections elaborate on what these solutions entail.

How To Find Your Credit Card Number Online

If you have an online account with your bank or credit card issuer, you can likely access your credit or debit card information by logging in to the relevant website or app. Navigation and labeling may vary across different providers, but in most cases, the card number can be found in the My Account or My Cards sections.

Not every online bank or financial institution displays card numbers online, primarily for safety reasons.

The platform you use may display the card number partially or not at all. In such cases, a potential workaround solution is checking the websites or mobile wallets where you saved the card as a payment method. Again, these platforms may not show the whole card number—only the last four digits.

For example, Discover® card users can only view their account and routing number in the Discover app. This sequence of nine digits is used to identify the bank or a credit union in a financial transaction[2].

However, some online banking platforms display your virtual credit card (VCC) number, which can also be used to make purchases. A VCC is connected to your credit card but has temporary credentials and is used to pay online vendors without revealing your real card data.

How To Locate the Credit Card Number on the Card Statement

Check if your monthly credit card bill displays your credit card number. It may be printed toward the top-right of the first page or in the account summary section. Unfortunately, most banks and credit card companies don’t print the full card number on statements for security reasons. They generally include the last four digits and redact the rest with Xs. 

A person wearing a black suit sitting in a group and holding a tablet over some documents

Source: Kampus Production

If your physical statement does not display the card number, try accessing the digital version. Many banking websites and apps include the entire card number in online account statements. In the Chase App, for instance, you can access your card number by requesting an online credit card statement. The statement typically presents your full credit card number in the gray area titled Account Summary.

How To Request Credit Card Information From the Card Issuer

You can contact the customer care number or visit a branch of your card issuer to request your credit card number.

Since a card number is confidential, the representatives of the card issuer must first verify your identity with a driver’s license or an account statement.

Certain banks have additional requirements and may direct you to fill out a form to specify why you don’t have the number. If your card is lost or stolen, the issuer will cancel your card and issue a replacement.

Why Is It Important To Have Access to Your Credit Card Number?

The credit card number is vital for transaction processing because payment processors use it to identify the transaction route, connect with your bank or credit card company, and get the transaction authorized.

You typically don’t have to provide the credit card number when you pay at physical stores as long as you present the physical card. However, the card number is essential for online and over-the-phone transactions because you must provide your card credentials during checkout.

Keeping Card Numbers Secure

Misplacing or losing access to your card is both inconvenient and risky. If your card credentials fall into the wrong hands, you could lose money due to fraudulent activities or become a victim of identity theft. Proactive steps to take include:

  • Enabling fraud alerts—Most banks and credit card companies allow you to enable alerts for suspicious activities. These alerts will help you monitor your purchases and recognize fraudulent transactions.
  • Using virtual cards instead of debit or credit cards—Virtual cards are temporary card credentials that prevent exposure of your real card data on merchant websites. With the growth of e-commerce, data breaches have become one of the biggest concerns of online vendors and shoppers. Hackers look for vulnerabilities on merchant websites, steal card numbers, and sell them for an average of $120 on the Dark Web. When paying with virtual cards, you don’t leave your actual card credentials on e-commerce websites. Instead, you give the site the randomly generated virtual card details, significantly reducing the risk of online card theft.

Virtual cards must be connected to a funding source like a debit/credit card or a bank account. You can check with your bank if it offers a virtual card or card-masking service. Alternatively, you can request customizable virtual cards from independent providers like Privacy.

Sign Up for Privacy To Get Unique Virtual Cards

Privacy offers a personalized virtual card service focusing on consumer convenience. By signing up, you can get multiple virtual cards with features focused on ease and security in a single account.

A customer paying at a contactless terminal with a virtual card

Source: naipo.de

The cards can be Visa® or Mastercard® and are accepted by most retailers who take U.S. credit or debit cards. You can also:

  1. Designate the virtual card to a specific merchant—If you want a virtual card to be used for recurring subscriptions or with a merchant you regularly shop at, create a Merchant-Locked Card. This card ties to the first vendor where it’s used. In case someone obtains the credentials and tries to use them at another merchant, Privacy will decline the payment request.
  2. Create a virtual card for one-time use—If you want to be extra secure or are unsure of the security practices of a merchant, create a Single-Use Card. It closes after the first transaction and cannot be reused.


You can access Privacy’s services from any browser or download Android and iOS apps.

To improve your online shopping experience, Privacy offers browser extensions for Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. You don’t have to reach for your wallet or memorize the numbers, as the extensions autofill virtual card numbers into the checkout fields. 

Card Management Made Easy With Privacy

Privacy offers the following features to help you manage your cards and finances better:

Set Spending Limits
You can specify the maximum spending limit on a Privacy Card to prevent hidden charges and unwarranted fees. Set the budget per transaction, month, or year. The limits help you oversee your children’s spending habits or control your employees’ use of company funds as you remain in full control of the card settings.
Close, Pause, and Unpause Cards
Privacy Cards can be closed or paused at your discretion without affecting your other payment methods. This feature is practical when you want to stop paying for an unwanted subscription—once you pause or close the virtual card, Privacy will decline further charges.
Get Real-Time Notifications

You will receive push notifications whenever your virtual card is used or declined, and can adjust the card’s settings on the spot.

Privacy has enabled a 1Password integration to help you keep your passwords, virtual cards, and other sensitive data in one secure vault that you can manage efficiently.

A long lens focused shot of a laptop on a table with a blurry background where a man pours hot water

Source: Vlada Karpovich

Making Your First Purchase With a Privacy Virtual Card

You must be a U.S. resident over 18 to request Privacy services. Here’s how to start shopping with a Privacy Card:

  1. Access the signup page
  2. Provide the information necessary to verify your identity
  3. Link your bank account or debit card
  4. Request a Privacy Card


Privacy's Personal plan lets you create up to 12 cards a month and is free for domestic transactions.
The platform has two paid tiers—Pro ($10/month) and Premium ($25/month)—offering more cards and 1% cashback on select purchases totaling up to $4,500 monthly.

References

[1] Chase. https://www.chase.com/personal/credit-cards/education/basics/how-to-find-credit-card-account-number, sourced June 2023
[2] Amber Murakami-Fester. NerdWallet. https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/banking/what-is-a-routing-number, November 9, 2021

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