Should I Sign the Back of My Credit Card?
Learn about signing the back of your credit card, writing “See ID” or leaving it blank
There was a time when signing your credit card was an important step in helping to prevent credit card fraud. When you paid with your credit card, the merchant would compare your signature on the receipt with the one on your card. If they matched, the merchant would approve the transaction.
These days, credit card purchases are securely authenticated electronically. So when it comes to preventing fraud, signing your card isn’t as important as it used to be. But should you still sign your credit card? Read on to learn about signing your card, tips to prevent credit card fraud and more.
Should I Sign My Credit Card?
You may need to sign your credit card. That’s because some card issuers might require a signature to indicate the card is active and that you accept the terms of the credit card agreement. Some cards even feature a message that says something like:
- Not valid unless signed.
- Not valid without an Authorized Signature.
And since an unsigned card might be considered inactive and invalid, merchants may refuse to accept a card if it isn’t signed.
You can check with your issuer or check your credit card agreement to see whether you need to sign your card.
Where Should I Sign My Credit Card?
You’ll often find a blank white box on the back of your credit card. This is where you can sign your card.
Should I Write “See ID” on the Back of My Credit Card?
Instead of signing the back of their credit cards, some cardholders choose to write “See ID” instead. But why?
The idea is to prompt a merchant to compare the cardholder’s signature on the receipt with the one on the cardholder’s ID before authorizing the sale. In theory, this could reduce the chances of credit card fraud. But this may not work as intended for a number of reasons.
For starters, signatures aren’t always required for credit card purchases under a certain amount. Merchant agreements might even prohibit a retailer from requiring a cardholder to present their ID in order to approve a sale.
And if your issuer requires you to sign your credit card, your card might still be considered inactive and invalid if you write “See ID” in place of your signature. You can check your credit card agreement or check with your issuer to see whether you need to sign your card or if writing “See ID” is OK.
Leaving the Back of Your Credit Card Blank
Remember: Some credit card issuers might require a signature to indicate the card is active and that you accept the terms of the credit card agreement. An unsigned card might be considered inactive and invalid.
But keep in mind that not all credit card issuers require you to sign your card. If that’s the case with your issuer, you could choose to leave the back of your card blank.
And if your issuer doesn’t require you to sign your card, your credit card might not feature a signature box at all.
Ways to Protect Against Credit Card Fraud
Remember: When it comes to protection against fraud, signing your card isn’t as important as it used to be. So consider these credit card safety tips:
- Don’t lend your card to anyone.
- If a transaction requires you to hand over your card, watch for any suspicious behavior.
- Save your receipts so you can compare them with your monthly statement.
- Shred your old statements and receipts when you’re ready to get rid of them. The same goes for your expired cards.
- Don’t give your account information over the phone unless you’re sure the caller is who they say they are. And if you’re not sure, ask to call them back—it can give you some time to check.
You should also be on the lookout for phishing scams that ask you to:
- Click links.
- Open attachments.
- Send money.
- Share personal information.
Some credit cards come with built-in features and benefits designed to help protect against fraud. And those safeguards may go beyond basics like your personal identification number, or PIN, and card verification value number, or CVV number.
Capital One’s credit cards, for example, may have available features like instant purchase notifications,1 fraud alerts, $0 fraud liability,2 card lock3 and Eno, your Capital One assistant. Eno can even create virtual card numbers to keep your actual card number under wraps when you check out online.4
Monitor Your Credit for Free With CreditWise From Capital One
Staying on top of your reports and scores could help you catch signs of fraud like:
- Unauthorized changes to your credit reports—like new accounts or addresses that aren’t yours.
- Big, unexplained drops in your credit scores.
One way to monitor your credit is with CreditWise from Capital One. CreditWise gives you access to your free TransUnion® credit report and weekly VantageScore® 3.0 credit score—without hurting your score. CreditWise is free and available to everyone—even if you’re not a Capital One customer.5
You can also get free copies of your credit reports from Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion—the three major credit bureaus. Call 877-322-8228 or visit AnnualCreditReport.com to learn more. Keep in mind that there may be a limit on how often you can get your reports. You can check the site for more information.
1Notifications must be enabled following the steps described to be received. While we will do our best to deliver notifications, please be aware that due to system issues or limitations with your technology or ours or other unforeseen circumstances, notifications may not be delivered as expected or intended and may be delayed. Please make sure you are checking your account regularly and not relying only on notifications.
2Claims of unauthorized use or for $0 Fraud Liability are subject to verification and investigation.
3Some activity may continue, including returns, credits, payments, interest, dispute adjustments, other account fees, purchase transactions during system downtime and certain other exempted transactions.
4Eno looks out for free trials from select merchants. Eno is learning all the time and may not catch everything, including some free trials, subscriptions, renewals, and spending activity. Push, email, and SMS notifications must be enabled to be received. Eno service outages may occur. Capital One customers are responsible for regularly checking their account statements. Web access is needed to use mobile banking. Check with your service provider for details on specific fees and charges.
Texting with Eno means you agree to chat about your account over SMS and receive recurring messages. Message and data rates may apply. Mobile phone carrier fees for text messages may apply.
Some or all Eno features may not be available to all Capital One customers, depending on the types of accounts held. For example, certain bank accounts are not eligible to text with Eno, and Eno email notifications, app notifications and virtual card numbers from Eno may not be available for certain credit cards.
The Eno browser extension for virtual card numbers is only available in certain web browsers, and enrollment is required. Virtual card numbers are not available for debit cards and some credit cards.
5Your CreditWise score is calculated using the TransUnion® VantageScore® 3.0 model, which is one of many credit scoring models. It may not be the same model your lender uses, but it is an accurate measure of your credit health. The availability of the CreditWise tool depends on our ability to obtain your credit history from TransUnion. Some monitoring and alerts may not be available to you if the information you enter at enrollment does not match the information in your credit file at (or you do not have a file at) one or more consumer reporting agencies.
Government and private relief efforts vary by location and may have changed since this article was published. Consult a financial adviser or the relevant government agencies and private lenders for the most current information.
We hope you found this helpful. Our content is not intended to provide legal, investment or financial advice or to indicate that a particular Capital One product or service is available or right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, consider talking with a qualified professional.