How Many Digits are in a Credit Card?

Have you ever wondered how many digits are in a credit card? The answer may surprise you.

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The Basics of a Credit Card Number

A credit card number is made up of two parts: the account number and the check digit. The account number is the eight to twelve digits in the middle of the card. The check digit is the last digit on the card and is used to verify that the account number is valid.


All credit card numbers start with what’s called an issuer identification number (IIN) – sometimes referred to as the bank identification number (BIN). The IIN makes up the first six digits of every credit card, and it identifies both the issuer and the type of card.

After the IIN comes the account number, which varies in length depending on the issuer, but is typically between nine and 19 digits long. The account number is followed by a four-digit expires and a three-digit security code.

Altogether, a typical credit card number might look like this: 4485 0320 0000 0008.

The Account Number

The account number is usually (but not always) the longest series of numbers on the card. On Visa, Mastercard, and Discover cards, the account number is typically 16 digits. On American Express cards, it is usually 15 digits. The account number is unique to your card, and is used by the bank to identify your account. It is different from your credit card number, which is a unique identifier for your card that is (usually) embossed on the front of your card.

The Check Digit

The check digit is the final, or fourteenth, digit of a credit card number. It is used to verify the accuracy of the account number when the card is being read by a machine. The check digit is not part of the account number, but it does help to ensure that the account number is valid.

The check digit is calculated using a mathematical algorithm that takes into account all of the digits in the account number except for the last one. This algorithm is known as the Luhn formula, and it is explained in more detail below.

When you swipe your card at a store or enter your card information online, the check digit is what allows the machine to verify that your card number is genuine and that it has not been tampered with. If the check digit does not match up with what was calculated using the Luhn formula, then the machine will know that something is wrong and it will not process the transaction.

The check digit helps to protect you from fraud by ensuring that your credit card number cannot be easily guessed or generated by a computer program. When combined with other security measures like encryption and tokenization, it makes it much harder for criminals to steal your credit card information and use it for fraudulent purposes.

How Many Digits are in a Credit Card Number?

A credit card number is composed of two parts: the issuers identification number (IIN) and the account number. The IIN is the first six digits of the credit card number. It identifies the issuer of the card. The account number is the digits that come after the IIN. It identifies the individual account associated with the card. The account number is usually between six and twelve digits.


Visa credit cards always have 13 or 16 digits. The number can be divided into four parts, which includes the card’s prefix, account number, check digit, and issue number. The first two digits of the prefix indicate the card type. All Visa card numbers start with a 4.


Mastercard credit card numbers always have 16 digits. The first digit is the Major Industry Identifier (MII) digit, and the first six digits after that are the Issuer Identification Number (IIN).

American Express

American Express credit cards have 15-digit numbers. The first digit is 3 and the second digit is 7, 4, or 5. All American Express credit cards start with 37, 34, or 35.


On average, there are between 12 and 16 digits in a credit card number. The actual number of digits varies depending on the credit card issuer. American Express credit cards have 15 digits, while MasterCard and Visa cards have 16.


In conclusion, the number of digits in a credit card can vary depending on the type of card and the issuing company. However, most cards have between 13 and 16 digits.

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