Why Do I Have to Sign the Back of My Credit Card?

If you have a credit card – and just about everyone does these days – then you’ve noticed that you’re asked to sign the back of your card in the blank white strip. You may have asked yourself, “Why do I have to sign the back of my credit card?” The answer is because your signature is considered to be another security precaution on credit card fraud.

When you receive your credit card in the mail one of the first things you are supposed to do is sign your credit card on the back. The rationale for this is to imprint your card with your unique signature. This way, when you make a credit card purchase, the merchant you are buying from can compare the signature on your card with the signature you make in his or her presence, as part of the authorization of your credit card purchase. If the merchant feels that the signature on the back of the card does not match the signature you’ve just made in his or her presence, then you will probably be asked to show more identification. In very busy establishments you may not be asked to sign for your credit card transaction if your purchase is under $25.

Many people choose to one-up the credit card signature requirement by writing “please ask to see driver’s license” in the white space reserved for your signature. This is a smart move, and it’s one that’s embraced by people who are inherently cautious, as well as those who’ve learned to become more cautious due to the credit card fraud they’ve already been through.

To learn more about signing the back of your credit card, credit card fraud, efforts to prevent credit card fraud, and credit cards in general, be sure to speak with a representative of your credit card issuer. They will be happy to answer your questions.