American Express Card Number Format

by Dan Sullivan

Life has become easy, especially when it comes to making transactions. You don't need to use cash for payments anymore when there are cards to do the job. Imagine having to pay a huge sum of money, and you go around with it - risky, isn't it? Technology has made life better with either debit or credit cards. Although today, most people make use of credit cards more than debit cards; however, the two remain consequential.

Why A Need for AMEX Card Number Format

There are quite a number of card issuers (credit), and a popularly known one is American Express. This issuer provides credit cards to their respective customers as long as there are financial funds to substantiate the application for one. There are more details about American Express, but what I am interested in is the Card Number Format.

On most credit cards, take American Express Card, for example, there are a set of numbers on the card that seem like random numbers put together for identification. These numbers aren't random; they are unique combinations using an algorithm. This combination is used for identification, and every issuer has its distinctive format.

What is the American Express Card Number Format?

What is the American Express Card Number Format?
What is the American Express Card Number Format?

American Express Card, also called, AmEx Card is one of the most used cards for transactions. Currently, this card is used by hundreds of thousands of people - meaning each of them has unique number combinations on the card. Now, as a card owner, you may want to know more about your card, including the numbers on them that you think are random.

Here is what you need to know:

Special Format

Generally, every card issuer has a format they use on their cards. There are first digit numbers that may look similar when you compare two AmEx cards together. This format is a combination of numbers which most people think are random, rather, from a special algorithm - Luhn Algorithm, also called Mod 10 Algorithm.

This algorithm has been used for a lot of things, which include generating insurance numbers, IMEI numbers, etc. With the number generator, people wouldn't be able to make fake AmEx credit card numbers; even if they do, validating these cards would be a problem.

First Digit

As aforementioned, there are first digit numbers that are similar in every credit card issued out by a card issuer. This is the special digit number. American Express Card has it too, and it is the number "3". It is also called a special identifier to prove that it truly belongs to AmEx. When a number generator is used to make algorithmic combinations for a card with respect to an issuer, there is always that special first digit number. Any card not following the issuer's format is clearly a fake.

Second Digit

AmEx Card consist of a set of numbers; while there is a first special digit number, there is also a second special digit number. The relevance of the first number also extends to the second number; the only thing is that the number could vary. For instance, an AmEx card starts with "3" could follow either with "4" or "7". Both numbers are valid; however, only those two numbers are applicable.

Once the card follows the first digit number by another number different from 4 or 7, it is a fake. In the same vein, this is the work of a number generator that makes use of the Mod 10 Algorithm.

Number Length

Number Length
Number Length

Also, to the digits, a special format most credit card use is the number length. Often, there are a set of numbers arranged in a special way with one or two of them alike at different points. For instance, an AmEx Card with 37888733397XX90 ; 3 appeared multiple times, same as 7 and 8. AmEx Card doesn't always have more than or below 15 numbers - if they do, then be sure it wouldn't work.

Other card issuers may have their cards at different number length; for instance, Visa Card has 19 digits, Master Card has 16 digits, and so on.

In general, American Express Card has a simple, yet unique system it follows before it validates and makes a card usable for transactions.

All of these above are important details about American Express Card Number Format. The main purpose of this is for easy identification.

Additionally, there are other things you should know about American Express Card in general. More information as well as things to be careful of when making use of the card has been described below.

More Information on AmEx Card Number Format

More Information on AmEx Card Number Format
More Information on AmEx Card Number Format

If you would be making use of an American Express Card for payments, here are things you would notice/discover.

Cardholder's Name

The first detail you would find on your AmEx card is your name. During the card application process, the name you provide is the name that would be engraved on the card. The sole aim of this is for easy identification. There are cases where you may have two similar credit cards from the same issuer mixed up and you may find it difficult trying to figure out which is yours; with the name, you can easily know. Many times, the cardholder's name is often requested when making payments online as a part of the verification protocol.

Identification/Security Number

Next important detail on every credit card is the identification or security number. This is also called CVV. This number is always at the back of the card, and it shouldn't be exposed at all to anyone. Security number as the name implies gives access to use that card. Every cardholder different CVV numbers and that also depends on the card issuer.

Basically, security numbers are just 3 digits. These 3 digits would also be requested for access to financial institutions performing online transactions. You can imagine the implications when your card number and security number are exposed.

Expiration Date

The last but also very important detail on a credit card is the expiration date. Nothing lasts forever, not even credit cards; there is a time when it would become invalid and would need to be replaced. The expiration date is on the front part of the card, close to the cardholder's name. It is sometimes arranged as MM/YY. And most times, the expiration date is between 2 to 4 years from when the card was issued out. Before the expiration date, you can make a request to AmEx for a new credit card.

Just like other details on the card, expiration date needs to provided when performing online transactions.

Safety Measures on AmEx Card

Before you are provided with an AmEx Card, you are evaluated to be sure you are capable of handling a credit card. The card issuer won't give you a credit card if it discovers you are more likely to be careless about it; hence, the reason why kids aren't given. However, if you are eligible to own an AmEx Card, you are provided with security details and safety measures on how to handle it. These measures are important in order not to put the funds in your financial institution in jeopardy.

Keep Card and its Information Safe

Quite a lot of people tend to be careless about things, including AmEx card and other relevant cards. As small as it is, it can do a lot of things for you; hence, it should be handled with utmost care and safety. In wallets and purses, there are pouches to hold cards - you should make use of them. Even after keeping it safe, ensure you aren't exposing card information to strangers or kids. The moment the important details are out, you risk losing all your money in the bank.

Avoid Credit Card Scams

Many people are out there to defraud people of their hard-earned money, and one that of the ways they do that is through credit cards. There are scams on how a credit card is temporarily blocked and details be provided in order to unblock it or irrelevant forms online that request credit card details. Once you see things like this or something synonymous, be sure it isn't legit. What they do is get your details, password, and gain access to our financial account. If there is any problem, AmEx would contact you using their customer service support or better still, visit your financial institution. Doing this would prevent a lot of mishaps relating to credit cards.


In many words but concise points, I have been able to establish the format American Express Card Number takes. Hopefully, it would help you determine a legit credit card from a fake one. Also, there are other important details I have mentioned that you would find on your credit card and ways on how they are used. Further, there are things you shouldn't do with your AmEx credit card because the moment you do, you are at risk. I hope I have played a part in helping you understand everything you need to about the American Express Card.

About Dan Sullivan

Dan Sullivan is a renowned professor and esteemed education writer with a passion for inspiring students and transforming the field of education. With a diverse background in academia and practical teaching experience, he has become a leading figure in educational research and pedagogy.

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