What Is Cardholder Name for a Credit Card?

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  • Post last modified:June 20, 2021

It’s a good idea to be familiar with the different features of your credit card. When buying something online, a common question is the cardholder name. What is the cardholder name for a credit card?

The cardholder name for a credit card is the name of the person authorized to use the credit card. It can be found printed on the front of the credit card.

The cardholder name might not be the person who applied for the card. It might mean that the cardholder has been permitted to spend from the account.

Read on to find out what the cardholder name means, parts of a credit card, and how to change the cardhodler name.

What Is a Cardholder Name for a Credit Card?

cardholder name

Your credit card is a useful tool financial tool for spending. There’s a lot of information on that tiny piece of plastic, and the cardholder name is one of them.

The cardholder name is the name of the person authorized to use the credit card. It can be found printed on the front of the credit card. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the cardholder name is the person who applied for the card. They might have been permitted to the cardholder to spend from the account.

The cardholder name is important, as it identifies the person who is using the account. However, note that the cardholder name isn’t the only way to check for fraud or unauthorized use.

It is used along with other vital information like card number, IP address, geolocation, AVS verification status, and more to detect unauthorized use. Multiple people may have the same name on the card, so an authorized person cannot use it as a stand-alone indicator for authorization.

Some systems check the cardholder name on the card when you make an order online. If the name does not match but all other information matches, the order will be allowed to go through. Sometimes though, the order will be sent for review to the fraud department, checking the account manually.

They really check the account number and the AVS, and if everything matches, they push through with the order without contacting you. They do notice discrepancies and check, even if they do not contact you.

Function of Cardholder Name

  1. Some systems used to detect fraud will check the cardholder name to see if it matches the one in their system. They do this usually if you haven’t used your card in a while.
  2. The cardholder’s name is listed in the issuing bank, and so if the cardholder disputes a charge or wants to cancel the credit card, they have their name on file for verification purposes.
  3. It can help sellers check accounts that are under the same customer name.

Parts of a Credit Card

Cardholder name is only one part of your credit card, and, as I mentioned earlier, it’s not a standalone security measure for fraud. Your issuing bank takes the necessary measures to make sure only you can make purchases and charges using your credit card.

So let’s take a look at the parts of your credit card:

Front of Your Credit Card

1. Bank Branding or Logo

This is your issuing bank’s name. Sometimes they may display a different logo other than theirs if they promote a different program like their rewards program or a promotion for a retailer.

2. Cardholder Name

The cardholder name is the name of the person solely authorized to use the credit card. Some merchants will ask for an ID, usually for big purchases, to ensure that the credit card is indeed yours. Make sure you have an ID card that matches the name printed on your credit card.

3. Card Number

This is a significant detail on your credit card. It’s normally a 16-digit number printed on the front of your card. Some cards have 14 digits; some have as much as 19. These digits are what you need to make purchases online. You’ll also be asked to give more information like your card’s expiration date, the CVV code or the security number, and sometimes the cardholder’s name.

Always keep your credit card number and other information on it private. It’s a good idea not to store your card information on sites where you make purchases.

It may be more tedious to re-type the information every time you purchase rather than storing it on the site, but it’s much safer to do so. Yes, you can contest purchases that you did not make, but it can cause inconvenience and, sometimes, difficult to prove.

4. Smart Chips

These are tiny metal chips on your card. This is another safety precaution on your card. Some cards do not have these smart chips, only the traditional magnetic stripe at the back of the card. If your card has a chip, you can use it by inserting your card in the terminal instead of swiping it there.

Choose this option as it’s a safer one because a single-use code is added per transaction, adding another layer of safety to your transaction.

5. Expiration Date

You have to renew your card periodically. Merchants will usually ask for the expiration date on your card when you make online purchases. The person who swipes your card will also check this when you make in-store purchases.

They need to do this to check the validity of your credit card. Most banks will automatically send you your new credit card before your old card expires, as they have the expiration date on their database.

6. Payment Network Logo

This tells you what kind of card you have. The three most common networks are MasterCard, Visa, and Discover. Online purchases usually ask what type you have.

Back of Credit Card

what is a cardholder name

The back of your credit card still holds important information. Here’s what you can find on the back of your credit card:

1. Magnetic Stripe

This magnetic stripe at the back is usually black, but colors can vary. There are silver and brown ones. It contains vital information about you and your credit card that card readers can only read. The stripe carries information like your name, card number, and expiration date. Each time your card is swiped, the card reader processes the information.

You need to replace your credit card periodically because these magnetic stripes wear down with use. If you’re in a situation where the card reader cannot read your magnetic stripe anymore, the merchant will need to punch in your credit card details manually.

2. Hologram

Some credit cards, the newer ones, have a hologram display at the back of the card. This is a mirror-like image that’s three-dimensional. It is a safety feature because a hologram is difficult to fake. Merchants can check the hologram as an added security measure.

3. Contact Information of Issuing Bank

You’ll see your bank’s contact numbers at the back of your card. There will probably be a local number plus an international number to call if you need to contact them while you’re abroad. It’s also common to find their website listed with their phone numbers.

Keep a copy of your issuing bank’s contact numbers, written separately from your credit card. This way, if your card gets lost or stolen, it’s easier to contact your bank.

4. Signature Panel

A small box at the back of your card lets you sign with a pen for your signature. You must sign your card before you use it. The merchant will check your signature for in-store purchases and compare it with the signature on your receipt to make sure that it matches.

5. Security Codes (CVV number)

These numbers are on the back of your card, near or in the signature panel. For MasterCard, Visa, and Discover, they are 3-digit numbers. For American Express, they’re 4-digits. CVV number adds further protection, especially if you’re doing transactions through phone or online.

The merchant usually asks you to give the CVV code in addition to your card number, expiration date, and cardholder name. You should not share your security code with anyone else unless you’re making a payment on a trusted website or to a trusted person.

6. Network Logos

Some cards will have a network logo on the back of the card. The logos tell you which ATMs you may access without incurring any service charges.

Can I Change Cardholder Name on My Credit Card?

what is cardholder name

Yes, you can have the cardholder name changed on your credit card. However, for some credit card companies, it can be a complicated process. You’ll need to update all your financial accounts, like your name in your bank account and loans, etc.

To change the cardholder name on your credit card, call your issuing bank to find out what you need to do and what documents you have to prepare.

How Do I Change Cardholder Name on My Credit Card?

If you’re newly married or divorced, then you have to change your cardholder name. Here’s how you can do it:

1. Have Your Government-issued IDs Updated to Your New Name

This is the first step to having your credit card cardholder name changed. You should update your government-issued IDs to the new name you’re going to use. This includes your Social Security Card, driver’s license and, passport. To change the cardholder name on your credit card, you’ll need to show IDs with the new name that your credit card will bear.

2. Check the Policy about Changing Cardholder Name with Your Issuing Bank

Call your issuing bank and ask them what documents they require for changing cardholder name on your credit card. Ask about their policy on this.

3. Prepare the Required Documents

Depending on your issuing bank, the requirements will vary, with some being more requiring than others. Some banks will only want to see your Social Security card plus a supporting ID, while some will ask for other documents like your marriage contract or divorce decree showing your name change.

4. Submit the Documents

Ready copies of the required documents and the original ones. Some issuing banks will accept the documents by mail, while some will require you to be present. After you’ve done this, wait for your new credit card with the new cardholder name.

Conclusion: Cardholder Name

The cardholder name on the credit card is an important detail used to check for fraud and unauthorized use.

The cardholder’s name is the name of the person authorized to use the credit card. It appears on the front of the credit card. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the cardholder’s name is the person who applied for the card. It might mean, though, that the cardholder has permission to spend from the account.

While the cardholder name is vital information to ensure the safety of your transactions using your credit card, it is only one of many safety features that your issuing bank takes to protect against fraud.