When you use your credit card to pay for something, the first thing the store does is verify your card. This is done to prevent its unauthorized use. One of the things that are verified is the credit card zip code. What is the credit card zip code?
The zip code of your credit card is associated with the billing address of your credit card. This address is the one that you used when you applied for the credit card.
A thief may be able to change your address through the U.S. Postal Service if they know your name and address. They will then redirect your mail to their chosen address so they will receive your bills, credit card offers, and other financial mail. Once they intercept this mail, they can order new credit cards.
Read on to learn more about the zip code on your credit card, what it is, its importance, and other essential information you need to know so that you will not be a victim of identity theft.
Credit Card Zip Code
What is the zip code on a credit card? The zip code of your credit card is associated with your card’s billing address. That address is the physical location indicated in the application form when you applied for the credit card. It is where you receive your bank statements each month if you are still paying cash for your expenses.
A thief can change your address through the U.S. Postal Service if they know your name and address. They will do this to redirect your mail to the address they have chosen. Once they have accessed your financial mail, they can steal your bank statements, bills, and credit card offers. Then they will order new credit cards and checks under your name.
The primary use of the zip code on your credit card is for billing purposes. This is why it is also called ‘billing zip code.’ In other words, this code is used by your bank when sending your credit card monthly statements.
Healthcare providers also use this code to secure your identification and privacy. Most credit card companies use this zip code as your billing zip code where they send your bills. In other words, the billing zip code is the official banking zip code of your official (physical) address.
The same applies to Canada’s credit card postal code; if asked to provide your credit card postal code, give them the billing address you provided when applying for the credit card.
How to Find the Zip Code for Credit Card
Credit cards usually don’t have zip codes printed on their front faces. This is done to enhance their security. That is why you need to find the billing zip code, which is actually the credit card zip code that you are looking for.
In reality, it is the zip code for the address you had supplied to the bank when you applied for a credit card. If you are not sure what the code is, you can always ask your bank. But here is an easy way to find it.
It is easy to locate the zip code of your credit card. You had provided your physical address to the bank when you submitted your credit card application. This is the address that you said they could send their monthly bank statements.
If they have already sent your bank statements to this address, you have already received mail at that address. Say that your address is 5678 Main Street in Somewhere, NY 23456. That is the address that the bank used for your credit card account. Figure 23456 is your card’s zip code.
You can also get the zip code of your credit card by visiting the official website of the bank. Log in to your account and find the section that contains your billing information. Typically, there will be a drop-down menu on that section. Scroll down and choose ‘Billing Contact Info’ or a similar term. Here you will find your card’s zip code.
About Zip Codes
The word ‘zip’ is an acronym for a zone improvement plan. But this term was also intentionally chosen by the US Postal Service to give the impression that they send your faster if you used your ZIP.
They want people to know that their mail and packages will arrive at their destinations faster when they mark their envelopes with the right zip codes. Zipcodes are always five digits long. The USPS started using them in 1963.
The billing zip code is practically the same as the zip code of the address that is indicated on your credit or debit card bank statement. This is the physical address where the bank sends your monthly card statements. It is the address where they send your financial bills if you have not yet gone paperless.
Some companies and some stores have payment systems that will ask you to give this zip code when you use your credit card for payment. They will do this as a security measure in case a thief knows your address. The company or retail store will refuse your transaction if the zip code given will not match the credit card zip code that the card company has on file.
Take Note of These Tips To Avoid Credit Card Problems
Defining zip codes is not really a complicated subject. Moreover, there are some important details that you need to remember so that you can avoid any credit card problems in the future:
- The credit card zip code is the zip code that your credit company has recorded on its database.
- If you transfer or move to another address, you have to update your billing address by calling the credit card company’s customer service. Once you do this, the bank will input this new zip code into their database. Only after that can you use the new zip code for verification.
- When shopping online, the store will ask for both your billing address and shipping address. The billing address is the one filed by your credit card company, and the shipping address is where your ordered items are usually delivered.
It is important for you always to update your billing address whenever you make a move. Always remember that your billing address is always a part of your credit card zip code. Some credit card companies interchange their use of billing zip codes and credit card zip codes.
Example of Zip Code
Citing some examples will help you better understand the zip code on a credit card and find your credit card zip code.
For instance, say your home address is 5678 Apple Street, Anywhere, NY 53299. However, you asked the company to send your bank statements to a P.O. Box with a different zip code. Let us say this other zip code is 53290.
It appears that the bank used the billing code as a verification tool to prevent unauthorized users from charging their purchases on your credit card. They usually do this thing just in case you lost your credit card or someone stole it.
Are Zip Codes Really For Security or Just As Marketing Ploys?
Some retail stores, restaurants, and other automated purchase points require credit card users to provide their zip codes for security reasons. The security system Address Verification System or AVS processes your zip code and any information about your transaction simultaneously.
A majority of the Pay at the Pump gas pumps also require credit card users to insert their billing zip codes for credit purchases. However, this is not a requirement when making debit purchases because, in this case, credit card users have to input their PINs for debit transactions. There are also online retailers and bill collectors who require billing zip codes to make purchases or pay bills.
So, it is a common practice to give your credit cards to a store when purchasing at the grocery store, dress shop, basically anywhere. We don’t give it much attention anymore.
Why do stores ask for your credit card zip code? Your credit card zip code has two functions: a security measure and a marketing tool for merchants.
When the transaction involves the shipment of merchandise, providing the zip code will prevent credit card fraud. If a third party stole or duplicated your card, the transaction would not push through if the third party supplied an incorrect zip code. This will also alert the company that you lost your card or that a third party has duplicated it.
Marketing Tool for Merchants
The zip code is a merchandising tool for stores and companies. They use zip codes to have a better understanding of the dynamics of their merchandise. For instance, store owners can focus their marketing promotions on certain areas based on their zip codes.
In this method, they can pinpoint a customer’s mailing address that they maintain in their database. But this makes a lot of customers uneasy. Some consumers believe that giving out their zip codes violates their privacy. As it is, they are now getting a lot of junk mail.
Legislation About Zip Codes
In mid-February of 2011, California enacted a law prohibiting retailers from asking for zip codes from their customers and clients. California was the first state to do this. It was a ruling based on the Pineda v. Williams-Sonoma Stores case that has gone through the Supreme Court of California.
This ruling shows a Credit Card Act violation every time a retailer in California asks and records a customer’s zip code using their credit card for payment. According to this Act, the zip code is an unnecessary ‘personal information’ to complete the transaction. However, they can still request a zip for security reasons.
Could other states follow the example set by California? Some say that this is not guaranteed. There are states like Massachusetts that specifically define what ‘personal information’ is. Unfortunately, zip codes are not on their list.
If they are faced with such situations, consumers can always choose not to give their zip codes to retailers if they think that the request is an invasion of their privacy. In other states, consumers may be fed up with requests for their private information each time they use their credit cards. Lawsuits can spring up in these states if retailers insist on continuing this practice.
Zip Codes of Different Credit Cards
Different credit card companies practice different ways of indicating zip codes. Here are some samples of the different ways they indicate their credit card zip codes:
Visa Card calls their zip codes Visa Card zip code. This company uses zip code as your Billing zip code where they send your credit card statements. You can find your Visa Card zip code by checking your Visa Card statements. You can also ask your bank for it.
If asked for your MasterCard zip code, just enter your 5-digit zip code, for example, 34500.
If you encounter any problems, you can always contact the customer service of the credit card company. You can also check your billing statement from the credit card company. The information you are looking for should be there.
Conclusion: The Role of Credit Card Zip Code
The zip code of your credit card is the zip code of the billing address you provided when you applied for the credit card. The credit card zip code is also the address where you receive your billing statement every month if you have not gone paperless.
What is a credit card postal code? The same applies to Canada, the credit card postal code. When someone asked you to provide your credit card postal code, give them the postal code on the billing address you provided when you applied for the credit card.