Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own. Advertiser Disclosure

What is a Credit Card CVV / CVC Number?

What the 3 digits on the back of your card mean and how they're used to protect your finances.

If you’re using your credit card to make a purchase online or over the phone, you’ll usually be asked to provide the name on your card, the account number, expiration date and something called your CVV or CVC number. These three or four digits are located on the back of your card and are used to help secure your finances when using your card. Use this guide to find out what these numbers mean, what they’re used for and how they help protect your credit card.
What is a credit card CCV / CVC number image

Back to top

What is a CVV or CVC number?

Your CVV number (or card verification value) or CVC (card verification code) on your credit card or debit card is a three or four-digit number on your card. If you have a Visa or Mastercard branded credit or debit card, it’ll be a 3 digit number located on the back of your card. If you’re using an American Express-issued card, the CVV will be a four-digit number found on the front of your card.

The CVV is an antifraud measure used when you’re making a purchase but aren’t required to enter a PIN or sign a receipt. This is why you’re often asked to enter your CVV number if you’re shopping online or making a purchase over the phone. That’s so the merchant or payee can verify that you are indeed the cardholder and to avoid people using your card for fraudulent transactions.

As the CVV or CVC number is only printed on your card, it’s important that you keep your card safe and secure. If your card is lost or stolen, anyone could use the card to make online purchases or over the phone transactions without your permission. If this does happen, contact your card issuer immediately to cancel the card and keep an eye on your statement to report any fraudulent transactions. The CVV or CVC number is considered a Secure Socket Layer (SSL), which is commonly used technology which is a digitally provided certification process.

Is a CVV or CVC number called anything else?

The credit card CVC and CVV numbers are sometimes called different things depending on the credit card network or credit card company its issues through. For example, Mastercard calls the code CVC2, American Express refers to it as CID, Discover calls their code CID2, and Visa has dubbed it CVV2.

Despite these different names, the codes all serve the same function and are used as a standardized security measure. In the case of “contactless” cards there is generally a chip involved which supplies its own electronically generated series of codes. They are called Dynamic CVV or iCVV.

Are CVV or CVC numbers the same as my PIN?

No, your CVV or CVC number is different to the PIN code you use to make ATM withdrawals of EFTPOS transactions in-store. On the other hand, your CVC or CVV number is used for verifying online or over the phone payments when you can’t use your PIN or signature.

The CVV or CVC number is in place to protect your credit card from fraudulent transactions or phishing scams when using your card for online or phone transactions, but there could still be chances that your credit card might become compromised. Only use your credit card on secure sites and keep track of your credit card statement to spot any suspicious transactions. If you do come across one, make sure to contact your bank immediately to report the issue and protect your finances.

Back to top

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

★★★★★

Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5

Terms apply, see rates & fees
Go to site

Minimum credit score

670

Annual fee

$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)

Purchase APR

0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)

Balance transfer APR

N/A

Rewards

6% on select US streaming services, 3% on transit and US gas stations, 6% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 annually, then 1% after that and on other purchases (redeem as statement credit)

Welcome offer

$300 statement credit after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

★★★★★

Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5

Terms apply, see rates & fees
Go to site

Minimum credit score

670

Annual fee

$0

Purchase APR

0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)

Balance transfer APR

0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)

Rewards

3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services, 3% on drugstore purchases, 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases

Welcome offer

Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back

More guides on Finder

  • NFT art: What it is and how it works

    NFTs take many forms, and NFT art makes up a large portion of the market.

  • Donut savings review

    Donut earns up to 10% APY, but you must have an iOS device.

  • UFC NFT collectibles review

    Crypto.com has taken the sports world by storm, landing major deals like becoming a brand partner of the UFC. Learn how to buy and sell unique UFC NFTs on the Crypto.com NFT marketplace.

  • How to understand and buy CryptoPunks

    CryptoPunks is a pioneering collection of 10,000 pixelated NFT artworks that have sold for millions of dollars at auction over the last year. Learn what makes them unique and valuable and how to buy them.

  • MakersPlace review

    This step-by-step guide to using MakersPlace will help you curate a vibrant and unique NFT collection.

  • A guide to the Somnium Space metaverse

    Somnium Space is one of the fastest growing P2E games in the Solana and Ethereum network – learn how to play it here.

  • Earning on Coinbase review

    Learn how to earn interest on your cryptocurrency using Coinbase exchange. Finder’s guide to earning on Coinbase has information on Coinbase Learn, staking and DeFi.

  • Where to buy iHealth at-home rapid COVID tests

    Find iHealth in stock and learn what to expect with this top kit that creates a scannable QR code of your results — but isn’t so straightforward with its pricing.

  • How to play Decentraland

    Learn how to play with one of the largest cryptocurrency metaverses in the world.

  • How to gift Bitcoin: 5 ways compared

    Buying Bitcoin as a gift for someone has never been easier. Here’s how to do it safely and stress-free.

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and finder.com Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.

8 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    MaheshMarch 23, 2018

    Where is the CVV2 number in a card?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezMarch 23, 2018Staff

      Hello Mahesh,

      Thank you for your comment.

      A CVV2 code is a security feature of a debit card that is consisting of 3 digits and is located on the back of the card within the signature area. There may be a longer series of numbers but only the last three digits make up the CVV2 code.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

    Default Gravatar
    NileshMarch 9, 2018

    Display CVV number please.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezMarch 10, 2018Staff

      Hi Nilesh,

      Thank you for your comment.

      CVV is an anti-fraud security feature to help verify that you are in possession of your credit card. For Visa/Mastercard, the three-digit CVV number is printed on the signature panel on the back of the card immediately after the card’s account number. For American Express, the four-digit CVV number is printed on the front of the card above the card account number.

      Providing your CVV number to an online merchant proves that you actually have the physical credit or debit card. So, unfortunately, CVV numbers are not to be displayed online.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

    Default Gravatar
    berylDecember 16, 2017

    I have given all the numbers on the back of my card not just last three is that safe

      Default Gravatar
      ArnoldDecember 21, 2017

      Hi Beryl,

      Thanks for your inquiry

      Please note that these are very sensitive information you’re giving out. You have to make sure you’re transacting with a legitimate business or entity. It is our responsibility to make sure we are dealing with the right people. There are lots of fraudulent activities on the internet nowadays and it would be best that we’re always vigilant.

      Hope this information helps

      Cheers,
      Arnold

    Default Gravatar
    DariusOctober 9, 2017

    How do I get my CVV number

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JudithOctober 9, 2017Staff

      Hi Darius,

      Thanks for contacting finder, a comparison website and general information service.

      If you have a Visa or Mastercard branded credit or debit card, it’ll be a 3 digit number located on the back of your card. On the other hand, if you’re using an American Express issued card, the CVV will be a four-digit number found on the front of your card.

      On the page you’re reading, you may also check the where they are located by viewing the sample pictures.

      Best regards,
      Judith

Go to site