What is a credit card CVV / CVC Number?

What the 3 digits on the back of your card mean, and how they 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, expiry date and something called your CCV, CVC or security number or code. These three or four digits are on the back of your card and they increase the security of it. We’ve explained here what they mean and how they protect your money.

What is a credit card CVV / CVC number

What is a CVV or CVC number?

Your CVV number (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 credit or debit card, it’ll be a three digit number on the back of your card. If you’re using an American Express card, the CVV will be a four-digit number on the front of your card.

The CVV is an anti-fraud 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. This is so the merchant or payee can verify that you have the physical card and are indeed the cardholder, not a thief.

As the CVV or CVC number is printed only 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 purchases online or over the phone 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 called a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) -commonly used technology which is a digitally provided certification process.

Is a CVV or CVC number called anything else?

The credit card CVC and credit card CCV numbers are sometimes called different things depending on the credit card network or credit card company that issued it. For example, Mastercard calls the code CVC2, American Express refers to it as CID, and Visa has dubbed it CVV2, while other providers may refer to a CSC (card security code). Despite these different names, the codes all serve the same function and are used as a standardised 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 from the PIN code you use to make cash machine withdrawals or in-store debit or credit card transactions. Your CVC or CVV number is used for verifying online or over the phone payments when you can’t use your PIN or signature.

While the CVV or CVC number is in place to protect your credit card from fraudulent transactions, it could still be used fraudulently if you don’t use a secure site. If you spot a transaction you don’t recognise on your statement, contact your bank immediately to report the issue and protect your finances.

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Updated June 19th, 2019
Name Product Balance transfers Balance transfer fee Purchases Rep. APR Representative example
0% for 12 months reverting to 19.9%
3% (min. £3)
19.9%
19.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 23 months reverting to 19.9%
0% for transfers in first 3 months
0% for 3 months reverting to 19.9% p.a. (variable)
19.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.9%
2.9% (min. £5)
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.9%
19.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 23 months reverting to 19.9%
0% for transfers in first 3 months
0% for 3 months reverting to 19.9% p.a. (variable)
19.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 12 months reverting to 15.9%
0% for 3 months reverting to 2.4% (min. £5)
0% for 12 months reverting to 15.9%
15.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 15.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 15.9% APR (variable).
0% for 12 months reverting to 17.9%
0% for 3 months reverting to 2.4% (min. £5)
0% for 12 months reverting to 17.9%
17.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 17.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 17.9% APR (variable).
0% for 12 months reverting to 11.9%
3% (min. £3)
0% for 26 months reverting to 18.9%
18.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
0% for 18 months reverting to 18.9%
1.4% (min. £5) for 2 months reverting to 2.9% (min. £5)
0% for 9 months reverting to 18.9%
18.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
0% for 20 months reverting to 18.9%
3% (min. £3)
0% for 3 months reverting to 18.9%
18.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
0% for 27 months reverting to 18.9%
2.29% (min. £5) for 3 months reverting to 2.9% (min. £5)
18.9%
18.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).

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Updated June 19th, 2019
Name Product Purchases Balance transfers Annual/monthly fees Rep. APR Representative example
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.9%
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.9%
£0
19.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 18 months reverting to 22.9%
£0
22.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
0% for 6 months reverting to 19.9%
0% for 6 months reverting to 19.9%
£0
19.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 27 months reverting to 20.93%
0% for 27 months reverting to 20.93%
£0
20.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 20.93% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 20.9% APR (variable).
0% for 27 months reverting to 19.9%
0% for 27 months reverting to 19.9%
£0
19.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 26 months reverting to 18.9%
0% for 12 months reverting to 11.9%
£0
18.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
0% for 26 months reverting to 19.944%
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.814%
£0
19.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.944% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 26 months reverting to 15.9%
0% for 26 months reverting to 15.9%
£3 per month
21.7%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 15.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £3 per month, your representative rate is 21.7% APR (variable).
0% for 26 months reverting to 20.95%
0% for 26 months reverting to 20.95%
£0
20.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 20.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 20.9% APR (variable).
0% for 26 months reverting to 18.9%
0% for 12 months reverting to 11.9%
£0
18.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).

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Updated June 19th, 2019
Name Product Purchases Annual/monthly fees Credit limits Rep. APR Incentive Representative example
9.9%
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
9.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 2,500 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend £1,000 in your first 3 months, and 1 point for virtually every £1 spent thereafter.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 9.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 9.9% APR (variable).
0% for 6 months reverting to 19.9%
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Double points on spend in M&S for first 12 months (2 points per £1). Then earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point or every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.9%
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
19.9%
£0
Min. limit £100, max. limit not specified.
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn Asda vouchers every time you shop - 1% cashback on all Asda spend, 0.2% on all other transactions and 10% on selected insurance products. Once £2.5 is earnt a voucher can be downloaded to spend in Asda stores.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 18 months reverting to 22.9%
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
22.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 1 Membership Rewards® point for every £1 spent.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
22.9%
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
22.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 5,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend £2,000 in your first 3 months, and 1 point for virtually every £1 spent thereafter.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
22.9%
£0
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
22.9% p.a. (variable)
5,000 Avios when you spend £1,000 within 3 months of account opening. Earn 1 Avios for virtually every £1 spent. Spend £20K in 12 months and get 2 for 1 travel when redeeming Avios for a BA reward flight. Earn up to 90,000 bonus Avios points per calendar year, 4,000 points per friend/family member that successfully applies for an American Express card (Excl. Basic card) and uses the Referral Programme.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
22.9%
£0
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
22.9% p.a. (variable)
5% after £1 of yearly spend for introductory period of 3 months. 0.5% on £1 to £5000 of yearly spend. 1% after £5001 of yearly spend. Cashback paid Anniversary into Card Account. 5% intro cashback in the first 3 months (max £100). Must spend £3K annually to earn cashback.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
22.9%
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £25 per annum
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
28.2% p.a. (variable)
20,000 Nectar points when you spend £2K within 3 months of account opening. Earn 2 Nectar points for virtually every £1 spent at Nectar partners and elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £25 per annum, your representative rate is 28.2% APR (variable).
22.9%
£25 per annum
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
28.2% p.a. (variable)
5% on £1 to £2500 of yearly spend for introductory period of 3 months. 1% on £1 to £10000 of yearly spend. 1.25% after £10001 of yearly spend. Cashback paid Anniversary into Card Account. 5% intro cashback (max £125).
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £25 per annum, your representative rate is 28.2% APR (variable).