If the issuer of your card is highly focused on security, you probably won’t be able to find your debit card number online. Possibilities in other cases include, but are not limited to, finding it on the issuer’s website, finding it on an account statement, and making an educated guess with help from online databases. If it turns out you can’t find your debit card number online, that means your card is more secure.
Perhaps you want to place an online or phone order while away from home. Maybe you’ve offered to treat your coworkers to lunch, but you don’t carry cash. Or maybe you get flash sale notices at your work email address, and you’ve seen a price you just can’t pass up.
But there’s a problem. You left your card at home. Since you commute an hour to work each day, swinging by the house to pick up your card isn’t an option.
So you’ve decided to look for your debit card number online. Well, you’ve come to the right place. If there’s a way to do this in your case, this article will guide you in the right direction. If there’s not, this article will tell you why that might be good news. Read on to learn more.
Is finding my card number online possible?
Pretty much everything else in life can be found online. So, you reason, your debit card number should be online, as well. Shouldn’t it?
This may come as a surprise to native-born netizens, but the answer could be “no.” It could also be “yes.” What makes one or the other answer more likely? The more your card issuer focuses on keeping cards secure, the less likely it is that you’ll be able to find your debit card number online.
You’re about to explore how you can find your debit card number online. But should you be doing this? Is this the best course of action? Will it give you all the information you need?
Should you find your debit card number online or get a new card?
Before trying to find your debit card number online, ask yourself if this is the first thing you should do. Of course, the answer depends on why you’re doing this.
Should you try to find your debit card number online?
- You want to place an online or phone order, but you left your card at home. Finding your card number online could make sense. Keep in mind, though, that the card number alone won’t be enough for most orders — more on this in a moment.
- You’ve lost your card. Finding your card number online is the wrong move. Instead, report your card lost so your bank can cancel it and send you a new one. The longer you put this off, the better the chances you’ll lose money.
In summary, if you know you haven’t lost your card, but you just don’t have it with you right now, looking online may be OK. If seeking it online takes less time than going and getting it, seek away. If, on the other hand, you’ve lost your card and failed to report it lost, report it lost now. Don’t look for the number online. Don’t try to figure out how to place an order without your card. Instead, report the card lost and have your bank issue a new one.
Knowing your debit card account number won’t be enough
Still reading? If so, you’ve probably decided you do want to find your debit card number online. Before we explore how to do so, a word of caution.
If you’ve been doing all your shopping in person with cash and living off-grid, maybe you don’t know this. But placing orders online or over the phone requires more than knowing your debit card number. Or credit card number, as the case may be.
You also need the Card Verification Value (CVV) code. Most people call this the “security code.” It’s the three-digit number on the back of the card next to your signature. You also need your card’s expiration date. So even if you do find your debit card number online somehow, you won’t be ready to place an order.
Find your debit card number: Methods endorsed by most investigators
Have you decided, despite these cautions, that you still want to find your debit card number online? Then let’s explore the possibilities.
Methods most likely to work
You don’t have your physical debit card handy. Can you find your number without it? Most who investigate the possibility conclude that only three methods have a good chance of success. They include one online method and two offline methods. The methods are:
- Find the number on your card provider’s website.
- Check your card or bank statement.
- Call the financial institution that issued you card.
These are the methods most investigators think might work. (Hereafter, these investigators will be called “the consensus.”) Since this is an article about finding your debit card online, let’s look first at the only option that’s done online.
Find the number at your card provider’s website
Debit cards are most commonly linked to checking accounts. However, money market savings accounts might also have debit cards linked to them.
So, most debit cards are linked to bank accounts, usually checking accounts. But many debit cards in circulation these days are prepaid debit cards. Various banks and other financial service companies offer these cards. If you’d like to know which ones are the best, by the way, check out our best-of guide to prepaid cards.
Visit site via browser or mobile app
Whichever type of card you have, it’s likely the card issuer has a website where you can set up online account access. Have you done that already? Do you have your login information memorized, written down, or saved in your browser or device? Do you have the provider’s mobile app set up on your phone or tablet?
Even with account access, results will vary
If you can access the card issuer’s site via browser or mobile banking app, you might be able to find out your card number. This will vary. Your bank or other card provider may or may not give you a way to find your card number while logged into your account. Online banking features can differ a great deal from one bank to another. And non-bank issuers add to the variety.
When it works: A generic “how to”
If your bank lets you find your card number online, the steps you’ll need to follow will resemble the following.
Find your debit card number through online account access.
- Log into your online banking account.
- Go to the central dashboard for online banking. This may be called “dashboard,” “service center,” or something similar.
- You’ll next want to locate “statements” in your account. Again, the exact placement of this and how to get to it will vary.
- Select the account associated with your debit card, most likely the checking account.
- Select the most recent statement available.
- Look through the statement for a section or line items with “debit card/point-of-sale (POS)” or similar terminology.
- If you find such a section or line items, look at the end of a transaction line. Your debit card number may be shown there.
The preceding is highly generic and approximate. It is based on the specific guidelines that work at The Huntington National Bank.
Whether you can find your debit card number via online account access depends on the card issuer. After that, you just need to log into your account and find out. Good luck!
When it doesn’t work: our testing of another bank
Be warned, not every card provider will show your debit card number in your online account. This means breaching your account security will not reveal your debit card number. Does that make accounts where you can’t find the number superior to those where you can? If you value convenience more than security, no. If you value security more than convenience, yes.
An example of a bank choosing security over convenience is Ally. That, at least, is what our field testing indicates.
A SuperMoney team member found that all he could do while logged into an Ally account was report a card lost or stolen. This would cancel the missing card and get a new one, with a new number, sent out to him. If he’d needed his number to place an order right away, this wouldn’t have helped.
Mastercard and Visa debit card numbers don’t match bank account numbers
Ally and other banks issue debit cards administered by Mastercard or Visa. Each of these branded cards has a Mastercard or Visa account number. However, this number is unrelated to the account number of its associated bank account. So knowing the bank account number doesn’t help you find the debit card number. Maybe some cards are exceptions to this. But we’re not aware of any.
Our team tester finally reported that Ally’s e-statements didn’t list debit card numbers.
All of the preceding discussion presupposes you have online access to your debit card account. But what if you never set up online account access? Can you still set that up if you can’t find your card? That depends.
Setting up online account access after misplacing your debit card
If you have, say, a PayPal Prepaid Mastercard, you’ll be able to log in with either your PayPal account credentials or your PayPal Prepaid Mastercard username and password.
If your card’s associated with a regular banking account, your missing card shouldn’t matter. Getting set up for online banking will depend on other information.
So, let’s say you already had online account access set up. Or, failing that, let’s say you got set up for access after misplacing your debit card. Either way, suppose you’ve checked your online account, and your debit card number is nowhere to be found. Well, according to most how-to articles published by the consensus, you’ve exhausted your online options. Your only options now are offline ones. So, let’s look at those.
Check your card or bank statement
This is the second option the consensus deems likely to work. And it is the first of two offline options.
Every banking or card statement the writer of this article has seen lately has only shown partial account numbers. This might be because new rules governing online card payments also govern account statements. (You’ll hear more about these later.) If these new rules do govern account statements, checking your paper statements won’t help. But perhaps banks who apply these rules to account statements are doing so voluntarily. If so, some banks and other card providers might still print account numbers on statements.
So, if you haven’t opted into paperless statements, take a look through any statements you have. If you have gone paperless, check the PDF statements if you have them. Does one of them show your debit card number? Your statement will probably only show your checking account number if your debit card is linked to a checking account. This is unlikely to be the same as your debit card account number. But if you have a prepaid debit card, your statement might show the number of the card rather than a separate account number.
No luck? According to the consensus, there is one more offline option you can try.
Call the card issuer
Do you remember your PIN? How about the answers to all those security questions you had to answer when you set up your account? Does your memory retain the personal data from when you applied for the associated bank account? Do you have the last four digits of your Social Security number handy?
Think twice before calling
If you remember all this stuff or have it written down, you can call your card issuer for support. You can, but this doesn’t mean you should. Don’t dial that phone number if you have online account access set up and can still log in.
Why not? Have you tried everything above and still don’t have your debit card number? If so, the call isn’t going to solve your problem. Could you have left your card at home? If that’s likely, cancel your planned order and wait till you get home to check for it. If you think you’ve lost your card, log on to your account and report the card lost so you can get a replacement.
If you never set up online account access or can’t log in, go ahead and call. If you got your card directly from one of the major card issuers like Mastercard, you might find this 800-number.net list useful.
Phone-tree navigation in the digital age
Be aware that many companies now require you to navigate through many menus of options. For example, “To hear more options unrelated to your problem, press any key.” That sort of thing.
You may have to press many keys or say many words to a voice-recognition system before you can speak to a person. The length and complexity of some of these phone-tree menu systems boggle the mind. Make sure the call is worth it. It may not be.
Phone support won’t tell you your card number
Say you have all the information required to pass security checks. And say you find the center of the menu-system labyrinth and finally get to speak to someone. Even then, competent and security-minded support staff will not tell you your debit card number if you don’t know it. About the best you can hope for is that they’ll send you a replacement card. That’s why we said not to call if you have online account access.
Find your debit card number: Methods not endorsed by the consensus
What if none of the three methods endorsed by the consensus works for you? Is it time to give up? Probably. But let’s explore other possibilities to make sure.
Methods unlikely to work
The three methods endorsed by the consensus do not exhaust the possibilities. While the remaining possibilities aren’t likely to work, exploring them can be instructive. And, who knows? You might get lucky.
- Find your number on retro paperwork.
- Find your data on the Dark Web.
- Find your information via online merchants or payment apps.
- Make an educated guess.
This is the most likely of these methods to bear fruit. The only reason we rate it “unlikely to work” is that you’re unlikely to have any qualifying paperwork. So that’s our first question. Do you have any retro paperwork?
We don’t mean old paperwork. We mean old-fashioned paperwork. A few merchants here and there still use those old credit card imprinters. Even some who have card scanners and internet connections keep the old machines for emergencies.
Emergency imprinters for small business
What sort of emergencies? Well, have you ever tried shopping at a big-box store during a power outage? These stores are so dependent on networked technology that they may close when the power fails. For them, it’s not just about processing credit card and debit card payments. They keep their inventory current, look up prices, and do who-knows-what-else via their network. For most products, checkers just scan your items and let networked computers do the rest.
Many small businesses can’t afford to operate this way. They need contingency plans. Old credit card imprinters are part of that. A merchant can accept card payments with these while the power, or just the payment network, is down. This isn’t ideal and will probably mean a lot of data entry later. But it keeps sales flowing and appeases upset customers.
Emergency imprinters for card number retrieval
The value of these old imprinters for our quest is that they reproduce all raised text on the card run through them. So if you have your copy of one of these payment receipts, you’ve got your debit card number. You’ve also got anything else printed in raised letters on the front of your card. This includes your expiration date. Still no CVV security code, though — unless you or the merchant wrote it down.
Find your data on the Dark Web
This is not so much a way to find your debit card number as a way to make sure that number is secure.
Every company you’ve given your card number to has that information on a server somewhere. Your information also gets transmitted over networks by websites and payment devices regularly. It’s even possible the card scanner at a gas station you visited was a fake put there to steal your data. A security lapse anywhere can result in your information getting hacked.
No, this won’t help you find that debit card number you’ve misplaced. But it could help you make sure no one else finds and uses it either.
Online merchants or payment apps
You’ve checked your online account thoroughly, and the results aren’t good. Your bank or other debit card issuer doesn’t show your card number anywhere.
Now, suppose you use Google Pay, Apple Pay, or save your card information at websites where you shop. Could that let you look up your card number? Your browser lets you unmask passwords when you need to. Surely it lets you do the same with credit card and debit card numbers, right?
Wrong. Standards that make your financial information more secure rule this out. Sorry.
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards
The standards in view are the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). You might see these referred to as “regulations” by some writers. But they are not standards imposed by governments. Instead, they are the work of the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). American Express, Discover, JCB International, Mastercard, and Visa created the PCI SSC in 2006.
What does the PCI DSS mean for the quest to find your debit card number online? It means none of the payment information you’ve saved at online stores or in payment apps can help. That is, it can’t help find your debit card account number. It might show you your expiration date, though. That would solve one issue. It won’t show the CVV code of your debit card, however. You have to enter that manually every time you place an order. Or state it orally, in the case of a phone order.
You won’t be able to find your debit card number printed on a receipt, either, by the way.
Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act
Why can’t you find your debit card number on a printed receipt? Though the PCI DSS are not government regulations, regulators have not been idle. They’ve given us the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA). One thing FACTA does is ensure that printed receipts never show more than the last five digits of your card number. Five digits of a 16-digit number may be a start. But it isn’t much of one.
Aside: the curious case of Apple Card in Apple Pay
Apparently, Apple thinks differently about these standards and regulations. Apple Pay does provide a way for you to view your Apple Card number. In fact, following that procedure is the only way to see the number. It isn’t printed on the physical card.
Bottom line: this glass is more than half full
That this possibility doesn’t pan out isn’t something to get upset about. If you could find your debit card number this easily, so could tech-savvy criminals. PCI DSS and FACTA are like secure passwords. They make things less simple and convenient. But they also make things safer.
Maybe you can guess
The possibilities we’ve explored haven’t gotten us very far. If your card provider shows your debit card number in your online account, you can find it that way. Some account statements from card issuers less concerned with security might show the number. And some paperwork from merchants using old imprinters could show you the number. So far, that’s about it.
A question like “How do I find my 16 digit debit card number?” is easy to answer if you can just get the card out and look at it. But when the card’s missing, it’s not so easy. “How do I find out my debit card number if I lost it?” isn’t easy to answer, either. Neither is “How can I get my debit card number without my card?”
Time to test your luck, and your memory
We started this quest by trying to find your debit card number online. To be honest, we would have settled for finding your credit card number. No dice. We can’t settle for something easy like your savings account number or checking account number. So it’s time to do the unthinkable. It’s time to guess.
Is this idea crazy? Probably. But maybe you’ve placed a lot of online orders using manual card entry, and you remember some of the numbers. The same applies if you’ve made a bunch of phone orders. So write down any of the numbers you can remember. Also, recall that printed receipts might show the last five digits of your account number.
You may not have to remembers 11 digits
Note that you will be able to determine some of the numbers without remembering them. For instance, the first digit in your debit card number stands for the issuer. A three indicates American Express, for example. Here are the numbers for card issuers in the U.S.:
|2||Mastercard (some cards starting in 2017)|
|5||Mastercard (all years)|
This first digit is called the major industry identifier (MII). That plus the next five numbers constitute the issuer identifier number (IIN). If you want to try tracking down the right IIN for your card, visit BinDB’s Issuer identification number (IIN) base Project.
Can you recall just five digits?
If that works out for you, you’ll have the first six digits and the last five. That only leaves five more in the middle! The ten numbers following the IIN are your account number. Your debit card account number usually won’t match the account number of the associated bank account, though. As we noted earlier, it will probably be an unrelated Visa or Mastercard account number.
At this point, it comes down to your memory. If you happen to recall those last five digits in the middle, you may have succeeded in reconstructing your debit card number. Since you used an online database to help, you can even say you found the number online. Well done!
You still don’t know your card’s CVV security code, though. Do you remember that, as well?
- If you’ve lost your debit card, call your bank to cancel it and get a new one.
- Some card issuers will show your debit card number in your online account. This is more convenient but less secure.
- You debit card number might be listed on statements issued by some card providers. Again, this is more convenient but less secure.
- If you’ve been to a merchant who uses one of the old card imprinters, you can find your card number on your copy of the imprint.
- If you remember the middle digits of your card number, you may be able to reconstruct the rest.
- If you find it easy to find your debit card number without your debit card on hand, switching to a new card provider might be a good idea.
- Consider a Dark Web monitoring service to better secure your card numbers and account.
How can you find your debit card number if you don’t have your card? In most cases, it won’t be easy. And it might not be possible.
Rather than upset you, this should comfort you. Newer security standards have eliminated many ways to find your card number. Today, if you lose your debit card, you probably won’t be able to place orders until you get a replacement. So having physical access to your card is much more essential now than in the past.
Criminals with stolen card info do still manage to use it to make purchases. So it appears that not all merchants fully comply with current standards. But most orders require physical access to the card or a gift for memorizing numbers.
With great security comes great inconvenience. More often then not, the latter is well worth the former. In fact, letting you see your debit card number online means poorer security. If you can find your debit card number online, maybe you should consider shopping around for a new card.
View Article Sources
- About Us — PCI Security Standards Council
- CFPB Finds Small Debit Purchases Lead to Expensive Overdraft Charges — Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
- Debit Card Information Online: How to Find Your Debit Card Number — The Huntington National Bank
- Everything You Need To Know About Using A Credit Card Imprinter — Merchant Maverick
- How to find your Apple Card number — Apple Support
- Is Your Data Being Sold on the Dark Web? Here’s How to Find Out! — Xperteks
- Issuer identification number (IIN) base Project — BinDB
- PCI FAQs: Q1: What is PCI? — PCIComplianceGuide.org
- Reading a Credit Card Statement — AIE
- At what age can you get a debit card — SuperMoney
- Can You Book a Hotel with a Debit Card? — SuperMoney
- Debit cards that help you build credit — SuperMoney