Credit Cards – The best plastic buddies you’ll ever have. The favourite ones always sit in the top pocket of your wallet. These little plastic bits are mysterious, also scary at times. Credit Cards are everywhere. They are always there for our rescue when we are just about to buy anything.
You think you know ‘everything’ about your credit cards – the interest rate, the credit limit and all it’s perks. Well, that’s definitely not ‘everything’. Let’s unveil some esoteric and fun facts of Credit Cards.
They don’t really expire!
Surprising! But it’s true.
The expiration date on the card is “fake”. You can use the card even after it’s expiration date because the card number on your replacement will be the same. The real reasons for having the expiration date are tt’s an estimate of how long the magnetic strips on Credit Card are good for use. Credit Card takes a lot of swiping and just needs to be replaced.
During online purchase, asking for expiration date allows the merchant to confirm that you are the owner of the card.
They are of uniform size and shape
The dimension of Credit Cards is governed by the ISO 7810 standard, an international standard for identification cards. Size of most Credit Cards is 3 3/8 x 2 1/8 in (85.60 x 53.98 mm), conforming to the ISO/IEC 7810 ID-1 standard.
Credit Card numbers tell the type of industry that issued you the card
If the first digit is:
1 or 2 : Issued by Airlines
3 : Travel and Entertainment industry
4 and 5 : Banking and financial institutions
If it starts with 4, it’s VISA Card.
If it starts with 5, it’s Master Card.
6 : Merchandizing and Banking
7 : Gas Cards
8 : Telecommunication companies
9 : For national assignments. You’ll likely never see them.
Luhn Algorithm to validate your Credit Card
Luhn algorithm is just a simple checksum test to validate your Credit Card. How it works?
Starting from right, just double every second digit (1111 becomes 2121).
Now add all the digits to get the sum.
Note, if there’s a double digit number, you should use the sum of it’s digits (For 15, 1+5=6).
The sum you have must be evenly divisible by 10.
There you go! Just simple Math, and you know it’s a valid Credit Card number.
Women are more likely to pay late fees and carry credit card balance.
According to a 2012 report by FINRA Investor Education Foundation, women are more likely to engage in costly Credit Card behaviours such as carry a balance on their card, incur late fees and make only the minimum payment on their balance.
You can lower your interest rate with a phone call
Yes! You can do this. Credit Card companies are just like other cell phone and cable companies. They are afraid you’ll leave and join their competitors. Take advantage of this, arm yourself with competitor’s information, know what you are asking for and simply make a call on the customer service number provided on the back of your Credit Card. All you need to do now is compare the better offers provided by other credit cards. Also be polite. They listen to complaints all day long, and a genuine friendly caller always stands out from the crowd. After all, as the old saying goes, “You can catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar”.