Amex 3 digit security code?

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Amex 3 digit security code?

Postby Reclusive46 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:25 pm

Out of interest, I have a 4 digit security code on the front of my Amex like all of them, but on the back I have a 3 digit code as well. What is this used for?
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Postby nedyah700 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:51 pm

Sometimes customer service asks you for it.

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Postby jlam572 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:21 pm

Yeah so far the only one who has asked me for the 3 digit on the back is Amex themselves. Everyone else asks for the 4 on the front
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Postby cardslayer » Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:23 am

jlam572 wrote:Yeah so far the only one who has asked me for the 3 digit on the back is Amex themselves. Everyone else asks for the 4 on the front

Ok, this is kind of weird. I was trying to use my Delta Amex to pay for my Verizon phone account. It just would not go through! I have 2 Amex Charge (Plat and zync) and always use the 4 digit on the front. Finally, I called Verizon and it still wouldn't go through. Out of desperation, I gave them the 3 digit on the back of the card. BINGO! Anyone else have that experience? I've been using amex for 10+ years and always use the front 4 for CCV.

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Postby American » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:42 pm

They're 2 different security codes for cards. Amex has 2 levels of security: they have the normal CVV (Card Verification Value) and the 3 digits are a CID . CVV is a calculated highly secure 4 digit code based on your card number that is not contained in the card magnetic strip, which is the reason why it's printed on the card itself.

If someone were to take your magnetic strip or print your card. It would not contain your CVV or CID, so it could not be used for card not present transactions or most high-end merchants, which require CVV, CVV2, or CID as a form of further verification that the card is indeed there.

CID (Card Identification Data) on the back of the card is similar to Visa/MC/Discover. It's a 3 digit number that again is not stored on the card magnetic strip and is not visible on the front of the card, but again ensures that the card is in your possession at that the numbers have been not tampered with.

CVV and CID verification process of card numbers is not published or available for many, many reasons, so I have no idea how they verify your card number, but they do somehow.

To get to your question why does Amex ask for those 3 digits?
Because they can.

They require most merchants these days to verify the CVV before processing payment, but for their measures of security they verify the CVV and CID. I think most of us who have had the card for many years memorize the CVV, but I couldn't for the life of me memorize the CID, so that could be the reason to.
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Postby jeffysdad » Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:31 pm

This is very interesting and timely for me. When I tried to pay the fee for my Global Entry Trusted Traveler application online last week with my Amex card, the four-digit code on the front would not work. After multiple attempts I gave up and used a Visa card. I wish I had known to try the three-digit code. Using the Visa instead of the Amex cost me $1 in cashback!
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