Should You Sign the Back of Your Credit Card

16 Jul Should You Sign the Back of Your Credit Card

As a result of my years of practice as a bankruptcy lawyer, I keep very few credit cards, but I do have a couple.  When one of my cards expired, I received a replacement in the mail that contained instructions to immediately sign the back of the card.

I have never understood the logic behind this.  If my wallet was stolen, does it make sense to have a copy of my signature on the back of a credit card that would be thieves would try to use?

On the other hand if the back of the card is blank the thief could sign my name then use the card and the signature would match.

Today, a sales clerk at a store offered a very elegant solution.  When he noticed that the back of my card was not signed, he asked for my driver’s license, thereby triggering a discussion about whether or not to sign the card.  His suggestion – sign the card, but add a note reading “see ID.”   If the back of the card instructs the sales clerk to ask for a driver’s license or other picture ID, it very well might discourage improper use of the card.  It seems to me that credit card companies ought to add a “see ID” requirement to credit cards in general.  For those cards that one uses in retail stores, ID would be required.  If you use a particular card for online purchases, you could disable the requirement for that card or for a particular purchasing session.

What do you think?

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Jonathan Ginsberg, Esq.

I represent individuals in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases filed in the Northern District of Georgia, which includes Atlanta, Newnan, Gainesville and Rome. I publish several informative web sites, including and an Atlanta bankruptcy blog, Please mention Bankruptcy Law Network when you call.
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