A credit card number, primary card account number or just simply a credit card number is the primary card identification number found on credit cards, including debit cards and prepaid cards, as well as store cards and prepaid cards. In many cases, the card number is also known as an ATM card or a store card. In this article I will provide a brief description of each credit card type. These types of cards are categorized into three main categories: secured, prepaid, and unsecured.
In a secured card, the issuer provides the customer with a PIN number that is unique to the account, usually based on the social security number of the customer. This information, along with a cardholder name and account number (usually encrypted), forms the basis for an account's security. This card is usually issued by banks, financial institutions, and certain vendors.
A prepaid card is a credit card in disguise, except for its ability to be used anywhere a credit card is accepted. Prepaid cards are usually issued through retail outlets, with the customer providing his PIN number when ordering his merchandise. The customer can use his PIN number to make purchases without showing a credit card. Although prepaid cards do not carry the same security features as secured cards (such as PINs and encryption keys), they are much more convenient and often preferred by consumers.
Unsecured cards require that the customer provide his credit card numbers or any other identifying information to the merchant or issuer before the transaction occurs. Unsecured cards are typically issued through online merchants.
Because card numbers are stored by card companies on their systems, hackers are able to obtain information about cards by using the information on a system called “reverse card look up.” This service, provided by a company called CardCheck, allows anyone to perform a lookup of a credit card's numbers.
While you may have heard of these three types of cards, it's always a good idea to compare the rates of each type of card before choosing the one that is . . . . . . right for you. It is best to pay close attention to the APR (Annual Percentage Rate. since this determines how long your credit card will take to pay off your balance once the bill is paid in full. If the APR is too high, you may end up paying a lot of interest in the future.