If you’ve ever used, or even seen a credit or debit card, you’ll be familiar with the long number embossed into it – it’s the main number that you have to give whenever you’re making payments and purchases online!
This number is 16 digits long (or 15 if you’re with American Express), and is of course one of the most annoying things about buying online – typing it in can be a bit of a hassle!
However, it’s of course an essential part of the card – without some way of identifying the card as one issued by the bank or credit company, it of course couldn’t work!
But what exactly does that long number mean – is it just a random string of numbers? Or is there a meaning hidden inside this cryptic set of digits? Yes – these numbers actually mean something, and can tell you a great deal of information about your particular card!
You might be wondering, then – how to read these numbers and make some sense of them? Well, if you want to know more about what the numbers of a credit or debit card mean, then great news – this article has the answers you’re looking for! We’ll tell you what the numbers mean and how to read them.
If you’ve got a card with the numbers 5178 at the front of it, and have come here looking for information about it, then great news too – this article can tell you how to read and understand the long number on your card!
Credit Card Numbers – What They Mean
They look random, but they’re actually a carefully crafted part of your card that stores vital information about the account – the long number on your credit card number is in many ways the most important part of your card, particularly when buying online. You simply couldn’t make any payments at all without this number – it’s how the card issuer knows which card is which, who owns it, and how much money is available on it.
It’s for this reason that it’s embossed on the card, meaning that it doesn’t rely on print that could possibly be rubbed or worn away. This makes it more likely that the numbers will stay legible for a long time.
If your embossed credit or debit card becomes so worn that the numbers aren’t easily able to be read, then of course, you should get it replaced as soon as possible – a card that’s easy to read is easy to use, and just generally looks neater in your purse or wallet!
It’s pretty typical for cards to be replaced free of charge – after all, whoever issued you your card wants you to be able to use it as much and as easily as possible! However, check with your card issuer first to be sure.
Card numbers are structured in a particular way, which helps both vendors and card issuers know whether a card number matches an account held in the bank or credit company’s database.
When looking at your card number, you’ll notice that it’s quite long – 16 digits long, in fact. That is, unless you’re with American Express, who typically use 15 digit card numbers.
These numbers are broken down into smaller groups, each of which plays a particular part in identifying the card. You may have noticed that the numbers on the card are broken down into 4 groups of 4 digits. However, these don’t correspond to the groups themselves. Instead, the groups are broken down as follows:
The first 6 digits identify which financial institution issued the card. These are called the IIN (Issuer Identification Number) or BIN (Bank Identification Number).
The first of these digits is called the Major Industry Identifier (MII), and identifies which specific card company issues the card. These are allocated to the card companies by the American Banking Association.
- Visa issues cards beginning with the number 4
- Mastercard issues cards beginning with the number 5
- Discover issues cards beginning with the number 6
- American Express (Amex) issues cards that begin with the number 3
The next 5 digits indicate which specific bank issued the card. These numbers are unique to the specific bank, just as the first number is unique to the specific card company.
Therefore, the first 6 digits can be enough to identify the card company and bank that issued the card, without ever seeing the card itself to get that information!
Digits 7-15 of the card number are perhaps the most important and significant part of it. Whereas the first 6 digits identify the financial institution(s) responsible for issuing the card and holding the account, digits 7-15 are used to represent the specific account at the particular financial institution.
This is typically not actually the same number as your account number, but is instead another string of numbers also used to uniquely identify your account.
If your card has a 16th digit, then it’s used as a check digit. This number is calculated using something called the Luhn algorithm.
Essentially, the other numbers of the card have a mathematical formula applied to them, in order to generate a single digit that can be used at the time of a transaction to check the validity of the number as a whole.
If the card number is entered incorrectly then the Luhn algorithm will – when applied to the number that’s been entered – produce a different check digit, showing that an error has been made.
What Credit Card Starts With 5178?
With that information in mind, you might still be wondering the answer to the question – what credit card starts with 5178? Well, now that you know how to find out the information from the card, we can have a look at the number and see if we can get the right answer!
We only have the first 4 digits, and therefore can’t find out the number that identifies the specific account. Also, as we don’t have the full IIN or BIN, we can’t identify for sure which specific bank issued the card.
However, as we have the very first digit, we can say with 100% certainty that this is a Mastercard!
With this quick and handy guide to credit card numbers, you now know how to read them – and know how to identify the specific credit card company just by looking at the very first digit!
Hopefully this guide has given you the answers about credit card numbers that you were looking for!
Now check out cards starting with 4147.