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Cracking the Credit Card Code [Infographic]

You likely use a credit or debit card on a daily basis; have you ever wondered how exactly your card number is generated? Check out this infographic breakdown to see.

Your card number is a composite of industry identifiers, the ID of the issuing institution, account numbers, checksums, and more. Hit up the link below to see how the lengthy number is broken down into individual components and how, with some Rain Man like mental gymnastics, you can calculate the validity of any credit card number.

Cracking the Credit Card Code [Mint via Alltop]

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/25/11

Comments (7)

  1. Lady Fitzgerald

    Whoever wrote the article is full of it. I tried it with both a valid debit card and a valid credit card. The debit card passed and the credit card failed. Also, why add that added string of numbers as separate numbers? They will add up to 35 anyway so why not add them in as 35?

  2. ADWheeler Photography

    So the card published in that article is a real card #? Someone somewhere in the world owns that card? Do you see what I am getting at? If that is my card# and you just used it on your website and published it publicly, then I hope you have a BIG bank account because I am going to sue the &$%$ out of you.

  3. Doug

    I’m thinking that the name on the card…Lee M Cardholder is probably fake.
    Maybe, just maybe, that number is not an active.
    Could be wrong,,I thought I was wrong once before…

  4. Khalid

    That was a very educational piece. And yes, I verified it with 3 of my MasterCard debit cards. It works great!

    At the same time though, it is also an opportunity for those fraudsters to very easily create newer number. Of course, it will fail at the time payment is going to be cleared. But imagine the plight of the vendor if the card was swiped on one of those old manual gadgets…

    Nevertheless, it was an important piece of info to share.

    Note to ADWheeler… That is definitely a FAKE card. If you literally take a couple of seconds, you’d see how easily any number can be created to show it as valid.

  5. Nc

    Last I checked there was not a credit company named VISTA….

  6. Rawz

    Hey…. I have to say something here……It didn’t work for my card…

    I repeatedly used the above algorithm….

    I got the same answer every time.

  7. ADWheeler Photography

    And the photo was changed since my post… So… awesome for slow repliers….You guys crack me up..

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