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A credit card number or primary account number is the number that appears on most payment cards, including debit cards and credit cards, and also stored-value cards and other such cards. In many cases the card's primary account number is also called a credit card account number.

The credit card number includes the account number of the financial institution or bank issuing the card, the name of the credit card holder, a seven-digit alpha-numeric code that contains your cardholder's security number and pin. Some credit card numbers have an extra digit added to the back of your card, called a security code. The two digits on either side of the alpha-numeric code are called your card's PIN or personal identification number.

Credit card numbers contain your address, telephone number and e-mail address as well, so it is useful to keep them all with you when using your card. It is also a good idea to keep the number with you if you use the card abroad, so you can always check your balance without having to call the merchant to ask for the transaction details.

You should never give your credit card to anyone you do not know without first reading their card information carefully. If you think you have the wrong number, call the merchant. If the merchant refuses to assist you, then the number must be returned immediately. It is best to stay in touch with the merchant and check your card balance each month to ensure you are still in charge of your spending.

It is important to remember that your credit card is a separate account from your checking account. When you purchase items online, make a recurring monthly or yearly purchase, carry a balance from one month to the next or make a new credit card application, you are making a new payment into your credit card.

The card is usually issued by the lender after the bank has approved your application. Once your card is activated, you will need to provide it with the correct information to complete your transactions.

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