There has been a long debate on whether or not you should sign the back of your credit card or write “See ID” instead. Of course, if someone got your credit card, with your signature, they could use it freely. However, the majority of places don’t check for the signature on your card anyway, and they rarely check your identification, so should you sign the back of your credit card?
Reasons You Should Sign the Back of Your Credit Card
While many say no, don’t sign the back of the card, there are a few reasons you should. For one, government services will not take a credit or debit card payment unless you’ve signed the back of the card. For example, a man trying to pay to ship a package at the post office will not be permitted to pay with a card unless his signature is on the back of it.
Another reason to sign the back of the card is that it is technically not valid unless signed. Treat it like your Social Security Card or your passport. No one is going to take those two things without a signature, and they shouldn’t (technically) be taking your debit or credit card without one either.
It won’t likely help in the field of identity protection. In fact, it may even further hurt you. If you leave that space on the back of your card blank, it makes it easier for the person who stolen your wallet, card, etc. to just sign it themselves.
Newer technology also allows for easier identity attacks as well. You are able to swipe your own card much of the time, leaving it up to the consumer whether or not they press debit or credit. If you press credit, you are just prompted to sign the line on the credit card machine, not on any paper.
Of course, you can write “See ID” on the back of your card, but you should maybe sign it too because there are plenty of people out there willing to sign it (and use it) for you.
Possible Reasons to Not Sign Your Card
The reality is that most cashiers are not even looking at your card, so there is probably no real reason to sign it other than to potentially save yourself from identity theft. However, even signing your card may not protect you from that.
Ultimately, there are a few things you can do to protect your identity, and it has nothing to do with signing (or not signing) you credit cards or putting all of your cards in a special wallet that will block identity thieves technology. If you are worried about card security, set up a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for you cards. You can also update to a chipped card (a one-of-a-kind card) that cannot be duplicated.
To keep yourself safe, you should also monitor each accounts activity every couple of days (at least). By keeping an eye on your accounts, there shouldn’t be anything that gets past you. Take steps to avoid identity theft, but don’t necessarily worry about the signature on your card.