Everything about American Express credit card numbers

Published at: 2022-07-14

American Express (AmEx) has been issuing credit cards since 1958 and is now one of the world's most popular credit cards with more than 115 million credit cards around the world. Here is what you need to know about the AmEx card numbers.

Table of Content

American Express credit card number

What is the AmEx card number length?

American Express's credit card number consists of 15 digits. While most other issuers (e.g. VISA, MasterCard, UnionPay) have 16-digit credit card numbers, AmEx is the only major credit card issuer with 15-digit credit card numbers.

How is the credit card number formatted?

American Express credit card number is formatted in three groups of 4-6-5 digits (15 total digits). It is different from other major card issuers which usually have 4 by 4 groups of digits (16 total digits).

What numbers does American Express start with?

American Express credit card numbers start with 34 or 37. These starting numbers (prefix) are registered for each credit card issuer and you can identify the card issuer just by the beginning of a credit card number. For example, VISA credit card numbers start with 4, UnionPay starts with 62 or 81, and MasterCard numbers start with 51 to 55 and 2221 to 2720.

What does the credit card number mean?

AmEx credit card number is not just a randomly generated 15-digit number, from the number one can actually read the issuer number, type and currency, account number, card number, and check digit. The meaning each number:

  • Issuer number - By the first two digits (for AmEx it is 34 or 37) we can identify that it is American Express card. No other issuer’s card can start with 34 or 37.
  • Card type and currency number - the next two digits represent card type (e.g. American Express Platinium Card, Amex EveryDay Credit Card, Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card, etc.) and currency (USD, CAD, EUR, etc.).
  • Account number - 5th - 11th digit represents account number. That is not the bank account number, but rather client account with the card issuer.
  • Card number - 12th - 14 th digit represent card number for the account. In most cases if it the first card for the client, the number is 100. When the card is replaced the number will be 200, when the gard is replaced again the number will be 300 and so on.
  • Validator digit - the last number is used to using Luhn algorithm quickly validate the whole credit card number sequence. More about the credit card validation below

For example in a credit card number 3764 139359 94005:

  • 37 is the issuer number;
  • 64 is the card type and currency number;
  • 1393599 is the account number;
  • 400 is the card number;
  • 5 is the validator digit.

How to know if the American Express credit card number is valid?

Like most of the major issuer cards AmEx credit card number can be validated with Luhn algorithm. It is three step process, where:

  1. Double every other number starting from the right side;
  2. Count together digits of the two digit integers (e.g. 14 would be 1+4=5);
  3. Sum together all 15 integers. If the result ends with “0”, the initial credit card number is valid.

As example let’s take the credit card number from previous section: 3764 139359 94005.

Initial digit 3 7 6 4 1 3 9 3 5 9 9 4 0 0 5 Total
(1) Doubled digit 3 14 6 8 1 6 9 6 5 18 9 8 0 0 5
(2) count digits together 3 5 6 8 1 6 9 6 5 9 9 8 0 0 5 80

In the example the sum of calculated digits after step 2 is 80. As the sum ends with “0”, the initial credit card number (3764 139359 94005) is valid.

If you don’t want to calculate manually, you can enter the credit card number in our credit card validator.

Other numbers on American Express credit card

There are other numbers on the AmEx card besides the credit card number. There is CVV security code, expiration date, and AmEx 3 digit code.

Is American Express CVV 3 or 4 digits?

CVV security code is something you usually need when to paying online with a card. AmEx cards come with 4-digit CVV (card verification value), which is located on the front of the card, whereas other credit usually cards come with 3-digit CVV and is usually located on the back of the card. The reason for 4-digit CVV is security - it is harder to guess four number sequences than three, thus

CVV location on AmEx card

What is the AmEx 3 digit code?

American Express cards have also a 3 digit code that is located on the back of the card. This code is is used for account verification when you contact the issuer.

Where is the expiration date located on AmEx card?

The expiration date (or sometimes or “Valid Thru”) usuall is located on the front of the card. It is written in format MM/YY and it means that the card will work unill and including the month (MM) of the year (YY) e.g. expiration date of November, 2028, would be written as 11/28 meaning that this card would stop to work on 1st of December, 2028.

How to generate a fake American Express credit card number with CVV?

We have generated valid credit card number with CVV and expiration date using our tools credit card number generator. You can try it right here

You can generate valid credit card numbers also for other issuers (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, RuPay, Maestro, China Union Pay) with our Credit Card generator.

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