Discover Tells Me It Requires Merchants To Check Your ID Now

When Andrea tried to use her Discover Card at Home Depot, the clerk told her she needed to show ID. Alarmed with this apparent violation of the merchant agreement, she called Discover and was told the ID-checking violated no agreement and was in fact company policy.

Unless it was a rogue customer service rep Andrea spoke to, this could be a sign that yet another sacred merchant agreement standby may be fading away. As we reported earlier this month, Discover joined the ranks of Visa, AMEX and MasterCard by allowing merchants to institute $10 minimum purchases.

We contacted Discover HQ about this and were told that — unlike Visa and MasterCard, which do not permit merchants to check ID when the card is properly signed — “It’s at the merchant’s discretion to request ID.”

Comments

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  1. ssaoi says:

    Cash it is then.

    • AnonymousCoward says:

      If you’re that worried about having to show your driver’s license, you shouldn’t have been paying with a credit card in the first place.

      • P=mv says:

        I only get worried when they start writing down stuff or insist on scanning my ID. What the hell do they need that crap for?

      • FredKlein says:

        Well, that’s the thing- what If i don’t have a Drivers License? Can’t show you what i don’t got.

        • Bibliovore says:

          ID doesn’t necessarily mean a driver’s license. I know someone who can’t drive for medical reasons but who nonetheless has a state-issued ID card.

          • jamar0303 says:

            Of course, you need residency to do that. Me? I’m not particularly connected to the US. Had I not signed up for an ID as a dependent under someone else I would have nothing to show but my passport (no way is that leaving the house except when overseas, though with me that’s most of the year), birth certificate (no photo), student ID (in Chinese, name does not match the few cards I have that have my name on them) and Chinese DL (in Chinese, name also does not match).

            I’ll use my credit card a lot of the time. If they ask for ID, I take it back and pull out one of my Chinese debit cards without a name printed in order to non-confrontationally remove the need to show ID.

      • spamtasticus says:

        Remember that statement when the clerk takes a digital picture of your Drivers License and the Credit Card behind the counter and completely rapes your identity.

  2. Tim says:

    What if you don’t have ID?

    • digital0verdose says:

      You don’t get to make a purchase with your card?

      In the meantime you can go to the DMV and get an identification card.

      • Southern says:

        Can I get one with a fake address? I don’t want some random Best Buy store clerk knowing where I live after dropping $10,000 on a new entertainment system..

        • digital0verdose says:

          Doubtful, but you should be able to cover your address with tape or something if you are legitimately concerned about that.

          If that employee really wanted your address it would be easy enough to google and use one of the dozens of people finder sites since you are on the grid due to water and electric bills.

          • Southern says:

            Doubtful, but you should be able to cover your address with tape or something if you are legitimately concerned about that.

            Not a bad idea, just use a bit of black electrical tape.. and hope that doesn’t set off their radar and give them (yet another) reason to give you a hard time. Just have to pull it off if a policeman ever asks to see it..

            it would be easy enough to google and use one of the dozens of people finder sites since you are on the grid due to water and electric bills.

            Damn, you just used logic to deflate my sails. I salute you sir. :) Although there are workarounds to this – Putting everything in your Middle+Last Name (instead of your first & last name), for instance, or perhaps your wife’s maiden name (if you’re married).. good point tho, it’s hard to defeat ZabaSearch.

          • Delta1 says:

            My credit card only has a short version of my first name and my last name, both of which are very common. These are insufficient for locating me. My driver’s license has my entire address. Which course of action exposes me to greater risk, and can how can that risk be justified?

        • Muddie says:

          I have a passport card. It is a valid form of ID and has no information about where I live yet is a perfectly legal form of ID. Get one if you’re that worried.

          • Gandalf the Grey says:

            I have one of these, only time I ever use it though is when I need to pick something up from FedEx instead of letting them try to deliver it again (if I wasn’t home at 10:30 am the first two times why don’t you try another time!)

            My driver’s license has my old address, and even though USPS and UPS don’t care since it has my correct name and picture, FedEx likes to whine about it. So, Passport Card it is.

        • womynist says:

          +1

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        Many DMV’s will not issue an ID card and a Drivers License at the same time.

        • digital0verdose says:

          Irrelevant. If the OP had a driver’s license, then his question is moot, but if he didn’t, the DMV is the obvious place to go to resolve his question.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      Then the merchant can decline the use of your Discover card.

      Oh the horror!

      • RayanneGraff says:

        And then they get to go online & bitch about it! Which they secretly love doing or else I don’t think they’d be so dumb as to try & charge something without being willing to prove that they are indeed the rightful owner of the card.

        • FredKlein says:

          That’s what the signature is for. it’s supposed to match the one on the card, which the actual card owner put there.

          So, you’d be in favor of having to show your W-2 tax forms to the clerk every time you pay in cash? After all, why be “so dumb as to try & pay cash for something without being willing to prove that they are indeed the rightful earner of that cash.”

    • sleze69 says:

      When does your credit card go anywhere without your wallet? Doesn’t your wallet ALSO always have your drivers license? I am guessing the occurrences when your CC and license are in two separate places are few and far between.

      I applaud this.

      • Alvis says:

        I carry no wallet. Cards go in my pocket with cash, depending on which I’m going to need. If I’m not driving, why would I bring a driver’s license any more than a library card when not planning on checking out a book?

        • giax says:

          Then why don’t you just carry physical cash instead?

          If you pay with any plastic card, why wouldn’t you be carry another card “proving” who you are? Even if it’s a .49 cent purchase.

          • nbs2 says:

            Because I would use the plastic card to pay for my purchases, ergo the card would have utility. The DL is not being used, as I am not drivings, ergo is has no utility. Why carry around something useless?

        • Phil Villakeepinitrreal says:

          So they can identify you if something bad happens (injury, medical emergency, etc), and you can’t communicate? So they could use your ID to help track down a loved one or relative in a case like that? When I go out walking, riding my bike, whatever, there are always three things I carry – 1) A debit card or a bit of cash, just in case, 2) my ID, just in case, and 3) the card informing anyone who finds it that I’m a Diabetic and may need special care or assistance depending on what the issue is.

      • roaster says:

        I see it all the time. Every time that I go out there are girls that did not want to carry a purse and dont have pockets so they will carry just their ID and maybe a few bucks in cash. Most of the time those ID’s and cash end up in my pockets because they get tired of holding it. On more than one occasion I have gone home to find one of my friend’s drivers license in my pocket. Now she doesnt have an ID for a couple of days.

      • spamtasticus says:

        You are applauding why?

        • sleze69 says:

          Because it increases security and lessens the possibility of someone who steals my wallet being able to use my credit cards. I wish all CCs would implement this.

      • jamar0303 says:

        And then there’s me. I have an American learner’s permit and a full Chinese license. Guess which one I’ll be leaving the house with when I drive? If the state I’m in recognizes it, I’m certainly not going to use the learner’s permit and limit myself. Guess which one gets funny stares and sometimes outright rejection due to only having my name in Chinese (obviously does not match name on my cards which have to follow US passport name)? Though one time they glanced at it as I was pulling it out and said “never mind”. I wish more stores were like that. Don’t waste time trying to scrutinize it. Let me pay and go, dammit.

        So it’s not always not being able to check ID. Sometimes they reject your ID.

        On the plus side, where I am now no one checks ID. Swipe, sign, go. If I’m using a debit card, swipe, PIN, sign, go.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      What would you being doing where you don’t have any form of ID but have a credit card? Even if you don’t drive you should have a photo ID of some form.

      • FredKlein says:

        Um, none of your business. There is no requirement to carry ID with you, and plenty of reasons to not have one on you (lost, stolen, forgot at home, etc).

        • Gulliver says:

          And plenty of reasons for the merchant to not accept a card from any person who could have picked the card up off the street, stolen it from your wallet, or a bitter ex deciding to screw over their former partner. Merchant does something to protect themselves, and again Consumerist posters only care about themselves. If you don;t like it, take your business elsewhere. I suppose you will expect a law to stop this policy once VISA/AMEX/MC allow it.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      Wow – what a bunch of nay-saying responses to your comment.

      I often stick my credit card in my pocket when I go shopping, leaving my purse in the trunk of my car. My card – AxEx is still allowed to be used without ID, so I’m ok, but if they start requiring or allowing the merchants to require ID, I guess I’ll start carrying my purse with me.

      The reason I carry my card in my pocket, but not my driver’s license is because if my CC were to get lost (it’s never happened, but it could possibly), it’s easy to replace. A driver’s license is a PITB to get replaced.

      I would be irritated if I were to try to use my card and were told that I had to have ID if I weren’t given any notice about it before hand.

  3. Roy says:

    Sounds look it’s time to cancel all my cards except for the Discover.

    • Roy says:

      ‘look’ should be ‘like’

    • evnmorlo says:

      You deserve each other

    • phrekyos says:

      Time to keep all my cards except for the Discover. Oh wait, I don’t have a Discover card. Who does? (I certainly won’t want one now…)

    • dg says:

      Exactly what I was thinking. Besides the fact that Discover cards are virtually useless – accepted at just about as many locales as a “Diners” card… You can get cash back from Visa and Mastercards, so what’s the advantage of having a Discover card? That’s right – none.

      Now that they allow merchants to demand ID for a transaction that was approved, that’s one more nail in their coffin.

      If I lose my card(s) – I call the companies, have them turned off. So there’s no need for this “Paperz Pleaze!” bullshit…

      • jamar0303 says:

        Not quite. Depends where you travel. In China they have far better acceptance than any other card due to their agreement with the UnionPay network (and since as far as the Chinese merchant is concerned it IS a UnionPay card, UnionPay policies, or lack thereof, apply- no minimum, no ID check, just swipe, sign, go) and in Japan they’re about par with the others due to their link to JCB. In America they’re a little lacking, though, I won’t dispute that. Works for me while I’m going to college here- that’s my credit card and to complement that I have US and local bank accounts (the US account is only to funnel money over due to the many horror stories I hear- draw it out of an ATM, drop it into my local account as soon as I can due to the significantly better treatment I get here).

        • sweaterhogans says:

          I will have to say this is false. I just came back from Japan and even though Discover claims that any place with JCB will take Discover they don’t. I tried my card in several stores, and it never worked. Luckily we had a mastercard with us or it would’ve been a huge problem.

          • jamar0303 says:

            …so scratch Japan. I know I’ve seen shops directly displaying the Discover logo, but I actually used my Chinese debit cards there because of the special benefits I got for using them. But I can definitely say this works in China. I’ve surprised many a mom’n’pop shopkeeper by using it because they never thought that they could make transactions with foreign cards.

  4. c!tizen says:

    I’ve never been a fan of not having to show your ID when using a credit card. It’s got to be one of the easiest methods to counter credit card fraud out there. I purposefully mark my card “Check ID”.

    • Roy says:

      To most merchants this seems to mean ‘Just accept the card’ . Maybe now finally they have to start checking them.

    • jason in boston says:

      Remember, citizen, checking ID only helps the merchant. It doesn’t add any protection for you.

      • Ophelia says:

        But in the long run, it does help me – by helping keep costs down.

        When someone fraudulently uses my credit card, I call my credit card company, who removes the charge on my end. They don’t give a thing to the merchant, who is now out of their property and the money. The merchant in turn will pass that part of his cost of doing business on to me.

      • digital0verdose says:

        How does preventing someone from making a purchase under your name, when not authorized, not protecting you? Especially if it is a requirement for all vendors to do these checks.

        • LandruBek says:
          1. ID check is not a requirement. On the contrary, it’s forbidden at least by MasterCard, which has a website where you can report merchants who refuse a transaction without ID; and
          2. Under federal law, I have almost no liability for fraudulent purchases.
          • digital0verdose says:

            1. Apparently it is not forbidden by Discover.

            2. That isn’t the point. Dealing with the headache of missing money, calling to get things fixed and the general annoyance of being taken advantage of is offset, in my opinion, by a simple ID check.

      • Ophelia says:

        But in the long run, it does help me – by helping keep costs down.

        When someone fraudulently uses my credit card, I call my credit card company, who removes the charge on my end. They don’t give a thing to the merchant, who is now out of their property and the money. The merchant in turn will pass that part of his cost of doing business on to me.

      • DanRydell says:

        FYI, citizen, your liability for stolen cards is limited by law to $50. Forgiving that $50 is at the CC company’s discretion. Additionally, preventing credit card fraud benefits ALL OF US (except people who use stolen cards).

      • jenjenjen says:

        But it potentially prevents crooks from making a buck off the merchant/CC company. Why would I want to shrug off helping crooks, just because I’m not personally liable? That’s one of the reasons my go-to credit card for online stuff has the lowest possible credit limit that my bank offers. I know I won’t be liable for what a thief racks up, but why should I let them go to town on a high-value card?

    • dragonfire81 says:

      just make sure you are signing your name in addition to writing “Check ID”, otherwise your card is not valid.

    • desterion says:

      I’m sure that’s really going to stop a thief from just scratching off the part you wrote it on. Merchants aren’t supposed to take “voided” cards, but a vast majority of them simply don’t care.

      • c!tizen says:

        It’s not about stopping a thief, it’s about stopping a merchant from processing a transaction using my account information without my authorization. It’s more a peace of mind thing for me. I know I’m not responsible for fraudulent charges, but if it gives me even a little bit of a chance of not having to deal with the hassle of dealing with the bank because of those charges, I’m all for it.

        • atheos says:

          wow, you put a lot of trust in that minimum wage cashier that you’ve never met. Ask for my ID, I decline and go elsewhere. My card is signed as per the merchant agreement. They don’t need to have access to my personal information, in addition to my credit card information.
          Do you elect to give them your PIN numbers too, just in case?

    • athensguy says:

      I have never seen any evidence presented showing that requiring ID reduces credit card fraud. No one that advocates for it seems to present any. I don’t feel the need to shave even more of my privacy for unsubstantiated and likely false assertions.

  5. qbubbles says:

    Boohoo, show the damn card.

    • El Matarife says:

      I don’t understand what about this is absurd to people. Show your Id, it takes 3 seconds.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Don’t request my ID when it’s specifically demanded to be not required by a contractual agreement the merchants signed.

        0 seconds.

      • jamar0303 says:

        I did. The Chinese language seems to be beyond a lot of average shopkeepers in my US “home base”, though. Yes, I have a US ID. No, it is not leaving home when I am in the US because they’re so darn hard to replace (my passport proves my citizenship as well as identifies me, so when I lose it, what am I supposed to use to prove I am who I am and that I’m an American citizen? Yes, my Chinese DL says “America” in the “Nationality” field; now who’s going to take a laminated piece of cardstock as face value?).

    • Kryndar says:

      *Ahem* I don’t have the “damn” card. In Ontario, where I live, unless I am mistaken there is no general purpose ID card that is not a drivers licence. I don’t drive. I take the bus, bike, or walk. We have photo health cards, but they are not allowed to be used as ID. There is a card issued by our liquor control board but it states on the website that it is only for purchace of alchohol, and it is not issued to certain age groups in either case. I do have a passport but I am not going to take it everywhere and many people do not have a passport. There are situations where someone with a credit card would not have valid photo ID.

  6. jessjj347 says:

    What’s so bad about stores asking for ID? I don’t understand all of the resent …

    • craptastico says:

      some people are too self important to have to ever inconvenienve themselves for anything.

      • Duffin (Ain't This Kitty Cute?) says:

        If its inconvenient to keep my identity as my own, then so be it. I don’t know any of these people and have no idea what their intentions are, so I’m not trusting them with the opportunity.

        • TuxthePenguin says:

          If you are so concerned… use cash. Only cash.

          • AnonymousCoward says:

            Exactly. If someone’s that concerned about showing their id, they shouldn’t be using a credit card in the first place.

            • Duffin (Ain't This Kitty Cute?) says:

              So, because I don’t want to give a stranger my complete information, I’m not allowed to have the convenience of a debit card? That’s buil. I sign the card as required and have a PIN number. If I know the PIN number, then there’s no reason to see my ID. If I gave my PIN to a stranger, then I would have likely canceled the card to begin with, were it taken from me by force.

              • Brunette Bookworm says:

                But they don’t ask you for ID if it’s a debit card transaction with a PIN. (PIN stands for personal identification number so PIN number is redundant…just a pet peeve of mine.) A credit card transaction where you sign a slip or a screen is different.

    • Duffin (Ain't This Kitty Cute?) says:

      What’s so bad about showing the card? Because as soon as a person memorizes your credit card number, looks at the back for the Security Code and then has your address from the driver’s license, they can easily go on an online shopping spree and just have it shipped to a different address. I’ve read of plenty of times that this has happened.

      • jessjj347 says:

        So, would you “flash” the card to a clerk vs. giving it to them? I assume the potential identity thief couldn’t memorize all of the info with photographing each thing or writing the info down.

        To me, a clerk checking my ID is a prevention from ID theft in the case that someone steals my card.

        • Duffin (Ain't This Kitty Cute?) says:

          No, actually. There are people with perfect photographic memory that are able to memorize what’s on a card after seeing if for a few moments. They can easily write it down after a person leaves. If i knew the clerk was a person of integrity, I could see how checking would be a boon against ID theft, but i DON’T know that person. So, why should I trust them?

          • Kevtin says:

            I’m going to go out on a limb and say anyone with THAT good a photographic memory is not working the register at a Walmart.

          • maggiemerc says:

            But seriously. All they need is your name and credit card info. Your address can be found very easily on the internet.

            And some of us use PO boxes because the Post Office doesn’t deliver to our physical address. So showing our ID? Not really helping them to steal.

            • humphrmi says:

              A lot of states used to encode personal information in your state drivers license number, and others (like Illinois) used to print your SSN right on the license. I say used to, because most states have stopped. There might be a few left.

              So an adept thief could get your CC #, name, signature, SSN, birthdate, and possibly more information in one CC transaction – enough to get them a car loan in your name. There was outcry about it years ago, and I’m pretty sure most states stopped.

      • AnonymousCoward says:

        Except that isn’t actually how it works. Nobody “memorizes” the information from your credit card or id. If they have it long enough out of your sight, they could write the information down. Otherwise, they run the card through a skimmer, which reads the information from the magnetic strip. In neither case do they actually need your ID to have something useful. They just need the credit card.

      • Griking says:

        Most merchants won’t ship a purchase to an address that not the billing address on the card.

        • zxo says:

          Actually, I’ve yet to find one that doesn’t. The post office doesn’t deliver to my house, so I have a PO Box as my mailing/billing address, but my shipping address is my physical street name/number.

    • Dyscord says:

      It can be annoying in some cases.

      For instance, my elderly mother sent me shopping with her debit card a few years ago. For some reason, Wal-mart wanted to see my ID and since it was my mom’s card, that was a little difficult. In the end, I had to end up drawing cash out to make my purchase.

      So it can be pretty annoying in some special cases. However, if it’s your card and you have your id, then there isn’t much of a problem now is there? Most people have to show ID if they pay by check anyway.

      • AnonymousCoward says:

        But it *was* her card, and unless you’re on her account, you weren’t supposed to be using it. And if you are on the account, you should have your own card. Still not seeing a problem.

        • evnmorlo says:

          God forbid we do what we’re “not supposed to”. Getting added to someone’s account and waiting a few weeks for a card so you can buy groceries for them once is clearly so much more reasonable.

        • GrimJack says:

          Yeah, god forbid that a junkie/thief beats you up and takes your credit card and buys a bunch of stuff at the liquor store with it. I mean, it’s only a $50 max liability. Of course, if nobody cares that a stolen card is being used, then the perhaps the next person the junkie/thief targets won’t survive the robbery. If they know that they can use the stolen card – no questions asked – why would they hesitate to do it?

          Personally, I have no issue providing ID for a credit card transaction. If I wanted to be more anonymous, I’d use a debit card with a PIN, or if I wanted to be completely anonymous, I’d use cash.

    • MauriceCallidice says:

      What’s so bad about people not wanting to show ID? I don’t understand all the resent…

  7. km9v says:

    Jst shw th D dmb ss.

  8. jaya9581 says:

    Glad I don’t have a Discover. My mom does, but she never uses it for in-person purchases so it’s so it’s sort of a moot point. If Visa (the only card I do have) follows suit, it’ll be bye-bye Visa.

  9. jeffjohnvol says:

    Good.

  10. mxjohnson says:

    “unlike Visa and MasterCard, which do not permit merchants to check ID when the card is properly signed”

    Wait, is this Consumerist? Or The Onion?

    It doesn’t matter what the merchant agreement says about ID checks. Merchants do it, and Visa and MasterCard don’t care.

    • ahow628 says:

      I’ve recently been informed by both Visa and AMEX that it is “store policy” as to whether they require ID or not. Need to do some more checking.

      Hey Phil! Can you check into this? I called both within the past week.

  11. Rocket says:

    Who cares if they want to see ID? Show your ID, pay for your things, then go on with your day.

    • LandruBek says:

      Maybe you don’t care, but lots of other people care. My personal information is not their business, period. “For your protection” is a lame excuse: I refuse their protection, thank you kindly.

    • TasteyCat says:

      Exactly. If I don’t like a policy, I do business with another company. I don’t try to get said company in trouble so that I can then do business with them again. If they’ve lost my trust, it would be stupid of me to go back to them. Calling a credit card company to report a merchant? Seriously? Some people have too much time on their hands.

  12. quail says:

    For awhile American Express (maybe it was with the business accounts) required retailers to check the user’s ID. It happened to me for a couple of years at office supply stores and PC retailers when I used the card. Then one day it stopped.

    I don’t know why people are up in arms about not showing ID. It’s for your protection. Worried that the store will have your information? They have it once you use a credit card. That’s how Chico’s and Tuesday Morning knows to send my wife catalogs.

    And to the people who write “SEE ID” on their credit cards or who don’t sign them at all, don’t get upset if the retailer refuses your card. I’ve been to big retailers in NY City & downtown Chicago who’ve turned people away who hadn’t signed their cards. They’d rather lose your business than worry about losing thousands of dollars in merchandise.

    • Duffin (Ain't This Kitty Cute?) says:

      I’m not worried about the store having my information. I’m worried about the clerk being paid minimum wage looking at all information needed to steal my identity. Is it unlikely I will come across someone with the memorization skills needed? Perhaps, but am willing to take that risk? No. It can take almost a decade to get your life back in order once your identity is stolen.

      • Brunette Bookworm says:

        So you think all clerks being paid minimum wage are crooks? Nice.

        • Duffin (Ain't This Kitty Cute?) says:

          Yeah…pretty sure I didn’t say anything like that. Good job putting words in my mouth, though. As I said, I’m unwilling to take the risk that they may be crooks. Don’t see how that’s such a bad thing, really, to not put my full trust in people I don’t know.

          • Brunette Bookworm says:

            But yeah, you kind are saying that since you keep repeating that one of them may have a photographic memory and will write your info down. There’s not trusting someone you don’t know and being so paranoid you can’t function. If you are THAT worried about it, don’t have a credit card. The chance of a clerk doing that is much smaller than someone stealing your wallet and using the credit cards before you can report it as stolen. Granted, you aren’t liable for the charges for the most part.

            What did you do before the credit card scanners were on your side of the register and had to hand the card to the clerk?

          • Gulliver says:

            And they do not feel like risking you could be a crook. So you either play by the rules or shop elsewhere. Your choice. I am sure within three years you will be paying cash for everything because all merchants will make this their policy.

        • LandruBek says:

          Not at all! And I’d like for them not to assume I’m a crook, either.

          • Brunette Bookworm says:

            Ha! Wondered if some person would get that connection. I wonder how many people don’t want to show their ID to a clerk because they may be a crook but complain about being treated like a criminal when they have to show their receipt. How is okay to assume a clerk will steal your info but not okay for a company to assume someone could have stolen something?

      • LastError says:

        If you are that afraid, then you should never ever pay for anything by check. Your bank account number and routing info and name and address and phone (and sometimes SSN) are all printed right there on every check.

        And when you use a check, especially if it’s mailed in, you have NO idea who is seeing the check or writing down information from it. And when you pay in person, they scan the check (i.e. you are LETTING them copy the numbers off it) and hand it back, or they keep the check and you’ll never know how many back-office people at the store, the store’s armored car service, or the store’s bank might have access to your check before it ever gets back to your back to be paid.

        Checks are the real threat.

        • Griking says:

          Christ, if he’s that paranoid he probably shouldn’t even have a mailbox. Junk mail even comes with his address on it.

    • Delta1 says:

      “It’s for your protection.”

      What does it protect me from? If my card is skimmed and put on a blank, that blank will be embossed with a name that matches the thief’s ID. If my card is lost or stolen, I will report it and it will be useless. If a thief uses it before I can report it, the very act of using it will alert me that it has been stolen and I can cancel it–I will be legally liable for at most $50, and even that will be waived under the card issuer’s zero liability policy. If the thief uses it for a kiosk or card not present transaction, no one will check his or her ID anyway–and having my address from my license will actually help facilitate a card not present transaction.

      I really can’t think of a scenario in which this “protection” substantially benefits me, but I can easily think of scenarios where it places me at risk.

  13. Mike says:

    “Visa and MasterCard, which do not permit merchants to check ID when the card is properly signed”

    I hate it when a merchant looks at my signature as if they were a handwriting expert who could spot a forgery, give me a break.

    Check my ID, I am not paranoid about it like so many other people seem to be. Seriously, after reading the last story about ID checking and credit cards people seemed clinically paranoid about letting a cashier see their license.

  14. ShruggingGalt says:

    Again, the merchant agreements DO NOT forbid the checking of ID.

    If the merchant has reasonable suspicion that the cardholder is not the one presenting the card then they can check ID.

    Signature doesn’t match? Check ID.

    You sign your card “Check ID” : technically you have to either refuse the sale because the signature isn’t valid.

    Now for the dumb one: unsigned cards must be signed. And I think one of the majors doesn’t mention that you should make sure that the person signing the card is the cardholder.

  15. armour says:

    What things dose a person need to commit on line credit card fraud or to get more credit?

    1. Credit Card Number
    2 3-4 digit check number on the back of your card
    3. Your full Address

    I have been a victim of Identity theft years back when Future shop here in Canada required a copy of your ID when you bought items over $100 with a credit card.

    Having to show ID along with the CC that was just swiped will not give your more protection from credit card fraud! it makes it easier!

    There was a store in Toronto that was asking for ID credit cards for purchases over $100 the place was found with a modified card swiper and a web cam just below the counter.

    A store that need to see my ID for a credit card purchase doesn’t need my business.

    • Griking says:

      If I lose my wallet and its found by a scammer that’s familiar with forging documents and signatures then you’re right, asking for ID at the time of purchase isn’t going to help. However if my wallet is found by some young punk who decides that it’s his lucky day and that all his cigarettes and video games are free they’re probably not going to get a transaction approved if the clerk asks for ID and it doesn’t match the name on the card.

      • Avrus says:

        That’s not how credit card theft works. The way it works is they steal your card and head to big box stores to immediately purchase expensive items like electronics that they can then flip on the street for cash.

        When I was a retail sales manager the #1 way to stop credit card theft was to ask for ID. In all the time we did that for large purchases I only ever received one complaint. That complaint, ironically, was from an old guy who didn’t have a signature on his card which would actually not only require ID but when he declined to provide ID require us to hold the card.

        I’m a big anti-receipt checking guy but it’s very clear credit card companies don’t give a crap about what happens to you or your credit card. ID checking provides a layer of protection for me, and I’d prefer if retailers did it for high risk transactions.

        • flyingwolf says:

          It would require you to hold the card, I think not, that is theft of personal property.
          And when the truth comes out that it is my card not only will you be charged with theft but also with slander due to confiscating the card of a suspected thief and thereby damaging my reputation in your very public big box store.
          Deny the transaction, that is fine, but take my card, that belongs to me, and refuse to give it back upon request, that is theft.

  16. WagTheDog says:

    Discover permanently lost my business when they claimed, upon my divorce, that the credit card and credit history belonged solely to my ex. Negative impressions of a business can be so lasting.

    • msbask says:

      Were you a joint cardholder? Or just an authorized user? There’s a big difference.

      • WagTheDog says:

        Joint cardholder. Equally responsible for the debt. I was too busy at that time to make an issue of it, I basically permanently fired them instead.

  17. cryptique says:

    I have no problem with the ID thing. I wish it were required on all credit card purchases. Come to think of it, what happened to having a tiny photo of the cardholder on the card itself? Momentary passing fad?

    • camman68 says:

      Do you really “wish it were required on all credit card purchases”? You must not “pay at the pump”.

      Most of my debit card use is for fuel purchases. It is annoying that I can fill up my work truck for $100 without showing ID, but if I want an Ice Tea and bag of chips for $2.00, the same store requires my I.D.

  18. KyBash says:

    For years I carried an ID a salesman made for me to demonstrate his company’s badge system. It had my photo, a generic address, a mock thumbprint, and it listed supposed security clearances. Everyone accepted it when I was using a charge card, cashing checks, or renting a car.

    If you’re averse to showing someone your real driver’s license, why not just mock up something that has no more information than they get from your CC? Anyone with a computer can do it in a few minutes with just a digital photo of yourself and a simple, free word processing or graphics program.

  19. MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

    Does Home Depot accept Discover Cards? I would think that they would take two live chickens than that fly-by-night credit card. Perhaps a jar of pennies that’s value is less than that of the Home Depot bill.

  20. Extended-Warranty says:

    Cashiers have photogenic memories to memorize your name, address, zip code, full account number, expiration date, and 3 digit code on the back within 2 seconds. Everyone knows that.

    If you’re scared about identity theft, then DO NOT USE A CREDIT CARD. Most store management can pull up a sale and see all of your payment information. Skimmers can steal everything with no effort. Tracking these days has everything down to a T. Remember the stolen CCs from TJMaxx?

    • Lucky225 says:

      No, but cashiers DO carry skimmers and hid cameras in their shirt that record the photo ID to obtain your billing address. There was a news story on this not to long ago.

  21. bigd738778 says:

    Back of all of my credit cards are marked C.I.D., which means Check I.D.. People who sign the back of the cards are not very smart and could help prevent alot of theft for what little inconvience showing an I.D. is. I already have my wallet open and present I.D. with every purchase, even when not asked, because its a small step to stop identity theft. I’ve can never understand why people love to bitch about small things like they do.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      You know that makes the card invalid, correct? You HAVE to have signed it for it to be a valid card. Most places don’t care but some, like the post office, are sticklers for it.

  22. Delta1 says:

    “Required” is not the same thing as “at the merchant’s discretion.” I had this conversation with Discover months ago, and learned they allowed ID checks at the merchant’s discretion. I told them I showed my ID at my discretion, and would not complete a transaction requiring an ID for credit card use unless it was absolutely necessary, and then I would never patronize that merchant again. ID checks do nothing to protect me from credit card fraud; I already have zero liability. They might protect Discover and/or their merchants; that is up for debate. They do expose me to greater risk of ID theft and burglary; that is a fact. I will not assume greater risk to protect merchants and my card issuer.

  23. TheSDBrat says:

    Having had my purse stolen for the first time in my 52 years, im EXTREMELY grateful for my safe keeping credit card practices. I NEVER EVER “sign” my credit cards, but in indelible ink i write ASK 4 ID. The chances that the thief has MY name and photo id are remote. To further thwart criminals, my credit cards only have my 1st and middle initial as well as my full last name, but i always sign my full name on purchases. I was able to limit the thiefs purchase to gas, as it was a POS sale and not one that required id, like high ticket items. After they tried to use it at 3 different places for high ticket items, the card got confiscated.

    • Lucky225 says:

      The chances that a theif can make a photo ID with their signature and bypass your ask4ID – A LOT. The chances the theif has YOUR EXACT signature should you choose to sign the card as required by your cardholder agreement – zero.

  24. Lucky225 says:

    I just pwn3d Wendys on this last night. I ordered 5 combo meals, drive-thru, they tried to ask me for ID. I told them calmly that the back of the card was signed, that my ID does not match my card as I changed my name through marriage and have not requested a new card in the new name yet, and that if they don’t want those 5 combo meals I know they already prepared and made to go to waste, they might as well take my card and compare the signatures as they’re supposed to do anyways. Amazingly they decided this was in their best interest.

  25. spamtasticus says:

    Remember that statement when the clerk takes a digital picture of your Drivers License and the Credit Card behind the counter and completely rapes your identity. Even if they don’t swipe it and end up with your social security number and digital fingerprint off the mag stripe

    • ScarletAnn says:

      Why are you letting the clerk handle your id? You just show it to them, if they want to handle it then you can get all spastic about it.

      If your SS number and digital fingerprint is actually in your mag stripe, and I don’t think it is, since mag strips can’t hold much data its encrypted. Merchants wouldn’t be able to read it.

  26. ScarletAnn says:

    I wouldn’t get too excited about merchants checking ID. When I worked at an office that bordered the city of Detroit every store in that area checked ID when using a credit card. No surprise since these stores have the highest rates of theft and fraud in the country. I had no issues with showing ID.

    I kept my drivers licensee in one of those wallet windows and the once clear plastic had long frosted over and was obscured with dirt and scratches. All the clerks would do is glace at the name and that was that. Never once did they ask me to remove my ID for a closer look, even for a laptop purchase at Best Buy.

    As an experiment I made an extremely poor quality color copy, 150 dpi, of my license and printed it out on plain old copy paper with an ancient ink jet. I slipped my real license behind so I could pull it should I need for someone with real authority.

    The copy wouldn’t have fooled a 5 year old but it never caused failed on a store clerk. I guess checking ID might hinder the opportunist card thief but beyond that its not going to do much.

    • Lucky225 says:

      By reasons of your own statements, Checking ID is a fail. 1) Highest fraud rate, yet all stores checked ID. 2) When asked for ID you basically showed a very poor quality fake behind a wallet window and still got away with your purchases.. imagine an ID theif who just did the same thing using his ID whiteing out his name and typing the name on YOUR Card he just stole… hrmm and you wonder why such a high fraud rate? Now let’s imagine the clerks instead checked to see if the cards were signed and if the signatures matched, and if they didn’t match in their opinion made a code 10 call.. what do you think the fraud rate would be then?

  27. sopmodm14 says:

    if its too discourage identity theft, i’m all for it

    either that, or a photo id should be required by law on all credit/debit cards

    (no one raises an eyebrow b/c its on our driver’s license, yet, our most important number, social security, doesn’t require a photo id)

  28. aleck says:

    Why refusing to show your ID such as “sacred” part of the merchant agreement? Still don’t get it.

  29. tehbob says:

    if you are so damn worried about someone stealing your identity, why are you using a credit card? use a debit card or cash so you dont have to show/give the merchant anything

    • kenskreations says:

      Never, never use a debit card. If this account is stolen, your whole balance is gone. And the best way to save/get money is to use a card that gives you money back and pay off your bill every month. I use cards that do this. I have a report at the end of each month showing me what I spent and where I spent it. My wife is doing the same thing and we each write out one check a month to pay it off. Book keeping is easy and we save some money because of cash back. Over a period of a year, it does add up. And it keeps us safe if this account is stolen or hacked. Cash? I do keep cash in hand but it’s limited to very small purchases. Even at one percent cashback. if you spend $1000 a month, you get $120 a year back. That’s dinner and an evening out at no expense (and that gets put on the card).

      • jesirose says:

        Really? You find a PIN somehow less secure than a signature? Explain how if someone steals my debit card, they can empty my account.

  30. Mclick says:

    Why do people get so upset about showing their ID, is it honestly that hard to pull out? You already reached in your wallet for you credit card.

    My mother inlaw had her purse stolen from work and a man was able to make a few purchases at a local drug store without anyone looking for ID. Had they asked they would have realized pretty quick the card was stolen. The credit card companies are on the hook for the stolen goods but as far as I am concerned they should also pass a portion of that off to merchants that make no attempt to at least ask for identification. Now with all the new chip cards, there will likely be less ID checking anyhow.

  31. kenskreations says:

    Ever hear of stolen credit cards? This would prevent people from using them when they shop. I for one, have written on the back of all my cards “Photo ID required”. Since I remove the card from my wallet to pay, my ID is right there making this a no hassle item. No my ID does not leave the wallet. When I come across anyone who doesn’t even look on the back of the card or who does look and then proceeds anyway, I make a complaint to management of them not doing their job. If they do ask for ID, I thank them and show it to them. Most of the people will ask if it’s written down. Sorry if it’s harder for you to do it, but it’s a lot safer for me. Do the credit cards people have the right to require this? If it’s in their agreement it is. It does help reduce their loss when someone reports their card is lost or stolen.

  32. dougp26364 says:

    What’s the big deal with showing someone your ID? If they take down information or try to swipe/record the magnetic strip sure, I can see and issue. But it’s just an ID. Why worry about proving who you are?

  33. BATL says:

    Can merchants have a rule that requires ID for “non-cash” purchases above a certain amount? (i.e. not because you are paying with a card, but because of the $ amount of the purchase)

  34. DanGarion says:

    Good, sounds like a reasonable request if you want to use their money to purchase something for yourself.

  35. somegraphx says:

    I guess I don’t understand the whole, “I won’t show ID because it is my right.” I used to be in retail and saw so much credit card abuse. I learned (and suggested to customers) to sign my credit card with “Ask for ID” and was mad when cashiers DIDN’T ask to see ID. Now I thank them BECAUSE they ask. Many customers said they left the back of the signature blank so the cashier would ask for ID, but I explained that the thief could sign it and then the signatures would match. Additionally, most thieves can, in about 5 seconds, practice a signature on a credit card and match it enough that no one questions it. Heck, my husband’s signed my name IN his own handwriting and no one’s said anything.

    Before I’d changed my credit card, they had been stolen and it was SUCH a pain clearing up my credit even though I called the credit card companies right away. Five years after the incident, I was trying to fix my credit report in order to buy a house.

    Show your damn ID. What’s the big deal? If you signatures (and photo) match, it’s you. YOU and the store are protected from theft. If the photo doesn’t match, YOU and the store are protected from theft.