Unsigned Credit Cards Are Not Valid And Merchants Can And Will Refuse To Accept Them

For some reason, we are (literally) getting one angry letter a day about the United States Post Office refusing to accept unsigned credit cards.

If you are one of those people who refuses to sign your credit card, be aware that it is invalid and merchants can and will refuse to accept it.

Unless your name is “Check ID,” that’s not a valid signature. End of story. Sorry.

Here’s Mastercard’s policy:

If the card is not signed, the card acceptor must:

  • obtain an authorization from the issuer, and
  • ask the cardholder to provide identification (but not record the cardholder identification information), and require the cardholder to sign the card.
    The card acceptor must not complete the transaction if the cardholder refuses
    to sign the card.

  • Here’s Visa’s policy:

    If the card has a “See ID” in place of a signature…
    Request a signature. Ask the cardholder to sign the card and provide current government identification, such as a driver’s license or passport (if local law permits).
    Check the signature. Be sure that the signature on the card matches the one on the transaction receipt and the additional identification.
    If the signatures appear reasonably the same and the authorization request is approved, go ahead and complete the transaction.

    So, feel free to write “See ID” on your cards, but you do need to sign them.
    Dealing With Unsigned Cards [Visa]
    Merchant Manual [Mastercard]