Credit Card Routing Number: How Do You Find It?

Credit Card Routing Number

A credit card doesn’t have routing numbers because they don’t need them. Routing numbers are only needed when transferring funds between saving, investment, or checking accounts. But, it has security features like expiration date plus three security codes found on the back of the card.

It’s understandable where the misconception regarding credit cards having routine numbers comes from. Credit cards have account numbers that are usually 16 digit numbers placed either on the front side of your credit card or their backside.  So, a credit card account number serves as the routing number and account number in a single number. 

At the same time, other modern cards don’t list any numbers on the card itself. They opt to provide the customer with that information through an app. These credit card account numbers act as the link between the cardholder and the credit card issuer.

Do Credit Cards Have Routing Numbers?

Credit cards are a different product from other banks’ products altogether. Those unfamiliar with each type of banking solution usually ask whether or not credit cards have routing numbers.  But, credit cards don’t have routing numbers since they aren’t needed. Again, you may ask why you have to connect it to an account number and what makes a routing number special?

The only scenario where you may need a routing number for your credit card is when setting up a credit card as a payment method. 

Suppose you set up the payment method to transfer funds from your saving or checking account to your credit card. They may ask for a routing number of your deposit account, i.e., savings or checking to transfer money from your deposit account to pay the credit card. Remember your credit card does not have a routing number for a pure reason. It is kind of a loaning facility that does not rely on routing in any transaction. 

What Is A Routing Number?

A routing number is a nine number used to identify a financial institution or bank in the US.  It’s an essential piece of information, especially when clearing funds for online transfers or processing checks. They serve as the electronic address of a particular bank, and it’s used for both domestic and international wires.

A clearinghouse relies more on the routing number to process your financial transactions accurately. In the absence of a routing number, the online banking functionality will be unable to function.

Although not all financial institutions have a routing number, the state-chartered and federally chartered banks are the only ones eligible to maintain an account at the federal reserve banks, which issues routing numbers.  The routing number was first established by the American Bank Association in 1910. So, it has been in use for more than a century now.

A routing number plays a crucial role in any wire transfer. Please note there is no physical currency that moves across the bank when such transfer is made. It’s only the information that transmits from one bank to the other. For that reason, you must have the correct routing number for a transaction to go through without issues.

The direct deposit of money by the employers that pay employees uses a routing number. They are also used for income tax refunds from the internal revenue services.

Sometimes routing numbers are not referred to as such since they have other terms which the industry uses. These unique nine-digit numbers can be referred to as routing transit numbers or ABA numbers. ABA stands for American Bankers Association. A mere fact that ABA was the one that established routing numbers in early 1910.

Why Don’t Your Credit Cards Have A Routing Number?

Well, the purpose of a credit card isn’t to do direct deposits or send wire transfers. Whenever a customer uses a credit card, they don’t use their own money for a purchase. Instead, it’s the bank that grants them specific credit limits which they can utilize each month.

If the card is used for a particular payment, it’s your bank that pays off the merchant fully. As a credit cardholder, you don’t need to pay the bank immediately. You will need to pay only when the billing cycle comes around to cover up the money already paid on your behalf by the bank.

For such a transaction, the routing number isn’t needed. A credit card payment settlement is different from wire transfers and direct deposits since they don’t rely on a routing number to process the transactions. In short, this is the main reason why credit cards lack routing numbers.

Uses Of Credit Card Numbers

Each credit card has a 16-digit number that contains essential information for processing payment. As stated earlier, credit card numbers don’t contain routing numbers, although they have crucial information that makes processing payment easier. Here is the vital information regarding the card numbers;

The First Number: The first digit of the card number identifies the type of the card. If the card number starts with three, it’s an American Express card, whereas Visa cards start with number four. On the other hand, MasterCard starts with the number five while Discover starts with the number six.

The Following 6-8 Digits: The next six to eight numbers are known as the issuer identification numbers (IIN) or bank identification numbers (BIN). They are used when identifying the financial institution that issued the credit card. 

Remaining Digits: The other remaining digits are unique to each cardholder. Those numbers are meant to identify the customer’s particular credit account at the financial institution. The card issuer selects them to signify your account number.

How To Find Your Bank Routing Number?

There are several ways you can use easily find your routing number quickly. Some of these methods are;

Your Checks: Look at the bottom lower-left corner in any of your checks. The nine-digit is your routing number. In comparison, the number to the right of your routing number is your checking account number. Be very keen not to confuse these numbers as it will lead to a delay in your deposit or payment.

Bank Statements:  Check your latest bank statements; several banks typically list the ABA routing number as part of the account information. These statements are sent by the bank each month through paperless electronic statements or mail.

Bank Websites:  Several banks list their routing number on their websites. Please note some banks have more than one routing number. In contrast, some have different routing numbers for Automated Clearing House (ACH)or wire transfers transactions. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the kind of transactions you deal with before getting the routing number. You’ll also find that these big national banks have different routing numbers for various states.

Calling Your Bank: If you are unsure about your bank’s routing number, you can contact the bank’s customer service. Then ask the staff to confirm the correct routing number.

Check The ABA Online Lookup Tool: There is a free ABA Routing Number Lookup Tool on the website to check the routing numbers for different banks. But, you’re limited to use this tool to search for only two routing numbers a day and a maximum of 10 per month.

Googling It: Key in the name of the financial institution plus routing number. There are high chances that the ABA number will pop into the search results.

Difference Between ABA And ACH Routing Number

ACH routing numbers apply to electronic withdrawals and transfers, whereas ABA routing numbers apply to a paper check. Nonetheless, some banks nowadays use similar routing numbers for both. But, it’s not uncommon to see different ACH and ABA routing numbers for the regional lending institution.

Sometimes ABA routing numbers are referred to as the “check routing number” while ACH routing is the “number for electronic transfers” or “electronic routing number.” In cases where only one number is cited, the ACH and ABA routing numbers may be similar. You can always phone your bank to confirm the same. 

Difference Between Routing Number And Account Number

The routing number identifies a specific bank, while the account number identifies the personal account number. Generally, the routing number is the first nine-digit number in your check found at the bottom left corner. The number is followed closely by the account number, which is unique to you.

Final Thoughts!

Bank routing numbers are not things that some of us think about regularly in our daily banking transactions, although they serve a significant purpose. These nine-digit numbers are very crucial as it helps the bank identify one another, avoid errors plus delays and build trust in the banking system. It also ensures people’s deposits and payments go to the right accounts.

If you’ve never used your routing number before, keeping it in a secure and accessible place will be good. You might need it in the future. Although the bank ABA routing number is public information, your account number and credit card details aren’t. So, it’s advisable not to share them unless it’s indispensable to avoid possible fraud.

Last Updated on August 18, 2021 by Musa D

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