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should I use my full first name or first initial on my credit card?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:42 pm
by A Boglehead
Do you know whether it's better to use my full first and last name, or first initial and last name, on my credit card?

I'm concerned about identity theft and privacy.

Thank you.

Re: should I use my full first name or first initial on my credit card?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:46 pm
by ThankYouJack
Not sure. But having texts alerts every time your card is used can be reassuring because you'll notice fraudulent activity immediately. Same with your bank account. And freezing your credit to help prevent against ID theft.

Re: should I use my full first name or first initial on my credit card?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:08 pm
by RickBoglehead
It's irrelevant. Use whatever you want.

Re: should I use my full first name or first initial on my credit card?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:16 pm
by IMO
ThankYouJack wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:46 pm
Not sure. But having texts alerts every time your card is used can be reassuring because you'll notice fraudulent activity immediately. Same with your bank account. And freezing your credit to help prevent against ID theft.
Agreed.

There could be some benefit of not putting your full name because it may be harder to find out your home location on an internet search if there are other with similar names/initials.

Another thing that is smart is to mark out the CVV 3 digit code on the back of your card (Memorize it).

When it comes to stolen online credit card purchases, seems the 3 digit code is key, as well as the BILLING address. Take away the 3 digit code and making it harder to internet search/look up your billing address would make it harder for the person who takes a quick photo of your credit card (for example, a waiter taking your card away from your physical presence) and then goes home and tries to order stuff on-line.

Re: should I use my full first name or first initial on my credit card?

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:38 am
by NMBob
I would be concerned about making sure the card worked. If you use it for online purchasing, then the single initial doesn't match your actual name and once in a while on certain online forms, maybe you have trouble using the card. I went through a somewhat similar goat rope once with a middle initial.

Re: should I use my full first name or first initial on my credit card?

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:07 am
by Trism
How would putting your first initial on a credit card instead of your first name help protect your privacy?

Re: should I use my full first name or first initial on my credit card?

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:03 am
by nisiprius
Trism wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:07 am
How would putting your first initial on a credit card instead of your first name help protect your privacy?
According to whitepages.com, there are 222 people matching "J. Bogle" in Pennsylvania, and only 44 matching "John Bogle." I'm not sure what the scenario is, but supplying only a first initial means you have supplied less of a clue to your full personal identity. It also makes it harder to determine gender identity, which is of interest to those who may not wish strangers to know their gender identity.

Re: should I use my full first name or first initial on my credit card?

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:15 am
by Trism
nisiprius wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:03 am
Trism wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:07 am
How would putting your first initial on a credit card instead of your first name help protect your privacy?
According to whitepages.com, there are 222 people matching "J. Bogle" in Pennsylvania, and only 44 matching "John Bogle." I'm not sure what the scenario is, but supplying only a first initial means you have supplied less of a clue to your full personal identity. It also makes it harder to determine gender identity, which is of interest to those who may not wish strangers to know their gender identity.
I understand the premise, but my question was based on the same observation as you just made.

We are slipping into tin foil hat territory.

Re: should I use my full first name or first initial on my credit card?

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:36 am
by HueyLD
Trism wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:07 am
How would putting your first initial on a credit card instead of your first name help protect your privacy?
Exactly! In this day and age, you only needs to google yourself and you will see all kinds of personal information on yourself, your neighbors, etc. In fact, I googled myself recently just to see if anything funny showed up. In the process, I got a lot of personal information on my neighbors.

And it also showed my full name, first initial + last name and a cople of other variations of my name. There is very little privacy nowadays.

Re: should I use my full first name or first initial on my credit card?

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:59 am
by Stinky
ThankYouJack wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:46 pm
Not sure. But having texts alerts every time your card is used can be reassuring because you'll notice fraudulent activity immediately. Same with your bank account. And freezing your credit to help prevent against ID theft.
This ^^^

Most credit cards have the ability to send notifications, emails, and/or texts whenever a charge is made on the card. If you pay attention to your phone, you'll know instantly if your card is being (mis)used, and you can take appropriate action as needed.

Re: should I use my full first name or first initial on my credit card?

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:43 pm
by A Boglehead
Thank you all!

It sounds like using my first initial and last name on my credit card is more private, because it'll be harder for others to find my address online, as well as identify my gender.

Re: should I use my full first name or first initial on my credit card?

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:46 pm
by GoldStar
A Boglehead wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:43 pm
Thank you all!

It sounds like using my first initial and last name on my credit card is more private, because it'll be harder for others to find my address online, as well as identify my gender.
It also allows more people to more easily use your credit card if stolen. I use my first name, middle initial, and last name on mine - if a vendor has trouble with an order I placed - I'd also rather make it easier for them to get a hold of me versus harder.

What scenarios do you think providing less information is better?

Re: should I use my full first name or first initial on my credit card?

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:49 pm
by GoldStar
Trism wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:15 am
nisiprius wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:03 am
Trism wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:07 am
How would putting your first initial on a credit card instead of your first name help protect your privacy?
According to whitepages.com, there are 222 people matching "J. Bogle" in Pennsylvania, and only 44 matching "John Bogle." I'm not sure what the scenario is, but supplying only a first initial means you have supplied less of a clue to your full personal identity. It also makes it harder to determine gender identity, which is of interest to those who may not wish strangers to know their gender identity.
I understand the premise, but my question was based on the same observation as you just made.

We are slipping into tin foil hat territory.
I don't understand the premise - I'd rather my credit card be MORE specific to me than less. Why is it beneficial for 222 people to match a credit card versus 44? Why do you want your credit card to be gender non-specific? So that each gender has an equal opportunity to use your credit card if lost?

I guess I'm missing some point here....