You may search for hours online, rate shop on multiple sites, and select the perfect things to buy. But all that effort could go to waste if you don’t have a credit card ZIP Code.
Below, we look at what it is, why it is needed, and how to use credit card without ZIP code.
What Is a Postal ZIP Code for a Credit Card?
A credit card’s ZIP Code is a geographical identifier that helps to locate your billing address.
In most cases, the cardholder provides this information, among other details, while applying for one.
It is generally required during online purchases due to security reasons.
Since the code is not written on the card, someone who has hacked your details might find it hard to guess.
Hence, this detail helps reduce the risk of fraudulent purchases.
How to Use Credit Card Without ZIP Code (3 Ways)
A credit card postal code is required for all online purchases.
As explained above, every website, app, or shopping portal will need you to enter this detail to confirm the transaction.
Here are a few things to do if you don’t have the right information.
Try to Guess It
In many cases, it is fairly easy to figure out what the code is. For example, it could be the one for your home or office address.
Start with your current residential postal code.
Unless you have moved to a different location after applying for the card, it will likely be this.
However, if it doesn’t work, the website might show an invalid ZIP Code error.
For those who move a lot or live in rentals, it may be more difficult.
Sometimes, even after updating your bank, it may take a few days to register the correct details on their files.
Think of the previous apartment where you lived – you might try that one instead.
If none of these work, try the office address ZIP Code for your current place of work.
It might be possible that the card got issued to an office address, especially if you were between places.
However, be mindful that entering several ZIP Codes incorrectly might get your card blocked.
Postal code information is not mandatory when making an in-person purchase.
If you are at a store like Walmart or Target, and the card machine asks for it, you can skip the question.
On some machines, however, that option might not be available.
For such cases, just enter any valid ZIP Code and continue with the purchase.
The information will not be verified anywhere.
Use Your Parent’s ZIP Code
If you are a young adult (under 21) living in a shared accommodation, you might not have a ZIP Code to provide when applying for a card.
In such cases, many people use a parent or guardian’s information instead.
This can help you get around the requirement.
However, make sure to get the details updated once you arrange for a more permanent residence.
Where Can I Use My Credit Card Without a Billing Address?
A billing address is not required when using your credit card for offline transactions.
However, this detail is needed for almost all online purchases.
The address is another piece of information that helps reduce credit card fraud.
The major companies (Visa/MasterCard/American Express) use a system known as Address Verification Service (AVS).
It compares the details provided on file against those on the website.
If there is a discrepancy, the transaction will not go through.
Are There Stores that Don’t Require a Billing Address?
As mentioned earlier, a billing address is not required for offline transactions.
Almost no major physical store requires the information to be entered. This includes Walmart, Tesco, CVS, Walgreens, Best Buy, and several others.
When using credit cards in a store, the burden of preventing theft is on the cardholder.
They should ensure that their physical cards are kept safe from unscrupulous elements at all times.
For digital purchases, however, there is a higher risk due to the possibility of online theft of the cardholder’s identity.
But when shopping offline, a customer must present their physical card to make a transaction.
Therefore, it is very difficult to commit fraud in such cases.
Moreover, retailers prefer not to ask for these details because it will significantly slow down their transactions.
Hence offline shopping can easily be done without a ZIP Code or billing address.
What If the Billing Address Doesn’t Match the Card?
When entering the details for an online purchase, the billing address must match the one available with the credit card company.
If it does not, the transaction will be declined. You might be asked to provide the details again.
After multiple incorrect entries, the card may get blocked, and you will be required to talk to customer care for further processing.
This is why it may not be a good idea to try guessing the detail too many times.
As mentioned earlier, the AVS system will compare the provided details.
The information needs to exactly match what was shared at the time of applying for your card.
In the next section, we discuss how to find the right ZIP Code and billing address.
How to Find Credit Card ZIP Code?
You can find the ZIP Code either on your credit card statement, in your online account, or by calling up customer care.
For the last option, you will most likely have to also answer some security questions.
The easiest method is to look at the credit card or bank account statement.
It usually carries your billing address and ZIP Code right at the top before the monthly transaction statements.
If the card issuer has provided you with an online account, you might also find your ZIP Code there.
Most likely, it would be under the profile section.
Calling customer care and asking for the ZIP Code might look slightly suspicious.
To confirm your identity, the executive will most likely check other details, such as your date of birth and current balance.
Some banks also set up specific security questions when they issue a new card.
The customers are required to provide answers to them so that they can be used later in such cases.
If this is the case, the customer care person will likely confirm the answer to those questions with you.
If all else fails, you might have to visit the issuer bank branch.
They can verify that you are not a credit card thief through documentation such as social security or other financial proof.
After that, they might choose to either provide you with the correct credit or debit card ZIP Code or else issue a new one altogether.
How to Use Credit Card Without ZIP Code: Final Thoughts
A credit card’s billing address and ZIP Code are important pieces of information.
They are needed to verify that the rightful cardholder is making purchases.
Credit card companies use an AVS system to compare it with the details they have on record.
If you don’t remember the right information, there are a few options available.
You might guess it to be either your current or past home details or office address.
Another idea might be to try and make the purchase offline, where these details are not required.
For online payments, you will eventually need to have the right answers.
You can check the billing statements, the card’s online portal, or call up customer care to find it out.
Visiting the bank might be one final option if all else fails. They can help discover the correct ZIP Code after verifying your identity.