When you go shopping or dine out after March 2018, don’t expect a request for your autograph. And don’t expect the merchant to flip the card and verify your signature. This practice is about to become obsolete—officially.
Thanks to advances in fraud-fighting technology like chip and pin and biometric prototypes (yes—you may soon be using your fingerprint at the register), card issuers have found actual signatures superfluous for fighting fraud in credit card transactions.
Over the last two years, several credit card companies already stopped requiring signatures for purchases under $50. But, now, three major card issuers, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express, have taken the leap to eliminate signature requirements altogether by April 2018. There’s nothing that you, the consumer, needs to do or change. No massive card reissue is planned—just continue to use you current card as usual. If you happen to be one of the final people yet to convert to a card with a chip, we suggest doing so now.
At press time, Visa-branded cards will still retain a signature requirement (though we believe this will change soon). So this means that holders of the Citi Prestige® Card, Gold Card from American Express, Mastercard® Black Card™, Mastercard® Gold Card™, Mastercard® Titanium Card™, Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, and The Platinum Card® from American Express get to move into the future while holders of the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, Chase Sapphire Reserve℠, and U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card will have to live in the past—for the time being at least.
Credit card companies believe that eliminating the signature requirement will facilitate and speed up the check-out process for both customers and merchants without compromising consumer security.
No word yet on how this evolution will ultimately change the aesthetic of future credit cards as the signature panel has forever been the defining feature of the card’s backside.