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Amex Good, Hostgator Bad

I love my American Express card. I have the platinum one thanks to Todd, which has a lot of cool benefits like being able to go into airport lounges and such.

However, they always seem to freeze my account when I travel. Last year, when I went to Tokyo, Todd and I ate at a baller Kobe beef restaurant in Kobe. We went to pay and both of our Amexes got declined. Ouch.

We called from a payphone across from the restaurant and they finally fixed it.

What Type of Credit Card?

On DROdio

Two things strike me about the "what type of credit card" (followed by the inevitable dropdown Visa / MC / Amex / Discover) question we always get on website checkouts:

1) The law of unintended consequences

2) Developers sometimes are lemmings

The reality is, the question"what type of credit card" happened because one programmer somewhere put that into his shopping cart code, and someone copied his code/layout, and then someone copied this code, and before you know it, everyone's asking that question. Hence, the law of unintended consequences.

The irony is, this question is irrelevant! Here's what most people don't know: If a credit card starts with the digit "3" then it's always Amex. If it starts with "4" it's always Visa. "5" is always MasterCard and "6" is always Discover. So if programmers just put a little extra effort into their shopping cart code, they could easily discern what type of card it is. For example, a card that starts with "3715" will be Amex, "4024" will be Visa, etc.

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