When presenting a select list for the credit card expiration month on a form, is it good practice to include the month name in the select list? Or is it better to just put the month number?

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Any thoughts, opinions, resources and guidance are appreciated.

  • 3
    I'm all for it if typing either "8" or "A" auto-complete's me to August. ;-) Commented Nov 3, 2010 at 20:39
  • hello please give me any sample code for birthday dropdown ..
    – Bajaj
    Commented Oct 2, 2013 at 6:18

7 Answers 7


I have cards with the month as a number and ones with a name. (I'm from the UK)

It annoys me that I have to think about converting between numbers and names on a web site.

I much prefer it when the box has both numbers and month.

  • 1
    I have accepted your answer because I think it would have the most usability to most people internationally. We have a product that sells in several countries.
    – jessegavin
    Commented Nov 4, 2010 at 19:03

What I see in your screen capture is a little confusing. It looks like it's saying "August 8, 2010". So I wouldn't mix number with word.

Based on the two cards I have in my wallet right now, the format is either:


I'm not sure if this is standardized, but if it is, it's probably a good idea to match what's actually printed on cards.

  • 2
    Guess: you live in America, the States to be more specific? Format MM/DD/YY is not typical outside of the States... Commented Nov 4, 2010 at 7:00
  • +1 for matching what's printed on the card, sadly there is most likely a cultural difference... I've only seen MM/YY myself and I tend to use my VISA for buying stuff from all around the world (Europe, Asia and America anyway) and hence that's how I want to enter it... Commented Nov 4, 2010 at 10:28
  • @Oskar Duveborn: At least in Japan, the expiry date is MM/YY on Visa credit card, even though we use the YY/MM order in Japanese text. Commented Nov 4, 2010 at 13:05

If there's no label designating it as a month list, I would include the name in the list item. I frequently encounter forms that don't label them and use only numbers and I never know if the first one is day or month until I click in the box. That applies more to date selectors with three dropdowns, but I like to know what an element is without thinking about it.

Also, for credit card dropdowns, the most common way people are asked about expiration dates (and the way it is represented on the card) is MM/YY in number form, so I would match that as closely as possible. The way you have it now does that because they can enter the number they're looking at on the card and it works.

As an alternative, you could do just text boxes which I prefer as a user because it's less clicking.

  • I actually prefer using text boxes too. I seem to recall a particular brand of credit card which uses actual month names on it, but I can't verify that.
    – jessegavin
    Commented Nov 3, 2010 at 20:56

Paypal, Amazon, and Newegg all do not show the month name, only the numbers.

So it would seem the de-facto standard is not to include the month name.

I'm not saying this is the best way, just that big internet retailers seem not to.

  • 2
    Just because they all do it wrong doesn't make it right ;) Commented Nov 3, 2010 at 20:51
  • If Paypal, Amazon and Newegg all jumped off a bridge would you do the same?! J.K. That's a good answer. +1
    – jessegavin
    Commented Nov 3, 2010 at 20:51
  • lol. ok, i'll edit to clarify. Commented Nov 3, 2010 at 20:52

When asked to enter expiration date, users usually look at their card, where MM/YY format is used. Or they recall it from memory also in this format. So I would use MM/YY - 2 select lists.


Use both the month number and name but do not include leading zeros in the month number.


8 - August

and not

08 - August

The reason for excluding the leading 0 is that keyboard autoselect from the drop-down won't work. With the leading 8, the user will be able to select the correct month by pressing the '8' key, with a leading 0 this will be ineffective since 9 out of 12 months will have 0 in them.

Including both August and 8 will provide an easy way for users to verify they have selected the right month.

  • 1
    I see your point here. But @DanM raises a really good point that some users would take that to mean "August 8th". Since most cards tend to format their months with a leading zero, I would want to keep it. I could possibly create a JavaScript solution to achieve what you propose which would allow most people to type the month.
    – jessegavin
    Commented Nov 7, 2010 at 17:44

I honestly cannot think of a reason to either include or exclude the month names. I would use whatever includes the esthetics of your site.

  • That's a non-answer.
    – jessegavin
    Commented Nov 8, 2010 at 17:01
  • How so? I'm saying that to me, it makes no difference.
    – Hisham
    Commented Nov 8, 2010 at 17:16

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