What is the best display to have for the years on a credit card expiry date field for payment. Should you have the whole year 2013, 2014, or is it better to have it displayed the same as on the credit card itself, 13, 14, etc.

Also how many years should you have? Amazon seems to go 16 years, but do some credit cards really have that long an expiry date?

  • I have a card which started in April 2013 and expires at the end of July 2016. However I doubt that many cards are actually valid for 16 years. Perhaps they don't want to spend time and effort updating that field each year. Nov 16 '13 at 9:22
  • The "possible duplicate" covers the format of the date, not the range of available years. Nov 16 '13 at 13:13
  • I think the most I have ever had is a credit card expiry date issued with 3 yrs until expiry, it just sames crazy that some would have 20 years. And of course its easier for the user to just have 5 years to chose from rather than 20. As for the effort of updating fields my system just takes the current year and increases it by 1 16 times. So it doesnt need to be updated every year.
    – Source
    Nov 16 '13 at 15:46
  • @Source At the moment, this post is asking two different questions (format of date and range of date). Consider editing it to ask only one. Nov 16 '13 at 18:57
  • A previous Stack Overflow question about maximum expiration date. Also, most cards are reissued within 3 years because (1) the magnetic strip wears out, and (2) credit card companies have determined this is a reasonable balance between convenience and security against fraud. Nov 17 '13 at 0:04

One thing to consider is keyboard navigation — my personal preference as a user is for a YY format, as if I'm tabbing through a form, select lists normally allow to you jump to a given value by typing the first few letters/digits.

If the format is YY, I can easily type "13" to get the value selected without using the mouse at all. If the format is YYYY, it's normally harder to type "2013", as most browsers will expect the number to be typed quite quickly to registered together as one input of "2013".

  • 1
    It's not only easier to type, but I've found by looking at a bunch of credit card images, they appear use the YY format. This way users that are reading off a card (especially older users, who may not be keyboard savvy, but are frightened of input errors) don't have to alter the format they see in front of them. It's 1:1
    – Mike M
    Nov 16 '13 at 20:17
  • My concern with a text field is they could get the formatting wrong, even if you clearly tell them YY. I think it should be a selectbox.
    – Source
    Nov 17 '13 at 3:48
  • @Source I know, I meant with select lists rather than a text field :) Nov 17 '13 at 10:35

Personally I would believe that people would expect 2014 is more user friendly, consider the possible different date formats, by having a full year you are giving a reference point.

Possible date formats: DDMMYY MMDDYY YYMMDD

by making YY the full format, it is clearer to the user what format they are looking at, without having to read labels etc.

  • Yes, me too, but research shows that its better to have just the last 2 digits, as that is ho wit is displayed on the credit cards.
    – Source
    Nov 17 '13 at 3:48
  • Thats interesting mine actually has 2015 on it
    – tim.baker
    Nov 17 '13 at 12:32

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