Well, I never do and I know that many other people don’t bother to sign the back of their credit cards. Perhaps they worry that it is handing their signature for thieves to copy. But the problem is that stores are not supposed to accept credit cards that have not been signed by the customer.
It has happened to me. A cashier turned my card over and saw that it was unsigned and then called the manager to check the procedure. I had to prove that I was the owner of the card. Luckily I had my driver’s license with a picture on it that served as my identity card. But it all took time and resulted in some pretty icy comments from those waiting in line behind me.
Of course, the signature provides some sort of card protection in the event of a theft. An unsigned card can be signed by anyone and taken to be the card owner’s signature. I know someone who insists that the best protection he can get for his card is to write “SEE ID”" on the back, along with his signature. All that will do, as far as I am concerned, is to possibly make the clerk ask to see his ID when she sees this note. I don’t think this is much protection.
Lately I find more stores asking for an ID when I hand over my card to pay for something. And there are a few stores that always ask for an ID. I’m sure customers always have great excuses for not having an ID on them. I have shopped successfully with my wife’s credit card in quite a few stores, and she has used mine on occasion.
So it seems that signing or not signing your card does little to protect it from abuse. There are too many places where neither the signature nor the identification of the card user, or abuser, will be checked. I keep an eye on my card at all times and the moment I think it’s lost or been stolen, I report it as such. The fee for issuing a new card is a lot less than a thief can spend in five minutes.