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Re: credit card conventional wisdom

For AMEX, it apears not! Or at least there is a requirement for the 
assistant to enter the extra four digits in certain cases. The precise
nature of the circumstance when they are required to be card present I
am not sure (in fact I would bet they vary).

There is no reason why the magnetic strip should necessarily be considered
to be card present. It is easy enough to forge, readers need not be
attended (eg petrol pumps).

I'm not sure on the exact rules, I don't pay $80 for the privillege of having

Thew main point I was responding to was the "add information to card that
is not on the stripe" point of the original poster.