Many credit cards have expiration dates, including hotel credit cards, airline credit cards, or any one of the other varieties of credit card issued by a bank. For most of these cards, the expiration date is easy to find—it’s on the front of the card in the lower right corner.
If your credit card is about to expire and you want to change to a new one, use the credit card chaser to find the right credit card for you today.
Why do credit cards need an expiration date?
You probably think that security is the only reason why credit cards need expiration dates, but that is actually only part of it. The expiration date is important in preventing fraud by providing a cross check for merchants to use. Credit card crooks can make up a fake card number easily, but getting that number to match with the correct expiration date is nearly impossible.
Another security-related reason for credit card expiration dates is to protect us from our own carelessness. Sometimes we stop using a card, but forget to destroy it or close the account. If the card didn’t have an expiration date and it was lost or stolen, someone could use it fraudulently and rack up charges against your credit even years after the last time you used the card.
Even if you have an expired credit card, it’s still a good idea to close the account for security reasons. If you are unsure of whether or not you have any old credit card accounts open, you can check a major credit-reporting bureau, like Experian.
One of the non-security reasons for the credit card expiration date has to do with the physical construction of the card itself. According to Chase Card Services, most card issuers set the expiration dates on their cards based on how long they think the cards will physically last. Let’s face it, plastic breaks and magnetic strips wear out—no credit card is going to last you a lifetime.
What if I can’t read my credit card’s expiration date?
It is rare, but sometimes a card can be worn out in just such a way that the expiration date is not visible. Probably the most logical thing to do in this case is just get a new card issued, since the card probably isn’t going to last much longer anyway. If, however, this is your “lucky” credit card or something, you can either check your credit card account online or call your credit card issuer to find out what your credit card’s expiration date is.
What is the longest credit card expiration date?
We all get a little annoyed when credit card renewal time comes, don’t we? After all, you have your card on file with all of your favorite vendors, you have automatic bill payment set up and, most importantly, you can finally remember the expiration date without looking. Then the new card comes in the mail.
Naturally, it would be less of a hassle if we had to change cards less frequently. Unfortunately, most cards expire in four years or less. Visa and MasterCard generally have a three-year expiration date and American Express usually has a four-year expiration date. Prepaid and debit cards have similar limits.
For those of you who do have cards saved on merchant accounts and automatic bill payment, the expiration date can be a blessing in disguise.
Say you have a self-renewing subscription to an online magazine that you don’t read anymore. You may forget to cancel it before the next payment comes due, but if your card expires, the charge will not go through.
What happens if you try to use an expired credit card?
This answer is easy—your card will not work if it is expired. Repeated attempts to use an expired card might attract the attention of the management of a store or a card issuer, but in general, the card will just be declined and the cashier will ask you for another card.
There are a number of reasons for someone to change credit cards, including expiration of their old card. If you need a new credit card, use the credit card chaser to find it today.