Easy Solution: What to Do When Your Debit Card Expires!

Has your debit card expired? Is it the first time? It’s alright — I have got you covered. If you are one of those newbies who are going through the process of debit card expiry yet, here’s what you need to know.

If your debit card is expired, you must immediately get it renewed to avoid inconveniences. For debit card renewal, you’ll need to call your bank or banking service provider to issue you a new debit card.

I understand that for all the new card users out there, it’s scary to see the debit card not working. It’s a sigh of relief to know that the debit card got expired.

Debit card expiration date might often come as a surprise — But fret not. I am here to elaborate on the whole card expiry situation including the ‘whys’ and the ‘hows’ of it along with some of the most practical solutions out there.

So read on!

What is an Expired Debit Card?

An expired debit card is one that has reached the end of its validity period and can no longer be used to make purchases. Any offline or online transaction made by the expired debit card will be declined immediately.

Just like, in our daily life, consumer products have an expiration date beyond which that product is no longer fit for consumption. Similar is the case with a debit card. 

After a debit card goes past its valid expiration date it is, by default, programmed to not function for any transactions made — be it online or offline. If we forcefully go through a purchase, it will probably be declined. 

The card usually expires on the final day of the expiration month and is no longer usable beyond that date. To keep in mind the expiration date, we should learn how to identify it from our debit card. 

An expiration date is usually a four-digit number that comprises the month number and the final two digits of the year and (in most cases) is printed on the front of the card under the heading “Valid Thru” or “Expires End”.

Hence if your card is due to expire in March of 2022, it will show up on the card like “03/22”.

It is always good to keep a check on your card’s validity while you use your debit card on and off. So that the expiry date stays at the back of your mind and you can take action promptly if required.

Will My Expired Debit Card Still Work?

A card that has gone through its validity date is not usable. It is, for all intents and payment purposes, truly “expired”. You cannot make any withdrawals, online or offline transactions with an expired debit card.

Those of you who have ever tried to use an expired debit card, are familiar with the sinking sensation that comes with having your card denied.

How do you feel when you come to know that it was only because the expiry date came earlier than you thought? Phew…

Furthermore, if you have any automated payments set up with your expired debit card, you will most likely receive an email or an SMS notification that your card has been refused.

Please note that all auto bills will bounce after the debit card expiry date. This means that some services might be terminated if they are billed to your expired debit card. Look out for “Payment method declined” emails on your way.

Can I Use an Expired Debit Card at ATM?

Unfortunately, you can’t use an expired debit card at ATM for any withdrawals or deposits. This means that you can’t access your money without going to the bank.

An ATM will decline all types of requests when the debit card entered is expired.

Typically, banks issue a new debit card a few months before the old one expires. But in rare cases, you might not get a new one until the expiration date arrives.

Why Do Debit Cards Expire?

Next off, the question begs to be asked, if we are to be faced with the above-listed situations on our debit card expiry, why make them expire at all? Why not just keep them active and non-expirable at all times?

I will try to answer this question by mentioning the reasons below.

#1 To Maintain Security Standards

The most important reason why debit cards expire can be attributed to security. Banks update their cards’ security regularly, so we will often receive a new debit card to ensure it complies with the most recent security standards. 

As an example, we see that magnetic strips were used on cards several years ago. In some places, they might still be in use.

However, nowadays EMV chips, which improve security and, in some situations, allow you to make contactless purchases with a debit card, are becoming increasingly popular. 

The EMV (that stands for Europay, Master, and Visa) technology is especially useful against card-not-present frauds by employing a unique code for each credit transaction.

When banks deployed the new EMV technology, the old magnetic cards were made to expire. 

Another security aspect that can be listed is that if an expired debit card is detected and an unauthorized individual tries to use it, it can act as a deterrent. The card issuing authority will immediately know the location of the fraudulent card and can take steps accordingly.

Hence, banks will update a card regularly to reflect new technologies.

#2 To Protect Card Against Wear And Tear

Another reason for debit card expiry can be alluded to wear-and-tear. As we frequently swipe our card during purchases, use it in an ATM, or just carry it casually in our pocket, the numbers on our card may fade, wear off, or become illegible over time. 

Similarly, the card may chip, peel off, or even become bent or distorted rendering it unusable. When this happens we would most likely order a new debit card for ourselves.

As banks and financial institutions profit from debit and credit card purchases, they have an incentive to change cards regularly or when the customer gives them a valid reason to do so.

This may also include a change in the customer’s picture on the debit card or updating the card product type (Master, Silver, Gold, Platinum). Different banks may have different types as per their policy.

If your card is damaged due to normal “wear and tear”, you can request a free debit card replacement from your bank.

#3 To Communication With Customer

Aside from enhancing physical durability, changing a debit card allows the card issuing authority to communicate with the customer regularly. There is always a chance of selling him or her another financial product. 

This can easily be done by mailing the customer a new debit card along with informative brochures of new financial products, investment opportunities, or discount features that the bank offers.

The bank or issuer can also communicate a change in the company’s name or corporate logo design by sending an updated debit card with said changes.

#4 To Prevent Card Loss or Theft

A debit card issuer may replace the current card with a completely different card, in case of a card loss or theft. The present card will expire before its listed expiration date if this happens.

What Would Happen If a Debit Card Did Not Expire?

To avoid misuse after a theft or after a card is lost, debit cards tend to have an expiration date as an additional security measure. 

If it does not have one, and for some reason, we are unaware of our card being misused, then we will continuously be facing financial losses. 

The expiration date on the debit card will ensure that the card is no longer functional after a certain period. Only the person with proper authority can receive a new one at a secure address.

Also if a debit card consumer passes away while his or her debit card is currently active, unless the financial institution is notified of their death, without a card’s expiration, it might forever be available for use. 

This will once again severely breach the finances of the deceased and the purpose for which they might have been intended originally, as per the late consumer’s wishes.

How Long Is a Debit Card Valid For?

On average debit cards are active for 2 to 5 years. The debit card validity depends on the bank or authority that issued them and varies from product to product. 

To know the exact duration of your debit card validity, you would have to refer to your card or issuing institution. 

For instance, you might have a Silver Debit card with a validity of 3 years from its date of issue. While you might own a Platinum account debit card from another bank with a validity of 5 years.

How Do I Get a New Debit Card?

If the card is not mailed to you even with the expiry date has passed, contact your bank or issuer immediately. There might have been a system error that resulted in the delay, or it might have been lost in the mail. Ensure that the bank has your correct shipping address.

Now that your debit card has expired (or is about to), know that it is very easy to get a new one. In fact, most debit card issuers provide replacement cards to cardholders 30 to 60 days prior to the card’s expiration date. 

This means you usually will not go through the embarrassment of swiping an expired card while purchasing. A new card will already be in your possession by the time you are ready to purchase.

A new expiration date and CVV security code (3-digit code at the backside of the card) will be added to the new card. 

The debit card number will normally be kept the same unless the account is upgraded or the product is altered (especially so after a theft or loss).

What To Do When You Get A New Debit Card?

Listed below are some of the steps you should take once you get hold of your new debit card.

#1 Activate the Debit Card

Follow your issuing authority’s instructions on activating your debit card properly. It may happen through calling a number, going to the bank’s ATM, or logging into the issuer’s website with correct credentials.

Remember that without activation, most cards cannot be used whether it be for online or in-person purchase.

#2 Dispose Off Your Expired Debit Card:

While the previous card should be unusable after the expiration date, there are situations when mistakes allow it to be used.

As a result, consumers should shred or otherwise destroy expired cards to prevent misuse.

#3 Update Associated Accounts

The cardholder should ensure to update their debit card information associated with any automatic subscription or payment services.

Regardless of whether the card number remains the same or not, card expiry and CVV code information will have to be updated. 

Getting a New Debit Card — Good to Know

Following lines list some tips and useful habits that can aid you in getting the most out of your debit card while keeping its usage efficient and safe:

  • If the printing on your card has faded and is no longer legible, even if your debit card has not expired, ask your bank or the particular financial institution to issue you with a new card. 
    This will avoid unnecessary hassle and delay if you are purchasing something online, or booking a trip and you need to enter your debit card details within a specified time limit before the page or login expires.
    Remember, most online purchases require you to input the debit card number, date of expiry, and your card’s CVV code. All of the above should be clearly readable.
  • Make sure to save your bank’s contact details or their helpline numbers for reporting a lost and stolen card. 
    Always keep this information with you either on your mobile device or your diary. This is important so that you can promptly take action and avoid unnecessary loss if such a situation does happen.
  • Keep your debit card in a safe and secure place. You can either protect it by encasing it within a hard leather or plastic case or by storing it inside your wallet. 
    This will prevent accidental damage from bending, breakage, or scratches on the magnetic stripe or EMV chip. Over time, this can also prevent the debit card’s details to preserve and not fade.

Final Word

There is no need to panic if your debit card has expired or is about to expire. This is a normal process for every cardholder out there.

Once you go through one or two similar situations, it will feel quite natural and far from being something troublesome.

So keep calm and keep swiping!

About topworklife.com

Hi’ my name is Simon. I am the owner of Top Work Life.

Together with a my team, I write content about income generating ideas, entreprenurship and growth as a person

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