Written By Lynn Oldshue
All credit cards come with an expiration date. This is imprinted on the front of the card and usually shows a month and a year. Many times, the expiration date does not show a specific date on which the card expires. So we are left to wonder: do credit cards expire on the first or last day of the month?
Credit Card and Debit Card Expiration Dates
For the most part, credit cards will not expire until the end of their expiration month. If your card is good until 09/2017, that means you can use it until September 30, 2017. But every credit card issuer has its own rules about expiration dates, so make sure you know the terms on your card before it expires. Otherwise, you might be surprised by a decline at the register.
Bank debit cards also come with expiration dates, but those tend to expire at the beginning at the month. In the scenario described above, the debit card would only be good until September 1, 2017. Again, this all depends on the bank issuing the card. You will need to review your bank's terms to learn more.
Specific Expiration Dates
Some credit cards will actually show they expire on a certain day of the month. Typically, this is at the beginning or end of the month, but it will be written out so you do not question it. If the card says it expires on 9-30-2017, then it will no longer be valid once the clock strikes midnight and changes to October 1.
Why Do Credit Cards Expire?
Credit cards have expiration dates for a number of different reasons. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Banks use expiration dates as an opportunity to issue new designs for their credit cards every few years.
- Expiration dates ensure that your worn out
magnetic strip will eventually be replaced.
- Some banks reevaluate their cardholders when they reissue their credit cards to see if they qualify for a different credit limit or other cards.
An expiration date does not mean that your account will expire. It just means that physical card will no longer be associated with your account. You may very well receive an identical card with the same credit card number, but once you activate the new one, the old one is no longer usable.
How to Avoid Swiping an Expired Credit Card
In most cases, a bank will issue a new credit card a month or so before your current one expires. This is something they usually do automatically, so you shouldn't have to worry about contacting them. Just activate the new one when it comes in and destroy the old one.
If it is getting close to the expiration date and you haven't received that new card, contact the card issuer and ask if you are going to receive a new one.
If You Need a New Card before Yours Expires
If you need a new credit card before the expiration date, call up your card issuer and request one. This usually happens because you have lost your card or the magnetic strip has worn away. Some credit card providers may charge money for replacement cards, but most will send them out for free. Just try not to request a new card too often; that may raise some suspicions.
Do credit cards expire on the first or last day of the month? That depends on your card. Contact your credit card provider to find out the terms for your account.
The information contained within this article was accurate as of September 11, 2014. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.