Credit cards are great financial tools. We’ve all worked hard to get them and I bet you were as excited as I was when you got your first card. Unfortunately, that little piece of plastic stayed with me for just a few years. To my surprise, it came with an expiration date. All cards do. When time came to change that first card of mine, I remember asking myself what happens to an expired credit card.
At that time I was still new to credit cards. I didn’t know that much about them, but now I do. There is a lot of activity around an expired credit card. More than you think. This article will show you what happens to your credit card once its time comes, and tell you what you need to look out for to make sure that both you and your finances are protected.
Why do credit cards expire?
It might seem odd that a credit card needs an expiration date, but there are actually many reasons for this. First of all, a card comes with an expiration date because, just like any other thing, it tends to deteriorate over time. So, even if that date didn’t exist, you’d still have to replace it at some point, when the card breaks, or when its magnetic strip becomes worn out. Time kills everything, even plastic.
Other reasons for the existence of expiration dates on credit cards include consumer security, the need to re-evaluate terms, or even a chance for the credit card company to offer you a new product, with upgraded and more attractive features.
What happens when I have to renew my expired credit card?
Renewing an account with your credit card company is usually simple. Most of the time, you get a notification and a new credit card in the month before your existing card expires. However, some companies may send letters to their customers, asking them if they want to renew.
You still have to be careful
When renewing a credit card, you need to make sure that all the credit card terms and conditions are the same as when you first got the account. You have to verify that the payment due dates, fees, penalties, APR have not changed. If you’re not careful, you might end up damaging your score and even falling in debt. So check all the facts before signing.
One last thing
Like I said above, you usually get the new card one month before the old one expires. At this point, there’s only one thing left to do. That’s activating the credit card. You can do this with a simple call to your credit card company.
Once this step is finished, you can put your new card in your pocket and go out shopping. But don’t forget to destroy the old card. You definitely don’t want it to fall into the wrong hands.