If you own a debit card, you already know that the card’s expiration date is just one of the pieces of information that can be found on your physical card. The expiration date is usually required when you try to make purchases online. If you are unable to enter the correct expiration date, your transaction will not go through. Your transaction will also be denied if you use the card past its expiration date.
However, one common confusion among debit card users is when the exact expiration date takes place. Will your debit card expire at the beginning of the month or at the end of the month? This article will talk about debit card expiration dates and what you need to do when you get your replacement debit card.
When Do Debit Cards Expire?
A debit card’s expiration date is usually two to three years from the date it was issued. You can find this expiration date on the physical debit card that was issued to you by your bank. When you check your debit card for its expiration date, it will show two numbers separated by a slash symbol. These two numbers stand for the month and the year your debit card will expire.
For example, if the number written on your card is 01/21, then that means your card expiration date is January 2021. In online transactions that require your debit card, you would have to enter 01/21 in the XX/XX field. The question, however, is whether the card expires at the beginning or at the end of the month.
Your debit card will expire at the end of the month indicated on your card. You can use the card until 11:59 PM on the last day of that month.
Using the example above, if your card will expire on January 31, 2021, then you can use it before the clock strikes midnight. After the end of the month, it will no longer be possible to use your card. You would have to use a replacement card with a new expiration date.
How about credit cards? Do credit cards expire at the beginning or end of the month? Just like debit cards, credit cards expire at the end of the month. You will have the ability to use your credit card up to the last day of the month indicated on your card.
Why do debit cards expire?
Many people find it a hassle when their debit cards expire. Some people may even question whether it is really necessary to have expiration dates. So, why do debit cards, and credit cards, for that matter, have expiration dates?
Expiration dates on debit cards are an additional piece of information necessary to avoid fraudulent activities. When you make any financial transaction on your card, requiring the expiration date makes it more difficult for fraudsters to hack your account. If your debit card has been stolen or compromised, it will also prevent criminals from using your card indefinitely.
Having expiration dates also allows banks and financial institutions to issue you a new card after every two to three years that may have better security features.
I have an expired debit card… will it still work?
If you have an expired debit card, it will no longer work if it is past the last day of the month indicated on the card. For example, if your debit card will expire on 02/21, and the date today is March 01, 2021, then you can no longer use your card. You have to use a new card issued by your bank with a new expiration date. However, if you are still in the middle of February 2021, your debit card will still work and you can still use the card until February 28, 2021 as long as you have not activated the new card.
Do I have to request a replacement debit card when it expires or will I be issued a new one automatically?
If you notice that your debit card is expiring soon, you might be wondering whether you need to request a replacement from your bank. Is this something you need to do or is it an automatic process? When will you get your new card?
You typically do not have to request a new debit card if it will expire soon. Your debit card provider will automatically issue you a new debit card before your old debit card expires. Your new debit card will usually be mailed to your address on file 4 to 12 weeks from the expiration date of your old debit card.
What to do if I did not receive my replacement debit card?
As mentioned earlier, you should have received your replacement debit card weeks or even months before your old debit card’s expiration date. This is because banks and financial institutions automatically issue you a new card without you needing to request it.
But what if you’re nearing the end of the month of your debit card’s expiration date and you still haven’t received your replacement debit card? What do you need to do?
Step 1: Check your mail again
If you expect that your replacement debit card will arrive in the mail in an envelope with your bank’s name on it, then that’s not always the case. In fact, most financial institutions now practice sending out sensitive mail in unmarked white envelopes to prevent mail from being intercepted.
It is then worth checking your mail once again and opening them one by one in case you have just missed the envelope. If you know that your debit card or credit card is expiring soon, be watchful of your mailbox to make sure you don’t miss the mail.
Step 2: Call the customer service number printed on your card
If you cannot find the mail, call the customer service phone number printed on your card or published on the website of your bank. Call this number and ask the customer service agent whether your new card has been issued yet.
You may need to provide some verification details or answer security questions for the agent to ensure that it is really you on the phone and not just someone who is trying to divert your replacement debit card.
Step 3: Check whether the mailing address of the card is current
If the agent tells you that the card has been issued, confirm the date when the card was issued and what address it was mailed to. There are instances when you may have forgotten to change the mailing address on your account and the bank may have mailed it to your old address.
Step 4: Request for a replacement debit card
If the mailing address and the other information are correct, ask the agent to issue you a new card. This process will typically take a week but some banks will allow a rush delivery depending on whether this service is available.
Your new debit card will have a new expiration date and new Card Verification Value (CVV) but it will have the same 16-digit debit card number. However, if your debit card was lost, stolen, or perhaps mailed to the wrong address, your debit card provider bank may issue you a new debit card with a new number to avoid potential fraud.
Do I need to wait for my old card to expire before activating the new one?
Let’s say you receive a new debit card 4 weeks before your debit card’s actual expiration date, you may be wondering whether you should activate your new card or wait for the expiration date. Can you activate your new credit card before the old one expires?
The answer is YES you can activate your new card upon receiving it. You do not have to wait until the expiration date of your old card before activating the new one. In fact, activating the new card early gives you more time to sort out all your accounts linked to that debit card.
When I activate my new debit card, does that deactivate the old one?
Once your new debit card is activated, this will automatically deactivate the old one. This means that once your new debit card is activated, you can no longer use your old debit card even if it is not yet past the expiration date.
For example, you received your replacement debit card on February 20, 2021, but your old debit card is not due to expire until March 31, 2021. If you chose to activate your new card with the new expiration date, then you can no longer use your old debit card even if you still have over a month before it expires. You need to use your new card once you have activated it.
Steps to follow after receiving your new debit card
When you receive your new debit card, follow the steps below so you can safely and conveniently start using your new card.
Step 1: Activate your new debit card
Once you receive your new debit card, you will usually find a sticker with a set of instructions on how to activate it. Call the number indicated on the card and follow the steps as instructed by the voice prompt. You will usually be asked to enter the debit card number, the new CVV on the card, and your PIN. Your PIN number will be the same PIN number you were using with your old debit card.
Step 2: Update the information on your card
If you’re using your debit card for your online transactions, make sure to update the information on accounts linked to your debit card especially if you have an autopay option on your bills. By doing this early, you could avoid missed payments and late payment fees due to an expired card.
Step 3: Dispose of your old debit card properly
Don’t just throw away your old debit card in the trash after activating your new card. After making sure that the new card has been activated, cut up the plastic card into small pieces and throw the different pieces in different trash bins. This will minimize the risk of the card falling into the wrong hands.
Protecting your debit card information
Your debit card, new or expired, is a sensitive financial property that you should always keep safe and confidential. Take note that even if your old debit card has expired already, fraudsters can still use the information printed on the card to do illegal activities so it is recommended that you dispose of it properly.
Your expired debit card will hold information like your full name, the name of your bank, your debit card number, and your signature. These are valuable pieces of information that could help identity thieves and fraudsters. It is then crucial that you always keep your debit card info secure.