What Happens When You Use an Expired Credit Card

Woman frustrated calling company about credit card
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All major credit cards have an expiration date (some private label retail credit cards do not), a month and year by which your credit card will no longer be valid. If you try to use a credit card after the expiration date has passed, your card will likely be declined and you'll have to choose another method of payment.

Some automatic transactions that use your credit card, like subscriptions, may continue to go through for a few months after the expiration date. Don't be surprised if you receive a call or email from the service provider asking you to update your card expiration date to keep your subscription active.

Though an expired credit card is no longer valid for purchases, the other terms of your credit card remain in place. You're still responsible for making your monthly minimum payments on time each month until your credit card balance is completely repaid.​

How to Find Your Credit Card Expiration Date

Your credit card's expiration date is conveniently printed on the front of your credit card. You'll see a two digit code for the month and the last two digits of the year. With many credit card issuers, the card expires on the final day of the month the card is set to expire. If you've ever placed a phone or online order, you're probably already familiar with the expiration date because it's required as part of the authorization process.

You don't want your credit card's expiration date to come and go without you realizing it. You can put your expiration date on a calendar to remind yourself when your expiration date is coming. But, how many of us have calendars two or three years in the future. An alternative is to use Followupthen.com, is a reminder service that lets you set up a future email to yourself based on timing. For example, you might email February1st2018@followupthen.com to remind youself that your credit card expires in the month of February 2018.

What to Do When Your Credit Card Expires?

Watch your mail as your expiration date approaches. Many credit card issuers automatically send a new card before your expiration date passes. The envelope will inconspicuous, so as not to tip off potential thieves to the credit card. So don't throw away any mail without first checking to see what's inside.

When you receive the new card, call your credit card issuer to activate it. Shred the old card to prevent theft or fraudulent purchases from being made with the card.

Your new card will have the same credit card account number, but a new expiration date and security code. If you've set up your credit card for any subscriptions or one-click payments, you'll need to update your card information on those websites. Otherwise, your subscriptions may be canceled and purchases declined.

If you don't receive a new credit card by the time your expiration date comes, contact your credit card issuer using the number on the back of your credit card to find out if the card has been mailed. In the meantime, you'll have to use an alternate payment method until you receive a credit card with a new expiration date.