General Question

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Why do credit cards have an expiry date?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (17720points) February 3rd, 2016

Also what happens when your card expires? Should I call my credit card company? My MasterCard expires on march 2016. Would my online automatic payments to Telus still go though after the expiry date?

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13 Answers

Pachy's avatar

I assume this card is with a major bank or organization. If you’re up to date on up your payments you’ll get a new card in February, and it will probably have an expiration date 3 or 4 years out. But to be certain, just call customer service. The toll-free number is on the back of your card.

XOIIO's avatar

Probably so that as new technologies come out, the cards get replaced/updated.

I had the chip acting up in my bank card fairly close to the expiration date as well, so I bet they have tested the average lifespan, and have them expire short of that so people don’t complain about issues with the cards, or get stuck with faulty ones.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@Pachy Ok I called them. My new card Is arriving in two days. THANKS.

Cruiser's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 My answer would be it is good practice to change your credit card numbers regularly so if anyone finds an old purchase record with your CC# on it they can’t put charges on your CC account. Ditching old cards protects both you are the CC Provider. Actually getting a new card every year is prudent.

Pachy's avatar

Good for you, @RedDeerGuy1.
Take it from a reformed credit card abuser… Use it wisely. ;-)

Buttonstc's avatar

There is a possibility that you’re auto-pay may be affected because the card now will have a different expiration.

You should call the org. to which the payment is made and let them update their records with the new expiration date.

Zaku's avatar

They’ve done this for decades, so it’s not just the desire to get everyone to use the annoying new chips.

One reason is that cards sometimes get lost, so if they expire, this limits the number of lost cards that might be usable.

I think it may have started out, decades ago, with the mindset that they might review to see if they want to re-issue the card every so often, based on how a person was doing. That was back when not everything was computerized, and they hadn’t shifted so far towards collecting scads of money in fees and interest from struggling people, and were more interested in not having to pay a bunch of merchants who accepted payment by taking carbon paper receipts with no computers involved.

ibstubro's avatar

The have an expiration date to weed out the non-active users. Technically, your card isn’t valid for auto-pay transactions until you’ve updated the Exp. date, so you need to do that.

Has anyone put a credit card number on a transaction receipt since carbon paper went out of date?

If your credit card issuer has a security issue, they will send you a new card, with a new number. There’s no reason to request a new number periodically, that I’m aware of, and 98% of my transactions are via credit card.

Zaku's avatar

@ibstubro Either carbon paper has not yet “went out of date” (subjective), or yes, anyone has put a credit card number on a transaction receipt, and others plan to continue to.

They’re particularly useful when the internerts are broken, yet you’d like to be able to sell something.

You can stock up at Staples (if/when your internerts are working).

Further evidence from comment section of that page:

Mark W.
Verified Buyer
01/21/16
Just rught
Just what my restaurant neede”

Which is not to say, that that was my point in mentioning carbon. Often part of the reason why businesses do some things certain ways, comes from the past.

ibstubro's avatar

As of 2013, in Canada only one eight-person company still manufactures carbon paper, in the United Kingdom one company and in the United States only two small companies.

I’m aware that paper/carbon credit card ability still exists, @Zaku. We literally threw bundles of the carbons away last week because there is no demand for them, even here in the rural Midwest. Even among people that are ‘off the grid’.
I personally would not allow anyone to make a copy of my credit card, real or carbon, and I can’t remember anyone trying in the past 10–15+ years.

Considering a serious complaint among Syrian refugees is lack of cell phone service, IMO paper credi card transactions are out of date, and certainly ‘obsolete’ the Western world.

I know of several businesses that do not take credit cards.
I do not know of a single person that would know what to do with a carbon credit card receipt if they processed one.

Zaku's avatar

Yeah, I get it. Carbon is also less useful since card makers started making cards that don’t have the numbers stand up physically, but are just printed.

I couldn’t resist teasing the (even if slight) overstatement of something being “out of date”, since it’s subjective.

And again, it was never my intention to argue the continued reason for expiration dates is about the current use of carbon paper – I was just adding consideration for the way the cards were used when such expiration dates were in use earlier.

ibstubro's avatar

Well, @Zaku, I was only responding to a suggestion that it’s highly desirable to ask your credit card company to change the number on your card yearly.
I don’t find that necessary or desirable. I can’t remember there being “an old purchase record” of my credit card number since carbon paper went out of fashion.

Zaku's avatar

@ibstubro Oh I missed that. Yeah, I agree. Changing numbers yearly sounds like overkill unless you have someone messing with you. It would make for fuss with whoever has the number for auto-payments and so on.

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