Do Credit Cards Expire on the First or Last of the Month?


If you use an expired credit card, there is a chance that your transactions will be denied which can lead to some confusion. Does a card expire on the first or last of the month?  All we see is the month and the year, there is no day! Who’s to know!

So here’s the thing.

A credit card will expire at the end of the month. The last time you can use it will be at 11:59 pm on the last day of the month. After this point, you will need to switch to your new card. You should receive this in the mail 60 days before the old one is due to expire. 

The rules around credit card expiry dates are the same for all financial institutions. By spending a few minutes learning about them you can avoid issues and confusion in the future. 

Do Credit Cards Renew Automatically?

Credit cards only have a limited lifespan. This is designed to protect customers from fraud. 

As a result of this, you will need to periodically renew your card. Lucky for us though, the bank will oftentimes send out our new cards to us automatically without us even asking for them. The banks will do this 60 days before the current credit card is due to expire. While you will automatically get sent the card, it’s up to you to renew it. 

When you get the new card, you will usually get updated terms and conditions documents. Read through this carefully. Most importantly, you’ll want to find any changes that affect the amount of interest you will be paying. This is usually expressed as an APY(Annual Percentage Yield). 

It’s also important to check that all the fees associated with the card are the same. This will ensure that you aren’t caught off-guard by any unexpected charges.  Before making any big changes, the bank is required to give you 45 days’ notice. They can do this at any time, regardless of the expiry date of the card. 

For some banks, you will be able to start using the new card as soon as you get it. At other times, you will need to activate it before you ‘ll work properly. How you do this will depend on your bank. 

Some will need you to log in to the website, others banks will require you to call a toll-free number. But regardless of what you need to know, instructions will be included with the credit card. Trust me, credit card providers will do whatever they can to make it as easy as possible for you to keep using their cards. The more clients they have, the more money they make.

When you are ready to activate the card, you’ll need to know some basic personal information. This will include things like your name, DOB and Social Security number, standard stuff! Once the card has been successfully activated, you’ll need to sign the back. This verifies that it belongs to you. 

What Happens if You Don’t Get a Replacement Credit Card?

If you haven’t received a replacement card, it can be a big problem. Some people can confuse the replacement card for a piece of marketing material and throw it away. 

If your card is expiring soon, make sure to open every message from the bank. If you don’t get a replacement card, it’s best to contact the bank and  they will organize a second card to be sent to your address.

How long it will take you to receive a replacement card will depend on who you bank with. Some will try to have it arrive overnight. For others, it will take a few days for the card to arrive. 

While you are waiting for your card, you can use a digital wallet on your phone. If you download the bank’s app you can use this in the same way you would use a credit card. 

How Long Does a Credit Card Last For?

Your credit card has a finite life. This is to make sure that you always have the most up-to-date technology and are protected from fraud. Most credit cards will have three years before they expire. The expiration date of the new card will be shown on the front. 

Related Financial Geek Article: Do Credit Cards Work After Being Washed?

Will the Pin of a New Credit Card be the Same?

Your new card will have the same PIN as the old one. The exemption to this rule is if you reported the old card as stolen. In this case, you will be sent a new one in the mail, which you will need to activate. The PIN will be mailed separately.  

What Do I Do After My Credit Card Expires?

Once the card has expired, you’ll need to make sure that you dispose of it safely. Though your new card will have a different expiry date and CVV it’ll have the same account number. Because of this, people could use it to assume your identity and steal your money. 

To prevent this, you’ll need to be vigilant about the way that you dispose of your credit card. You should cut up the card into smaller pieces. Cut lengthwise across the numbers. Then, cut vertically, separating each number. You can make a series of smaller cuts, to make sure that no-one can piece the card back together. If you want to take things to the next level, you can put the pieces into different bins. 

If you have a magnetic card it will be harder to destroy. It will be too thick for scissors to cut through. In this case, you’ll need to scratch off the magnetic strip and remove the chip. Most banks will send a return envelope. You can also use this envelope to get them to destroy your old card for you. 

How Do I Know When the Credit Card Expires?

It’s easy to identify when your credit card is due to expire. On the front of the card, there will be a date. This tells you the month and year that your card is set to expire. For example, if you have 10/22 it means that your credit card will expire in October of 2022. The credit card will expire on the final day of the month. 

Just in time for trick or treating!

Will an Expired Credit Card Still Work?

If your credit card has expired, it will no longer work. If you try to use it to make a payment, your transaction will simply be denied. Because of this, you need to make sure that you have renewed the new card before the old one expires. 

What Happens to Any Linked Payments of an Expired Credit Card? 

Most of us have regular payments connected to our credit cards. For example, I have things like Netflix, Spotify, my website hosting plan, and other small subscriptions all linked to my credit card. 

For a few months, these payments might continue to go through. But after a while, they will start to be denied. 

To make this process easier, I’d recommend that you keep a list of all your linked subscription payments. This will make it easy to keep track of what services you need to upgrade with your new credit card information.

One day without Netflix is one day too many. 

How Does an Expired Credit Card Affect Your Bank Account? 

A credit card is linked to your bank account. But, when your card expires, it doesn’t have any impact on your bank’s overall balance. Often everything else about your bank account will be unaffected but you will still need to pay interest on the card. 

Additionally, it goes without saying that you’ll still be responsible for maintaining any and all of your  financial commitments made with that card.

How Does An Expired Credit Card Affect Reward Points? 

The reward points system is linked to your bank account rather than your credit card. Because of this, your points balance will be unaffected by your credit card expiring. 

So no worries there, you can still buy that Dyson Hair Dryer you’ve been banking up all those points for!

Conclusion

If you have a credit card, it will eventually expire. Once the month is over, you’ll no longer be able to use your expired card. So make sure you activate your new card before your old one expires, that way you won’t have any problems. 

Thanks for reading, I hope you found the information you were looking for! And if I could give you one piece of unrelated advice while I have you, try not to overspend on your credit cards, it’s so easy to do but can lead to serious financial problems down the road.

Rant over, Geek, out.

Noel Moffatt

Noel Moffatt is the founder and main contributor for his blog - The Financial Geek. Based in Canada, Noel's passion for personal finance has helped him amass over 300k readers to his Financial Geek blog.

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