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Credit card expiry dates: When does the card actually expire?
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Credit card expiry dates: When does the card actually expire?

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The face of your credit card holds some pretty valuable pieces of information – the 16 digit card number, your name, the expiry date, and sometimes the ‘valid from’ date. While the card number and your name are obviously fairly self-explanatory, some people are unsure about how credit card expiry dates work.

Of course, we understand that credit cards are only valid up to a certain point in time and cannot last forever. However, some cardholders are unsure whether the expiry date shown on their credit card means the card expires at the beginning of that month, or at the end of it.

For example, if the card’s expiry date is 05/18, does that card become invalid at the beginning of May 2018, or at the end of May 2018?

While some credit card providers may have different rules on this, the vast majority of credit cards remain valid right through until the end of the month shown on the card. So, for the example above, the card would remain valid until 11.59pm on August 31, 2017.

Once the clock ticks over to September 1, that card would become invalid and it would no longer be accepted for retail or online purchases. For that reason, most card providers send out replacement cards well ahead of the existing card’s expiry date, to allow for a smooth transfer from the old card to the new one.

If you know your card is expiring, it could be a good time to start comparing a range of credit cards out there to see if you can get a better deal!

Getting a new card

There are several reasons to receive a new card in the post. This will happen if the cardholder’s existing card is close to reaching its expiry date, if the existing card has been damaged or worn, or if the existing card has been lost or stolen.

When your debit or credit card nears its expiry date, your card provider will automatically send you a replacement card. If your card has been damaged or has become too worn to use, you can contact your card provider to send you a replacement.

If your card has been lost or stolen, you should contact your card provider immediately. Your old card will be cancelled straight away, so if someone tries to use your card, the purchase will be declined. This can also prevent you from being liable for fraudulent purchases made on the card.

When you receive your card, check for any changes on it. If you receive a new card to replace an expired card, it should have the same card number and different expiry date. If you receive a new card to replace a damaged card, the card number and the expiry date should be the same.

If you receive a new card to replace a lost or stolen card, the card number will have been changed for safety reasons, and the expiry date may have changed as well.

What to do when you get a new card

Whatever the reason for receiving a new card, it’s a good idea to sign the new card as soon as you get it, and destroy the old card once the new card has been set up and activated. Different card providers have different ways of setting up and activating cards, but they should give you clear instructions on how to do this with your card.

If your new card is replacing an expired or damaged card, your PIN will usually stay the same. If your new card is replacing a lost or stolen card, you may be sent a new PIN (in a separate envelope) to activate your new card. Again, your card issuer will provide clear instructions on this matter.

When you get a new card, you will have to update any direct debits coming off that card. If your card details have remained the same, there is no need to do this, but if your card number or expiry date has changed, you will need to contact the companies who receive direct debits from that card to give them the updated information.

This could include your mobile phone provider, your utilities providers, and your landlord. If you don’t update your direct debit details, the payments could be rejected, which could result in you receiving fees and penalties for missed payments.

What to do when you don’t get a new card

If your existing card has almost expired and you have not received your new card yet, you may want to contact your card provider to see if it has been sent out yet. The same applies if you requested a replacement card and you have not received it.

If it has been sent and you have not received it, your provider may have the wrong address, or it may have been lost or intercepted. In which case, your provider needs to know about it to cancel the card, and be on the lookout for fraudulent transactions.

Pauline

Pauline Hatch

Pauline is a personal finance expert at CreditCard.com.au, with 8 years in money, budgeting and property reporting under her belt. Pauline is passionate about seeing Aussies win by making their money – and their credit cards – work smarter, harder and bigger.

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7 comments (showing the latest 10 Q&As)

John

John

25 June 2021
My credit expired , received a new card , all details stayed the same , except for date and three digit security numbers at rear of card, Most merchants contacted me for new details as in expired date and secured digits at back of card , two merchants Carried on taken out monthly transactions,but did not contact me for new details , as in new expired date of card , is common practice with merchants,and Banks
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    29 June 2021
    Hi John, thanks for your great question! There’s no exact answer to give here as each bank, merchant and processing network is different. There’s some intricacies to when credit cards expire, which this post may help you understand. If you are worried about fraudulent transactions, then contact your bank straight away
Justin

Justin

18 January 2021
My valid thru is 1/63 so what does it means?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    18 January 2021
    Hi Justin, wow - that sounds like the card ends 2063. I have never seen that before.
Noreen Fletcher

Noreen Fletcher

3 January 2021
Just noticed my Go Card was valid til 03/21 Why wasn’t I notified or received a new card ? Since I first received this card my email address has changed from bigpond to gmail ! Please contact me as soon as possible !!
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    4 January 2021
    Hi Noreen, you will need to reach out Go Mastercard customer service - https://www.gomastercard.com.au/contact-us/. When you update your contact information. Its always good to update this information with your credit card provider.
Shirlee Burns

Shirlee Burns

2 June 2017
Thank you for reminding me how well we are looked after. It is very supportive and satisfying to have the exact steps to be taken to renew a credit card.

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