When does a debit card expire?

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when does a debit card expire

You might notice when you’re using your debit card to make an online purchase, you are asked for your expiration date. Expiration dates are typically a sign to get rid of something, does it mean it is time to get rid of your debit card? How does an expired card impact your account? And how long do I get to keep it before it expires?  Let’s take a look at some of these questions to help you prepare for the next time your card expires.

Why does my debit card have an expiration date? 

The average debit card expires about 3 years after it is issued. So you might be wondering, what does this date mean anyway and why is it important? There are a few reasons your financial institution will give you an expiration date.

Staying updated

Giving your debit card expiration date is a great way to ensure you make contact with your bank. This provides your financial institution the opportunity to review your accounts, update any information, and provide you with materials about new products and services. 

It is highly likely you’ll open a letter or email about your new debit card giving your card services a great chance to contact you without being ignored. Find out if there are any reward options or even possible upgrades if your credit card expired. 

Replacing your card when necessary 

Like most consumers, you probably use your debit card frequently. This means lots of wear and tear on this small piece of plastic that holds your funds. After a few years, you might notice that your chip is worn or numbers could be hard to read. 

This is pretty normal. As opposed to waiting until you absolutely need a new card, your debit card expiration is a great way to make sure you keep your card fresh and ready to use. 

If you find that your card is falling apart before the expiration date, many providers offer the option to replace your card sooner, just keep in mind there might be a fee associated with this early change.

Security features

You use your expiration date a lot when making purchases online. This is important to help keep your debit card safe. It is important that this date does not stay the same too long to help deter fraudsters from being able to access your account. 

It is hard to make a purchase online without the expiration date. A new card also provides your financial institution with the opportunity to make sure you have the latest and greatest security features. 

What to expect when your card is about to expire? 

Once your card is set to expire, your financial institution will likely send a new one to the address on your account. Keep an eye on the mail, the card usually comes in an envelope with no description. 

This helps make sure your card does not get into the wrong hands. Once you get your hands on your new card, here are the steps to activate your new one and some things you might want to make sure you take care of to keep your accounts running smoothly after you receive your new card. 

  1. Verify that your card has the right name on it.
  2. If it is a credit card, also verify your APR has not unknowingly changed.
  3. Have your billing account information handy to activate your card.
  4. Call the number on the sticker of the new card to activate it.
  5. Update any payments that used your old card’s information.  
  6. Properly dispose of your old card.
  7. Use your card again! 

What accounts are impacted by an expired debit card? 

As mentioned before, you will need to update your expired debit card with different companies. This happens anytime you get a new card. Failure to do so could result in rejected payments, even if your card number did not change. 

So, who needs to know? Any account that is not a direct debit, meaning any account that is not associated with your account number. Most automatic payments depend on your card number. This could be your credit card payment that is set up on auto-pay, or even music subscriptions and gym memberships. 

This might sound like a lot but keep in mind, your debit card expires every few years and it is to ensure your account safety. Most companies try to make it simple to update your card and might send you a notice when the time is approaching. 

All good things come to an end 

Your debit card will likely expire every 2-5 years but not to worry your bank should provide you with plenty of time to make sure you do not go without your card. This is a great time to get updated on new products, ensure your debit cards are still secure, and maybe even get a cool new card design! Don’t worry about card numbers or expiration dates with a virtual card and gain access to your virtual card as soon as your account is approved.


What happens if I let my debit card expire? 

It is possible that your physical card will no longer work meaning that you will not be able to use your card at a point of sales in stores, the ATM, or even to shop online. It is important that you make sure you keep your debit card up to date.

Do virtual debit cards expire?

Virtual debit cards have card numbers that are randomly generated and that can expire, sometimes as soon as 24 hours after the number is created. Not to worry! Another card number can easily be regenerated and used for your account. 

Does my expired card mean I lose my rewards? 

Some accounts offer great cashback rewards when you use your debit card. Those rewards are not affected by your debit card expiring and typically are only lost when you close your account.

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