Do Credit Cards Expire If Not Used? Reality Check
Credit cards are a great way to make payments when needed but if it is not needed for a long time, will it get expired? Will your credit card get closed? In this article, I am going to answer all your doubts.
Credit cards are lifesavers most of the time. You can use it to your heart’s (and well your credit limit) content and worry about paying it back at the end of the month – how easy and convenient is that?
Besides the increased purchase power and a secure gateway of payment, you also get to build your credit rating and earn rewards and cash backs at many restaurants, hotels, and other service providers. All this is if you actually and regularly swipe up your credit card.
What most people aren’t aware of is that credit card inactivity is one of the biggest reasons for account cancellation.
Credit cards may expire or get closed if they are not used for a year or more. The most common reason for closing a credit card account is inactivity. To avoid cancellation of accounts, try to use your credit card at least once every 6 months.
Many credit card issuing companies usually suspend an account if the credit card is not used for a year or more. This is mainly because if you don’t use your account, the company doesn’t make any money from transaction fees paid by merchants or from interest if you carry a balance.
They prefer to give that line of credit to someone who’ll actually use it and in turn help them make some money too.
While unused credit cards usually expire after a year, they can get expired before 1 year as well. Stay tuned to get a deeper analysis of cancellation of credit cards when not used and how you can avoid it.
1. How Long Can a Credit Cards Stay Without Using?
Now, we are sure some questions are looming up in your head, and one of them being – how long can a credit card stay without use? Well, this usually depends and differs from the credit card issuers but the time frame is usually between 12 and 24 months.
This is a common period range and it is therefore advised to swipe up your card from time to time, or at least once or twice a year!
It is also to be noted that the card issuer might not reestablish a canceled account, they have no obligation to do so. This hampers not just your credit score but also any accumulated rewards that you might have on your card.
So, if you think you still need the card or might need it in the future, it is best to get in touch with the card-issuing company immediately and ask them to have the account reinstated immediately.
2. How Do Credit Cards Get Expired?
Like we have just explained, one of the reasons for credit card expiration is the lack of activity from the customer’s end. Besides that, there are also several reasons that can be the reason for your credit card to get expired.
If you check your credit card, you’d notice a valid to date on the card. It is usually placed on the card for normal wear and tear that the card and the chip inside it might face.
That’s why most companies issue a new card at an interval of three years to prevent any technical issues due to chip or plastic wear and tear. This expiration date also helps in preventing any fraudulent activities.
3. What Does Expiration Date Mean On a Credit Cards?
The expiration date written on the back of your credit card is the date till your credit card is valid to use. For example, if your credit card has an expiration date of January 2023, then your card will expire in January 2023 and you will no longer be able to use that. No matter how often you use your credit card, it will expire at this date.
Now, this doesn’t mean your card cannot expire before the given date. As we said, credit cards get expired if not used for more than a year. So, keep this in mind.
4. How to Prevent Getting Your Credit Cards Expired?
Now, coming to how can you prevent this entire ordeal from happening. The answer is pretty simple – use your card often. Besides building up your credit rating, the frequent use of your card will also let your card issuing company know that you’re not a dead-end but an active account holder who’d help them raise money through interest and more. Even a small payment can prevent your card from deactivation.
Also, if you are past your expiration date and have been issued a new card, then remember you must activate and use the card to bring it to life and valid to be used ahead. So, keep your credit card handy and use it often to build up a good credit card score and rating and (of course) the rewards and cash backs that come with it.
One must also remember that the credit card issuers aren’t required to give their customers any notice before a cancelation of an account. Although they are required to inform their users of any major changes in the terms of their accounts, credit card inactivity doesn’t make a cut in this.
So, if you’re awaiting a call from your issuer as to when your card might expire if you don’t use it, your phone might not ring at all!
5. Can a Credit Card Expired Due to Inactivity Be Reopened?
Yes, credit cards expired due to inactivity be reopened if you take steps immediately within 2-3 days of deactivation. The chances decrease if you get late in responding. While you can even get it reopened if you got late, but that’s a matter of luck. Let’s see what you have to do if your card gets deactivated due to inactivity.
What to Do If Your Credit Card Gets Expired Due to Inactivity?
#1. Contact the Issuer For Reactivation
The very first thing you should do once you know about the deactivation of your account is to contact the issuer and ask them for reativation. A straightforward follow up by the cardholder can in some cases lead to reactivation of the credit card.
Notwithstanding, you can send a composed solicitation to the guarantor to reactivate your credit card referencing that you have consistently made the installments on schedule and have a decent credit history.
#2. Check Your Credit Score
If the restriction of your deactivated credit card was pretty high, your credit score may take a profound dive attributable to the expansion in your general credit use proportion. Check whether your credit score is least affected and if there is an extensive drop in your score, you can take restorative measures to revamp your credit score.
#3. Screen Your Credit Report
Do screen your credit report each month to guarantee that your credit card account is shut in the report also and there is no exceptional bill on the record.