Expiration dates on debit cards

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The expiration date on a debit card prevents it from being used beyond that specific point in time. It can be a good idea to understand what these expiration dates are and how they are used.

The expiration date of a debit card is one of the raised sets of numbers on the card’s front, usually on the bottom right hand side but the actual location can vary. It is often called the “valid to” date. It will usually be set out as four figures with a forward slash in the middle in the format “04/20,” which stands for the month and year, e.g., 04/20 will stand for April 2020. The card expire at the ending of the listed month.

If a debit card is presented after the expiration date, it will not be processed and in most cases will not be accepted. This is even if there are sufficient funds in the account. The card is invalid as soon as it expires.

In the run-up to the expiry date, however, the bank will generally write to the card holder informing them their debit card is about to expire and the bank will be issuing them a new card. This may arrive at the same time or it may arrive in a different letter. For this reason and others, it is always a good idea to keep the bank updated with one’s current address. If the debit card is mistakenly sent to the wrong address, the card can be replaced.

Usually a replacement card will have the same PIN number as the previous card. However, it may be the policy of the bank or credit union to require a different PIN number. In this case the new card’s PIN number will be sent separately.

When the card arrives it will need to be activated either via the internet or the telephone, depending upon the bank’s facilities. This will usually be done through a code received either with the letter or separately. In some cases the debit card will already be activated when received, but this is becoming rarer. As soon as the new card is activated the old one will be invalidated.

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