What do I do with my expired credit card?
Find out how you can safely dispose of your old credit card.
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All credit cards are subject to an expiry date. The month and year will be printed on the front of your card and your bank will usually send you a replacement card before this date. But what should you do with your old card? You can use this guide to learn how to safely dispose of your credit card and get answers to other frequently asked questions about credit card expiry.
What to do with your old credit card
Once you've received and activated your replacement card, you can get rid of your old card. You should avoid throwing your card into the trash, as someone could find it. While they won't be able to use the card to make transactions, someone could use the personal information listed on the card or the data stored in the card's magnetic strip to commit identity fraud.
Instead of throwing your card away, you should destroy it first so that no one can use the information from your card. If you don't want to dispose of it, you could potentially keep it in a secure place (such as a safe in your home) to keep it protected.
How to destroy your expired credit card
Here are the steps you can take to safely dispose of your expired credit card:
- Demagnetise and cut the strip. The magnetic strip on your card contains personal data including your account number, card limit and name. You can demagnetise this so it can't be used by running a magnetic slowly along the strip for a few minutes. You can then cut through the magnetic strip.
- Cut your card horizontally. Use a strong pair of scissors to cut through your card horizontally, making sure you're cutting straight through the embossed account number listed on your card.
- Cut your card vertically. Cut the top half of your card vertically at every two to four digits, then do the same with the bottom half.
- Security code. Your CVV number (or security code) is the 3-digits listed on the back of your card. Find this part of your card and cut it into small pieces so that it can't be read or put back together.
- Signature. As you're cutting up the card, make sure that you're also cutting up the strip on the back that contains your signature so that it can't be read and copied.
- CHIP. This is the silver or gold chip that's usually found on the left-hand side of your card. You can either cut this up with scissors or smash it with a hammer.
Once you've cut up your card and you're sure that the pieces can't be put back together or used, you can dispose of the card. You should throw the separate fragments away in a few different bins so that the pieces can't be recovered and put back together.
If you're also throwing out any documents (such as old bank statements), you could consider putting those through a paper shredder, cutting them up and recycling them in a separate bin to the remains of your card.
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Frequently asked questions about expired credit cards
When does my credit card expire?
Your credit card expiry will be listed as a month and a year on the front of your credit card. Let's say that your expiry date is 05/2024, your card would expire at the end of May 2024.
Can I use my credit card after it has expired?
No, you can't use your credit card after it's expiry. If you do, your transaction will be declined. You should receive a replacement card that you can activate and use before your old card expires.
Will my new credit card have the same numbers?
If your card has expired, your replace credit card should have the same account number and name printed on the front but it will have a different expiration date and security CVV number. This is why you'll need to update any direct debits with your new card information once it's been activated.
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