I can’t even believe that I am saying this (or typing this rather) but can you believe that some people don’t know that their credit card actually expires? That’s right some people have a credit card in their wallet and they use their credit card on a daily basis, but they don’t know that their credit card expires, even though there is a date on the front of every credit card.
This week a woman came into our bank branch asking for her credit card to be replaced. When the bank teller asked the woman if her credit card was lost or stolen she replied “no” and pulled her credit card out of her wallet. When the bank teller asked the woman why she wanted to replace her credit card she replied “because it expires next month.”
I am not sure what world this woman lives in, but it is definitely not on planet earth. She thinks that when her credit card expires she can bring it into the bank and exchange it for a new credit card which has a higher credit limit and a zero outstanding balance. She is completely unaware that the expiry date on her credit card is just a formality. She doesn’t know that the bank will only send her a new physical credit card with a new expiry date, but her actual credit card account with the current outstanding balance remain the same.
This woman is a long time client of our bank and she is in fact making monthly payments to her credit card through pre authorized payments, the jury is still out on whether or not she actually knows that she is making monthly payments to her credit card.
I am sure that you can only imagine the reaction of the bank teller who is trying to explain the basic functions of a credit card to a woman who believes that she can charge thousands of dollars onto her credit card and then just have the debt completely wiped out when she exchanges her credit card for a new one.
It was astonishing to learn that a woman could actually think that a bank would pay off her debt in full each and every time that her credit card expires. However, it is more astonishing to know that she is not the only person on planet earth who thinks this could be true. Ok maybe there are not a lot of other people who think that the bank will pay off their credit card debt in full, but there are a lot of people who don’t know why their credit card expires. There are also a lot of people (more than you think) who don’t pay attention to the expiration date on their credit card. The next time you are making a purchase and your credit card transaction is declined, don’t panic, just check the expiration date.
Have you ever wondered why your credit card expires? MSN Money recently published a post about the various reasons why credit cards expire some of which include fraud prevention, upgrades in technology, as well as new branding. I know that it’s not a major aspect of your credit card such as the available credit limit or current outstanding balance, but everyone should take note of the date when their credit card expires.
Photo by squeakymarmot