When Your Credit Card Expires

When I walked downstairs this morning, Helaine was already sitting with pen and paper in hand, going through bills and statements. Our credit card is scheduled to expire at the end of next month. Now we have the new date. Everyone must be informed.

We’ve been down this road before. No matter how hard we try, someone will be left out and we’ll get notice of trouble putting a payment through – which we’ll quickly fix.

I understand why credit cards physically expire. Hold on… maybe I don’t. There is instantaneous control on each and every purchase. Is this additional step really necessary anymore?

I certainly don’t understand why there isn’t communication between my credit card company and large recipients (like Cingular, for instance) who get continuing monthly payments. It would seem to be in both their interest. It would certainly be easier.

In our case, this change is an cumbersome exercise in ‘going through the motions’. Since there’s manual labor involved, it’s expensive for the companies involved.

Helaine asked if I knew anyone I could think of who needed to be on the list? Courtesy call. I was being humored. We wisely maintain a safe distance between me and the family’s money!

The list she’d already compiled did contain some head scratchers. One charge was from Ethostream. Who the heck is that?

We figured it out. Hotel Internet access… at least we think so.

When the bill runs page and pages and pages, it’s possible to miss the little things. I’m sure there are frauds based on that realization. And many companies operate under multiple names, so charges can come from someone unfamiliar to you.

At least it’s only our expiration date that’s changing and not the card number itself.

One thought on “When Your Credit Card Expires”

  1. Geoff,

    There are reasons that credit cards still expire:

    1. New card, with a new magnetic stripe.

    2. Chance for the credit card company to sell or “offer” you something when you replace the card [because some of us don’t like to talk to people we pay].

    3. Cardholders who die and never have thier account terminated.

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