When You Get A New Debit Card Does The Card Number Change?

A debit card is one of the most important tools you can use to get access to your money; you can use it for ATM withdrawals, payments, etc. It’s important that you take care of your personal card if you want your transactions to go smoothly. Occasionally, you’ll need to trade your expired cards for new ones to ensure that you have continuous access to your account.

A common question that many people have is whether the card number changes with a new card or not. Your debit card number does not change if the prior card expired and you’re getting an updated version. Your debit card number does change if the reason for your new card is because you reported your old card as lost or stolen.

To help you understand better, I’m going to give you a thorough explanation of what happens when you get a new debit card.

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Does A Debit Card Number Change With A New Card?

The short answer is: It depends on why you’re asking for a new card. In most cases, people ask for a new card because the old one has expired. In this particular context, the card number doesn’t change. On the other hand, if you reported your old card as stolen/lost, your new card number is going to change from the old one.

The number that appears on your debit card is always linked to your account number, and since the account number is permanent, the number on your debit card is too. In the case that you’re just changing cards due to expiration, the CVV (Card Verification Value) and the expiration date are the only things that are going to change. The 16-digit number on the front of the card is going to remain the same.

If your card got stolen or lost and you report it to your bank, your bank is going to change your card number because it wants to avoid fraud transactions. For example: If your card got stolen, you wouldn’t want the thief using your card to make unauthorized purchases, which is why the bank issues you a completely new number, rendering the stolen one useless.

There is a third scenario, which is uncommon but can still happen. If you suffered from identity theft, your bank is likely going to recommend you open a new account to avoid further problems. In my research, I found some cases where the account owners found unauthorized transactions on their accounts. This happens when a thief somehow gets ahold of your account information and starts making purchases without your consent.

If you want to go with the safest route, whenever you find suspicious transactions on your account, speak to your bank. If they suggest that you open a new account, that may be the best option. In these cases, your new card is going to have a different number, but if you’re just changing an expired card for a new one, your card number is going to remain the same.

Does An Expired Debit Card Work?

Some people don’t even notice when their card expires; it has happened to me too! If your debit card is expired, you’re not allowed to make any type of purchases with it. This is to avoid fraud transactions.

Most banks ask you to renew your debit card every few years to prove that you’re still the owner of that card. Another reason you have to renew your card is to get an up-to-date model with enhanced security systems. If you still used a debit card from 15 years ago, you would encounter some issues with newer card readers. More than getting an updated card, renewing your bank products works as a security measure to protect you and the bank from fraud. 

Keep in mind that if you have your expired card linked to automatic payments, these payments are going to get declined until you assign a newer card. If you want to avoid the unpleasant surprise of suddenly having automatic payments declined, I suggest that you write down your card’s expiration date so that you don’t miss it!

Related: How to Keep Track of Bills and Payments Easily

How Do You Know When A Debit Card Expires?

Knowing when a debit card expires is fairly easy. Every bank in the U.S. sets a particular expiration date on the front of the card, so it’s hard to miss. In most cases, they’re going to appear in the format of “mm/yy.”

For example, if your card has a “10/25” expiration date, it means that your card is going to expire at the end of October 2025. You can still use your card until the last day of your expiration month, but I recommend that you change your old card for a newer one as soon as you can to avoid problems.

The amount of time that the bank gives your card before expiring depends on the institution. Most banks provide a two-three-year life cycle to their cards, so it’s important to check that too.

Does The PIN Number Change With A New Debit Card?

This is the same scenario as with your card number. If you’re just changing your old card for a newer one due to the expiration date, it’s unlikely that you have to change your PIN, but if you were a victim of theft, the bank may ask you to input a new PIN to avoid fraud transactions. 

Keep in mind that you’re the only person who should know your PIN, so make sure you don’t share that sensitive information with anyone.

How Long Does A Replacement Debit Card Take To Arrive?

The amount of time you have to wait until you get a new card depends on the bank. Most institutions take from five to seven working days to send your new card to your mailbox. If you want to make sure, I recommend that you go to your bank and ask them directly.

If you’re close to needing a replacement, you should ask for the new card at least two weeks before your old one expires. If you wait until your old card expires, you may have to spend a few days without a card while waiting for the new one, which is inconvenient.

I recommend putting an “expiration reminder” on your calendar. When you have a month left until your card expires, call or go to your bank to ask for a replacement. This way, you can still use your old card while waiting for the new one without worrying.

What Do You Do When You Get A New Debit Card?

There are two basic steps that you should always follow when you get a new card in the mail. This ensures that everything keeps working properly, and you have a smooth transition from the old card to the new one.

Step One – Activating the New Debit Card

Keep in mind that your new card is not going to work until you activate it. Before you dispose of your expired card, make sure that you go through the activation process with your new card first. When your card arrives, it’s likely going to have a sticker with an activation number that you can call. When you call that number, all you have to do is input your card number, CVV number, and PIN. This is to ensure that you’re the owner of the card.

Another way to do this is to use an ATM to activate your card. To do this, go to your nearest ATM, and make a deposit or withdrawal. When you enter your PIN to confirm the transaction, your card is going to be activated. 

Last but not least, you can make a debit card purchase in a store to activate the card. Keep in mind that this only works if you already have a PIN. I recommend that you go with the first method since it’s the most secure one, but you can choose the one you feel most comfortable with.

Step Two – Get Rid of Your Old Debit Card

When you finish activating your new card, the old one is not going to be of any use to you, so you should dispose of it securely. I recommend that you cut the card into small pieces and throw the pieces away in different trashcans when throughout your week. It may sound like too much, but it’s a good way to reduce the risk of identity theft.

Make sure that you also update all your accounts with your new card information. If you don’t do this, your recurring payments can get declined until you remove the old card information to put in the new one.

It’s hard to remember all the accounts you have linked with your old card, so you need to keep a record of everything. I suggest keeping a list of the websites you have your old card information saved so that way you can quickly log in and change the information when you need to renew your card.

Conclusion

Renewing your debit cards is fairly easy and fast, but you need to be careful with your information if you want to avoid issues such as identity theft and fraudulent transactions. While your new debit card is usually going to keep the same number as your old one, make sure that you write down all the locations you’re using that card for automatic payments so that you don’t accidentally miss a bill.

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Steffa Mantilla

Certified Financial Education Instructor

Steffa is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) and the founder behind Money Tamer. Her 12-year background in operant conditioning and positive behavioral change training is used to help people find effective motivators to change their harmful money behaviors. Steffa explains the reasons “why” behind people’s financial behaviors and how to successfully change them. After paying off over $80,000 in debt through budgeting, she now teaches families how to get their own finances in order. You can learn more about her here.

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