Over the years, the use of the debit card has increased because it allows people to transfer money electronically from their bank account when they are making a purchase offline or online. Nowadays, most banks and financial institutes offer debit cards so it is not surprising to see people using more than one debit card. So if you have more than one debit card then there are chances you might not use a particular debit card for a long time. And if you are wondering what might happen if you don’t use your debit card for a long time then keep reading this article.
If you don’t use your debit card for a long time then nothing extravagant will happen. Though there are chances, you might be charged an inactivity fee if you do not use your card for a certain period of time. Moreover, if your debit card is expired then you can issue a new one from the card-issuing bank. However, if it is your only debit card and linked with your main bank account then it might affect your credit score if you don’t use it for a long time.
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- 1 Consequences Of Not Using The Debit Card For A Long Time
- 2 Reasons Why Banks Deactivate Debit Cards
- 3 FAQs About What Happens If I Don’t Use My Debit Card For A Long Time?
Consequences Of Not Using The Debit Card For A Long Time
Debit card users usually have to pay either a monthly fee or an inactivity fee for their debit card. But they don’t have to pay both the fees. So if you are paying a monthly fee for your debit card then you have to pay the fee every month despite if you are not using the card. In this type of situation, you don’t have to pay the inactive fee. On the other hand, if you don’t pay a monthly fee but your debit card policy says you have to pay the inactive fees then you don’t have to pay any fee if you are using the card regularly. However, if you are not using the card for a certain period of time then you have to pay the inactive fee.
Therefore, you should contact the card-issuing company or check the cardholder agreement to find out what fees you might have to pay. If you use your debit card very often then a monthly fee will be the best option for you. On the other hand, if you don’t use your debit card very often then you should look for a debit card that charges a fee per transaction instead of a monthly fee, and doesn’t charge an inactivity fee. Moreover, if you don’t use your credit card and if it expires with balance on your card then the card issuer company might hand over the money to the state as unclaimed property. So, check your unused card and see if it has any balance left on it.
Reasons Why Banks Deactivate Debit Cards
There are many reasons banks can deactivate debit cards and limit your access to the funds in your account. Let’s check them out!
This is a very common reason banks and other financial institutes block their debit cards. If your account has a negative balance and if you try to make an online or offline payment then the bank authority won’t accept the transaction and in the worst-case scenario, they might block your card to prevent fraud activities. Therefore, always check your balance before using your debit card.
Banks monitor the financial behaviors of their account holders and create a customer profile that includes information about the typical banking habits, such as when and where the users are using their debit cards. So, if you normally use your debit card for small payments in the local community then the bank will consider a large dollar transaction involving your card that occurred in another nation as unusual. In this type of situation, the bank might deactivate the card as a precaution against theft or fraud. In this type of situation if you contact the bank, then the ban will reactivate the card.
Every debit card has an expiration date printed on the front/back of the card. Moreover, there is a magnetic strip on the back of every debit card and it contains your account information. So, if your debit card’s expiration is over then your card will be deactivated automatically. In this type of situation if you want to continue with your debit card then apply for a new expiration date for your card or you can apply for a new debit card.
FAQs About What Happens If I Don’t Use My Debit Card For A Long Time?
1. Will My Debit Card Be Canceled If It’s Not Activated On Time?
No, your debit card won’t be canceled if it is not activated on time. However, you won’t be able to use the debit card if it is not activated and you might also have to pay the monthly fees for the card.
2. What Costs Are Associated With Debit Cards?
There are some basic fees that you might have to pay if you want to use a debit card. You might have to pay a monthly fee or inactive fee or fee for every transaction depending on your card type. Moreover, you might have to pay a fee if you withdraw money from your account using your debit card.
3. How Long Does A Debit Card Stay Active If Not Used?
There is no exact time for a debit card to stay active if not used for a long time. Usually, a debit card remains active as long as it has an expiration date. If the expiration date is over then the debit card will become inactive. Moreover, if your debit card is connected with your saving or current account then the card will also become inactive if your linked account is closed or inactive.
4. Can A Bank Deactivate A Debit Card If Not Used?
Yes, banks have the right to deactivate a debit card if it is not used for a long time. All the banks monitor their issuing cards and if any individual has not used their debit card for online transactions, international transactions, and contactless transactions for a long time then the bank can deactivate that card for security reasons.
5. Does An ATM Card Get Blocked If Not Used For 6 Months?
As long as there is an expiration date, an ATM card does not get blocked if not used for 6 months. Usually, an ATM card gets blocked if the user inputs the wrong PIN code three times in a row or the expiry date of the card is over.
Magalie D. is a Diploma holder in Public Administration & Management from McGill University of Canada. She shares management tips here in MGTBlog when she has nothing to do and gets some free time after working in a multinational company at Toronto.