Credit cards are one of the most widely used means of payment worldwide because of their ease and convenience. Almost everyone has access to a credit card as long as they have a good credit history and pay their debts regularly. To enjoy this form of financing, it is necessary to be active and updated.
One of the limitations of these forms of payment is that there are some reasons why they may become inactive. One of them is that you have not used it for several months, or if you take too long to make payments, the bank deactivates the card. The card may also be inactive because its effective date has expired. If you wonder how to check if a credit card is active online, here are some instructions to help you study.
How can I check if my credit card is active?
Credit cards can be inactive for several reasons. All of them respond to the direct activities of the cardholder: late payments, lack of use, or expiration date are some of the most common reasons for disabling a credit card.
If you suspect that your card is inactive for any of these reasons or any other you don’t know, here is a guide of options to find out if it has stopped working.
Option One: Contact Customer Service
The direct way to determine if your credit card is active or not is to call customer service. Under this scheme, it is very easy to have immediate answers because you have the advice of a real telephone operator who, after monitoring the system data, will be able to tell you if it is active and, if not, the reason for the disabling.
Most banks offer this type of service 24 hours a day; however, we encourage you to call during office hours. If you do not know the bank’s number, contact the number on the back of your credit card and follow the steps to request the information.
Second option: Try to use it
If the first option is not viable for you, you can try to use it by purchasing a small amount. If the card is declined, it is a sign that it may be inactive, but it would not necessarily mean that. It could also be over the payment limit. Have another payment method with you to substitute if the card doesn’t swipe and avoid an embarrassing moment.
If you prefer to avoid an awkward situation in a physical store, you can also try a small online purchase. If the card is declined at checkout, it is likely to be inactive, but, as mentioned above, this is not the only reason that would reduce it.
Third option: Check your bank account online
A third easy and reliable option is to check your online bank account. Through it, you can look at the records, the limit, your debt, available balance, etc. If you have an online credit card account, log in to the account with your username and password and check the account status.
Fourth option: Visit the bank
A less friendly alternative is to visit a local bank branch. Search the Internet for the bank branch closest to your home, check the customer service hours, and go with your credit card and identification.
The banker will ask you a series of questions to verify your identity and review the data in the system. This is similar to the first option, but this time in person.
Fifth option: Check your credit report.
If none of the above four alternatives work for you, we have a fifth and final option. By reviewing your credit report, you can know if your card is active or not. This record transcribes the status of credit cards and will indicate if yours is disabled.
If the credit card is deactivated, the report will say so but will not reflect the reasons. To find out the reasons, you should contact your bank’s customer service department by phone or person.
Can I reactivate my card after it has been inactive?
You can reactivate some credit cards by contacting your bank’s customer service and requesting it. You will most likely have to pay the overdue funds to use your card freely. The only way you will not be able to reactivate it is if the bank proves that it canceled it in response to a crime.
If you can reactivate the card, ask the customer service operator what the amount to be paid is and the current balance available. However, once the card is activated, you can verify this information through online banking.
Remember that you are responsible for paying the minimum monthly payment on your card, even if it is active. If you did not pay while it was inactive, you would have penalties such as high surcharge rates, depending on the time of non-payment and damage to your credit history.
Note: The amount of time your credit card can remain active without use is from 12 to 24 months, depending on the bank. After this period, the financial institution will cancel the card.
If you leave it with a “zero balance” and is not used for a long time, it does not affect your credit score. But, it will hurt your credit history because, without recent activity, lenders do not have current accounts to determine if you are a good candidate for a loan.