Why do credit cards still have expiration dates?


Using your credit card to pay recurring bills is a huge time-saver. Assuming you’re responsible with your money and pay off the balance each month, it’s much better than having to deal with all those small bills individually. But there’s one problem: whenever your credit card expires, you have to contact all those companies to update your info.

This makes me wonder: why do credit cards still have expiration dates at all? Surely the technology exists for issuing cards that expire in the year 2099 or something, thus freeing up customers from having to change their info all the time. Maybe shorter expiration dates reduce fraud, or provide an excuse for the card issuer to hit you with the full marketing pitch when the new card arrives. The benefits certainly seem dubious, at least from the customer’s perspective.

I’d love to see an option where you could choose a 5 or 10 or 20 year interval between renewals. Of course, that just lessens the problem without actually solving it. Perhaps the trick is for one of the card issuers to create a whole marketing campaign around “the card that never expires” and create the technology that makes it possible from the payment processing end. That’s a tall order, but I suspect whoever pulls it off would earn a whole lot of new customers in the process.