You can only use your credit card to make purchases if it is active, open, and with a good credit standing. So don’t assume that your card will always remain active. Under certain circumstances, it can be deactivated and rendered unusable.
For instance, failure to use your credit card for between several months and years, the lender may have it deactivated. Also, falling behind on your payments may have the lender suspend your payment privileges. Another reason for the deactivation of your credit card is if it expires and you are yet to renew it.
Walking around with an inactive card doesn’t help since its use will be declined. However, you can save yourself the resultant embarrassment by checking if it is still active before attempting to use it. If you are asking how to check if a credit card is active, try any of the following:
1. Calling Customer Service
If you want a straightforward way of knowing if your credit card is still active or not, try calling the credit card issuer. You can then ask the status of your card. Check the number on the back of the card and dial it. A customer service representative will check for you and give you the status of the account. If it was inactive, they can even reactivate it on the spot to enable you to start making purchases.
2. Try Using It
If you can’t call customer service, try using your credit card to make purchases and you will know if it is still active. Where the merchant declines the card, then it obviously is inactive. However, it could also be that the card is expired or you have hit your credit limit. If you choose this option, make sure you have a backup payment method just in case you cannot use your credit card.
3. On the Lender’s Website
It is also possible that your card was deactivated because you misplaced or lost it for a number of years. If you cannot remember your credit card number, go to the lender’s website and key in your social security number. The card issuer will not only renew your credit card, but they will send it to you through the mail.
4. Checking Your Credit Report
Did you know that your credit report can show you a lot about the status of your credit card? The issuers have a long history of informing credit card bureaus about their clients’ credit card status any time of the month.
If your credit card has been deactivated, it will be reflected in your credit report. The only thing you will not know is why the lender closed your account. That’s why giving your credit card issuer a call is still necessary.
As you can see, checking if your credit card is active is simple and easy. Take any of the steps discussed here and you will know if your credit card is still in use or not. Then follow it up with the lender and have it reactivated. There are times when you will be asked to resolve a delinquent balance by topping up with cash. That may mean applying for a completely new credit card.