Credit card expiration dates: Why do they expire? What happens to your account when they expire?

TULSA - It's not a jug of milk or a pound of beef so why does your credit card carry an expiration date?

The folks at , a credit card industry watchdog, say it's actually for the customer's protection.

It's another layer of protection a thief would have to have to use your card in addition to the actual number and the security code on the back.

Also, the card will wear down over time each time you swipe it or take it in or out of your wallet.  

So a shiny, new card shows up ready for action about a month before the actual expiration date. 

A little inside info:  When your credit card gets close to its expiration date the company will take a look at your account and decide whether to raise, lower or keep your credit limit the same.

If your limit is lowered call the company right away and ask why.  There may be some ways to change how you use the card to keep that limit up and as a result keep your credit score going higher.

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