Your credit card is expired or has been blocked. There is nothing to worry about as the card is now invalid and no charges can be put on them. WRONG.

The bank will replace your expired or blocked card with a new one. Although the credit card number will be the same, the expiry date AND CVC number will be different. As a result, it is not the same card as some of the security details have now been changed. Here is the catch. As much as you believe that the old card cannot be used, your subscriptions that have your old card details registered start showing up on your credit card statement or on your sms. In your mind, this is not possible as the old card is now invalid and those subscription monthly payments should have been declined.

Well, to my surprise, it can and does happen. Banks actually transfer the charges made to the expired credit card over to the new credit card!

How does can an invalid credit card get charged?

Those subscriptions that you forgot to cancel or did not bother cancelling as your card was expired, are the culprits. As it is a subscription, the charge will basically roll over onto your new card. Basically, in these cases, the banks will allow the transactions to take place and charge the new credit card with the amount without your approval.

I asked myself, “how can that be if I did not specifically authorize the new card with the new details to be used”?

It is quite a dilemma so I went out and looked for some answers. I spoke to a major bank here in the UAE who confirmed that in the case of merchant’s request for a subscription, they would allow the charges on the new card.

Hang on a minute – but who is the bank’s client here?

Is it not the bank’s responsibility to ask for my approval before allowing such a transaction? It is after all an invalid card that is being used.

Is it the bank’s job to decide whether I should pay my subscription or protect my credit card for unauthorized transactions?

[Related Link: Have you been a victim of online fraud?]

Can this happen on a cancelled credit card?

You would think not as in this case, the customer called in to block the credit card. Well, one of our Souqalmal customers had a very unpleasant experience with a major international bank. A 13,000 Euro transaction was allowed on the blocked credit card and transferred to the new card.

What if your credit card statements have transactions from your old card?

First step is to contact your bank’s call center and enter a dispute on those charges. The bank will ask you to fill in a form providing them details of the transactions and whether the card was present or not. The bank will surely ask you as a first step whether it is possible to resolve it with the merchant and get a refund. Failing this, you will have to try and resolve it directly with the bank.

[Related Link: How to dispute fraudulent credit card charges?]

What now?

To get to the bottom of this dilemma, I have reached out to a few of our banker friends to understand once and for all what are the rules that applies in these cases. There will be a second part to this article that I will publish once I find out more ! Until then, keep your credit cards safe and watch out for those statements. Do not ignore them !