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Ordering a Replacement Credit Card Due to Magnetic Stripe

This article was written by in Credit. 18 comments.


When the magnetic stripe on the back of your credit card stops being effective more than two years before the card’s expiration date, you may take this as indication that you swipe the credit card fairly often. Maybe this is a frequent occurrence, but this is the first time this has happened to me.

Over the past week or so, I’ve been annoying cashiers and waitresses with my credit card. After the first few swipes, I assumed cashiers would resort to typing in the credit card number manually, but either there is some global aversion to using a keypad or point-of-sale systems no longer support this old-fashioned technique.

I spent this same past week partaking in a number of exciting activities to celebrate my girlfriend’s birthday, and the credit card received a workout, particularly now that multiple swipes were necessary. After a while, I resorted to using my back-up credit card, but this wouldn’t have been necessary if cashiers were willing to punch in the number.

After I arrived home the other day, I called the customer service number on the back of the card, reached a representative immediately, and asked for a replacement. A new one would be in the mail soon. About 24 hours later, the new card was in my hands. Also convenient was the fact that this replacement did not require a new credit card number, saving me frantic attempts to change automated payment settings too numerous to track.

Have you ever experienced problems with your credit or debit card’s magnetic stripe?

Updated October 10, 2014 and originally published May 6, 2011. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Kerwin Stewart

Yeah I have but my bank @AllyBank send a card with the same number but different CCV code.

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avatar Krantcents

I try to use one or two cards exclusively, so the stripe does get a beating. On rare occasions I have replaced the card. I think the credit card companies are so accommodating because they make so much off the cards. If your card is lost or stolen, you receive a new card in a couple of days.

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avatar nimrodel ♦42 (Newbie)

I’ve never run into this problem. Then again, I feel like most of my credit card use is done online. I think swipe my credit card at most 3-4 times per week.

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avatar Will @ HackingTheBank.com

Credit card companies are always quick to replace cards when necessary. They don’t want you using a different card. It’s annoying when companies like Discover keep sending me a new card every 3 months. I use Discover at most twice a year just to keep activity on it, yet they continue to send me new replacement cards constantly.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,535 (Platinum)

Heh. I do seem to get Discover card replacements more frequently than others, and I don’t currently use any Discover cards.

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avatar Harold

I have this issue all the time. I think its my wallets that are hard on the stripes. You call and they send you a new one, simple as that. One tip, they have gladly rushed (over night) me cards if I asked or am out of town.

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avatar cam ♦307 (Nickel)

I have this issue frequently. I think it’s because I don’t carry a wallet, I usually just stick the card I’m going to be using for the day in my back pocket. It probably gets a lot more wear and tear that way.

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avatar Ceecee ♦53 (Newbie)

When I worked in a store last Summer, the owner told us that the credit card processor charged a higher fee for a hand keyed card than for a swipe. Maybe that’s why they refrain from doing that. My card got unreliable once, but it was almost time for a new one, and it would finally work if I tried it a few times.

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avatar skylog ♦368 (Nickel)

i have had this happen a few times, but i think it was more of a case of my neglect than the card “failing.” that said, each time, the process was painless and it was great to simply receive a new card and not have to have a new account number, as would have been the case with a lost card.

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avatar Cejay ♦1,521 (Half-Dollar)

Yes, I do with my debit card. But I have a bad habit of never carrying cash so I use my debit card for almost everything. I have encountered the same problem with cashiers not wanting to enter my number. I have even walked away from a sale since my card would not swipe, they would not enter the number and I was so peeved . Maybe, I need to ask for another card.

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avatar wylerassociate ♦162 (Cent)

this hasn’t happened to me although I use my credit card frequently.

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avatar Allison ♦116 (Cent)

This happened to me late last year. I figured it was just poor manufacturing since I had to replace the card a month or two after receiving it and I don’t use it *that* much.

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avatar Debbie Chioffe ♦260 (Nickel)

Ha! This was even an issue way back 20 years ago when I was working in the Hospitality Business. I remember entering many, many numbers manually! I do not remember that there was an extra charge to do this, as described in a post above… Besides we were doing extra work, they should not charge us more for that, rather pay us more for the extra hassel and work haha. I also remember making the ink reprint by sliding an archaic, ancient, machine over the card, that could not have been good for the stripe!

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avatar tbork84 ♦1,867 (Half-Dollar)

I have never had a problem with any credit or debit cards, but I remember that my girlfriend’s debit card always had issues being swiped. I was totally convinced that her purse had a magnet in it that kept killing the stripe on her card.

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avatar shellye ♦107 (Cent)

This has never happened to me, but I have had to replace a couple of cards over the past decade because the numbers wore down or the paint came off and it was hard for store clerks to verify the numbers on the card. I’ve always heard that you should keep mag stripe cards away from your cell phone, or computer, though. Maybe that’s a reason why.

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avatar qixx ♦1,895 (Half-Dollar)

I had a Discover card wear out after about a year. The magnetic stripe was literally wearing away and rubbing off the card. This after about 6 months. Must not have been just me because just before the card was 1 year old they sent me a new card to replace the one. The previous nor the following card had a problem.

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avatar Laure ♦198 (Cent)

Yes, this has happened occasionally to me. Sometimes I think it’s the store’s swiper that has worn out; currently i have a card that won’t swipe at my neighborhood grocery store but seems to work everywhere else. Usually the credit card companies are super friendly and efficient about sending out a replacement card as they don’t want you to do exactly what you did do – resort to using a different credit card.
Also, I think the reason the cashiers don’t like to type in the numbers is they were trained not to do so, as stores pay a higher fee to credit card companies if the numbers are keyed in rather than swiped. I suppose there might be a higher chance of error (in mistyping the number) that would justify the higher fee, but it seems odd.

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avatar qixx ♦1,895 (Half-Dollar)

I did not realize the card companies charge more when the card is typed in. Is this true everywhere or just at some locations.

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