Credit cards can become inactive for several reasons. If you haven’t used your credit card in several months, or years even, the credit card issuer may deactivate your credit card. Or, if you’ve fallen behind on your payments, your purchasing privileges may be suspended. Your credit card may have expired and you haven't received a new one.
The simplest way to clear up any question about whether your credit card is still active is to call your credit card issuer and ask. Call the number on the back of your credit card to contact customer service and the customer service representative will be able to give you the status of your account.
If, for some reason, you don’t want to call customer service, you can test your credit card’s status by using it to make a purchase. A declined card would be a sign that your card is no longer active. However, it’s wise to carry a backup payment method in your wallet just in case your suspicions about an inactive credit card are true.
What if you lost or misplaced the credit card a long time ago and you don't remember the credit card number? You can get the card issuer’s number from their website and give them your social security number to locate your account. (Make sure you're at the correct website before giving out your personal information.) The card issuer can send you a replacement credit card if your account is still active.
Finally, your credit report can give you an idea about your credit card status. Credit card issuers generally report credit card status to the credit bureaus throughout the month. If your credit card is closed, your credit report will probably reflect that. It won't, however, tell you why your account was closed. You'll have to contact your former credit card issuer to get that information.
Some inactive credit cards can be reactivated by just calling your credit card issuer an asking. You may have to catch up on a delinquent balance before you'll be allowed to use your credit card again. Unfortunately, if your card is completely closed, you may not be able to open it up again, especially if it was closed because of a delinquency.