Don't lose your rewards if your credit card is discontinued

Don't lose your rewards if your credit card is discontinued
Don't lose your rewards if your credit card is discontinued

We told you earlier this year how Starbucks dissolved its partnership with Visa and discontinued its Duetto rewards card. As it turns out, it's not uncommon for issuers to discontinue a card in order to roll out a "new and improved" product. So what do you do if your card is discontinued? To find out, WalletPop spoke with Beverly Harzog, spokeswoman for CardRatings.com, for some expert advice.

While consumers fear being stuck at a cash register with a card that suddenly doesn't work, Harzog says this is unlikely to happen if you've been monitoring your mail. Issuers will notify you about changes to your account by mail or email (however you've elected to have them ordinarily communicate with you). Just be sure to read any and all messages your issuer sends you, and you won't be stuck at a register with a nonfunctional card.

According to the CARD Act that passed in February, issuers have to give 45 days' notice for major account changes; however, Harzog says it's not clear that this includes card discontinuation (ironic though that is). It's unlikely they'll give you less than 30 days' warning, though, so plan accordingly. If you have any bills automatically paid on that card, transfer them over to another one as soon as possible.