Some Bill Providers Automatically Update Your Credit Card When You Get A New One

Some Bill Providers Automatically Update Your Credit Card When You Get A New One

When you get a new credit card, you typically have to go through the process of updating your automatic bill pay information. Some services, though, will update automatically. So how do they know your new credit card number?

Photo by Frankieleon

One Redditor asked this very question after failing to update a Netflix account and then discovering Netflix updated the credit card information on its own. Basically, some service providers are enrolled in credit cards’ Account Updater programs. Visa, MasterCard, and Discover all have these programs and, in a nutshell, they send qualified merchants your new info whenever your card is replaced. You can read Visa’s program in detail here.

Consumerist reached out to Visa on this topic a while back with a concern about security. Visa’s response:

Issuers decide when to provide merchants with updated account information, either when cardholders activate their new cards or within two business days from the date of the changes. VAU participants must also meet certain qualification requirements, including Visa security requirements for data transmission. In addition, no transactions can occur until cardholders have activated their new cards.

It’s still something to be aware of if you plan on using a different card before updating your information or you’re just wondering how Netflix magically knew your new number.

Netflix somehow knows my new credit card number without me giving it to them? [Reddit]


  • A bit US-centric?? Is the ‘Account Updater’ program available in Australia, and does this refer to cards that reach their expiry date and are replaced, or just ones that need to be replaced because you lost it or had it nicked?

    I’ve never had any replacement credit card from Visa or M/Card that has a new number. Only the expiry date has changed. Also, I cannot ever remember Visa telling anyone my new expiry date.

    Mrs Magani had 2 of hers replaced when some low-life nicked her handbag, but AFAIR, she had to do all the updating herself when the new cards arrived.

  • This sounds like a good service, so long as the cardholders are notified it’s happening and they have a chance to opt out, on a case by case basis.

  • Think I’d prefer an opt in-out service, you never know when a company might go broke and turn rogue.

  • Just had my wallet stolen, the only case of this I came across at all was AMEX automatically updating my saved applepay account details so I could continue using applepay with no physical card. Commonwealth couldn’t even send me a card that worked properly until a week after receiving it (paypass didn’t work, inserting didn’t need a pin).

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