You look into your wallet and discover your credit card isn’t there. When you realize your credit card is lost or stolen, feelings of panic may bubble up.
Losing your credit card is a situation that nobody wants to find themselves in. Unfortunately, in the midst of rising crimes, stolen credit cards is rather common and can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety to card owners.
If you lose your credit card, the first thing you ought to do is to calm yourself. Then follow a series of steps to reduce fraudulent charges, protect your identity, and replace any missing items. Let’s explore these steps in more detail.
What steps should I take if I lose my credit card?
- Retrace your steps: When you are stressed, you might forget this obvious step. However, it could potentially help you to avoid fraudulent charges. Think about when and where you last used your credit card. Sometimes credit cards are commonly left behind in the pockets of outfits, cars, couches, or the last store you visited.
If you are unable to locate your credit card in the last place it was used, you should move on to the next step.
- Contact the issuing company: Following loss or stealing of your credit card, call the card provider immediately and report the incident. Many credit cards offer no liability to their users thereby giving protection from all unauthorized purchases. Ensure that you report the incident to your provider no later than two business days to prevent anyone else from racking up unauthorized charges on your card.
If you have a mobile app for your credit card, you can lock the card virtually and prevent unauthorized access to it. If you eventually find the card, reactivate it using your phone and ensure that no transactions occurred while the card was lost.
- Seek a replacement card: Once you have reported your missing credit card, the issuing company shall begin the process for replacing your card. They will cancel or deactivate your present credit card number and give you a new number. Usually, it takes anywhere between three to seven business days to get a replacement card in the mail.
In some cases, you can request for quicker delivery of your credit card. Travelers can request an expedited delivery of a credit card if they need a replacement urgently. Some credit card providers also provide overnight delivery free of charge.
- Update automatic payment information: Once you receive your new credit card, update your recurring bill payments with the replacement card number. Organize your credit card payments by identifying which payment is billed to which credit card. You can find the list of recurring payments on your lost card by checking the credit card statements of the previous months.
Updating your payment information will help to prevent late payment fees, service interruptions, and damages to your credit score. Sometimes your recurring payments may transfer over without any action on your part. Still, it’s best to personally check the payment processes initially after you replace your credit card.
- Review your credit score: Losing a credit card and replacing it thereafter does not hurt your credit score as the account information is transferred onto a new account. As long as you are proactive in taking proper steps to replace your missing card, your credit score will remain the same. You can further protect your credit by monitoring your credit report regularly and making all payments on time.
- File a police report if your purse was stolen: In case your wallet containing the credit card was stolen, make sure to file a police report. With some exceptions, most credit cards offer no liability coverage for cases involving stolen cards. Though the police might not be able to locate your purse, filing a report with them gives you future protection from liability for any unauthorized charges to your card.
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How to Prevent Losing Your Credit Card
The following steps can help you to avoid dealing with a lost credit card:
- Be mindful: One of the best ways to keep your cards secure is to keep an eye on them. Ensure that you are putting your credit card back in your wallet after each use. Avoid keeping it in a pocket and telling yourself that you will put it in your purse later. You could get busy with other activities and eventually forget about your credit card.
Keep track of all your credit cards and store the ones which you do not use in a secure location. Also, when traveling, carry only the cards which you need. Being alert can help you to avoid losing your credit cards.
- Record the provider’s contact numbers: The majority of credit card companies have dedicated helplines for customers with missing credit cards. There is also a toll-free number which you could use when you are outside the country. Saving these numbers on your phone can help you later if you find yourself without a credit card.
- Protect your account number: In an age cyber crimes are constantly rising, hackers do not need your credit card to commit identity fraud. Gaining access to your account number might be enough for them to steal sensitive information. Ensure that your account number is not written anywhere that someone can easily find.
The loss of a credit card can be unsettling for anyone. You work hard to ensure you and your family are financially secure.
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About the writer
Quotacy is the country’s leading broker for buying life insurance online. We are obsessed with making it easy for everyone who has loved ones who depend upon them to have life insurance.