Credit cards are among the principal targets of thieves who want money they don’t have to pay for. Thankfully, taking someone else’s credit card or its important details is not that easy. However, there is one unlucky thing that could happen if you lost your credit card: losing it to people who have intentions to use it to their advantage.
Here’s what to do if ever you’ve lost your credit card.
Panicking over this situation will only cause more stress than you’ve already had. Instead, you need to calm down and think over where you might have accidentally left it. Grocery cashier? Airline check in counter? In your other wallet, perhaps? Clear your mind first before you start panicking.
The good news is that U.S. Federal Law has protection in place for credit card holders. In fact your maximum liability for a lost or stolen card is only $50. Some credit card companies might even totally waive your liabilities if your card is proven to be lost or stolen.
So if you lost your card, there’s really not much reason to panic. But of course, that should not give your the right to be careless about handling your credit cards. Like they say, an ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure.
Once you found out that your credit was lost…
Call your credit card issuer right away. Every minute counts when it comes to protecting yourself from potential liabilities and extra hassle when fixing a mess caused by opportunists or thieves. If you can report to your card issuer that you lost your card before someone gets that chance to use it, then so much better. However, if someone gains unauthorized access to your card and charges up to its limit, federal laws cap your liabilities to only $50.
Either way, your credit card will then be voided, and will no longer be associated with your account. That does not mean that your credit card account will be cancelled; you get to keep your old account (and the credit history that comes with it), but they will replace your card with a new one.
Know your credit card issuer’s hotline number by heart.
Memorize this number in order to minimize the time it takes for you to report your lost card.
In any emergency, it is important to be able to act fast and have a starting point for the actions you’re going to take. In the case of a lost or stolen card, it would be your credit card issuer’s hotline number, which should be true to its name. That is, the lines should be open 24/7. (If your lender doesn’t have this service, then maybe it’s time to think twice.)
When you call their hotline number, make sure to know the details of your incident report, such as the date and time you noticed your card got missing, or where you think your last transaction was.
Reporting a lost or stolen card before a thief gains unauthorized access to it saves both you and your card issuer from liabilities and losses.
Again, report these incidents right away and more important, try to avoid losing your credit card.