Losing a credit card is never fun, but here are some pointers in case it ever happens to you.
- Call the credit card company – Most suggest saving all the phone numbers somewhere but how many of us do that and when is that location ever accessible when we find out that our cards are missing? Instead, try asking your friend who have a similar card (it’s on the back of the card), go to the online accounts website or reading it off the monthly bill.
- Call immediately (most credit card companies have a 24 hour hot line) and try to remember when your last purchase was to verify whether there were fraudulent charges. Forget about the advice of having your account number because trying to get that usually delays you calling. Cancel that card right away to avoid being charged for purchases you did not make.
- Mail them a letter stating the lost even though you called. This is to make sure that in the case the person over the phone doesn’t cancel everything correctly, you have proof that you already filed a claim.
- You are only liable for $50 of fraudulent charges if you report the lost of your credit card under federal law (Fair Credit Billing Act). If charges are made after you reported your card stolen, you assume no liability.
- Call the credit report agencies (Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union) as well and report the theft. Ask them to attach a fraudulent alert to your credit cards.
- Pay extra attention to your billing statements to make sure that charges are all valid.
Some More Tips to Prevent Losing Your Credit Cards
Of course, some adjustments can help reduce the chances that your credit cards get lost drastically. Here are a few to consider:
- Only carry cards that you need with you. You really don’t need your credit card army to march with you to the mall.
- Put them in a wallet or holder, don’t just use a rubber band or money clip as they are not as secure.
- Make sure your wallet is secure in your pocket (or purse). What’s even worst than losing the credit card? The whole wallet slipping out and losing it all.
- Don’t put your credit cards in an unattended place – You would think that this never happens, but those that play sports (or go to a gym) often leave their wallets and bags unattended.
- Bag Check – Don’t check your bag at the airport with your credit cards in it.
- If you have to do this, leave it in a bag that’s worn out and old (personal experience – the bag that’s the newest and most expensive looking always get stolen first).
- Never carry your wallet in your hand – the solution to a wallet being too big to fit in the purse or too uncomfortable to fit in your pocket is to get a smaller one.
- Periodic Check – check to make sure your wallet is still there every once in a while. If you find it missing, there are fewer possible places where it can be.
- Never lend your credit card out – You may think this is crazy but I know many people who lend out their Costco membership card to their friends so they can buy something. It is dangerous, not to mention probably against the rules if not downright illegal.
- Know how many credit cards you have (and are carrying with you). It makes it easy to spot check whether you still have them or not.
Got a missing credit card story you want to share? Do you have any tips and tricks about what to do when you lose your credit cards? Leave a comment below.