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Monday, November 30, 2009

Shoot! I Lost My Credit Card. What Do I Do?

Begin scene:

After waiting in line for almost 20 minutes, you finally reach the register to buy a holiday gift for a family member.

You hand over your credit card in a hurry, sign in a hurry, and rush out in a hurry with your gift. You are efficient.

You get home and realize you left your wallet on the counter at the store. Quick, what do you do?

  1. Call Your Credit Card Company Right Away
    Many companies have toll-free numbers and 24-hour service to deal with lost credit cards. Credit card issuers often place instructions for lost or stolen cards on your monthly statement. Follow these instructions. You may also visit your credit card company’s Web site for further instruction.
  2. Follow Up With A Written Letter
    It is a good idea to follow up with a letter to your credit card company.Include in your letter: your account number, when you noticed your card was missing, the date you first reported the loss.

    Be sure to send the letter to the address provided for billing errors. Do not send it with a payment, unless directed to do so.
  3. Monitor Your Account Statements
    Review your billing statements in detail. If there are errors or unauthorized charges, write a letter to your credit card company describing each unauthorized charge.
  4. Monitor Your Credit Report
    It is a good idea to pull your credit once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus anyways, now that you have lost your credit card it’s even more important. You can obtain your free credit report at If you notice any errors, dispute them right away.
Other Things You Should Know
  • If you report the loss before your credit card is used, you are not responsible for any unauthorized charges.
  • If a thief uses your credit card before you report it missing, the most you will owe for unauthorized charges is $50.

Shop safely this holiday season.