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When you lose your credit card — or get it stolen — the first thing you should do is call your card issuer and file a report. Doing this will protect your finances and your identity, ensuring that no one else can use your card if they find it. Depending on the issuer, you should receive a replacement card pretty quickly, and you won't be held responsible for any fraudulent charges.
In this guide, we'll walk you through what to do when you lose your credit card at home or abroad. We'll also inform you of best practices should you find a credit card that belongs to someone else.
What to do if you lose your credit card
If you've lost your credit card, your issuer may allow you first to lock your card online or through your mobile app. While you've locked your card, any transaction on the card will not go through. Once you find your credit card, you can simply unlock your card and continue to use it as usual.
Your next step should be to search your card and examine your statement for fraudulent charges. If you see fraudulent charges on your card or still can't find your card after searching everywhere, call the card issuer as soon as possible. Be prepared to provide your billing address or Social Security number to verify your identity and confirm your last known transaction. Then, the bank will deactivate your old card and mail you a new credit card with a new account number. This replacement process won't entirely shut down your account and will have no impact on your credit history.
We've compiled a list of customer service phone numbers and lost card resources for common U.S. credit card issuers. If your issuer isn't on this list, you can find information on how to report your card as lost or stolen on the bank's website or on the back of your card. If you've lost your card while traveling internationally, check out the next section to find the right phone number to contact.
Type of card
|American Express||Personal card||1-800-528-4800||Request replacement card online here.|
|Bank of America||Personal card||1-800-732-9194||Sign in to Online Banking to report your lost or stolen card.|
|Barclays||Personal card||1-877-523-0478||Sign on to your Barclays app to temporarily lock your card using Barclays SecurHold.|
|Capital One||Personal card||1-800-277-4825||Request a replacement card here.|
|Chase||Personal card||1-800-432-3117||Request a replacement card on your Chase mobile app.|
|Citibank||Personal card||1-800-950-5114||Lock your card with Citi Quick Lock online or on your Citi app.|
What to do if you lose your credit card abroad
The process for reporting a card lost or stolen is slightly different when you're traveling outside the U.S. Banks usually have a different number for you to call and may offer you additional protections and benefits, such as expedited shipping of the card.
Here's a list of some international phone numbers for common U.S. credit card issuers. You'll want to write down your bank's phone number before your trip, so you're protected if you lose your card while abroad.
|Bank of America||1-315-724-4022|
If you're traveling internationally, many cards come with complimentary protections that can come in handy. For example, all Chase credit cards come with travel and emergency assistance services. If you need to expedite a replacement card to your hotel or receive an emergency cash advance, you can ask for help through this customer service line.
Finally, make sure to carry some emergency cash in the local currency and an additional credit card when traveling abroad. This can save you a massive headache, as you'll have an immediate backup plan for purchases should you lose your card. For additional safety, store your backup card separately from your primary card to protect you in the event of theft.
What happens when you report your card as lost or stolen
When you lose a credit card and report it, your bank will immediately deactivate your card and give you a new credit card number to prevent fraudulent use of your account. When this happens, be sure to update recurring payments like utility bills and online subscriptions with your new card number to ensure your services continue without interruption.
Don't fret if someone uses your lost credit card before you reported it missing. Most major banks offer a $0 liability policy or fraud protection on their credit cards. If you report unauthorized charges to the issuers in a timely manner, you're not liable for any unauthorized use of your card. Issuers that employ this policy include (but are not limited to):
- American Express
- Bank of America
- Capital One
- U.S. Bank
- Wells Fargo
What to do if you find a lost credit card
If you find a credit card with a stranger's name, you should call the customer service number on the back of the card. Let the representative know that the card isn't yours and provide the location where you found it. They will then shut down the card, notify the account holder and mail them a new credit card.
Never attempt to use a credit card that isn't yours. Doing so without the account holder's permission is considered credit card fraud, subject to both state and federal law. You could face a prison sentence of up to five years, along with a hefty number of fines.
If you lost your credit card, you can try to lock or freeze your card to give yourself time to find it. Or, you can contact your card issuer directly to request a replacement card, which will then deactivate your existing card. Upon losing your card, you should monitor your credit card statement for any unauthorized transactions. Once you receive your new card, you should update any recurring bills so that you won't experience any service interruptions.