What to Do If You Lost Your Credit Card: Everything You Need to Know

What to Do If You Lost Your Credit Card: Everything You Need to Know

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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.

Bank
Type of card
Phone number
Other methods
American ExpressPersonal card1-800-528-4800Request replacement card online here.
Business card
Bank of AmericaPersonal card1-800-732-9194Sign in to Online Banking to report your lost or stolen card.
Business card1-888-287-4637
BarclaysPersonal card1-877-523-0478Sign on to your Barclays app to temporarily lock your card using Barclays SecurHold.
Business card
Capital OnePersonal card1-800-277-4825Request a replacement card here.
Business card1-804-934-2001
ChasePersonal card1-800-432-3117Request a replacement card on your Chase mobile app.
Business card1-800-242-7338
CitibankPersonal card1-800-950-5114Lock your card with Citi Quick Lock online or on your Citi app.
Business card
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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
Phone number
American Express1-800-528-4800
Bank of America1-315-724-4022
Capital One1-804-934-2001
Chase1-800-432-3117
Citibank1-800-950-5114
Discover1-800-347-2683
U.S. Bank1-800-285-8585
Wells Fargo1-925-825-7600

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
  • Barclays
  • Capital One
  • Chase
  • Citibank
  • Discover
  • 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.

ValuePenguin's verdict

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.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).