Kathryn B. Hauer, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (TM)
Hi! Is this my daughter writing? Just teasing...our daughter went through a period in college where she lost her credit card regularly. Here's what to do! First, make sure it's lost - go back to (or telephone) the last few places you were and re-check pockets/bags and significant other's pockets/bags. Try not to roll your eyes and snap at the people trying to get you to recreate your last hours in hopes of helping you find the card! You can put a hold/stop on your card while you do this which won't cancel the card right away. You should be able to do that right from your phone or computer.
Once you are sure it is gone for good, call the credit card company and tell them. They will go over the last few charges with you to verify that they are yours and not erroneous charges that the person who now has your card made. The good news is that you will not have to pay those charges...you will only need to pay your own that you made prior to the loss. I have read that some card companies hold you liable for a certain amount - such as $50 of fraud charges - but I have used several different card companies and never was held liability for the fraudulent charges on them.
The credit card company will then mail you a new card. It takes 5 - 10 business days for it to arrive, but if you need it sooner you can pay for expedited delivery. Ask if you can have expedited delivery for free - if you lost the card they will probably say no, but if you are a victim of fraud they will probably send it fast.
During the time you are waiting, if you have another credit card account, use that. Otherwise you will have to use cash. Sometimes the card company will give you your new number, but they probably won't give you the CVC code, which you usually need for online purchases. Remember to that if you have any automatic bills associated with the lost card, you will need to go into your accounts and change the number once you have your new card. When you get your new card, take the time to write down and put in a safe place this data: the new full card number, the credit card company phone; the exp. date; and the CVC. If that’s not written down it makes it harder when you call the credit card company after the card is lost.
I am sorry if you lost your card, but it's not the end of the world! You won’t have to pay for the fraudulent charges, and the new card will arrive soon. As I said many times to my daughter "Just try to be more careful next time, sweetheart, and put your card away after you use it." So glad you wrote!
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