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What to Do If You Lost Your Credit Card

Don't fret. You can get another one again.
by Clara Rosales
A day ago
Photo/s: Unsplash

Credit cards are a valuable component in any adult wallet, as it's used for digital purchases and big-ticket transactions that are too risky for a full cash payment. Applying for one is a challenge, so how do you deal if you misplace it or it gets stolen?

Here's to hoping you never lose it, but in case it does, know that you can take steps to secure your missing credit card and get a replacement.

ALSO READ: Adulting 101: How to Apply for Your First Credit Card

Here's what to do if you lose your credit card or it gets stolen:

Retrace your steps, if you can

It's easier said than done to calm down and revisit all the places you went to look for your card. Double-check your pockets, wallet, jackets, and flat surfaces for your card. Also try to remember the last place you used it, such as a restaurant or store.

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Once you've exhausted everything and your card is officially missing, the next step is to have it blocked to prevent unauthorized transactions while it's out of your hands.

Keep in mind that once a card is blocked, the cardholder will never get to use it again and will be issued a replacement card instead. 

Call the bank

It would be convenient if you could go to a bank branch ang have it blocked immediately, but chances are high you're on the road or outside and already panicked. Contact your bank immediately and let them know you lost your card.

Customer service should be quick to reply since fraudulent transactions may be made while the card is not in your possession. Before it can be blocked, banks need to make sure they're talking to the right person.

Write your account number beforehand so you're ready to dictate it once they ask. Try your best to make this call in private to keep your data safe.

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Get ready to answer

Be ready to answer questions to prove to the bank it's really you who lost the card. Your basic information will be needed, along with your history with the bank and the card.

It's different for every person and every bank, but as long as you remain honest and supply data you already know, the bank representative will know it's you.

Ask questions

During the call, be sure to ask what the last transaction was. If you made it, your card survived scammers and is just missing. If it registered an unknown transaction, it may have already fallen into the hands of a fraudster, which warrants a whole new complaint.

If you're using an active card, you probably have remaining balance left to pay. Even though a card is blocked and the number, its security code, and overall use is void, you still have to pay back your debt. Ask the representative how to pay for the blocked card's balance to settle your books.

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Lastly, ask how long it will take to have the card delivered to you. Most banks deliver to your address within 7 to 10 banking days, but some may take longer, shorter, or only do pick-ups at branches for security reasons.

While waiting, secure your other accounts or cards, if you have any.

Pay and wait

Replacement fees are usually deducted from the new card's balance and can be paid just like your usual card bills. It can range anywhere from P200 to P500 or higher, depending on the card's type and balance.

Delivered cards can be claimed by the cardholder, provided that an ID is presented and a claim form is signed. In the event that you can't claim it yourself, your representative will have to present a signed authorization letter. Supply them with a copy of your ID, and tell them they may need to present their own ID as well.

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Other details

A card replacement will not reset the validity of your card. For example, if you got a card back in 2020 and it's valid until 2025, the new card will have the same expiration date. Card renewals will extend the validity of a credit card account.

You'll get a new card number and CVV, or the three- or four-digit number at the back of the card where your signature is. If your old card was linked to your Paypal, online wallets, and subscriptions, you'll have to re-enter the new details so payment is processed.

Before activation, sign the card immediately.

Each bank's activation process is different, but most cards can be activated via a quick phonecall or text. Some activations can also be done online on a website or via app. Prior to activation, the card cannot be used.

Found your card?

Should luck shine upon you and you find your card after making the call, congratulations. Still, it's blocked which means you can't use it. The next step is to get rid of it properly.

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Though it's technically blocked, it still contains important data like your name, the bank you have an account in, the type of card, and even the financial service (like VISA or Mastercard) that powers transactions through your card.

Cut straight through the EMV chip, or the rounded golden square at the front of the card. Cut through the strip at the back, and for good measure, cut through your name and signature too. Dispose of the pieces in different trash cans or places so it can't be pieced together.

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