How to replace a lost or stolen credit card

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If you’ve ever gone to reach for your credit card and found that it wasn’t there, you know the panic a lost credit card can cause. Or maybe your card has seen better days and in need of replacement. Whatever the reason, here’s how to get a new card replacement.

First step: Lock your card if lost or stolen

If you’re dealing with a lost card, the first thing you want to do is contact your issuer to lock the card. While you may have lost the card somewhere in your house or car, it’s also possible that the lost card is in the hands of a stranger. Locking your card will make sure that no one will be able to use it if it’s found. If you find your card, you can simply unlock it to resume use. Locking your card is easy to do by calling your issuer, and many issuers allow you to lock your card through their website or mobile app.

Issuers that allow you to lock through web or mobile:

  • Discover
  • American Express
  • Chase
  • Barclay’s
  • Capital One
  • Citi
  • Wells Fargo

Second step: Call your issuer to report the card

If you’ve looked everywhere and still can find your card, it’s time to contact your issuer and report the card lost. This is also the case if your card is damaged and no longer usable. Once you report your card, your issuer can cancel the lost or damaged card and start the credit card replacement process. Some card issuers may also be able to give you access to a virtual card that you can use while you wait for your physical card to arrive. The average wait time for a replacement card is three to seven business days.

Third step: Ask for a replacement

Once you’ve reported your card lost or damaged, it’s time to request a replacement. Requesting a replacement card is also an opportunity to upgrade your card. During your request, you can ask to have your new card upgraded with the latest features like contactless pay or possibly even a card that offers better or different rewards that match your spending.  Other things you can request are to go paperless, to get purchase notifications, and to even get credit report alerts.

Fourth step: Review your statements

Whenever you lose a credit card, even if you freeze it right away, it’s smart to review your credit card statements for any unauthorized charges. Issuers have measures in place to make sure that only you and people you allow can use your card, but sometimes errors can happen. If you notice any unauthorized charges on your statements, report it to your issuer immediately. They can work with you to get the charges removed and continue to monitor for suspicious charges.