Losing your credit card is not a good feeling. Having your credit card stolen is even worse.
Fortunately there is no need to panic. Unlike car keys or cash, credit cards are required by law to have built-in protection and there is every chance that if your credit card is lost or stolen, it will be replaced within the week.
If you do lose your credit card, a few things should be done immediately to stop your card from being compromised.
When your credit card is lost or stolen in Australia:
- Contact your financial institution immediately. Once you have checked your wallet, bags and belongings, contact your credit card provider straight away. Visit their online site and report it as lost.
- Alternatively, if you think you may have just misplaced you card ask your bank about putting a temporary hold on it until you can have a good look
- Cancel your credit card and ask to be issued with a new one. Cancel your credit card immediately and a replacement card will be usually sent to you within a week.
- Check your last transactions with your provider and report any transactions that are not yours. Most cards will cover you for fraudulent transactions so you won’t be left paying for transactions you didn’t make.
When your credit card is lost or stolen overseas:
- Before you go overseas contact your card provider and let them know you will be travelling. This will avoid them assuming your card has been stolen and cancelling it when transactions start popping up all over the world.
- Another way to prepare is by writing down all the relevant numbers of your financial institutions before you go and keeping multiple copies of them in separate bags so you have the details in an emergency.
- Report your missing card immediately to your financial institution. There are different phone numbers to call depending on which card you have. You can access such overseas numbers from the website of your financial institution or report the loss online.
- Organise an emergency cash transfer. If you do not have access to funds, an emergency cash transfer can be organised with most providers, although interest will also be charged.
- Notify your financial institution when you are back in Australia. Also speak with your travel insurer for any out-of-pocket expenses as a result of losing your card for example cost of phone calls.
Losing your credit card can be stressful and inconvenient, especially when travelling overseas. However, you can rest easy with the knowledge that most credit card providers have systems in place to assist you, if you find your credit card has been lost or stolen. As always, prevention is better than cure so don’t get caught with your pants down, jump online and compare the right credit card provider for you.