What to do if your Credit Card is Lost or Stolen

Losing your plastic is one thing that really a thorn in the rear especially when you need to use that card for a purchase immediately. I for one have many credit and debit cards (also known as check card) and my daily life evolves around the plastic, and mainly for the fear of me losing more than my petty cash. One thing a card holder must do is have a list of his credit card numbers and the bank support numbers handy should that happen. If you are overseas, always look up VISA, MASTERCARD, AMERICAN EXPRESS and DINERS CLUB one stop number. There is none for Discover and only certain countries support JCB Card or Japan Credit Bureau.

Many don’t know about the Card Protection Plan or CPP for short. Made readily available for just $10 annually, it notifies your card companies and replaces all your credit card at one go. It is an optional checkbox in the application and by doing so, you save a huge hassle going through each card center, waiting in line and costing you money for long distance numbers as the toll free numbers don’t work outside the US.

So, say you already reported it, what next? CHECK YOUR STATEMENT. I had an issue of OCBC BANK authorising my STOLEN CARD weeks after it was stolen despite card holder not present, and the transaction happened 600 miles away. Some of them clone your card with fake details and purchase items on board aircraft or places where card authorisations are not needed and basically you still have to pay for it, as the card is ‘present’.That is why you should keep your receipts separate from your card or checkbook. One way not to be hassled is use one card at a time. Keep just one Debit card plus a Visa and a Mastercard or AMEX in your wallet,so if one get pinched, you don’t have much to do, at least you can work with other card facilities and not leave you stranded. At least when you don’t use that stolen account for the next few months other than to pay the dues, you know you have yourself covered.

American Express protects their card members more, by offering immediate card replacement so you don’t get stuck in the middle of nowhere. So,it’s useful if you travel often, but Visa and Mastercard has similar Emergency Card Programs too, if you need access to your account.

Check your agreement for the fine print as normally you are liable for the $500 of fraudulent transactions as you LOST your card, not as a result of a robbery which limits you to $50 after a police report is lodged. Always lodge a report with the local police of this loss to cover yourself against any future problems.Someone could utilise your identity to absurd yourself and it’s good reason that your card will be stolen with some identity documents like driving license or ID Card or worse, your Military or Law Enforcement Warrant Card. I had that happened many years back and caused me a huge grief of explaining to my superiors why I lost my badge. In essence, it’s best you separate those from your cash or plastic.

Just don’t forget that protection plan.