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You know that moment of panic when you open your wallet and don’t see the familiar color of your credit card anywhere? You check your bag, and your pockets, and your room, but it’s gone. We’ve all been there.

A credit card is a really easy thing to misplace, and the fallout from a lost credit card can often seem overwhelming.

But whatever you might think, losing your credit card isn’t the end of the world. As long as you can keep calm and act quickly, your lost credit card shouldn’t cause any undue harm.

6 things to do if you lose your credit card

The first thing to remember?

1. Don’t freak out: It’s completely understandable to be stressed when dealing with a lost credit card. While you have some extra work to do, there’s actually nothing to be too upset about. Thanks to the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA), you’re totally protected. The maximum amount you can be liable for is $50. Better yet, once you call and report your card lost or stolen, you have zero liability.

2. Take a moment to retrace your steps: Sometimes taking a second to think is the simplest way to find a lost credit card. Call the restaurant where you just ate or the grocery store you just left to see if someone turned in a lost card. Some credit card companies (such as Discover) will allow you to put a temporary freeze on your card so that you don’t have to deal with charges that you didn’t make. But if nothing develops, move on to the next steps as quickly as possible.

3. Call your card issuer asap: Call your credit card issuer and alert them to the fact that your credit card is no longer in your possession. This will ensure you’re not responsible for any fraudulent transactions made.

Here’s the information you’ll need when speaking to your credit card provider:

  • your account number (if you’re you’re the primary account holder) or the primary account holder’s social security number, if you don’t have your account number
  • the date your card went missing
  • whether you misplaced your card or if you suspect it’s been stolen
  • if you’ve already noticed fraudulent charges

The customer service number for your provider is conveniently located on the back of your credit card. However, it’s not too convenient when your credit card is lost or stolen.

Below, you’ll find the best contact number for these common credit card issuers. You’ll also find any other extra benefits or information these issuers offer when you lose your credit card.

Card IssuerContact NumberWhat to Expect
Discover800-347-2683You can report
your lost or stolen
credit card online
if you are already
registered in the
account center.
If you think you
simply misplaced
your card, you
can log on to
allow a temporary
freeze and then just
unfreeze when you
find it.
CHASE800-432-3117


Most cards offer
zero liability.
American Express800-528-4800You can report your
stolen or lost credit
card online. They’ll
work to ship you a
replacement card
the next day for
free.
Citibank800-950-5114They’ll provide you
with emergency
cash within 48 hours.
Capital One800-227-4825If your card is stolen
and you have unauthorized
charges, you can
dispute those charges
online.
Bank of America800-732-9194Dispute unauthorized
charges online. You
can also add a
photo of yourself
to the card for
enhanced security
(your photo on the
front of your card).

4. File a police report: Call the local police department to file a police report if you believe your credit card was stolen.

5. Monitor your account: Once you report a lost or stolen credit card, continue to monitor your account for unfamiliar charges. If a charge appears that you didn’t make, call your credit card company right away. You should, of course, be monitoring your credit card charges anyway for any errors, but it’s especially important to do so now.

6. Update any accounts that have auto-pay set up: If your account number is changing, any accounts (such as your cable and phone bill) that are automatically charged every month, will need to be updated so that you don’t miss a payment deadline.

How to prevent future losses

Don’t beat yourself up — the loss of a credit card can happen to anyone.

But keep these simple tips in mind to help you prevent another incident in the future:

  • Limit the number of credit cards you carry: If you’re like most people, you have at least a couple of credit cards. Don’t cart around any credit cards you’re not using when you’re out and about. Only carry the credit card you use most often to try and reduce your chances of misplacing a card and leave the other cards in a secure place at home.
  • Place your card in a secure wallet: Don’t just leave your credit cards loose in your bag or in your pocket. Keep your credit card in a secure wallet or purse. It’s so easy to just throw your credit card back in your bag when you’re rushing out of the store, but always take a moment to put it back in its proper place.
  • Sign up for alerts: Many credit cards offer an option to sign up for alerts when charges are over a certain amount.