What to Do If Your Credit Card is Lost or Stolen

Lost Wallet

It’s a gut-wrenching feeling – reaching into your pocket, wallet or purse for your credit card and coming up empty.  Yes, in this era of hackers and cybercrime, physically losing your credit card and potentially putting it into the hands of thieves is still a concern.

  1. Step 1: Check the Obvious Locations
  2. Step 2: Contact the Issuer
  3. Step 3: Update Payment Information
  4. Step 4: Are You Liable if Your Card is Lost or Stolen?
  5. Tips for Dealing with a Lost Credit Card

Step 1:  Check the Obvious Locations

From a practical perspective, the first thing you should do if you lose your credit card is make sure it’s really lost.  That means retracing your steps to the last places you are likely to have possessed and actually used your card.  Below are some of the most common places that misplaced credit cards always seem to crop up:

How to Stay Out of Debt: Tips, Strategies & More

George Washington Pointing

Everyone wants to know how to get out of debt.  And considering that consumers have collectively racked up more than $182 billion in credit card debt since the beginning of 2011, it’s no wonder why.  But while scratching and clawing one’s way to debt freedom is indeed a difficult and commendable act, staying out of debt in the long-term should be your true objective.

How does one go about ensuring they stay in the black?  There are a number of strategies, as you’ll see below, and it all begins with preparation and:

Investing with Credit Cards: How It’s Possible, Why to Avoid It & More

Money Tree

While nearly 80% of U.S. consumers have credit cards and we make 20 billion credit card transactions each year (accounting for roughly 13% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product), there’s one thing that’s tough to do with plastic: purchase an investment.

Not only do Federal Regulations limit the extent to which you can make investments with borrowed money – which is technically what a credit line represents – but most brokers explicitly prohibit their customers from directly funding their accounts with credit cards. It makes sense, after all, since people would inevitably gamble with money they don’t have, rendering them unable to pay lenders back if investments don’t hit. Brokers also have their own mechanism for leveraged investing – margin accounts – that they wish to protect and promote. Credit card-based investing would represent unnecessary competition, especially since the brokers would have to foot the cost of credit card processing.

Barclaycard Rewards Program Review, Tips & More

Barclaycard Infographic

Barclaycard – the moniker assigned to Barclays’ credit card division – offers a total of three rewards credit cards in two different rewards programs:  Barclaycard Arrival (which uses miles) and Barclaycard Rewards (which uses points, despite being advertised as a cash-based program).

Members of both programs can redeem their earnings for perks like cash back, gift cards and merchandise. Additionally, those in the Barclaycard Arrival program have the ability to redeem for travel rewards – which happen to be the most lucrative redemption option offered by Barclays.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: What It Is, How to File, the Means Test & More

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 is the most common form of personal bankruptcy, constituting about 70% of all non-business bankruptcy cases. It is also called “straight” or “liquidation” bankruptcy, requiring debtors to surrender most of their property in exchange for forgiveness, or “discharge,” of their debts. That property is liquidated, or sold for cash, and the proceeds are used to compensate the debtors’ creditors.

Fortunately for everyone worried about the fate of their home and car during chapter 7 proceedings, those items are actually part of a very long list of exempt items that are not eligible to be sold, as long as you meet certain equity and delinquency requirements.

How to Book a Flight Without a Credit Card

Plane Tickets

You may think you need a credit card to purchase an airline ticket. But a debit or prepaid card will work just as well. And your options may even expand to cash and checks if you book your flight through a travel agent or if you purchase your ticket at an airport ticket counter.

This may surprise you, but that’s because most people assume the rules for renting a car and booking a hotel room also apply to reserving a flight. However, airlines do not apply a hold to your payment method and are therefore less particular about how you book and settle up.

Book a Hotel Without a Credit Card: Hotel Policies & Tips

Book Hotel

You can generally book a hotel room with either a credit card or a debit card. Many hotel chains will also accept prepaid cards, though they are more likely to do so at check-in or check-out than the time of booking.

In rare cases, you can even make a reservation with cash, a personal check or a money order, depending on the hotel. But these payment options are also typically reserved for paying your final bill, as hotels generally require a deposit to secure your reservation.

PNC Points Rewards Program Review, Tips & More


PNC Points – PNC Bank’s credit card rewards program – operates on a standard points-based system. Allowing cardholders to earn 4 or 5 points with every dollar spent (don’t get too excited about this, we’ll explain why later on), points can then be redeemed for basic but useful perks (such as a statement credit, merchandise, gift cards and more). Rewarding businesses and consumers alike, the program features worthwhile cards like the PNC Points® Visa® Credit Card and PNC Points® Visa® Business Card.

CardHub stresses the importance of reviewing various credit card rewards programs, as doing so equips consumers with the information and tips they need when they’re shopping for new rewards credit cards (or if are trying to capitalize on credit cards they already hold). So, read on below for our evaluation of the PNC Points program.

US Bank FlexPerks Program Review, Tips & More

US Bank

U.S. Bank’s credit card rewards program operates under the brand name of FlexPerks. Featuring a few consumer cards and one business card, the program is fairly minimal and straightforward. Members earn FlexPoints whenever they spend money (some credit cards earn at much more favorable rates than others), and these FlexPoints can then be redeemed for travel, cash back, gift cards or merchandise. Unfortunately, given that U.S. Bank provides only four redemption options – compared to the standard five or six – we aren’t too sure how flexible these FlexPoints actually are.

Continue reading our review below for more insider details about the FlexPerks program as well as a detailed breakdown of how it compares to other issuers’ rewards programs. After all, it’s integral to have all of the necessary information when shopping for a new rewards card (or trying to capitalize on one you already have).

How to Get a Credit Card That Will Maximize Savings

How To Get A Credit Card

With well over 1,000 credit cards on the market, advertisements bombarding us online, on TV and through the mail, and mountains of fine print to confuse us, it can be understandably difficult to find the right credit card. It’s a worthwhile endeavor, however, given how financially beneficial a complementary credit card can be and how it can help you avoid some of the biggest mistakes that credit card users make.

Credit card use is a responsibility, after all. Credit cards report information to the major credit bureaus on a monthly basis. If this information is positive, reflecting responsible use or even zero balance, your credit standing will gradually rise, helping you qualify for attractive loan and credit card rates in the future as well as making it easier to rent an apartment, lease a new car, or be eligible for certain jobs. If, however, the information reflects misuse – such as missed payments or high credit utilization – it could lead to expensive debt, credit score damage and assorted other difficulties across your life.

Discover Rewards Program Review, Tips & More

Discover Rewards Infographic Final

Discover’s new-look credit card rewards program – branded Cashback Bonus – offers members the ability to earn cash back on every purchase as well as to choose from a variety of redemption options, ranging from statement credits to gift cards and online merchandise.

While Discover once featured several different rewards cards (some of which belonged to a different rewards program), they recently restructured and replaced their suite of offers with a line of ‘Discover It’ cards, which operate solely in the Cashback Bonus program. The change has simplified Discover’s rewards program, giving consumers one comprehensive cash back system and eliminating middle-man rewards currencies like points or miles.

Bank of America Reward Programs Review, Tips & More

Bank of America

Bank of America boasts four different credit card rewards programs. Extending coverage to both business and consumer cardholders, these programs vary in terms of what type of rewards currency is issued, as well as the system with which members earn and redeem for perks.

For example, some programs only offer cash back as a redemption option while others allow members to redeem for gift cards, travel accommodation or charity donations. Furthermore, depending on which program you’re a member of, you may be eligible to earn more rewards currency (up to 75%) by opening up a Preferred Rewards bank account.

International Credit Card Guide

International Credit Card Guide

Differences in international monetary standards make spending money abroad often confusing and even downright difficult. When it comes to traveling overseas, consumers must not only determine the acceptable methods of payment for the countries they plan to visit, but also figure out a way to avoid foreign transaction fees and get the best exchange rates.

On the other hand, international businesses—tasked with tackling the logistics of accepting international credit cards—often need to establish international merchant accounts and join international credit card processing networks. Given the obvious importance of international spending in our global society, we have constructed this International Credit Guide to help you learn about and avoid the pitfalls of international credit card use.

Penalty / Default APR Explanation & Tips

Default Interest Rate

The Penalty (or Default) APR is the interest rate that is applied to either a portion or the entirety of your balance once your credit card is in default.

The rules for when the Penalty APR applies are different for general consumer credit cards and small business credit cards, as the latter were excluded from the Credit CARD Act of 2010. Below you will find separate explanations of how the Penalty APR works for both types of credit cards.

Types of Debit Cards

Types Of Debit Cards1

When most people think of debit cards, their minds immediately jump to the plastic consumers use to withdraw cash from their bank accounts at an ATM. That is indeed the most common use of the term, but with the banking landscape evolving significantly in recent years and a variety of new financial products hitting the market, it is not the only one.

There are actually a variety of different types of debit cards on the market – all enabling you to spend only what you load – and we’ll do our best to break down the various options below.

Car Rental Without a Credit Card: Company Policies & Tips

Car Rental Without Credit Card

Yes, you can typically use a debit card, a prepaid card or even cash to rent a car. However, each rental company has its own rules about acceptable payment options – which often vary by location – and not paying by credit card often carries certain ramifications.

For more on which particular payment methods you can use with each rental company as well as a breakdown of their policies and potential pitfalls you may encounter, continue reading below.

Wells Fargo Rewards Review & Insider Tips

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo’s credit card rewards program allows members to earn points or cash back with every dollar they spend. Featuring worthwhile products like the Wells Fargo Rewards Visa® Card, the program enables cardholders to redeem for benefits ranging from gift cards to plane tickets to the newest piece of merchandise.

Like certain other issuers’ rewards programs, including American Express Membership Rewards, Wells Fargo Rewards is divided into three sub-programs – each catering to a different type of customer:

Medical Credit Card Comparison, Alternatives & Tips

Medical Credit Card

Medical credit cards are financing deals, typically accompanied by a dangerous deferred interest feature, that many health care professionals offer to their patients. They are used to pay for out-of-pocket, elective health care expenses (including veterinary services) that are not covered by insurance — serving as an alternative to more traditional payment plans. However, these cards only work for certain health care expenses and with specific types of medical providers, and they cannot be used for any other types of expenses.

One could argue that medical credit cards are filling a desperate need for economically distressed consumers, considering the steep cost of health care that Americans face. But high interest rates and conflict of interest concerns regarding health care professionals steering patients toward specific financing vehicles has brought the medical credit card industry under significant scrutiny.

Capital One No Hassle Rewards Review: Tips for Earning & Redeeming

Capital One

Capital One’s No Hassle Rewards program enables its customers to earn either miles or cash back, differing from many other rewards programs which strictly operate on a points system. Featuring some of the most lucrative and popular rewards cards on the market, like the Venture® Rewards and Quicksilver® Rewards, the program allows members to redeem for useful and convenient perks like gift cards and travel.

Similar to the Citi ThankYou Rewards program, Capital One’s No Hassle Rewards also extends its coverage to checking account users. Not only is this option rewarding for individuals who do not own credit cards, but it also helps credit cardholders boost their earnings even more.

Do I Need a Credit Card? When It’s Required, Myths & Alternatives

Credit Card Required

No one truly needs a credit card. While credit cards make certain types of transactions much easier and safer to complete, in addition to providing a host of other benefits, you can generally get by with cash or a debit card.

With that being said, common misconception holds that credit cards are indeed required in certain instances, so let’s examine that claim in order to determine if the luxury provided by plastic ever borders on necessity as well as how you can skirt supposed credit card mandates should they ever present themselves.

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Our content is intended for general educational purposes and should not be relied upon as the sole basis for managing your finances. Furthermore, the materials on this website do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. If you have any legal questions, please consult an attorney. Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions.