Steps to Take If Your Credit Card is Lost or Stolen

The security and convenience of credit cards have become crucial. With the surge in online transactions, credit cards such as AMEX gold card and American Express Membership Rewards credit card have gained popularity. They not only facilitate easy purchases but even offer rewards, enhancing the shopping experience. Their significance is highlighted by several factors –


Credit cards offer a secure alternative to carrying large amounts of cash. They come with security features like PINs, OTPs for online transactions, and advanced encryption. In case of loss or theft, unlike cash, credit cards can be blocked to prevent unauthorised use. This level of security provides peace of mind to the cardholder.

Ease of transactions

Credit cards streamline the procedure of both in-store and online buys. They remove the stress of dealing with cheques or cash, making transactions more efficient and quicker.

For instance, when shopping online, you simply enter your card details, and the payment is processed almost instantly. In physical stores, a simple swipe or insertion of your card completes the transaction.

Reward points

Many credit cards, like the American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card, offer reward points on purchases. These points can be accumulated and redeemed for various benefits such as travel, dining, shopping vouchers, or even cashback. This adds an extra value to every transaction made using the card.

Emergency access to funds

Credit cards can be a lifesaver in financial emergencies, providing immediate access to funds. This can be especially useful in situations like unexpected medical expenses or urgent travel.

Building credit history

Regular and responsible use of credit cards helps in building a positive credit history. Timely payment of bills and maintaining a low credit utilisation ratio can improve your credit score, which is beneficial for future financial dealings like loan approvals.

Travel benefits

Many credit cards offer travel-related perks such as complimentary travel insurance, access to airport lounges, discounts on flight bookings and hotel stays, and no foreign transaction fees. These benefits can significantly enhance the travel experience.

Cashback offers

Cashback credit cards return a percentage of the amount spent back to the cardholder. This effectively reduces the net cost of purchases, offering tangible savings over time.

Extended warranties

Some credit cards offer extended warranty coverage on purchases, providing additional protection beyond the manufacturer’s warranty. This can be particularly valuable for expensive items like electronics or appliances.

Global acceptance

Credit cards are accepted worldwide, making them an ideal payment method for international travel or online purchases from foreign websites. This global acceptance removes the worry of currency conversion or finding compatible payment methods in different countries.

Easier loan approvals

A strong credit history, built through responsible credit card usage, can ease the process of loan approvals. Banks and financial institutions often consider a good credit score as an indicator of financial responsibility.

Budget management

Credit cards can assist in managing your budget by providing detailed statements of your expenditures. This makes it easier to track spending patterns and control finances.

Flexible payment options

Credit cards offer the flexibility of choosing payment options. For larger purchases, you can opt for equated monthly instalments (EMI) at nominal interest rates, making it easier to manage big-ticket expenses.

Fraud protection

Credit cards provide robust protection against fraud. In case of unauthorized transactions, most card issuers offer zero liability policies, ensuring that the cardholder is not held responsible for fraudulent charges after reporting the loss of the card.

Contactless payments

Many credit cards now support contactless payment technology, allowing transactions to be made by simply tapping the card on the POS terminal. This feature facilitates quick and convenient payments, especially for small purchases.

Discounts and offers

Credit cards are often tied up with various brands and merchants to provide exclusive discounts and offers to cardholders. These can range from dining and shopping to entertainment and lifestyle offers.

Steps to take if your credit card is lost or stolen

Online blocking

In this digital age, immediate action is possible through online platforms. In the case you are an American Express credit card holder, you must approach the site or application of the institution to instantly block your card. This procedure is user-friendly and simple, offering instant protection until you can take further measures.

Immediate reporting

As soon as you realise your credit card is lost or stolen, it’s crucial to contact the card issuer without delay. For AMEX cards, this means reaching out to their 24-hour helpline. The sooner you report the loss or theft, the quicker the issuer can take action to prevent fraudulent transactions. This step not only protects you from unauthorised charges but also from potential liabilities. The issuer will typically ask for verification of your identity and details about the last recognised transactions to ensure the request is legitimate.

File a police report

Filing a police report is a must.  A police report provides an official record of the theft, which can be crucial if there are disputes over unauthorised transactions or if insurance claims need to be filed.

Request a replacement

After blocking your lost or stolen card, request a replacement card from your issuer. Replacement credit cards generally come with a new credit card number, which is a vital security measure. This procedure might take a few days and you may be required to update your info or authenticate your identity for security reasons.

Review recent transactions

Once you have blocked your card and reported its loss, review your recent transactions. This can be done through online banking or mobile apps. Scrutinise your account for any unauthorised or suspicious activity. If you find any, report these transactions to your card issuer immediately. This will help in disputing charges and securing your account.

Update auto-payments

If you have fixed auto payments or associated your card with any services such as subscriptions, utility bills or online shopping, be sure to update them with your new card information as soon as you get your replacement card. Failing to do this can result in service interruptions or missed payments, which can be inconvenient and might incur additional penalties.

Review your credit report

In the upcoming months following the theft or loss of your credit card, keep a watch on your credit report. This is to make sure there is zero fraudulent activity. Regular monitoring helps in the early detection of identity theft and in maintaining a healthy credit score. You can request a credit report from credit bureaus in India like CIBIL, Equifax, Experian, or CRIF High Mark.

Ending note

Losing a credit card can be stressful, but prompt action can minimise risks. The advanced security features of cards like the AMEX Gold and American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card add an extra layer of protection. As users, staying vigilant and aware of the necessary steps can ensure peace of mind and financial safety. Remember, the key is immediate action and regular monitoring to safeguard your financial integrity.

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