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There are plenty of reasons you might need a replacement credit card. Perhaps your dog devoured the card or your wallet was stolen. The card number could have been compromised by fraud or a data breach. You might even have changed your name and want a new card reflecting your new moniker. You can get a replacement credit card by requesting one online, by phone or via your credit card issuer's mobile app.
Before you start the process of replacing a lost credit card, make sure it's truly gone. Retrace your steps to recall when you last had the card or check your online account to see where you last used it. While you search, reduce the risk of fraud by locking or freezing the card, which you can typically do on the card issuer's mobile app or website.
Here are three steps to getting a replacement credit card:
1. Contact Your Card Issuer to Request a New Credit Card
Depending on your credit card company, you may be able to ask for a new card via mobile app, online or over the phone.
- By phone: If a damaged or compromised credit card is still in your possession, call the number on the back of the card. Don't have the card in hand? Check your online account or latest credit card statement for the correct phone number to call.
- Online: The card issuer's website usually has an option to request a new credit card online.
- Mobile app: You can use many credit cards' mobile apps to request a replacement credit card directly within the app.
When requesting a replacement credit card, you'll typically be asked to provide some personal information to verify your identity. This may include:
- Your name
- Your address
- Your birth date
- Your Social Security number
You'll also need to provide the reason for the request—such as whether the card is lost, stolen or just damaged. If the card is missing or has been used for fraudulent transactions, the credit card company usually cancels it and issues you a new card with a different account number.
What if your card is just damaged or worn out—for example, the magnetic stripe on the back has stopped working or the numbers are worn off and hard to read? In that case, you'll be issued a new credit card with the same account number. You can keep using your account to make purchases online or by phone while you wait for a new credit card with the same number to arrive in the mail.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Replacement Credit Card?
You can typically get a replacement credit card within seven business days. In many cases, you won't have to wait that long. For example, American Express offers free next-day shipping; Visa cards can be replaced in one to three days once your bank approves.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a New Credit Card?
Worried about paying for a new credit card? Don't be. Getting a replacement credit card is free. Ordering a new card for any reason—such as getting married or divorced and changing your name—won't cost you a cent.
2. Shred Your Old Credit Card
When replacing a credit card that's still in your possession, always dispose of the old card in a secure manner. The simplest option is to put it through a shredder (after checking to make sure your shredder can handle plastic cards).
No shredder available? Use a tool to destroy the EMV or RFID chip in the card (the little square symbol on the front). Then run a strong magnet back-and-forth over the magnetic strip for a minute or two to demagnetize it. Finally, slice the card into small strips with a sturdy pair of scissors. It's best to dispose of the pieces in different trash receptacles—after all, crooks have been known to piece shredded cards back together.
Metal credit cards can't go in a shredder. The card issuer usually mails you a prepaid envelope you can use to send a metal card back for secure disposal; if not, you can contact them to request one. Another option is to take the metal credit card to one of the card issuer's bank branches, where a banker may be able to either destroy it for you or mail it back safely.
3. Update Your Saved Payment Methods
When your new credit card arrives, activate and sign it. If you've been given a new account number, update your credit card information on any websites or subscriptions where you have it saved. (In some cases, merchants will receive automatic updates of your new card information, but this doesn't always happen.) Keeping your accounts up-to-date with your current credit card information helps ensure that you don't miss any bill payments, which could lead to late fees, penalties or even having services canceled.
The Bottom Line
Dealing with a lost, stolen or damaged credit card can feel stressful. Fortunately, getting a replacement card is a simple process. Just follow the steps above, and you'll soon be back to using your credit card worry-free.
Because a lost or stolen credit card can put you at risk of identity theft, consider signing up for Experian's free credit monitoring services. You'll get alerts of unusual activity on your accounts so you can act quickly to resolve any problems and protect your credit.