Having credit cards is something that most adults choose to do. It makes paying for many services and goods considerably easier than relying on checks or exact cash. While using a credit card is usually a pretty seamless experience, mishaps are always possible.
When they happen, there’s no reason to panic. We’ll talk about three of the more common credit card mishaps and what you can do about them in the following article.
1. Your Card Gets Declined
Having your credit card declined can be uncomfortable. If it happens, though, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to immediately consolidate credit card debt because you’ve maxed out all your cards.
It could be that you have enough credit to pay for the item or service, but the card has been turned down for a reason other than it being maxed out.
For instance, maybe you have a larger-than-usual transaction on the account that is pending.
The credit card company might have flagged your account and put a temporary hold on it because this purchase deviates from your regular spending habits. Usually, contacting the company and verifying recent purchases can fix the problem.
You also might be trying to use an expired card. Usually, a credit card company will automatically send you a new card through the mail when your old one is about to expire.
It occasionally happens that the new card doesn’t reach you, though and you accidentally use an expired version.
A card that’s declined because it has expired or there’s a larger-than-normal purchase on it is an easy fix.
If a merchant rejected your card because you’ve maxed out your credit, you’ll need to wait until you’re back in good standing with the issuer before you can use it again.
2. You Lose Your Card
You might also lose or misplace your card in various ways. Maybe it fell out of your pocket on the street, or you left it behind at a restaurant.
Calling the issuer and telling them to cancel that card is the first thing you’ll need to do. You can easily find a help number on their app or website.
The card company can immediately freeze your account and send you a replacement card.
There are federal laws in place that prevent you from being penalized for any unauthorized charges made on your account while you’re resolving this situation.
3. Incorrect Charges
A more infrequent credit card mishap is that charges you didn’t make show up on your account. It’s helpful to check each of your credit card accounts on a daily or weekly basis. By doing so, you can carefully monitor whether there are ever any unauthorized charges.
If you see any, you can contact the card issuer and speak to them about the transactions in question. They will usually open an investigation to figure out what happened.
Typically, the incorrect or fraudulent charge will be dropped if the credit card company determines that it was made in error.
Most Credit Card Mishaps Are Easily Resolved
If any of these three credit card incidents occur, you can often resolve them with minimal headaches. Contacting the card-issuing company if a merchant declines your card is usually the first step toward determining what happened and what you can do about it.
If you lose your card or unknown charges show up on it, you can also handle either of these instances by reaching out to the credit card company.
Most card companies are very understanding and helpful when these situations arise. The representatives are only too happy to help you, especially if you’ve been a loyal card user for quite some time.
You’ll also find that talking to customer service reps is easier than ever. You might do so by speaking to a live operator, using a chatbot, or exchanging real-time messages and will be able to resolve the mishap quickly.