As a consumer, the law provides you with certain additional rights and obligations. That applies irrespective of whatever you use a credit card or some other payment method to make a purchase. Familiarize yourself with your country’s laws on the subject. In the United States, for example, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is the agency charged with the responsibility to defend cardholder rights and obligations. It advises consumers to learn how to use their credit cards safely to avoid problems.
Paying your bills promptly is very important. This will prevent late fees and other extra financial charges. Your bank must record your payment on the day the payment was received, with the following exceptions:
The law may hold you responsible for a maximum payment if your credit or debit card was used unlawfully. In the United States, that amount is fixed at $50. However, if you reported the card theft or loss before it was used, you will be under no obligation to pay for any unlawful charges that result. If someone used your card number illegally but not the card itself, you are not under any obligation to pay for unauthorized charges.
Reporting a loss as soon as it occurs minimizes your liability. Many credit card companies offer toll-free phone numbers for call centers manned 24/7 to enable you to contact them around the clock.
It is worthwhile to write to the issuing bank to follow-up on a lost or stolen card. Remember to include your account number, the date you realized that your card was missing and when you reported the loss.
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