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With the card lock feature, you may block your credit card sans canceling it. Although it may seem like a semantic distinction, card lock allows you to maintain your previous credit card number, thus it is actually rather significant.

The game is completely altered when you lock rather than cancel. You will not need to be concerned about someone using your stolen or lost credit card to make purchases once you put your card on lock.

When the card lock is enabled, every new transaction will result in a decline, leading any potential thieves to believe the card has been canceled and throw it away. You do not even need to return to the bar to retrieve it if it is simply sitting behind the counter.

You can ask the bar to tear up your old card while you order a new, matching card with the exact same account identification number to come as soon as possible (one that presumably swipes as smoothly as your old one, too).

What is the process for locking a credit card?

Because the theft or loss of a card is an even larger liability for credit card companies than it is for you, they encourage you to use card lock. Visit to read more about the process of locking cards. Card lock was initially developed by Chase, who did so in September 2018.

You only need to navigate down to your card on the Chase Mobile® smartphone application, touch on it to observe recent activity, and then scroll down until you get there to find Account Services. After that, just touch the large padlock to the right.

How to Use Credit Card Lock and Why It is More Practical Than People Think

Only new transactions are blocked when your card is locked; older ones are not. That is a crucial distinction since it guarantees that your regular payments to your landlord, utility companies, and other parties will not be stopped.

In essence, it merely stops criminals from making purchases until you are able to either discover or destroy the card they used.

Does the card lock function on debit cards as well?

Yes. The majority of debit cards include a card lock option. If you want precise information, you should consult your bank.

Do you ever want to deactivate your card again?

Yes. Here are three situations in which freezing might not be sufficient to preserve your credit card information:

  • Your credit card information has been exposed online. It is conceivable that fraudsters would try to use your credit card more than once before it expires if it has been compromised online. Cut your losses at that point and obtain a completely new card number.
  • Someone you do not trust is holding your card. Similar to this, if your dubious landlord or unsavory ex still has the credit card information, particularly if they are aware that you have frozen it, they could just be patiently awaiting it to unfreeze. It is time to end.
  • Even after you defrost, you’re still receiving phony charges ( or fraudulent fees. This relates to points one and two, however if you release your card yet continue to get a barrage of bogus charges, your card information has most likely been hacked. By applying the lock, it should prevent new charges from continuing to roll in on your account.

When should I want my credit card to be locked?

Card locks are useful for additional purposes than just deterring crime. Here are five real-world applications for card locks that can reduce your workload, anxiety, and expenditures:

Once your card has been taken

The primary purpose of a card lock, as we have explored in great detail, is to stop further use of a card that has been stolen or lost. Always keep in mind that you may cancel an encrypted card. Simply put, locking your card will keep it safe until you can determine what has occurred to it.

You do not have to go into the bar to get your card if it is locked. You should wait and conduct a little more research if your card actually manifests before canceling it, so do that if it does.

When your card is missing but you are unsure whether it has been stolen

Similarly, locking your debit or credit card from your mobile device is a no-brainer if you cannot find either card or wallet. You may quickly unlock it by unlocking your phone even if you discover it in the following 90 seconds.

Additionally, securing your card reduces the pressure and urgency associated with locating it, allowing you to think more clearly and retrace your steps to locate it more quickly.

To reduce your own irrational spending

You might want to secure it even if you are certain where your card is, which is likely in the purse on your desk. Although card lock also prohibits you from initiating new purchases, it serves as a useful tool for controlling your spending or creating a budget.

Even while some card providers still permit you to use locked credit cards from your electronic wallet to make transactions, some obstacles are preferable than none.

To stop utilizing a card while it is not in use.

Card lock may be seen in the same manner. Take a minute to lock down a credit card you rarely utilize for certain purchases, like booking flights or making purchases abroad, until you really need it.

Heck, you can permanently freeze a card which you use just for recurrent charges.

Freezing a secondary cardholder’s expenditure

Finally, if you have a secondary user who is permitted to use your credit card, you might want to lock people out in precisely the same reasons you would lock yourself out—to assist them in managing their finances and preventing impulsive purchases, for example.

Who provides a card lock?

The following is a partial list of well-known card issuers who provide card locks:

  • Chase Citi
  • One Capital by Wells Fargo
  • American Express
  • Discover

It is important to remember that all of the card locks are created equal. Some have time limits and unlock after that. Some people will nevertheless approve of fresh digital wallet charges.

Study the card lock terms for your specific bank to avoid any unpleasant or otherwise surprising situations.

A Credit Lockdown

A credit lockdown requires you to sign up for a program, in contrast to a credit freeze, which is something you may add to and remove via your account as required. Enroll with the initiatives at all three of the main consumer credit agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, to make a credit freeze as effective as possible.

There is no expense to lock your credit with TransUnion or Equifax if you sign up for their individual locking programs, but there is a fee if you want to utilize their combined service, which locks both at once and additionally includes credit monitoring.

Experian does not provide a free alternative, but it also offers other services like credit surveillance that can make the expense worthwhile to you. Your name, address, and Social Security number are needed to complete an online application for a credit freezing program, and you will also need to respond to certain identity-verification questions.

Here is how the credit locking programs at each bureau operate and how to sign up.

How to freeze your Equifax credit report

The Lock & AlertTM credit lock program from Equifax is cost-free. Users may lock their credit independently on the app or internet after enrolling via the Equifax site, without further assistance from Equifax.

You may just as simply temporarily open your credit report if you need to apply to obtain fresh credit, or if a potential employer or landlord wants to check your credit.

A specialized representative is available to assist you if you believe you are a casualty of fraud or identity theft, as well as monitoring your credit for all three agencies, monthly FICO® credit rating and reports with all three bureaus, and a maximum of one million dollars in identity theft insurance. The website of Experian offers enrollment.

How to freeze your TransUnion credit report

TrueIdentity is the name of TransUnion’s credit lock product, which is also cost-free. On a computer or smartphone, you may instantly toggle between locking and unlocking your credit, much like with Equifax.

Additionally, the program provides you with free monitoring alerts, the ability to view your TransUnion® financial report, and up to $25,000 in fraudulent activity insurance.

Advantages and disadvantages of credit lock

Positive aspects of credit locks

  • Since lenders cannot review your credit reports when they are locked, a credit lock might lessen your risk of being a victim of identity theft.
  • If you need to approve a valid credit check, you may disable or unlock your reports on your own at any time, which is quicker than a freeze.
  • You can freely open and close your credit with TransUnion and Equifax.

Cons of credit lock-in

  • You would need to sign up for credit lock programs at all three main consumer credit agencies if you wanted the utmost level of credit-report security that can be obtained with a credit lock.
  • Your credit is locked at Experian for a fee.

To sum up

A quick and easy approach to prevent people from illegally getting new cards of credit or taking out debts in your name is to lock your credit. It is also free at two of the big credit agencies and quicker to set up and remove than a credit freeze.

But you will have to fork over it if you are interested in the security of having it secured at all three.

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