What to do if your card's been lost or stolen

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Being parted with your card is never a good thing. At best it’s inconvenient, forcing you to sit on the phone for ages to report that you’ve lost it, then wait for a replacement to make its way to you in the mail. At worst, it can be scary, if you find thieves have racked up big bills before you noticed.

So what should you do if you do misplace it, or find out that it’s been stolen?

Tell your bank

If you lose your card or suspect it's been stolen, you should tell your bank as soon as possible.

You can do this over the phone, by calling a dedicated number that you can usually find on their website. And you can also go into your nearest branch and let your bank know in person.

Some banks like NatWest allow you to report a lost or stolen card by logging into your online banking account. You’ll be able to find out by checking the FAQs on your bank’s website.

Once you’ve reported the theft or loss, your bank will arrange for a replacement to be posted to you, at the address associated with your account.

If you use an app-only bank like Monzo, you can freeze your card at the click of a button!

  1. Go to the Account section of your Monzo app

  2. Tap 'freeze' to make sure no one can use your card to make payments

  3. We'll give you the option to order a replacement, which should arrive within five working days

Get a refund

If your card's been stolen and any withdrawals or transactions have been made without your permission, your bank must refund the money immediately.

But you're liable for any transactions that are made before you tell your bank your card’s been stolen, up to a maximum of £50.

After you tell your bank that your card's been stolen, you won’t be responsible for any further payments, so it’s important to report your card as stolen as soon as possible.

When you contact your bank to tell them that your card’s been stolen, ask them how best to go about getting a refund. If you use Monzo, just reach out via the in-app chat.

When your bank does issue you with a refund, it should also refund any charges or interest associated with the transaction.

Deliberately claiming that a payment was unauthorised is fraud, and if you do make a false claim your bank could report you to the police.

Can my bank refuse to refund me?

Your bank could refuse to give you a refund if it can prove that you're at fault. That means if you've tried to commit fraud, or been grossly negligent with the security of your account, by telling someone your online banking password or writing down your PIN and leaving it in plain view.

If your bank suspects you're at fault, it can delay your refund while it investigates what’s happened.

If you tell your bank about the unauthorised payment 13 months or more after it happened, your refund could also be refused.

In every case, if your bank refuses to refund an unauthorised payment, it must explain why.

To learn how to make the most of your money, head to Monzo Money Tips! 💸