Credit card companies like Barclays, AmEx, and Capital One are making it easier than ever to deal with a lost or stolen card

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Credit cards are an incredibly secure and convenient form of payment, but they aren’t without their hassles.

One of my biggest problems is that I regularly forget my card at restaurants, especially when the card is a dark colour that seem to disappear on the folio.

When this happened in the past, you were often told to cancel your misplaced card and have it replaced. This was time consuming, and it disrupted all of your recurring payments to merchants that had your card on file.

But now, many card issuers offer features to pause your account, temporarily disabling the use of the card while continuing to work for recurring payments. For example, Barclays has just begun offering this feature, as well as other ways that you can control your card.

Barclays temporarily locks lost or stolen cards through its mobile app

Barclays now offers a feature called SecurHold that you can use to temporarily lock lost or stolen cards.

This feature is available to all consumer credit cardholders through its mobile app. And while it’s meant to secure misplaced cards, some people may find it useful when they simply want to take a break from spending with their credit card.

Another feature that Barclays recently introduced is spend alerts, which gives you the option to receive real-time alerts every time your card is used to make a new purchase. Not only does this feature allow you to keep a closer eye on your spending, it can also help you to spot a fraudulent charge within moments. And by doing so, you can quickly take steps to secure your account before the fraud is perpetrated again.

Barclays is also allowing you to place additional controls on additional authorised users.

For example, you can control the merchant categories that your authorised users are approved to make purchases for. Let’s say that you have given a family member a card with your account, but you’d prefer to prevent its use for entertainment purchases, this tool now allows you to do so. You can also use it to set spending limits per transaction.

Issuers like AmEx and Capital One have also introduced protective measures

American Express, which issues cards like the AmEx Platinum and the AmEx Gold, introduced the Freeze Your Card feature last year, which can temporarily prevent a card like the from being used for new purchases. But it still allows for the payment of recurring bills, and for use in your digital wallet, such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay. With this feature, your card will automatically be unfrozen in seven days.

Also, Capital One, which issues cards like the Capital One Savour Cash Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers Card Lock that blocks all in-store, online, in-app and phone purchases with the same number. However, you can continue to return items, make payments and redeem rewards while your card is locked. This feature is only available in its mobile app.

Similar features are now available from Chase, Citi, Discover, US Bank and Wells Fargo.

It took a long time, but most major credit card issuers now have a way for you to secure your card without having declare it lost and have it replaced. And while many major card issuers have added a pause button to their cards, Barclays has clearly gone beyond that to offer several valuable ways to give you additional control over your account. By understanding how these new features work, you can make your credit card even more secure and convenient than it’s ever been.

Learn more about cards from Barclays, AmEx, and Capital One with Business Insider’s partner The Points Guy:

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard »

The AmEx Platinum »

The AmEx Gold »

The Capital One Savour Cash Rewards »

The Capital One Venture Rewards »

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