- To cancel a debit card if it’s lost or stolen, you’ll need to get in touch with your bank.
- Some banking apps allow you to turn off your debit card, but you should still contact the bank to get a replacement card if your card is missing.
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If your debit card is lost or stolen, you’ll want to cancel it ASAP.
That’s because the rules for debit cards and credit cards are not the same. While you’re rarely liable for any fraudulent charges made on a credit card, your liability with a debit card depends on when you report the card missing; if the charges are made before you report it, you might end up being responsible for some or all of them – up to $US50 if reported within two business days and up to $US500 up to 60 calendar days.
You might also cancel a debit card if you’re switching banks, but in that case you’ll be closing your entire account and your debit card along with it.
How to cancel a debit card
1. Check your bank app
Many banks offer apps that do more than just help you complete mobile check deposits and monitor your transactions. Some banking app, including those of major banks like Bank of America or Ally Bank, have a feature where you can control debit card activity.
If your debit card is stolen, simply turn your card off, then contact customer service to get a replacement card. Also, report any suspicious activity from your account to the customer service representative.
Note that you’ll probably want to be aware of whether you can disable your debit card via app before you need to do it, since time will be of the essence.
2. Call your bank as soon as you notice it’s missing
Whether you have an app that allows you to cancel your card or not, you should probably call your bank.
Call customer service – usually listed on a bank’s website or on your bank statement – and speak with a representative. In some cases, there may be an automated system that helps you cancel your debit card – simply enter your account information, state the reason for cancelling your card, and answer a few security questions and it can be as simple as that.
If you have any concerns or questions about your account like recurring transfers and fraudulent purchases, select the option to speak with someone instead.
You can also go to the bank in person, but that’s not exactly the most efficient option.
3. Cancel automatic payments
If you have recurring payments attached to your debit card, you’ll need to cancel these so your subscriptions or memberships stay current. Call the retailer in question’s customer service to make sure your payments are cancelled. Some might even ask you to cancel in writing, so check the fine print.
Once you do that, call your bank again and tell them you’ve revoked authorization for the company to take recurring transfers from your account. If you haven’t canceled payments from the retailer, you can also complete what’s called a “stop payment” with your bank. Typically you’ll need to submit a request in writing, but check with your bank on the proper procedure to do so.
4. Monitor your bank account
Once you cancel your debit card, write down a confirmation number and the customer representative’s name (if applicable) in case you any problems arise. Also, make sure to monitor your account carefully for any fraudulent transactions.
5. Follow up in writing
The FTC recommends following up a request to cancel a debit card in writing. In a letter to your bank, include when your card went missing, when you reported the loss, and your debit card number. If you’ve reported fraudulent transactions, make sure to include that in the letter as well.