Financial Advice

Be a Wise Consumer


When and How to Replace Your Debit Card

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Your debit card is your handy go-to whenever you need cash and, for many, a great way to make purchases. You’d hate to be without it, even for a moment. But what do you do when your debit card is about to expire, or if you have to replace it because your debit card is lost or stolen? Check out these six tips:

To report potential fraud or notify us of a lost or stolen card, call (866) 928-5450. To chat with a representative for any other reason, contact Member Services during normal business hours at (512) 467-8080 or (800) 252-8311.
  1. Take note of when your debit card is set to expire by looking on the card for the words “expiration” (sometimes abbreviated to “exp.”) or “good thru” followed by numbers for the month and year. Your financial institution will mail a replacement card several weeks prior to the expiration date, so make sure your information is current, and be careful not to toss mail into the recycling bin too quickly during that time. Planning to travel? If your debit card will expire during your trip, contact your financial institution a month before you leave and ask them to mail it early so there’s plenty of time for it to arrive before you go.

  2. Act fast when your debit card is lost or stolen.
  3. a. Contact your financial institution as soon as you notice it is gone. Remember that anyone with access to your card can withdraw cash or make purchases, and (worst case scenario) bad actors could possibly drain your account.

    b. Temporarily deactivate your card, even if you simply think it may be misplaced. (If you have a UFCU card, you can use CardKeeper via Online Banking or the Mobile Banking app to block your card immediately.)

    c. If you think your card has been stolen, cancel the card immediately. Your financial institution should offer options for getting a replacement card to you quickly. Typically, a new card will be mailed automatically and should be received within 7–10 business days. This is another reason to be sure your information is current.

    d. If you notice fraudulent activity after your debit card is lost or stolen, report it to your financial institution as soon as possible. They can review the activity and refund potential losses while they investigate further. Keep in mind that any fraudulent activity must be reported within 60 days of the transaction. If you’d like to learn more, look into the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, which limits your losses, but the longer you wait, the more you risk protection of your funds.

  4. Be prepared. Take these steps so you are ready to act fast.

    a. Keep your financial institution’s fraud alert hotline in the contacts of your phone so that you always have it handy (but do not add any notes with your account details).

    b. Be careful about giving your personal information to unknown individuals over the phone. If you do need to look up your financial institution’s phone number up by searching the Internet, pay close attention and confirm that you land on your financial institution’s official site and not a dummy site set up by a scammer before you start clicking links.

    c. Expect that you might be charged fees. Your financial institution will talk with you about the best way to get a replacement debit card to you. Some charge a small fee to replace lost or stolen cards.

    d. Quicker replacement options are available, but you might also be charged a fee for a rush replacement card. Some financial institutions can replace your card fast (and often without a fee) if you can go to your local branch and pick it up.

  5. Activate your new card and destroy the old one if you recover it.

  6. Manage the effects of a lost, stolen, or new card on automatic bill payments. If you deactivated or canceled your card, contact all vendors and put a hold on any automatic bill payments that are due before you get a new card. If your new debit card is simply a replacement for an expired card, the account number should be the same, but you may need to update the expiration date and CVV code. Many vendors will allow you to make other payment arrangements so that you aren’t charged late fees due to a stolen card.

  7. Keep watching your account for unauthorized activity. Consider signing up for text or email alerts on any activity in your account if offered by your financial institution. Or, check your account frequently with mobile or online banking. Notify your financial institution as soon as possible if you see any unauthorized activity.