Credit Cards 7 Times You Should Contact Your Credit Card Customer Service By LaToya Irby LaToya Irby Facebook Twitter LaToya Irby is a credit expert who has been covering credit and debt management for The Balance for more than a dozen years. She's been quoted in USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, and the Associated Press, and her work has been cited in several books. learn about our editorial policies Updated on March 28, 2022 Reviewed by Marguerita Cheng Fact checked by Vikki Velasquez Photo: Sam Edwards / OJO Images / Getty Images These days much of what you need to do with your credit card can be done online or through your credit card issuer’s smartphone app. You can check your account balance and available credit, make or check payment status, or even request a higher credit limit. While your online gives a lot of control over your account, there are some times that you need to speak to a live customer service representative over the phone. Contacting your credit card customer service allows you to get your questions answered in real-time over the phone. Make sure you call using the number from the back of your credit card or from the credit card issuer’s website. Your Credit Card is Missing You should never drag your feet with a missing credit card. The sooner you let your credit card issuer know your credit card is missing, the less responsibility you'll have for any charges made on your credit card. Log on to your account to get the credit card's customer service number then give them a call. The customer service agent will verify the last transactions you remember making then deactivate your credit card and send another one to you. Your Credit Card Is Being Unexpectedly Declined There are a number of reasons your credit card could be declined. Sometimes transactions are declined as a precaution against fraud because you don’t have enough available credit for the purchase, or the merchant’s credit card processing system isn’t working properly. Calling your credit card’s customer service is the best way to find out why your credit card is being declined and to get the issue cleared up. There Are Charges on Your Statement You Don’t Recognize Most credit cards come with zero fraud liability which means you’re not responsible for any fraudulent charges made on your account. You’re also legally protected from any fraudulent charges made using your credit card number while your card is in your possession. Contact your credit card issuer to have fraudulent charges removed from your account. You may need to be issued a new credit card to protect your account from future unauthorized charges. You’re Traveling out of the Country Before you take an international trip, contact your credit card issuer to let them know where you’re planning to go and the dates you’ll be there. This ensures none of your transactions are flagged as fraudulent. Making the call before you travel will be beneficial just in case you don’t have good phone reception in the area that you’re traveling. While you have your credit card customer service on the phone, verify that your credit card will work where you’re traveling. Carry a bit of cash or local currency with you to cover you in places that don’t accept credit cards. A Payment Wasn’t Applied to Your Account When you’re reviewing your credit card statement — something you should do at least once a month — you check to be sure that your recent payments have been applied to your account correctly. If the payment has cleared your bank but isn’t on your credit card statement, let your credit card issuer know. This is especially important if you’ve had a late payment applied to your account because of the payment. Your credit card issuer can investigate, apply the payment, and reverse the late fee and any interest resulting from the misapplied payment. You’re Experiencing Financial Hardship In times of financial trouble, many people want to hide from their bills. But, dodging your credit card issuer is one of the worst things you can do. Your credit card issuer may have options that can lower your payment or push your due date into the future. If a phone call saves you up to $38 in late fees, it’s worth it. Plus, giving your credit card issuer a call may allow you to avoid having a late payment status added to your credit report. You Want to Close Your Account If you decide you no longer want to have your credit card, perhaps because you’re downsizing your credit card collection or the credit card no longer has favorable terms, call your credit card customer service to let them know you’re closing your account. While you have customer service on the phone, you can make any final payments to be sure your balance is completely paid off. You can follow up your phone call with a letter confirming that you requested your account to be closed. The only thing left to do is check your final credit card statements to confirm that you have a zero balance. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Federal Reserve Bank. "Regulation E Electronic Fund Transfer Act," Page 13.