Credit card fraud is the No. 1 form of identity theft, according to a report by Experian. So, it’s important to have a credit card that has your back with an array of security features.
Fortunately, most credit cards come with a set of security features to deter fraudsters, but some stand out above the rest. Understanding what your card offers is essential to keeping your card information safe.
Credit card that offer the best security features overview
|Credit Card||Best For|
|Discover it® Cash Back||Security and cash back|
|Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card||Fraud detection|
Credit card that offer the best security features
In addition to some or all of these features, some credit cards go the extra mile. Here is the best credit card that offers special security features that can give you even more peace of mind.
Best for security and cash back
Discover it® Cash Back
The Discover it® Cash Back comes with two major security features that go with the rest of the card’s value proposition:
- Freeze It: This feature allows you to freeze your account through Discover’s mobile app and stop purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers until you unfreeze it.
- Discover regularly runs searches of your social security number on thousands of risky websites to help you know in advance if someone might try to steal your identity.
Discover it® Cash Back also offers 5 percent cash back on rotating categories every quarter (when you activate) on up to $1,500 spent per quarter.
You’ll also earn 1 percent cash back on other purchases, and Discover will match all the cash back you earn with the card during the first year.
Apply now or read our full review of the Discover it® Cash Back credit card.
Best for credit monitoring
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card doesn’t offer any specific safety features that stand out. But the bank was ranked as one of the best in fraud prevention, detection, and resolution by Javelin Strategy & Research.
So, if you want a card that you know has your back, this one is worth considering. The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card also offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases, plus an extra 20 percent (so 1.8%) cash back on qualified digital wallet purchases like Apple Pay® or Google PayTM, during the first 12 months from account opening.
You’ll also get a $150 cash rewards bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months.
5 ways your credit card is protecting you
There are five primary security features credit cards offer. And while not all cards offer them, most of them do.
1. EMV chips
In 2015, credit card issuers starting sending out credit card replacements to cardholders with a chip on the front. This chip is designed to keep your card information safe by creating a unique token every time you use the card and keeping your original card information encrypted.
That way, if someone tries to steal your card information by using a skimming device or a fraudulent card reader, the one-time-use token they get is useless.
2. Fraud monitoring
Credit card issuers use algorithms to track your regular spending behavior to make sure there’s nothing out of the ordinary. If someone else uses your card to make an abnormal purchase, you may receive a text, call or email to let you know of the fraud.
These safety measures aren’t perfect, so it’s still important to keep an eye on your online account. But in many cases, the issuer will stop the fraud before you even notice.
3. Zero-liability protection
Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, the most you can lose if someone steals your credit card is $50. But many credit card issuers go above and beyond federal law, offering zero-liability fraud protection.
In other words, as long as you report a fraudulent transaction promptly, the card issuer will cover the full amount.
4. Credit score monitoring
A decade ago, it was almost impossible to view your credit score without paying for it. But through the FICO Open Access program, many credit card issuers offer access for free.
Some even go one step further and send you emails when there’s a change in your credit report.
With this feature, you may be able to spot new-account fraud—which happens when someone uses your Social Security number to open a fraudulent account—before it wreaks havoc on your credit score.
5. Account freezing
If you lose your credit card, report it to the credit card issuer. They will typically freeze your account and send you a new credit card. Some will even expedite the replacement card so you receive it in just a couple of days.
Depending on your credit card issuer, you may even be able to freeze your account through the issuer’s mobile app or your online account without closing it, giving you time to look for it.
How can I avoid fraudulent purchases on my card?
First, leave your card at home if you’re not going to use it. That will help ensure that you won’t accidentally leave it somewhere.
Next, know what credit card skimmers look like. They’re a popular way for hackers to steal your information at ATMs.
How do I report my card stolen or lost?
Go directly to your credit card company’s website and they’ll likely have a security tab where you’ll find a number to call to cancel your card and get a new one. Obviously, if you can go on your card’s app and freeze your account, that should be your first step.
Here are the security centers of each card above:
- Discover: 1-804-967-1000 (to report a lost/stolen card); 1-800-227-4825 (to report fraud).
- Bank of America: 1-800-732-9194 (to report a lost/stolen card); 1-800-432-1000 (to report fraud).
- Capital One: Sign in online at capitalone.com or on the Capital One mobile app, go to settings, you can replace a card via the app. 1-800-227-4825 (to report fraud).
How long does it take to get reimbursed for credit card fraud?
That honestly depends on how long it takes your bank to process the dispute. I was a victim of fraud through my Capital One credit card and they got me my money back within just a few days, but other banks can take up to 90 days.
However, the card issuer must respond to your fraud claim within 30 days, but you should hear much sooner from any of the companies above.
While it’s nice to have a credit card with extra security features, you’re still responsible for making sure that you keep your information safe. By shopping on secure websites and keeping your physical card safe, you can prevent most fraud cases.
It’s not possible to completely eliminate fraud, though, so it’s important to stay vigilant and keep an eye on your accounts and credit reports to spot fraud before it causes significant damage.