Many of your credit card problems can be solved with a single phone call or letter to your credit card issuer (sometimes a letter is better). If you're in doubt, here are 12 times you should contact your credit card issuer.
Report fraudulent and unauthorized charges to your credit card issuer immediately. If your credit card information has been compromised, your card issuer will close out your current account and reissue a new card with a different account number. This keeps the thief from making additional fraudulent charges on your account.
You have the right to dispute credit card billing errors but you have to do it within 60 days of the date the billing statement with the error was mailed. Your credit card issuer is only legally required to respond when you dispute the error in writing. You might prefer to talk to someone about the issue, but make sure you follow up with a letter within the required timeframe.
Timely reporting of a lost or stolen credit card is key to ensuring that you’re not liable for any charges made on your missing credit card. You could be liable for up to $50 of charges made on your credit card before you report it lost or stolen.
Missing your credit card payment even by just a few minutes will result in a late fee of up to $35. You may be able to have the late fee waived, especially if you’re not a repeat offender, but you’ll have to contact your credit card issuer to request the courtesy.
With a good credit score and lower rate credit card offers, you have a good chance of negotiating a lower interest rate. Call your creditor, cite the rate offers you’ve been getting, and ask if they will lower your interest rate. Sometimes creditors are unable to lower your interest rate. In that case, you can either move your balance to a lower rate credit card or stick to your current rate and try to negotiate again in a few months.
You might want to close an account you're not using anymore or one with a high interest rate that can't be negotiated down. The ideal way to close your card is to pay off the balance then send your creditor a letter telling them to close your account. However, paying off the balance isn’t a requirement for closing your account. Beware of the potential, but recoverable, damage that might be done to your credit score if you close a card that has a balance.
Credit bureaus maintain your credit report, but you also have the right to dispute credit report errors directly with your credit card issuer. When a dispute with the credit bureau is unsuccessful, you can go straight to the source and handle the issue with the credit card issuer who reported the error.
When you get a new credit card, one of the first things you should do is call the credit card issuer to activate it. There will be a sticker on the front of your new credit card with a number that you should call to activate it. You'll typically follow a few automated prompts and your card will be activated in just a few minutes.
A transaction was declined.There are a few explanations for a transactions being declined: you don’t have enough available credit, your account has been frozen, or your account has been cancelled. The store clerk probably won’t be able to give you a reason (except maybe for fraud) so contact your credit card issuer to get more details about the declined transaction.
You'd like a higher credit limit.Some credit card issuers automatically grant credit limit increases periodically after you’ve used your credit card responsibly for a certain amount of time. But if it’s been awhile since your last increase and you need a bigger credit limit, for example to make a large purchase, call your credit card issuer and ask. The card issuer may pull your credit report and ask for your current income to process your request.