It’s 5 am – Do You Know Where Your Credit Card Info Is?

For the second dang time in the same dang month, I’ll have to update my freakin’ dang credit card info across all the sites it’s freakin’ attached to. If you ever want to annoy the piss out of yourself, throw your card out the window right now and then request a new one :) We’ll commiserate together!

But, luckily all this bitching comes with a helpful tip. Which I’ll be sharing as soon as I’m done with the bitching part…

Here’s what I’ve been dealing with (and yes, they’re 1st world problems):

  • Target info got hacked – USAA took precaution and re-issued my main “house” credit card (the card we use to pay everything relating to our house – like utilities, groceries, baby stuff, and pretty much 99% of our lives).
  • J Money gets annoyed, but understands it’s for the best, so he begrudgingly updates every last place his credit card is on file at. Then he blogs about it ;)
  • His wife proceeds to do the same – making it a double whammy since the account is linked
  • A week later, J. Money loses/misplaces/gets robbed of this shiny new card and for the life of him can’t find it.
  • He calls up every single place he’s visited on that day, but no luck.
  • He searches high and low and every which way, praying it reveals itself to him. (It doesn’t)
  • He waits another week in hopes it magically re-appears on its own! (It unfortunately does not)
  • Finally, he reports it and now awaits a new card in the mail… To which he’ll have to – yet again – update all his accounts before any future auto-pays hit and cause even more of a ruckus, argh…

Not fun stuff. But do you know what would make it even MORE not fun stuff?

Not having a list of where your credit cards are on file!

Luckily the old J. Money learned from his mistake last time around, and made a list to help his future self out. You know, in case this should ever happen again (and it always does. Even without losing them or being hacked they all come with expiration dates!). This made the current J. Money very happy indeed :) Now it’ll only take him 1/30th of the time to update everything because he knows where it all is! Huzzah! And he’s going to time it too – just to prove how accurate that last statement was ;)

It also got him thinking of other ways to avoid such hassles down the road. Things like:

  • Don’t let your child play with your wallet in public places (probably the culprit here)
  • Don’t have your credit card linked to a million  & one places online – especially those you rarely use
  • Start using checks? (HAH! No way, José)
  • Stop using auto-bill pay? (Double HAH!)
  • And, finally, stop being a dummy.

It’s the last part there that’s usually my problem ;) But at least I’m only 1/2 a dummy now that I’ve got that list of places my credit card’s attached to! And I urge you to do the same when you’ve got a few minutes open for some nice torturing… I’m not gonna pretend it’s exciting, but it still doesn’t mean it’s not a smart thing to do.

So don’t be a dummy, folks. Make a list, and then thank me later for it! I take payment in ice cold Blue Moon please :)

UPDATE: Lucas left this comment down below and it’s a great idea so I’m moving it to inside this post too so you see it :) “You just need to separate your auto bill payments from your point of sale/shopping useage. We got effected by the Target hack as well, but it really wasn’t a pain because I have one credit card (that I don’t carry in my wallet) that is used to pay all my bills (insurance, cell phone, ooma, some donations, . .. ). We have one other credit card that we carry around with us that we use on point of sale purchases and restaurants, etc… So that was the one that got hit in the target hack. All we had to do was replace it and just start using the new one.”

[Photo by sovietmole]

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  1. Snarkfinance March 19, 2014 at 6:30 AM

    I don’t have anything linked to my credit card in regards to auto-payments and so forth…. but I may have to take some time and create a list of places I have used it online that will hold it on-file. Stop losing your cards, brah! Sounds like you need a checklist to go over just to make it home with everything you left with… I joke, I joke.

    1. J. Money March 19, 2014 at 4:24 PM

      no, you’re absolutely correct – I suck at not losing things!

  2. Lucas March 19, 2014 at 6:54 AM

    If you are going to keep your credit cards, you just need to separate your auto bill payments from your point of sale/shopping useage. We got effected by the Target hack as well, but it really wasn’t a pain because I have one credit card (that i don’t carry in my wallet) that is used to pay all my bills (insurance, cell phone, ooma, some donations, . .. ). We have one other credit card that we carry around with us that we use on point of sale purchases and restaurants, etc. . which are much more likely to be hacked but don’t require setup time. So that was the one that got hit in the target hack. All we had to do was replace it and just start using the new one. I know it is possible that one of the bill pay websites could get hacked directly, but i have never had that yet – so heres hoping for another couple years of no hassle there :-)

    1. J. Money March 19, 2014 at 4:27 PM

      That’s an interesting method! I kinda like that :) I hate having more cards than needed, but you’re right – it would totally save headache during times like these… good one.

    2. @freepursue March 25, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      That is SOOO smart. I want to do that too. Love it.

  3. No Nonsense Landlord March 19, 2014 at 7:09 AM

    Great advice. I charge everything, so I know the feeling of a lost card. Even a new expiration date is a real pain. Many of my rental expenses are charged automatically, and they all start to bounce wen a new card is needed.

  4. Brit March 19, 2014 at 7:46 AM

    Yeah.. I’m going to do the same and um.. stop my kid from playing with my wallet and working on stop being a dummy. But I’m like you when I misplace things. I have call, then wait, then report it days later. As much as this is a pain I love my plastic.

  5. Dave @ The New York Budget March 19, 2014 at 7:48 AM

    I will always and forever be a dummy. In fact, just the other day, I lost my keys. Surprisingly, getting new ones was not so terrible (just copied my spare set at the hardware store and voila), but still, I really can’t trust myself.

    The list of sites you have your credit card info though is a great idea!

    1. J. Money March 19, 2014 at 4:32 PM

      The worst is when you lose your CAR keys! At least if you have a newer car – I hear they’re like $100-$150 to reproduce cuz there’s fancy chips in there nowadays? I wouldn’t know personally though – I’m still rockin’ my ’93 Caddy Deville ;)

  6. a terrible husband... March 19, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    UGH, that stinks. I need to make a list, but use paypal as much as possible to keep the # down. Then I just change it in paypal… :)

  7. David Hunter March 19, 2014 at 9:10 AM

    I already told you yesterday, NO!

  8. @WilliamLipovsky, First Quarter Finance March 19, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    What’s super annoying is when you (me) don’t delete an old credit card off a website. When you go to order another item you’re left scratching your head wondering which is the old Visa and which is the new. Then you have to get up and find your wallet anyway!

    Another first world problem! Love that addition to the article! We really are lucky.

    1. J. Money March 19, 2014 at 4:34 PM

      Good problems to deal with all things considered :)

  9. Mysti March 19, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    Another thing to add to your list….or as a separate list…..passwords!!!

    OMG, do you have any idea how many freaking things have passwords? I had to go into some older accounts, and of course didn’t have the passwords and had to reset everything. Between financial accounts, e-mails, and then all the other stupids things (social media, stores, blah blah blah)… is maddening!

    1. @WilliamLipovsky, First Quarter Finance March 19, 2014 at 10:24 AM

      Google Drive is a good place to create a spreadsheet to keep your PWs. This way they will always be with you (unlike opening an Excel spreadsheet on a computer without the Microsoft Office Suite). Think hotels, servers, etc. Plus, opening a spreadsheet on Google Drive is wayy for convenient than launching Excel.

      *Do you want to save changes?*

      “I didn’t make any friggin’ changes, did I?!”


      1. J. Money March 19, 2014 at 4:36 PM

        Agreed – having a secure place to put/update passwords is a good idea. I don’t know about using Google Drive cuz it’s freaky knowing Google has access to all that!, but I do like the spreadsheet route… just learned how to make them password-protected too – who knew?

  10. Charlie @ Our Journey To Zero Debt March 19, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    Sorry to hear that! I know it’s a pain to update all your accounts!

    I should start using my credit card for all my expenses to build up the rewards but I’m scared to. Maybe I’m not financially responsible and mature yet. I’ll be nice if I can pay my mortgage with my credit card. That’ll be some real nice double points. In fact, let me check to see if I can.

    1. J. Money March 19, 2014 at 4:37 PM

      That’s really the main reason I use my card for everything – for the cash back. Well, that and having one main place to look at and budget vs a billion other accounts.

      I was able to put our rent on the card for a handful of months but then it got taken away, booooooo… it was really nice!

  11. Shannon @ Financially Blonde March 19, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    This is great advice and something I learned the hard way. My visa was part of the Target compromise from December and I got a new card. A month later my son comes home (he’s 8) and says he couldn’t buy lunch that day because he had no money on his school lunch card.DOH! The school card refill was linked to my visa. Now I have yet another event I have to worry about driving my son to the therapist’s couch later in life. After this, I updated my lists, which was great because apparently this card was compromised again from some other vendor.

    1. J. Money March 19, 2014 at 4:38 PM

      Yikes!! An easy thing to forget too, poor kid… hopefully he had some nice friends to hook him up :)

  12. Mr. Utopia @ Personal Finance Utopia March 19, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    Yeah, updating your credit card info for a newly issued card can be a witch with a capital B. One of my cards was stolen (well, it wasn’t physically stolen, but the info was last summer after shopping at a Raley’s Bel Air grocery store) and CC company re-issued it. Fortunately, for me, I rarely used that card and didn’t have to update any info this time. However, a few years back I had a check possibly stolen (dropped it off in the rental deposit box at the apartment complex office and that box was stolen). So, I had to close my checking account and re-open another one. Talk about a pain in the backside. It was made even worse because I had to update my direct deposit and that took a while to process. Not much fun to get paid late because you’re waiting on a manually cut check to arrive.

    1. J. Money March 19, 2014 at 4:39 PM

      Yes, that one is DEFINITELY worse! Ughh…

  13. BJ March 19, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    This is great advice I never thought about it before. Glad I’ve never had to change that info but I’m going to get started on that list.

    Don’t forget the orange slice when you get your beer!

    1. J. Money March 19, 2014 at 4:43 PM

      YOU don’t forget the orange slices… you’re bringing me the beer for the tip, remember? :)

      1. BJ March 20, 2014 at 3:39 AM

        Oh yeah that was the plan!

  14. Done by Forty March 19, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    We’ve been keeping a list of credit cards for travel hacking purposes, but maybe we’ll expand it and make it serve double-duty as our list of credit cards in case they get lost. Thanks for the tip!

    A beer awaits you in AZ.

    1. J. Money March 19, 2014 at 4:44 PM

      YES! Score!

  15. km March 19, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    I know that annoying feeling! I once had 3 credit card numbers (one card twice) stolen in the span of one month (someone hacked my office parking garage pay thingie). After that I decided to use one card for only online payments (including monthly payments like cable, car insurance, etc) and my other card for everyday use in stores. That way when my everyday card gets stolen (which is the most likely scenario) then I won’t have to change all of my online payment info. It’s not fail-proof since online payments can get hacked, but I think there is less risk.

    1. J. Money March 19, 2014 at 4:45 PM

      You’re like Lucas above!!! Loving this new idea.

  16. Rick March 19, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    “So don’t be a dummy, folks. Make a list, and then thank me later for it!”

    Bread, milk, eggs, cheese…. did I forget anything? Oh yeah, Thanks J!

  17. Crystal March 19, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    Last time my card number was stolen online, I printed out my last 3 statements and just changed everything that auto-billed. I ended up only missing one thing that billed annually and it wasn’t automatic (my home insurance). That worked well for me and only took a few hours over 2 days to get everything changed.

  18. Grayson @ Debt Roundup March 20, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    We are selling our home and will have to update all of our stuff that contains our address when it sells. I have a running list of places where my address is, but I am sure it is not complete. We have been here for 7 years and I don’t even know of all the places where my address is.

    1. J. Money March 21, 2014 at 8:01 AM

      Another good thing to track too! Maybe just one master spreadsheet that has tabs for addresses, credit cards, etc, eh? Would make life soooooooo much easier down the line!

  19. @freepursue March 25, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Thank you for the post J. You have instilled the “fear of lost credit cards” in me and I will smarten up immediately. I love Lucas’s idea. Genius!

    1. J. Money March 26, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      GOOD! Do it!!! Shouldn’t take you that much time either :)