Card Locks: What They Are And How They Perform

Did you know that you can lock your credit rating card any time you never want any individual to use it? Whether or not you’re hoping to avert your self from producing impulse buys or keep a spouse and children member from accessing your credit rating account, a credit score card lock can prevent individuals from earning new costs (when still allowing for formerly approved costs, these as membership payments or scheduled bill payments, to course of action as usual).

This is what can make a credit score card freeze so unique—and why understanding how to lock your credit history card ought to be an important own finance tool. Given that a credit score card lock helps prevent new rates when enabling previously licensed charges to go as a result of, you really don’t have to be concerned about lacking an significant monthly bill payment just mainly because you’ve frozen your credit score card account. Alternatively, you can lock your card each individual time you never want any one to make new prices.

Possibly you have misplaced your credit history card, for instance, and want a probability to glance for it right before you call your credit history card issuer about a alternative. A credit rating card freeze provides you time to come across your card devoid of possessing to be concerned about another person else getting it first.

Locking a credit rating card is simple, and most credit score card issuers allow for you to deal with your credit history card locks from your on-line account or cellular app. Here’s what you need to know about acquiring a card lock, lifting a credit score card freeze and how to use card locks to maintain your credit accounts protected.

What is card lock?

Card lock is a feature that allows you to lock or freeze your credit rating card account for a specified time period of time. Lots of persons use card locks to prevent on their own or others from making purchases on their credit card. Locking a credit history card is quick and easy, and most credit rating card issuers allow you to handle your card locks by way of your on the internet account or credit history card app.

How does a card lock function?

A card lock or credit history card freeze stops anybody from building new buys on your credit rating card account. Most credit rating card locks even now allow for recurring automatic transactions, this sort of as subscriptions or expenditures, to go by way of. That way, you can lock your credit history card without obtaining to stress about falling powering on your bill payments.

What can a card lock do for you?

A credit score card lock can enable hold your credit score card account risk-free from intruders and hackers. If you have rationale to suspect that your credit rating card quantity has been compromised, a card lock is 1 way to retain third functions from building purchases on your account—though you’ll likely also want to get in touch with your credit score card issuer to report the suspected fraud and ask for a new credit card variety.

You can also freeze your credit card account if you unintentionally misplace your credit history card—especially if you consider you will be able to come across your credit score card in a day or two. In some cases, you must deal with a shed credit score card by speaking to your credit issuer and requesting a alternative. In other instances, you might just want to dig beneath the seats of your automobile, check the sofa cushions or empty out your backpack. A card lock can shield your account until finally you choose no matter if your credit rating card is locked for good.

There’s a single additional cause to lock your credit rating card account, and that’s to protect against you from generating new buys on the card. If you are seeking to control impulse procuring or continue to be out of credit score card credit card debt, locking your credit rating card is a wonderful way to protect you from creating purchases you could possibly later on regret.

Given that most credit score card locks let recurring transactions like subscriptions to go as a result of, you can also use a card lock as a way to hold an previous credit score card account lively. Closing an aged credit rating card can harm your credit history rating, so think about putting a person or two subscriptions on the card, setting up auto-spend to guarantee that you do not drop at the rear of on your payments and locking your card to protect against oneself (or any one else) from building new buys on the account.

You can even use card locks to guard credit card accounts that you really do not use on a frequent foundation. If you recently switched your most important investing from a travel benefits credit history card to a cash back credit rating card, for example, lock or freeze your travel credit history card to make sure it stays protected, and keep on placing your working day-to-working day buys on your cash back card.

Credit history card issuers that offer card locks

Most credit card issuers present some type of card lock or credit card freeze. Here’s how to get a card lock or set up a credit card freeze with some of the biggest credit history card issuers:

American Express

You can promptly freeze and unfreeze your American Express credit rating card by logging into your account or employing the American Convey Application. Freezing your Amex card prevents it from currently being utilized for new buys, but recurring costs and subscriptions will not be afflicted. You will continue to be in a position to make purchases by means of a digital wallet when your card is frozen, and you may possibly be ready to make purchases at online stores if your card is presently saved as a method of payment.

If you do not unfreeze your card inside of 7 days, American Specific will mechanically unfreeze it for you.

Lender of The us

Bank of America will allow you to lock and unlock debit playing cards, but does not offer the identical attribute for credit card accounts. If you want to lock or unlock a Lender of America debit card, log into your on-line account or use the Cell Banking app. Locking your debit card will avert new purchases, but recurring transactions and scheduled monthly bill payments will even now go by means of.

Money A person

Funds One’s card lock element can be accessed as a result of the Cash A single Mobile app. Locking your credit history card prevents new purchases, and you can unlock your card when you are completely ready to start utilizing it once again.


You can simply lock and unlock your Chase credit rating card or debit card by means of the Chase Cell app. Locking your card helps prevent new buys, dollars innovations and balance transfers. Recurring transactions will even now go through, and you can nonetheless make purchases by way of a electronic wallet.


Use Citi Swift Lock in the Citi Mobile App or in your on the net account to lock and unlock your Citi credit cards. New costs will be blocked, but recurring transactions will carry on to approach as common.


Placing up a credit card freeze with Uncover helps prevent new buys, balance transfers and money innovations. Recurring transactions, this kind of as subscriptions, will continue to arise even whilst your card is frozen. You can conveniently freeze your account online, by means of the Learn Mobile App or more than the cell phone, and you can freeze and unfreeze your account as frequently as you like.

Wells Fargo

You can temporarily switch off your Wells Fargo credit rating card account by logging into online or cellular banking. When your credit rating card is turned off, most types of new transactions will not be processed—but formerly authorized recurring transactions will course of action as normal.

How to make the most out of a card lock

To make the most out of a card lock or credit score card freeze, start off by knowing when it is time to get a card lock in place.

  • Do you want to preserve on your own, a loved ones member or an authorized user from making purchases on your credit rating card account? Freeze your credit history playing cards and neither you nor any one else will be in a position to make new purchases.
  • Nervous that your credit rating card account has been compromised? Established up a card lock, then get in touch with your credit rating card issuer to report your issues.
  • Want to guarantee that outdated credit rating card accounts remain active and in superior standing? Put a little recurring cost on each individual card, established up automobile-spend to ensure the credit history card payments are taken care of and freeze the accounts to prevent your self or anyone else from earning new purchases on the cards.

The other way to make the most out of a card lock is to know when it is time to lift the credit history card freeze. If you just can’t find a credit history card, for illustration, get a card lock established up and then begin exploring the household for your lacking plastic. If your credit history card turns up, raise the freeze—but if it’s dropped for excellent, get hold of your credit card issuer for a substitute.

You can even use credit rating card locks as budgeting instruments. Let us say you’ve acquired a credit score card that benefits restaurants and takeout, but you really do not want to commit a lot more than a certain amount of dollars on dining establishments every thirty day period. Lock your credit rating card the moment you have hit your paying out cap and unfreeze it at the starting of the following thirty day period when your price range rolls more than. That way, you can get benefit of a top rewards credit card without the need of spending extra than you can afford.

The base line

Locking a credit card prevents everyone from generating new purchases on your credit score card, and you can use credit card locks to hold your account safe and sound, protect against impulse purchasing or stick to a regular monthly budget.

In most instances, finding a card lock in location only stops new purchases—recurring transactions like subscription costs or every month charges can continue to go by. If you want to set or elevate a credit history card freeze, log into your on the web credit history card account or use your credit score card issuer’s cellular application.