Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Discover To Let Users Freeze Their Card

Discover Card recently announced a new feature of their card where customers can "freeze" their credit card if the card is misplaced, but are not sure if it was stolen. reports that Discover card users can use the Discover web site or mobile app to temporarily suspend their card. This will prevent any new transactions from being made in person and will also prevent any cash advances or balance transfers from being made. It will not prevent phone or internet charges, nor will it prevent any automatic payments that have been set up. This feature will only be available on Discover it cards with no annual fee.

I think this is a good idea. If you can't find your card, cancelling it and getting a new one is a pain in the butt and you can't make any new charges until you receive the new card. This feature will let people who think they might have just misplaced the card have some protection. For example, if you are on a trip and can't find your card but think you just left it in your other wallet or purse at home, you can freeze the card and look for it when the trip is over. If it was at home, you saved yourself the hassle of getting a replacement card. If it was, in fact, stolen, you've protected yourself against unauthorized charges.

The article also points out some other uses for this feature: if your spending is out of control, you can freeze it for a time, or if you need to stop an authorized user from using the card, you can do that. I'm not sure this will be as effective as they think. After all, phone and internet charges are not blocked, so if you have a spending problem, you can still use the card online to buy things.

All in all, I think this is a good feature and hope Discover rolls it out to all of their cards soon. I also hope other credit card issuers will start offering this feature. I'd like to see an option to also freeze phone and internet charges while leaving automatic payments intact, but this is a good first step.


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