University of FloridaSolutions for Your Life

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Publication #FAR9017

Credit Card Insurance1

Josephine Turner2

Figure 1. 
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Do you own a credit card? Most Americans do. You might even feel a need to protect yourself and your credit cards against credit card crimes. Many people turn to credit card protection insurance for peace of mind. Before you sign up for credit card protection, know what you're buying.

For a fee ranging from $15 to $50 per year, credit card protection firms generally offer to keep a record of the cardholder's account numbers. They'll also report lost or stolen cards, arrange for replacements, and make credit card companies aware of the customer's address changes. Some services also provide stranded travelers with emergency cash advances and airplane tickets.

These services may sound inviting until you realize that all of their proposed services can easily be done yourself or are already provided by your credit card company. Also, your credit card losses are limited by law to $50 per card if you immediately report the card lost or stolen. Many card issuers won't even press the victim for the fee if the victim is willing to file charges against the thief if caught.

By paying for credit card protection, you're unlikely to receive services that you don't already have by owning a credit card, or services that you cannot easily provide yourself with no middleman cost. It's as simple as a telephone call and a follow-up letter to report a lost or stolen card.

So think carefully before you decide you really need additional credit insurance.

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This document is FAR9017, one of a series of the Family Youth and Community Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Broadcast as program 121 and published December 2007. Reviewed January 2015. In the interest of time and/or clarity, the broadcast version of this script may have been modified. Visit the EDIS website at


Josephine Turner, professor emeritus, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.