What Should I Do When I Find A Lost Credit Card: Turn It In, Cancel It Or Try To Contact The Owner?

All David wanted to do was be a good Samaritan. When he and his family came upon a credit card in the parking lot of a rest stop, he wanted to make sure he helped out its owner as best he could. But he isn’t sure if what he did to remedy the situation was the right decision. Let’s all chime in, shall we?

David writes that he and his family stopped at a rest stop on the way home from a trip. In the parking lot, they found an American Express platinum business credit card in their parking spot.

It was too late to flag down the car that had pulled out, so we brought it in to the rest stop. I thought we should turn it in to lost and found in case the person realized they lost their card and came back for it, only to discover that the only one there was at the Burger King, but the woman at the information desk offered to hold it when we told her what we had found.

My wife thought we should call American Express. We did that (got through on first ring right to a person — must be nice to have a Platinum card!) and they immediately closed the account and told us to cut up and throw away the card. I thought that if I lost my card having it cancelled without me knowing would be reassuring but also a bit of a pain if it was the only card I had.

The other idea was to Google the name and business on the card and send an email offering to mail/FedEx it back — but I was worried about being in possession of a lost credit card not in my name.

So Consumerist readers…what would you gave done? 1) Turn it in to the lost and found at the information desk or Burger King, 2) Called AmEx, 3) Googled the name trying to return the still working card to its owner?

Did David do the right thing? Vote below, and offer up any alternative suggestions in the comments if you’d like.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Coffee says:

    This one is easy…you did the right thing. The end.

    • CharlesFarley says:


      Call and have the card closed and ask the CSR to contact the owner to advise what happened.

      Simple and easy and kudos to the person who found it for doing the right thing.

      • racermd says:

        AMEX is really good about being proactive with lost/stolen cards or suspicious activity so the best thing to have done here is to have called them to cancel it, then destroy the card. They’ll have a new card to the cardholder in a few days (likely with a different card number), will call (or will have called) the customer to let them know what happened and, as a business card – and a platinum one, at that – it is unlikely to be the only card in a particular wallet. The person that lost the card is certainly not going to be lacking availability to their personal funds. If they need money for business needs until the new card arrives, they can call their accounting department or direct-report one level up the food chain and have them pay over the phone with that card, instead.

      • TomClements says:

        Calling to close the account may not be as easy as one would think. I once found a Visa card at a gas pump. Called the number on the back and there was no option in the automated menu for “Calling to cancel someone else’s card”. I finally talked to a CSR, but they had trouble figuring out why I couldn’t confirm details of the account, but wanted to close it. I swear it was as if no one had ever reported a lost and found visa card to them before.

        • lee says:

          not sure what’s hard about reporting an card lost (the word is Lost to the CSR) just pick any number that talks to some one it does not matter who you talk to

          what seems the issue on here is your saying it incorrectly to the CSR, if you say cancel the card the CSR mite think your talking about the account not that the card is lost, really it should only take 2-3 mins once you have given the account number to the CSR to tell them the Owner of the card has lost the card

    • smo0 says:

      as a former CC company employee… just call it in… we can’t give out any info and most people call asking “is there a number I can call this person at?” no… we just close it out and send the customers a new one on the back end.

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Un less you in fact can find the owner, seems the best thing is to contact the CC issuer. They’ll tell you what to do with it.

    • ecwis says:

      Even if you do find the owner, they might cancel it anyway thinking that you copied the card number down.

    • gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

      car in front of me at the ATM left their card in the machine, i called the bank and reported the card, they told me to destroy and discard it.

    • Parnassus says:

      The first time someone left a card at my store, I called the credit card company and they said to destroy it. The second time, I was ready to cut it up and decided to call the company first so they would know it was destroyed. They took the store name and the customer came down to pick it up about 5 minutes later.

  3. cheezeit says:

    I’ve done something similar. I found a card at our neighborhood park, I called the company and informed them I had it and to contact the owner about it. They said they’d contact the person. I waited a few days and called back when no one ever came or called about it. After a week I told them I was cutting it up and throwing it out. I never heard anything from anyone about it.

    • BrienBear Thinks Stupidity Defies Logic says:

      I don’t think they’d tell the person to contact you or vice versa because that’d definitely cause a breech of confidentiality. I’m sure they just canceled that card, called him/her and issued a new one.

  4. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    While trying to get the card back to the cardholder would be the best solution, most times it would be nearly impossible. If you don’t do it quickly, he’ll probably notice the card is missing and cancel it himself, then all that work googling and cyberstalking would be for nothing.

    Pretty much what these folks did, call the credit card company for instructions. Since this was Amex, they likely overnighted a new card to the card holder.

    • JReedNet says:

      Go Hounds!

      My brother is on the football team — #3 Vincent Reed.

    • bwcbwc says:

      Who did not receive the card because (s)he was out on a road trip.

      They still did the right thing by calling AmEx, though.

      • weave says:

        Amex will overnight a new card to wherever you are, even if in a foreign country.

        • Sudonum says:

          Winner winner chicken dinner. AMEX has done this for me before. They even called ahead to a hotel I was getting ready to check into and authorized the charges prior to check in so I wouldn’t have to present a card when I got there. 10am the next day there was a Fedex envelope at the front desk with my new card. And that was when I just had a green card.

  5. NightSteel says:

    If it was possible to get specific information about the car that had pulled out of the spot, ie plate number, or make, model, and what state plates, I’d be tempted to turn it in to the state patrol or local PD with that information, but otherwise, yeah, you did the right thing.

    • neekap says:

      Because they want to drop everything they’re doing and return it? If it was at a rest stop, the person was probably from out of the state or at least out of the area.

      • NightSteel says:

        I didn’t suggest that anyone had to go out of their way to do it. If it were me, I’d pick up the card, look to see if the car was still visible, and if I could get enough information about it, turn it in to the PD. Otherwise, I’d do exactly what OP did. No need to go chasing anyone down or wasting hours on it.

  6. Temescal says:

    Where is the “Go on an amazing shopping spree” option?

    • Cat says:

      I also was looking for this.

      Someone did this on one of my cards on New Years Eve in Vegas. Well, they tried, but they only got as far as a Taxi ride and Dinner before I shut them down.

    • Kodai says:

      it’s the option labled “go to jail”

  7. rpm773 says:

    A lost credit card? Owner not in sight? That’s easy – and the the poll above neglects to offer the most obvious and funnest option…

    …use the card to scrape birdshit off of your windshield

  8. milkcake says:

    I would just cut it apart. It’s so easy for the owner to get another one.

    • gparlett says:

      This is pretty much what I would do. Cut it up and throw it in the trash, I’m a nice enough guy that I don’t want your identity stolen, but not so nice that I’ll run your errands for you. When the original card owner notices the card missing they can call Amex and cancel the card.

    • amuro98 says:

      This is what I would do too. The owner will report it missing/stolen and get a new one, so what’s the point of trying to return the card to the owner? Also, how do you even convince the credit card company to close the account? It’s not your account, and I certainly wouldn’t want some random bozo who got a hold of my credit card # to be able to call my bank and close the account.

  9. Rachacha says:

    Contact the CC Company. Alert them that you have found the lost card. They can then contact the card owner alerting them that the card was found, and had been canceled, and a new one was on the way to their billing address.

    AMEX makes it easy as they will usually overnight you a replacement card.

    • Unmitigated_Fool says:

      I once had a replacement card shipped overnight to a vacation spot where I was staying. Amex can be very helpful at times.

  10. Travis Tubbs says:

    I’ve actually had this same situation happen. Walked out of a store and saw a credit card on the ground near my car. I called the credit card company and they told me the same thing: thanks for reporting; please destroy the card. It was pretty simple and no issues. Figured it’s safer this way instead of it getting into the wrong hands.

  11. ThunderRoad says:

    Try quickly to contact the owner (easier if it’s a business card), and see what they want done (may be easy to meet someplace and give it back to them), or at least tell them you found their card and are destroying it. Failing that, call the CC Company and shred the card.

  12. Aking0667 says:

    Call the number on the back and tell a CSR. I had this happen with a BofA credit card and they gave me the address of the nearest bank so I could drop it off. They also froze the account and claimed they would contact the owner.

  13. Tim says:

    Yup, you did the right thing. In fact, there’s a good chance it was canceled already, so contacting the cardholder would just be a waste of time.

    The only negative is that it might be more of a hassle for the cardholder. But it’s really the safest thing to do, and it’s not all that much of a hassle (plus, like I said, it might already be canceled, so it doesn’t matter).

  14. Marlin says:

    yep good call.

    The account is locked from fraud, mostly, and the person will get a new card sooner.

  15. vorpalette says:

    Eh, you did the right thing, more than many people would do.

    Coming out of a restaurant in another city right before Thanksgiving, I found a bunch of healthcare cards, some miscellaneous stuff, and a Social Security card on the sidewalk. Not knowing where the person was or would be, or even if they were from around there, I took it to the nearest police station and turned it in. They were, most likely, able to run her SSN and contact her. I never found out the results, unfortunately.

  16. ray4jc says:

    i recently found a debit card at kroger and gave it to customer service….

  17. umbriago says:

    Depends on the location, I guess. It would be pretty tough to track down the owner in some places, like a rest stop, for example – what if the owner discovered it 50 miles away? He’s not going to drive back. He’s going to call the credit card company.

    Trying to return it is tough, too: even if you do use Google, it’s not infallible, unless the name is really really unique like Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop or something.

    So I guess I’d fill up my tank with it, have a nice dinner with it, go to the liquor store with it and head to the mall….errr, I mean, just cut the damn thing up if there was no hope of finding the owner.

    If you find someone’s wallet in a neighborhood street, though, find the address and just take it over there (and surprise them with it, when they didn’t notice it was missing). That’s the right thing to do. I had the pleasure of doing that last year.

    • The hand that feeds, now with more bacon says:

      My name is unique enough that every hit on google or bing with my name in quotation marks refers to me. I guess that helps if I ever lose something with my name on it.

  18. Straspey says:

    I have, in fact, been in “David’s” situation myself on more than one occasion – and have done the exact same thing. Call the number on the back of the card and inform tell them you’ve found somebody else’s credit card. The credit card company will take care of the rest and take steps to contact the owner.

    American Express has a very strong costumer-protection policy.

    It’s probably safe to assume that after canceling the card, Amex most likely contacted the owner of the card and – after verifying their identity – inform them that their card had been reported lost/stolen, that their account had been canceled before any unauthorized charges were made – and finally, that a new card was being issued and mailed to them immediately.

  19. DanKelley98 says:

    I think leaving it at the lost and found would be bad. You don’t know where it might wind up.

  20. DrRonster says:

    Vote for none. Destroy it! Favor to all.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      Exactly. It’s going to get cancelled either way (if the person is smart), so might as well destroy it so no one else can use it.

  21. Jacquilynne says:

    If all I have is the card, I call the credit card company and cancel it.

    If I have a whole wallet, I try to find an address and phone number I can use to return it to the person it belongs to.

    I never turn things in to a business’s lost and found — you can be sure you’re honest, but you can’t be sure all of the business’s employees are honest.

    • Jacquilynne says:

      I should clarify that I’ll happily turn in ‘things’ to a lost and found, but money and credit cards, no.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        when i worked in lost and found at disney people regularly turned in hundreds of dollars in loose cash or wallets/purses full of money. if there was ID we tried to track them down. if there wasn’t ID the cash was held at lost and found for 30 days and then donated to Give Kids the World
        i suspect that it only happened because it was disney, and presumably a lot more loose cash didn’t get turned in

    • little stripes says:

      Yep. One time I accidentally left my credit card at a Burger King and someone decided to go to Best Buy and the gas station. Pretty sure it was the cashier that did it. Asshole.

    • Browsing says:

      Actually I have to give props to citibank on that one. I left my wallet on the Path, the person called the number on my citibank card and gave them her number, they called me, issued me a new card gave me her number and I called her to get back my driver license, MTA card, etc….Thank you good Samaritans!

    • fuzzy says:

      I worked at Walmart in University. A lady left her wallet at some kid’s till. Instead of turning it in, the kid and his buddies (also employees) decided to go on a shopping spree…in the store’s electronics department on their break. Those kids weren’t real winners.

  22. RandomHookup says:

    Any of the options above would have been fine, with lost & found perhaps being list desirable. You never know how well they handle found items and they may not get around to notifying anyone about it.

    A found ID might be a different issue. It’s not exactly like a credit card as cancelling it doesn’t solve the issue (usually) and most people want to get it back (or have cost & time hassles getting it replaced). I have dropped them into a mailbox when there wasn’t a better option and I wasn’t going to try to track the person down. I figure the Post Office does as good a job as a lost & found most days.

    I once found an expired over 21 ID near a college campus that I dropped into a mailbox. I wonder if it was fake and the owner got tracked down by the DMV.

  23. chizu says:

    You did the right thing, call AMEX and then have them close the account and AMEX will contact the card holder and issue a new one to them.

    When I worked retail, we used to hold onto the card for a little bit, or just call the card company to have them close the account down to avoid any problem. (They’d then tell us to cut up the card.) You honestly don’t want anything to happen while the card is in your possession that someone might blame you for it. If we’re familiar with the customer, then we’d try to track them down to let them know that they left the card at our place.

    One time though, we called up the card company and then cut the card up. The customer came back to the store to look for the card and we told them what we did and she seriously flipped on us. I think sometimes you could never be right no matter what you do.

  24. Megalomania says:

    attempting to contact the owner is a fool’s errand between the difficulty in finding someone by their name alone and the probability that the owner of a lost card will waste no time cancelling it. Call the credit card company if you like, but destroy it.

  25. BradC says:

    What you did was the only thing to do. Even if the owner got the card back, they have no idea what was done with it while they did not have it, so they should get a new card anyway.

  26. keith4298 says:

    Try to contact the person – you aren’t going to be running up fraud on their card, so it’s not like cancelling it now vs. the future poses much of a risk and even IF someone else fraudulently uses the number, the owner isn’t going to be responsible for those charges.

    I say trying to find him and reporting it within 24 hours is the way to go.

  27. Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

    I found someone’s health insurance card a couple days ago in a busy parking lot. I just took it home and shredded it. Not as much fraud risk with that kind of card, but you never know. I didn’t have time for an insurance phone tree and it was someone with a very common last name.

  28. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    I found a Mastercard CC on the floor of an ATM. I called the issuing bank, got bounced to different people for 15 minutes without any resolution. It finally dawned on me to go down to the ATM, stick it in the slot. After it spit out the card and beeped for a few minutes, it swallowed the card again forever. The bank then had secure posession. If I find another card, I will do the same thing.

  29. s25843 says:

    Amex will overnight the owner a new card,,, so it’s not much of an inconvenience if they loose one

  30. RandomHookup says:

    Here’s a thought … have any of the commenters been tracked down to return a credit card, ID, wallet, etc?

    • Browsing says:

      whoops should read all the comments, yup I have, I am really absentminded at times and have twice after swiping through the path train put my wallet down and forgot it. I was once found through a lady who called Citibank and left her number and another guy who looked at my license and dropped it off at my apt. Thanks heaps to both of them! A good hint if you have a smart travel card is where the signature part is also write your phone number on that I got one returned to me that way (really I know I have to be more careful but I really I have come across a lot of good people)

    • Not Given says:

      My husband left his credit card at the convenience store on the corner and they called here to tell me they had it. I just walked over and got it from them.

      Another convenience store called here and left a message that a woman with my last name, whose late husband had my husband’s first name had left their wallet at the store. I called them back and told them I didn’t know her or her phone number.

  31. mbgrabbe says:

    Contacting the owner to return it seems like the most efficient resolution, but it’s actually the worst choice. No individual or company would continue to use a card that was previously in a random person’s possession and then returned. The card would get cancelled and re-issued under a new number.

    I’ve done the 1st option in the past, Turning it in. But even then, the owner would then know that not only a random person but a bunch of store/reststop employees have seen the card and its number.

    Sadly, caxing the card is probably the best option. Seems like such a waste to cancel a card that’s not even being used for fraudulent purposes, but in the end nobody trusts a stranger. For all they know, the stranger will hold on to the card # and try to it at some point in the future.

  32. Sian says:

    Right thing. I’d cancel any card of my own that was out of responsible hands for any amount of time too.

  33. cbutler says:

    As my family used to own a retail store that I worked at, there wasn’t much we could do. We kept newish left-behind-cards in the register and kept them in the safe after a couple of months. The reason being is because if you were to actually call the number on the card, just mentioning the name on it would prompt the CS rep to ask for the numbers to cancel it. We never did as we didn’t want to put the customer in a bind somewhere (some issuers distribute multiple cards with the same numbers) and simply held onto them. After roughly six months we’d shred them. We’d have a fist full of cards at a given time.

  34. cbutler says:

    As my family used to own a retail store that I worked at, there wasn’t much we could do. We kept newish left-behind-cards in the register and kept them in the safe after a couple of months. The reason being is because if you were to actually call the number on the card, just mentioning the name on it would prompt the CS rep to ask for the numbers to cancel it. We never did as we didn’t want to put the customer in a bind somewhere (some issuers distribute multiple cards with the same numbers) and simply held onto them. After roughly six months we’d shred them. We’d have a fist full of cards at a given time.

  35. whgt says:

    1. Try to contact the owner (30 minutes max).
    2. Call AMEX and cancel it.
    3. NEVER give it to someone else. They could use it for their own purposes.

  36. Firevine says:

    I found a credit card beside my car one day after leaving work, and asked a woman that had pulled up beside my car who I recognized as being a regular of the Tae Kwon Do place a few doors down if it was hers. When it turned out it wasn’t, I called the issuer and cancelled it. I really think that’s the best course of action, so you don’t get some loony that thinks you’re holding the card for ransom or something, and it doesn’t give them the opportunity to place any blame on you.

  37. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    it’s more likely that american express, based on my experience working lost and found at walt disney world, didn’t close the ACCOUNT. they closed the CARD and probably called the owner and told them a new card was on the way and to look for suspicious purchases on the account on their next statement.

  38. JakeChance says:

    I would have tried to contact the owner as that’s what I would have liked done to me if I lost a card. I don’t know how easy it is to get a card reopened. Chances are the owner would cancel it when they discovered they lost it anyway unless contacted.

    Either way, David did one of the right things. I’d much rather it be canceled by the finder than left at a BK or some desk.

  39. Skittl1321 says:

    My DH once found a card on the ground in front of an ATM. It was a university credit union card, and as a student, he could easily find the email of the guy whose card it was. He did- and then he wrote an email to meet the guy to return it.

    He never pressed send.

    In the end, he realized he might have been the SECOND person to find said card- and he didn’t want to be blamed for anything someone else might have used it for. So we cut it up and threw it away.

  40. Mxx says:

    I once found AMEX card. I googled the owner, found their phone number, contacted them and arranged to meet and hand it over to them.(yes, i confirmed they were the real owner).

  41. JReedNet says:

    The right thing to do is call and have it canceled, but the problem is many people would rather have convenience than security. Working in retail security, we did this once, turning it into the police rather than calling the company. They held the card at their station and the card holder came to the store to recover their card. Instead of being happy that we provided it to qualified people, they were pissed that they had to go out of their way to get a card that they had lost. I could see even more problems with the company canceling the card. Of course they see the liability of a card having been in public for some time and will cancel card number and issue a new number on the same account. That means any duplicate cards with the same number (say their spouse’s) will no longer work, all their online accounts that have it saved now need to be changed, and on top of it, they can not use their card few the next few days. (They’d be able to if they recovered it at lost & found.)

    Personally, I’d make a reasonable attempt to return it to the person directly, such as waiting around a few minutes and verifying it was them before giving it to them, otherwise I’d like to turn it in somewhere they can pick it up directly, but I don’t want to leave it anywhere that might be employing a criminal, so I’d call the company and let them know.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      If I lost my card and a stranger found it, I would say thank you and the first thing I would do after getting my card back was cancel it and get a new one. You never know where the card had been, how many people had seen it, etc. And with online shopping, all you need is the card number, expiration date, and name of the cardholder.

  42. Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

    Is it just me, or does the OP “worry” a lot about a great many things…?

  43. bwcbwc says:

    In the absence of a police officer to turn the card over to you did the right thing by calling AMEX. Sure it’s inconvenient for the owner to have to replace a deactivated card, but you would have been really up the creek if one of those people who conveniently offered to hold the card for you took it and ran up $1,000’s in charges.

  44. dulcinea47 says:

    He did the right thing. I was in the same dilemma recently and actually turned it in to the bank- I found a BoA card, and there’s a BoA branch a couple blocks away so I just drove over there and handed it to a teller. I could have probably found the owner, b/c I found it near campus and since I work here I have access to a directory of students. But I don’t want the responsiblity of holding onto a credit card that’s not mine. I figure the bank probably just cancelled it, which is a pain in the arse of whoever’s card it was… but better a pain in the arse than someone taking your card and going shopping with it before you realize it’s gone.

  45. Martha Gail says:

    I think shredding it is the best option. I’d be afraid the employees would steal it.

  46. mcs328 says:

    I had a similar experience. I called the credit card and they closed the account and told me to shred it. I asked if they were going to inform the card holder. They said no. The card holder has to call it in.

  47. dave999dave says:

    I work in the debit and credit card processing business. You did the right thing. If you can’t immediately contact the cardholder and return it, then call the number on the back of the card. They’ll take it from there.

    I’ve gotten a lot of those calls myself. If you called us, we would have declared the card lost and asked you to destroy it. It might mean some unnecessary inconvenience to the cardholder, but overall it’s the safest action to take.

  48. HeWhoComments says:

    Calling the credit card is the right thing to do. Although it may inconvenience the cardholder, when he realizes the card has been lost he will appreciate that someone called the credit card company and reported it.

  49. maxhobbs says:

    Phase 1 would be to blow money on booze, gambling and hookers.

    Phase 2 …..

    Phase 3 would be to call credit card company.

    Better yet, never call the company. Then when the bill comes in the mail the wife will freak at the husband for all the charges for hookers and booze.

  50. larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

    It’s a platinum card. AMEX will probably have a new card delivered by helicopter to the guy at the next rest stop.

  51. beer4me says:

    I would just destroy it so no one else can use it and let the owner call the credit card company when they realize its missing. Definitely don’t send it back, as they will have to replace it anyways.

  52. B Nasty says:

    Having worked in a large bank call center we had 2 protocols for this: If it was a “naked” card, we would put a block on the account and ask the caller to destroy it. If it was with other items (wallet/purse/etc.) we would try and reach out to the cardholder to play matchmaker.

  53. Hirayuki says:

    I didn’t realize I’d lost my debit card until a local branch of my bank called to say it was left in their ATM the night before. When I came by to pick it up, the clerk checked it and said it had been cancelled, presumably via the 800 number on the back. No charges (or attempted charges) on it, either. I guessed a good Samaritan had found it, cancelled it, and tried to take it to the bank; since it was closed, they fed it to the ATM instead. I probably would have waited a day and called the bank branch first, but it worked out okay (even with the card replacement fee).

  54. ancientone567 says:

    You left out an option lol. Go to the store quick and buy a bunch or stuff! ;)

  55. spamme says:

    Call the card company. I have lost my card before and preferred it to be done that way.

    Frankly, I don’t know the good samaritan from beans. I’m not questioning their probable good intentions, but there’s nothing to say that they’re not a pick-pocketer, identity thief or what not. It’s just the fact that its hard to trust a stranger these days with all the financial scams going on. And the fact that the card’s been out of my hands/control makes the card suspect now.

    Don’t get me wrong, I would definitely appreciate the effort in trying to track me down, but its just a matter of card security for me.

    • RandomHookup says:

      The truth is that once it is out of your hands, there are several people who could have done anything…but you’ll be able to see any funny business on your statement and report it.

  56. framitz says:

    Call it in, then destroy it.
    Or just destroy it.

  57. Donathius says:

    My wife lost her AmEx at the mall, we noticed a few hours later and cancelled the card. AmEx FedExed us a new one overnight. The funny thing was right after she called AmEx she got a message on Facebook from someone who had found the card and offered to return it. It was moot by then, but we appreciated the gesture and the fact that some random person went to the trouble of trying to contact us.

  58. DragonThermo says:

    I side with “call Amex and cancel”. If they have the fancy schmancy level of card described, they can probably get a new card FedExed to them wherever they are, even being able to afford any surcharge on overnight delivery.

    Assuming the person had alternate forms of payment, e.g. personal credit card or personal debit card or even cash, surely they will have survived. If the only form of payment they had in their wallet was one corporate Amex, then they are a fool.

  59. mackjaz says:

    I love the challenge of trying to find somebody in these situations.

  60. PLATTWORX says:

    I would never hand a credit card I had found to some strangers to hold onto in case the owner came back. Who knows that person’s intentions.

    I like what the OP did. Was kind enough to call Amex to get the card shut down and then distroyed it. You could also take the easy way out and just distroy it. The owner will notice it’s lost and report it as such… but you would have prevented unauthorized use just by making the card into confetti.

    (The whole google the owner and FedEx thing is just odd. Amex can afford to send a new card and the owner probably would have closed the account by the time the old card showed up… wasting the money spent to return it.)

  61. SiddhimaAmythaon says:

    exact same thing happened to me I found an amex on the ground at fry’s. I called the number on the back and they thanked me and told me to shred it. On the other side years ago i got a call from my CC saying someone had found my card and it was waiting for me at a game store i frequent. I went and picked it up.

  62. sven.kirk says:

    Easy. Four to five cuts, and two to three trash cans. Ok, so not that easy. But they will notice it is gone shortly and get a replacement. And with it being a platinum card, there will probably be no cost.

    Now if it was a wallet, I would call either the Google number, or the number from the operator from the drivers license.
    I found a wallet a few years back and it was from out of state. I called the operator from a payphone saying I found a lost wallet. They connected the call and I left a message. Their parents called them and I later met them to return it.

  63. El_Fez says:

    What – no option for “Internet Porn Buying Spree”?

  64. TexasMama37 says:

    I found a credit card at the post office one night. It was after hours and I was pretty sure it belonged to the lady who had been using the automated machine in front of me. But she was already gone. So I googled her name and phone number and called her. She sent her husband to meet me at a local fast food place and I gave him the card. If I hadn’t been able to find her, I would have called the CC company. I would NEVER hand it over to someone in lost and found. Why would I assume that they are honest enough to not use the card themselves?

  65. pshifrin says:

    About a year or so ago, my wife, infant son, dog and I were out for a walk in our neighborhood and found a CC on the sidewalk. Confronted with the same dilema, i whipped out my iphone and found the person in about 10 seconds only a few blocks away and returned the card. She had already cancelled it but was a little taken aback by how easy it was to find her.

  66. samonela says:

    I found a Debit/Credit card on the ground once while riding my bike. I called my local PD to ask what I should do, and they suggested that I bring it in to the PD. Their reasoning was that if it had been stolen (like if it was part of the contents in a car burglary or stolen wallet case), they can tell the owner it is accounted for and maybe even try to get prints from it.

    When asked if I would be a suspect, they stated that they would take my info when I surrendered the card, but would take into account that most criminals don’t turn the card into the cops and fill out paperwork when they are done stealing from the victim.


  67. Sarahlara says:

    As I was walking out of a store once, I overheard a woman nearly shout at the clerk about forgetting to return her credit card. I found it in the parking lot and went in and handed it over. She looked at us pretty suspiciously and she watched us leave. I think she took note of our license plate number.

    Next time, I’m just going to call it in or destroy it and not even try to return it to the owner.

  68. dilbert69 says:

    Just cancel it. They can always get a new one. I left mine in a rental car, and the rental car company called me and offered to Fedex it to me at my expense, but I told them to shred it and called my bank, which issued me one for free. I have plenty of other cards, so no biggy.

  69. sgh123 says:

    Leave it on the ground and don’t get involved!

  70. sgh123 says:

    Leave it along and keep walking!

  71. C. Ogle says:

    Just destroy it, there’s no reason for the original owner to want it back as there’s no telling who may have copied the details or skimmed it for later use, it’s easier to just get a new card issued than have to constantly worry about surprise charges later. And meeting a total stranger to return a lost card has all kinds of potential for getting mugged or worse, from either side.

  72. Carlee says:

    I guess it depends on how difficult it would be to find the owner. I work at a university and I found a credit card in our office suite. Looked up the name on Facebook (her profile did indicate that she was a student at our university) and sent her a message via FB that her credit card was in our office. She came by the next day to pick it up.

    I imagine it would be much more difficult to find someone who lost the card at a rest stop.

    My dad lost his wallet while filling up at Costco. He was pulling away from the gas area when he noticed that his wallet was missing (he still had his Costco card and Amex card as he had used them at the pump). We drove back to the gas area to look if maybe it fell out of the car, and we went back into Costco to ask them if anyone turned in a wallet. Nope, sorry.

    Several months later, he got a notice from the post office saying that he needed to come in to pay postage on a package. It was the wallet (devoid of the cash, but the cards were still there). Someone had dropped the wallet into a mailbox. I guess it was nice that someone was trying to return it to him, but they should have just turned it in to Costco and hopefully, Costco would have contacted us. Or not. At that point, it didn’t matter since my dad had already gotten new cards. But instead he had to pay $2 to get back cancelled cards and a cheap velcro wallet. I wonder what would have happened if he just told the post office to keep it?

  73. shelliebelle says:

    I’d try to return it, but then I’ve been in a similar situation before and was successful.

    Some lady left her debit card in the ATM (still active, no less) and drove off. Tried to get her attention, but failed. So, I canceled the transaction and retrieved her card, pulled aside, got out my phone and did a quick google search (she had an unusual name). Turns out she was a divorce attorney, so I called her office, explained the situation to her secretary, and she patched me through to the lady’s cell phone. She was understandably confused as to how I’d managed to contact her (and I think a little scared that I found her so quickly), but within five minutes, she’d returned to reclaim her card with profuse thanks, as she’d been planning to go on vacation the next day and would have been in a bind if she hadn’t had it.

    But then, if I hadn’t been able to quickly locate her and arrange to return the card, I would’ve called bank to let them know the card had been lost.

  74. deniseb says:

    This just happened to me two weeks ago. I didn’t even realize I’d lost my card until the company called to tell me that someone had found it and notified them.

    It was definitely the right thing to do. If the person had found me and tried to return the card, I would have canceled it anyway, since I wouldn’t have known what they might do with the number.

  75. joako says:

    Amex will overnight you a new card.

    In 2002 I called Amex and they read from their script: “because you have been our valued customer since 2002 we will overnight you the card”

  76. ThisIsAdamB says:

    Summer, 1996. New York City. Just after 5pm. I’m crossing Park Avenue South and I spot a folio style wallet lying open in the street, the sun glinting of the face of the American Express Platinum card in the frontmost slot. I scoop up the wallet, avoiding the stare of the homeless man who saw me snag it. After arriving at my destination (a friend’s workplace in Greenwich Village), I find some other credit cards, $182 cash, museum passes for Denver, CO, a driver’s license issued in Hawaii, and two bank checks issued that day from banks in Key West, FL totaling over $140,000. American Express wasn’t going to tell me to shred all of that.

    I call Amex, get a live person on one ring. I explain the situation, that I have this man’s wallet and not just the card. They can’t give me any contact info, sure, but what they can do is call the phone number on the account (in Hawaii) connect me and let me leave a message. The next morning, I get a call, arrange to meet him near where I work. He had dropped it in the street getting out of a cab just after flying back from Key West that day.

    I bring a co-worker with me (being a New Yorker, I’m a little paranoid; I don’t need to be ten feet away from him and have him yell, “Get a cop, this guy stole my wallet!”), and meet up at the agreed time and place, give him back the wallet.Five hundred dollar reward for me. He wasn’t so concerned about the cards and checks, it’s just he’d have to fly back to Hawaii two months sooner than planned to get the DL replaced. Me, I took the prettiest girl in the office to lunch that day.

    Moral of the story: Call the credit card company. It’s their card, they’ll know what to do about it.

  77. Ephraim says:

    Call Amex and ask them to put a temporary hold on the card. Ask the business to hold it in case the customer comes back.

  78. rpt says:

    Or deposit it at a police station? Since its someones financial property. And also probably they are more equipped to find out and contact the owner. Or are you just getting yourself into unwanted trouble?

  79. Lisa W says:

    A guy found my debit card and LinkedIn to me. I was grateful! I was able to pick up my card the next day without having to order another one. It’s a tough call, but in my case it worked out that he tracked me down.

  80. NumberSix says:

    None of the above. Destroy it and let nature take its course. The owner will deal with it without any surprises caused by your actions.

  81. Coaster says:

    Have done this a few times. Also, when I had an internet business, had a guy who thought he was emailing some other company email me his address, and credit card number, saying he wanted to order such and such items (totally not the right store lol). I never replied to his email, I called the CC co, and told them what happened – you can tell a CC type by the first set of numbers – she asked was the order placed by Michael or Jennette, and I said it was him, and she cancelled his card while I was phone, and I asked the customer service rep if she would mind sending a short letter with his new card as to why you should NEVER EVER just email your card numbers, even if you do have the right business email address, and she said she would do just that, and she was not quite managing to hide laughing, though I know, and she did too, that it wasn’t really funny. I bet his wife was PISSED.

  82. Coaster says:

    The problem with being the nice guy that calls or returns a found card in person is that you don’t know if it’s been used fradulently before you found it. Personally, I don’t want to be the last face they saw holding their credit card before they got that $8000.00 surprise bill. That’s why you call the credit card company. They will have a record from the owner of when they last used it, as well as when you reported it found.

  83. TDJ says:

    I’ve found a few cards over the years that I’ve called in. One time the csr said that the card was now canceled and thank you for reporting it.

    The other time, the csr said that the card was now canceled and I should mail the card to the address on the back. I said no. I’m not addressing an envelope or paying for postage. I am sitting next to a shredder and that’s where it’s going. The csr sited policy and he wanted my name and address. That was the end of the conversation. I didn’t get that warm and fuzzy good Samaritan buzz I was looking for on that occasion.

  84. wild7s says:

    Cut it up & throw it in the trash. Chances are the owner already cancelled the card, meaning there’s no point in trying to return it and even if you did, the owner likely won’t even say a thank you.

    I’ve already gone out of my way to help someone who left his entire wallet at the ATM and after wasting my gas to return his wallet with everything in tact the asshole couldn’t even say thanks. He did however rummage through his wallet, like the person kind enough to return the thing in person was going to rob him blind. So yeah, don’t waste your time. Chances are you’ll waste your gas helping out an asshole too.