American Express adds ‘freeze your card’ feature for most cardholders

Freezing your card prevents it from being used for new purchases if you misplace it

John Egan
Personal Finance Writer
Writes trendy stories about credit cards.

American Express adds 'freeze your card' tool for most U.S. cardholders

American Express has added a “freeze your card” feature to its account management tools.

With the new “freeze your card” functionality, most AmEx cardholders in the U.S. can place a temporary freeze on account activity if they misplace their cards and lift the freeze immediately after the card has been found. The tool allows you to lock your accounts if a card has been misplaced without having to contact the company, cancel the card and order a replacement.

This is similar to a tool that Bank of America, Capital One, Citi and Discover already offer their cardholders.

Freezing your card prevents it from being used for new purchases, AmEx explains on its website.

However, recurring bills, such as subscriptions or monthly payments, still will go through as usual. Also, your card still can be used for digital wallet transactions, as well as for some online purchases through merchants that already have your card information on file.

If you take no action, your AmEx account will automatically be unfrozen seven days after you’ve first frozen it.

See related: Cardholders desire security features from their mobile wallets

Of course, if your card has gone missing for good, you still can order a new card.

American Express spokeswoman Ashley Tufts says consumer and business cards in the U.S. are eligible for the new freezing option, but corporate and prepaid cards are not.

The “freeze your card” capability is among several digital tools that AmEx has rolled out to “empower” cardholders and make it easier to manage their accounts, Tufts says. Other new features are:

  • A global expansion of real-time alerts via the AmEx mobile app, including notifications about payment due dates, purchases and potential fraud.
  • An upgrade of online statements, enabling cardholders to dig into more account details so that it’s simpler to spot unusual activity.
  • A beefed-up help center, with better access to common questions and requests, such as how to make a payment, dispute a charge or replace a lost card.


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Updated: 09-23-2018