Get peace of mind when you shop online or in-store with a credit card that has a fraud protection guarantee.
Most credit cards come with a fraud protection guarantee that helps keep your account safe from unauthorised transactions. Also known as zero liability or fraud money-back guarantees, these policies allow you to get a refund if fraudulent charges are made to your account.
Here, you can compare credit cards that offer fraud protection guarantees and learn how this feature works. We also go through a range of other credit card security services and what else you’ll need to compare so you can find a credit card that works for you.
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Compare credit cards with fraud protection guarantees
How does a credit card fraud protection guarantee work?
This security feature protects you against the loss of money from fraudulent transactions. To get your money back after fraud, you’ll need to report any unauthorised transactions to your credit card provider as soon as possible. They will then investigate the charges to confirm that the activities are fraudulent. After that, your provider will put the money back into your account and follow up with any other steps needed to protect your credit card from future fraud (such as issuing you with a new card and cancelling the old one).
You should contact your credit card provider immediately if your card is lost or stolen, or if you suspect a criminal has accessed your details online. That way the provider can protect your account against future fraudulent transactions. This step could also help speed up the refund process if fraudulent transactions are made after your card has been lost or stolen
What else do I need to know about credit card fraud protection guarantees?
Each credit card provider has slightly different processes around fraud and they are outlined in your credit card terms and conditions. But generally, you’ll need to meet the following requirements to be covered by a fraud money-back guarantee:
- Sign your card. You’ll need to fill out the signature panel on your credit card to get protection against fraudulent transactions. Signing your card also shows that you agree to the account’s terms and conditions, which is required before you can access features such as fraud protection.
- Keep your PIN safe. If you share your PIN with someone else and they use your account, it usually won’t be counted as a fraudulent transaction. That means you’re unlikely to be refunded through a fraud protection guarantee and may have to find another way to get the money back.
- Contact your credit card provider immediately. As soon as you suspect your card is compromised, call your credit card provider and let them know so they can help you through the situation.
- Provide any further details as required. Sometimes, your credit card provider may ask you to fill out additional forms while they are investigating the fraud. When that’s the case, make sure you give them as much information as you can and respond as quickly as possible to help speed up the process.
- Refund process. The time it takes to get your money back after fraud varies between credit card providers. It can also depend on the type of fraud. So in some cases, you could be refunded within 7 to 21 working days, while in others it may take longer than that to get your money back. If you want to know more, check with your credit card provider to find out how the process works and what you can do to resolve fraudulent charges as quickly as possible.
What other security features can I get with a credit card?
Depending on the credit card you choose, you could enjoy added protection on your account with the following features:
- Chip-and-PIN technology. Australian credit cards come with a security chip that encrypts your data to help protect you against technology that tries to copy your details (such as skimming devices). Your card also comes with a PIN that’s used to verify purchases you make at the checkout.
- Fraud monitoring. Many credit cards offer 24/7 fraud-monitoring services to help detect and notify you of any suspicious transactions. This can help you get a refund on fraud more quickly and may also help prevent further issues.
- Credit card security codes. Often referred to as a CVV, CVC or CSC number, this is usually a three or four-digit code printed on the card to help verify online or phone payments. This code is often found on the signature panel of your credit card.
- One-time text message codes. Some credit card providers will send you a text message security code to verify your online transactions, including payments or Internet banking. This could be an optional layer of security, or one that is automatically provided for your account. Either way, make sure you provide your current mobile phone number to help keep your card secure.
- Verified by Visa and Mastercard SecureCode. Both of these services add an extra level of security to online transactions. When activated, Verified by Visa or Mastercard SecureCode will ask you to enter a code or security details before your online payment is processed. While these services are only offered on some cards and are only available with participating retailers, they could help you get more peace of mind when you shop online.
- Emergency overseas card replacement. If you lose your card or it’s stolen when you’re overseas, some providers will offer you an emergency replacement service so you’ll still have access to money. Just keep in mind that additional fees may apply.
What about security for contactless and mobile payments?
Many credit cards now let you tap-and-go for payments under $100. While this can be convenient when you’re in a hurry, it also gives people a way to use stolen cards without instant detection.
Fortunately, contactless payments will also be covered by your card’s fraud guarantee or zero liability policy. So if your card is stolen and used for tap-and-go transactions, you’ll still be able to get your money back.
The same applies to transactions made from a mobile app, such as Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay. As well as being covered by your card’s fraud protection, these apps have their own security features, including security codes or thumbprint verification that can add another layer of security to your account.
How can I compare credit cards with fraud protection guarantees?
Keep these features in mind so you can find a card that offers you security and other benefits to suit your spending habits and goals:
- Promotional interest rates. Some credit cards come with low or 0% introductory rates for purchases or balance transfers that can help you save on interest charges during the promotional period. After that, any remaining debt will be charged interest at the standard rate for that card.
- Standard interest rates. Make sure you check the ongoing variable interest rates you’ll pay for purchases and cash advances so that you can find a card that’s affordable for you. For example, if you don’t pay off your balance in full at the end of each statement period, a card with a low ongoing interest rate could help keep your costs down.
- Interest-free days. If you think you’ll regularly pay off your balance in full, you will also be able to take advantage of the interest-free days available on some cards. This gives you a way to make purchases and pay 0% interest for up to a set number of days during each statement period.
- Annual fee. Credit card annual fees range from around $25 up to $425 or more. There are also cards that offer no annual fee, either for the first year or on an ongoing basis. When your comparing cards, make sure you consider this cost to help you find an option that’s affordable for you.
- Rewards. There’s a wide range of credit cards that offer both fraud guarantees and rewards for your spending. If you’re interested in this type of credit card, remember to check out the number of points you’ll earn per $1 spent, the types of rewards and the different program options so you can get more bang for your buck.
- Complimentary extras. Depending on the credit card you choose, you could get complimentary travel insurance, purchase or refund insurance, airport lounge passes or even travel vouchers. But keep in mind that these perks are only worth it if you can use them to offset the other costs of the card.
Whether you're shopping in a store, online or over-the-phone, credit cards come with a variety of features to help keep your account and your money safe. Now that you know more about fraud protection guarantees, you can compare a range of different credit cards and find one that offers the right mix of features for you.
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