Disgruntled Tesco Bank customers have had their credit cards cancelled as part of "fraud protection measures" – leaving them without their cards just two weeks before Christmas.

Tesco says it has cancelled and reissued some credit cards as a "precautionary measure", and while customers don't need to do anything, many are angry about being left without their cards during the festive period.

Tesco says the cancellations aren't due to a hack or data breach, and claims only a "small number" of customers are affected - all were sent a text saying their card had been cancelled by last Thursday afternoon at the latest. They were told they will have a replacement card by the end of this week.

Last year in a separate alert Tesco Bank cancelled a number of credit cards after a 'data breach' at an unidentified retailer - see our Tesco cancels credit cards MSE News story for more.

See our 30+ Ways to Stop Scams guide for tips on how to protect yourself against fraud.

What are customers saying?

Customers have been emailing us and posting on social media to complain about having their cards cancelled.

One MoneySaver who contacted us, Trish, said: "I got a text message yesterday telling me that my card had been cancelled and a new one would arrive in seven to 10 days – a friend of mine had the same, and that was the only way I knew it wasn't just me.

"For some people, this could really ruin Christmas."

Another, Steven, added: "Arrrgggh. No Christmas shopping then!"

Some tweets on the issue can be seen below:

If you're looking for help on how to slash costs in the run-up to Christmas or if you have debt worries, see our 50 Xmas MoneySaving Tips guide.

My card has been cancelled – what should I do?

Tesco says if your card has been cancelled, you don't need to do anything, as this action is just a precautionary measure.

However, as ever, it may be worth keeping an eye on your account and checking your statements to see if there is any unusual activity.

What does Tesco say?

A spokesperson said: "We take the security of our customers' accounts very seriously and take every measure possible to protect customers from fraudulent activity. 

"As a result of routine industry-wide fraud protection measures, we are reissuing a number of credit cards as a precautionary measure.

"We have contacted a number of customers to inform them that we will be stopping their credit card and reissuing them with a new one. We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused as a result."

Have your say