You may have several reasons for cancelling a credit card. Perhaps you simply want to switch to a debit card and reduce the temptation to spend on your credit card. Or maybe you have found a better credit card with more perks.
But how should you go about it? Whether you’re with Scotiabank, RBC, or another bank, it’s not always as simple as you might think when it comes to how to cancel a credit card.
In this guide, we’ll go through the general process.
How to Cancel a Credit Card Online
If you decide to cancel a credit card online, the exact process varies depending on your card issuer.
However, there are a few standard steps involved.
Cancel All Recurring Payments
If you have any automatic payments, cancel them all. Or update them with a new payment method first to avoid disruption.
Pay Off Your Balance in Full
If you have a balance, you must pay it all off first. Alternatively, use a balance transfer card to move your balance before cancelling it.
Once you have paid off the balance, wait for a few weeks before cancelling your card.
Redeem Any Points You Have Earned
If you have earned any points or other perks, don’t lose them. Use any that you want to before cancelling your card.
Contact the Issuer
Once you have completed all these steps, contact your credit card issuer by phone or online, and they will guide you through the cancellation process.
Get Written Confirmation
When your card issuer cancels the card, ask for written confirmation. They should send this automatically.
They will usually send a statement with a balance of zero. Check it carefully for errors.
Destroy Your Card
When you have received confirmation, you can cut up your card.
Check Your Credit Report
Even after you receive confirmation of cancellation, check your credit report with Equifax and TransUnion to make sure the cancellation has been applied. Then, wait about a month after cancellation is confirmed.
Related: Here’s how to apply for a credit card.
How to Cancel a Credit Card Transaction
The steps above give you the general process to follow to cancel a credit card. But what about if you only want to cancel a transaction?
There are fewer steps involved, but it’s not always straightforward.
If you changed your mind or realized you did not want to make a purchase, there is not much your credit card company can do.
Your best option is to contact the merchant and make a request. The sooner you do this, the better your chances.
If you think someone has made a purchase fraudulently, contact the credit card company instead. They can then take the appropriate steps.
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When Should You Cancel a Credit Card?
There are many reasons why you might want to cancel a credit card:
- You are separating from your partner or getting divorced, and you have a shared card.
- You want to switch to a card with a lower interest rate.
- You have found a new card that has better perks.
- You want to stop spending on your card because you find it too easy to get into debt.
- You no longer use your card, but you are still paying an annual fee.
Always think before you cancel a card. In some situations, like when you have an older credit card, it may be best for your credit score to keep it.
Related: Learn about some of the best no annual fee credit cards.
Here are some answers to common questions about cancelling credit cards.
Does cancelling a credit card affect your credit in Canada?
It depends on your circumstances, including your credit history. For example, cancelling an old card could impact your credit score more, and cancelling any card can also affect your utilization ratio.
Is it bad to cancel a credit card in Canada?
No, it is not bad to cancel a credit card. It might be the right thing to do if you are struggling with debt or have a good reason to cancel your card. You should make a decision based on your circumstances.
Is it better to cancel unused credit cards or keep them?
It depends. It may be better to keep unused credit cards because it could help to lower your credit utilization ratio. Keeping older credit cards can also be better for your credit score. You should make a decision based on your circumstances.
This guide provides the information you need to cancel a credit card in Canada. The process is slightly different for every credit card, but most follow similar steps to those outlined above.
Next time you consider cancelling a card, don’t rush your decision; always consider the pros and cons first.
If you decide to cancel your card, go through the cancellation process methodically to avoid making mistakes.
Related: Credit Card Grace Period.