To cancel credit cards is a decision you may have to take at some point in your financial journey.
Regardless of the reason for your decision, understanding the process of canceling a credit card in Canada is essential.
In this guide, we will explore the important considerations and steps involved in canceling a credit card in Canada.
I will cover all you need to know before, during, and after the cancellation process to help you make an informed decision.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
5 Common Reasons Canadians Cancel Credit Cards
There are several reasons why you may consider canceling your credit card in Canada.
But below are some of the common reasons why Canadians cancel their credit cards:
- High Fees or Interest: One of the most prevalent reasons for canceling a credit card is the presence of high annual fees or interest rates. If the costs associated with the card outweigh the benefits and do not align with your financial goals, it may be wise to consider canceling and seeking a more affordable option.
- Unsatisfactory Rewards Program: Many credit cards in Canada offer rewards programs, such as cashback, travel points, or merchandise rewards. If you find that the rewards program of your current credit card does not match your spending habits or provide sufficient value, canceling the card could be the best decision.
- Disappointing Customer Service: Inadequate customer service can be a frustrating experience for credit cardholders. If you consistently encounter difficulties resolving issues, receiving timely assistance, or accessing accurate information from your credit card provider’s customer service team, canceling the card may be a reasonable decision.
- Better Offers Elsewhere: The credit card market in Canada is highly competitive, with different providers offering various benefits, rewards, and promotional offers. If you come across a credit card that offers superior features, lower fees, or more attractive incentives than your current card, canceling your existing card and switching to the better offer can be a strategic move.
- Change in Your Financial Needs: Over time, your financial needs and priorities may evolve. You may require a credit card that aligns better with your current lifestyle and needs. If your existing credit card no longer serves your changed financial needs, replacing it could be a prudent decision.
How to Cancel a Credit Card in Canada
While the specific procedures may differ from one card issuer to the other, below I provide an overview of the common steps to cancel a credit card in Canada.
Step 1: Contact Your Card Issuer
To initiate the cancellation process, you will need to reach out to your card issuer.
This can typically be done through various channels such as by phone, online, by mail, or in person at a branch.
As such, you need to check your card issuer’s website or call their customer service to know how to initiate the cancellation request.
Step 2: Request for Cancellation
Once you have contacted your card issuer, clearly communicate your intention to cancel the credit card.
The customer service may try to convince you not to cancel the card. Except they’re willing to negotiate better deals, you should insist on your decision.
Step 3: Provide Required Information
Upon presenting your request, the customer service team may ask about your card details such as your name, account number, and any other requested information to verify your identity and account ownership.
Cooperate with their requests and provide the necessary information promptly to facilitate the cancellation.
Step 4: Await Decision
After you have communicated your desire to cancel the credit card and provided any required information, you will need to wait for the customer service’s decision.
They will review your request, assess any outstanding balances or obligations, and consider any potential impact on your credit history.
The timeline for their decision may vary, so be patient during this waiting period.
Once the card issuer approves your cancellation request, they may provide further instructions. This could include:
- returning the physical credit card,
- settling any outstanding balances, or
- confirming the closure of the account through a specific process.
Follow these instructions carefully to complete the cancellation process successfully.
After canceling the card, ensure you:
- Check your closing card statement to ensure the balance is zero
- Jot down the details of the customer representative and the cancellation date
- Destroy the card physically
How to Cancel Canadian Banks’ Credit Cards
As noted earlier, the process of canceling credit cards in Canada may vary from one card provider to the other.
In this section, we’re going to briefly view the credit card cancellation process of some of the big banks in Canada.
How to Cancel RBC Credit Card
RBC allows you to cancel your credit card by phone, online, by mail, or in person.
- Phone: call 1-800-769-2512.
- Online: log in to your RBC Online Banking account and click on “Send a Secure Message.”
- Mail: send a cancelation request letter to your RBC branch
- In-person: visit the nearest RBC branch
Learn more: How to Cancel RBC Credit Cards
How to Cancel TD Credit Card
TD allows you to cancel your credit card by phone and in person.
- Phone: call 1-800-983-8472 (if you’re in Canada or US) or 416-307-7722 (if you’re in Canada or US)
- In-person: visit the nearest TD branch.
Learn more: How to Cancel TD Credit Cards in Canada
How to Cancel BMO Credit Card
Like TD, BMO also allows you to cancel your credit card by phone and in person.
- Phone: call 1-800-263-2263
- In-person: visit the nearest BMO branch
Learn more: How to Cancel BMO Credit Card in Canada
How to Cancel CIBC Credit Card
Below are the two options for canceling a CIBC credit card in Canada:
- Phone: call 1-800-465-4653
- In-person: visit the nearest CIBC branch
Learn more: How to Cancel CIBC Credit Card in Canada
How to Cancel Scotiabank Credit Card
Although Scotiabank explicitly instructs its users to cancel their credit cards by phone, you can also do so at the nearest Scotiabank branch.
So to cancel your Scotiabank credit card, you need to:
- Call 1-866-267-4935 or
- Visit the nearest Scotiabank branch
Learn more: How to Cancel Scotiabank Credit Card in Canada
How to Cancel Tangerine Credit Card
As an online bank, Tangerine provides various options to cancel your credit card with it.
You can do so by calling 1-888-826-4374 while in Canada or 416-758-3139 while abroad.
Alternatively, you can cancel your credit card through live chat or mail.
Learn more: How to Cancel Tangerine Credit Card
5 Tasks to Complete Before Canceling Your Credit Card in Canada
Before canceling your credit card in Canada, it is essential to complete key tasks to ensure a smooth transition and avoid any negative consequences.
Here are five tasks to do before canceling your credit card:
1. Confirm your decision
You may not need to cancel your credit card depending on the reason you want to do so.
Maybe you need to negotiate or just leave the card open.
As such, you should review your reasons for canceling the credit card and ensure that it is the right decision for your financial situation.
2. Redeem your rewards
If your credit card has a rewards program, make sure to redeem any accumulated rewards or points before canceling.
Check the terms and conditions of the rewards program to understand the redemption options and expiration policies.
3. Pay off your debts or transfer the balance
Prior to canceling your credit card, it’s crucial to settle any outstanding balances. Pay off the full amount if possible to avoid incurring additional interest charges.
If you cannot pay the balance in full, consider transferring the balance to another credit card with a lower interest rate.
Related Post: 7 Tricks to Paying Off Credit Card Debt Fast
4. Get a replacement card
If you rely on your credit card for daily expenses, consider obtaining a replacement card before canceling your current one.
This will ensure that you have an alternative payment method in place to avoid any disruptions in your spending. It will also help you access the benefits that come with credit cards.
5. Change pre-authorized payment settings and deactivate linked debit cards
Review and update any pre-authorized payments linked to your credit card.
Contact the merchants or service providers that have your credit card information and provide them with updated payment details or switch to an alternative payment method.
Additionally, if you have any debit cards linked to your credit card, deactivate them to prevent unauthorized transactions.
- Best Credit Cards in Canada
- 10 Best Cash Back Credit Cards in Canada
- Best Points Credit Cards in Canada 2023: Up to 100,000 Reward Points
- 10 Best Credit Cards For Low-Income in Canada
FAQs on Canceling a Credit Card in Canada
Does canceling a credit card affect your credit in Canada?
Canceling a credit card can affect your credit score negatively or positively depending on your credit utilization ratio, credit history, and payment behavior.
Is it better to cancel unused credit cards or keep them in Canada?
It is generally better to keep unused credit cards in Canada, as long as they do not come with high fees and interest rates.
What happens if you cancel a credit card with an annual fee?
Depending on the credit card issuer’s policies, you may be eligible for a prorated refund of the annual fee if you cancel the card within a certain timeframe.