How to Cancel a Credit Card



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Just as getting a credit card in Canada has its process, cancelling a credit card has its processes too. Although the process of cancelling your credit card is not daunting or stressful, it has its consequences. Most people get conflicting thoughts when it comes to deciding whether or not to cancel their card. 

Regardless of why you want to cancel your card; you should consider whether it is right for you. This article will be looking at reasons for cancelling a credit card, how to cancel it, and the consequences of cancelling your credit card.

Cancelling a Credit Card in Canada

Cancelling a credit card requires a lot of thought and consideration because you don’t want to be hit with any fees or miss out on outstanding rewards.

There are some steps you must follow to ensure that your account is closed correctly. Although there are tons of reasons people cancel their credit cards, you should be careful as cancelling your credit card can hurt your credit score.

However, if you are charged a high annual fee or interest rate, cancelling the card might be beneficial. If it is an old card you want to cancel, carefully consider your options.

There might not be a need to cancel your card if there is no annual fee attached to it. However, if you are losing money on the card, you can contact your issuer and request a no-annual-fee credit card.

You should consider all other options before cancelling your card. Below are some things to do before cancelling your credit card.

Steps to take before cancelling your credit card

Before cancelling your credit card, ensure to take the following steps.

  • Pay off balance

Ensure you pay off your credit card balance in full before cancelling your card. Although some issuer might allow you to close an account with compensation for new charges while you pay off the balance, it is advisable to pay it in full. This is to ensure you do not incur any fees or forget any unpaid balance.

Once you pay off your balance, ensure to update any subscriptions and automatic payments to a new card. This is because these payments won’t be approved once your account is closed. If this happens, you may risk service interruption or fees from the billing company.

  • Redeem rewards

If you are cancelling a reward credit card, ensure to redeem or transfer any reward before closure. This is because any unused cash backs, points, or miles may be forfeited upon account closure.

  • Contact your issuer

To commence your cancellation process, contact your credit card issuer and speak to a representative. Once you have confirmed there is no outstanding balance on your card, you can go ahead to tell the representative you want to close your account permanently.

Remember to tell the representative to note that the account closure is at your request to ensure it won’t seem like it was closed by default.

It is crucial to get essential details like the name of the representative, the date, and the time you requested the cancellation. Also, ask for a mailing address where you can send a written cancellation letter.

Reasons for Cancelling a Credit Card

There are different valid reasons for which you may want to cancel your credit card. Some of them include;

  • Reducing the number of credit cards you have
  • Reducing your credit and spending habit
  • Replacing the card with another one that best suits your needs

Whatever your reason is, the steps you have to take in cancelling your credit card are the same and are described below.

How to Cancel your Credit Card

Once you are sure of your decision, you can proceed to cancel your credit card. Below are steps to take to cancel your credit card in Canada:

  • Contacting the issuer of your credit card

You can contact your credit card issuer by phone or in writing and ask that your credit card be cancelled. If you want to contact them by phone, you can find the customer service telephone number at the back of your credit card. 

If writing is your preferred choice, you will find the mailing address on your monthly statement. You can also find both the number and mailing address on the website of the issuer. 

If you sent your request via mail, ensure to request confirmation in writing and keep it for reference when you get it. Once the cancellation is confirmed, you can destroy the card. Note that cutting up the card, leaving it unused, or leaving it to expire would not cancel it.

  • Checking your credit card statement

After cancelling your credit card, some transactions may appear on your credit card statement. It could be a pre-approved transaction before you cancel your credit card or recurring bill payments.

It is recommended that you reach out to the company or companies you make pre-authorized payments to arrange another means of payment or cancel the service or product you are paying for.

Otherwise, you will continue to be charged, which will build up along with interest until you pay up.

  • Checking your credit report

Check your credit report to ensure that your credit card account is closed. It takes about 30 days for credit card issuers to report the change to credit bureaus. So, you should wait for the time to elapse before you make any complaints if your account hasn’t been closed.

Cons of Cancelling Your Credit Card

It is crucial to consider different factors before you cancel your credit card because doing so may affect your credit score. These factors include;

  • Your credit history

Cancelling your credit card can affect your credit history negatively. It is therefore advised that you cancel your newest cards if you have numerous cards. Cancelling your oldest card has no immediate disadvantage but will hurt your credit score in the future.

  • Points and fees

If you have accumulated points on your credit card, you should use them before you cancel the card or determine what will happen to them. However, you should not choose points over a costly credit card as the fees may be affecting your finances.

  • Your balance

You should pay off any outstanding balance you have on your card before you cancel it. Having unpaid balance or interest charges or both will reflect negatively on your credit score.

Some credit card providers make it easy because they allow you to cancel your card even if it has a balance. Don’t take the bait, and make sure you pay off all outstanding balance.

  • How you utilize your credit

Your credit utilization has the most immediate and direct effect on your credit card. A ratio is used to know the amount of available credit you have compared to the amount you utilize.

Your utilization ratio shouldn’t be too high because it will negatively affect your credit score and discourage lenders if you need a loan in the future.

Once you request a card cancellation, it is advisable to stop using the cards, as your request will be revoked once a transaction is initiated.


After your account has been closed successfully, you can destroy the card. The easiest way to do this is to shred the card in a shredder or cut it into tiny pieces.

Alternatively, you can contact your bank and request a prepared envelope that you can use to mail your old card back to your issuer. Your issuing company will dispose of it safely once received.

From all that has been said above, while you may be cancelling your credit card for valid reasons, you should also consider the factors involved.

Consider the negative effects it may have on your credit score before going ahead with your decision. You should also bear in mind that being debt-free triumphs having a good credit score.

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Avid researcher, freelance writer, and personal finance enthusiast passionate about financial education and literacy.

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Kareena Maya

Personal Finance and Travel Rewards Expert Contributor



Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.