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Can I freeze my credit card?

How to cancel or freeze your card to gain control of your finances.

There are a few reasons you might want to freeze or lock your credit card. If it gets lost or stolen or used for a fraudulent transaction, freezing your card could help protect your finances. Another reason you might want to freeze your card is if you’re trying to pay down your debt. We’ll walk you through the steps you need to take to freeze your credit card and get control of your finances.

How to freeze a credit card

For lost or stolen cards

If your card has been lost, stolen or you suspect it has been used to make a fraudulent transaction, you should contact your credit card issuer immediately. Be prepared to give them as much information about your account as possible and to answer a list of questions to verify your identity. A declined credit transaction is one clue that your credit card information may have been stolen as well.

However, financial institutions such as TD, RBC and Tangerine have made it easy to freeze or lock your credit card. Simply log in to your online account or through your mobile app and freeze the card. Unfreeze whenever you decide.

If your card has been used fraudulently, you shouldn’t be liable for these costs. Instead, you’ll usually be covered by a no liability agreement such as Mastercard’s Zero Liability Protection and Visa’s Zero Liability.

How to avoid credit card fraud, traps and scams

For getting out of debt

If you’re struggling to repay a growing debt load or want to curb your temptation to spend on plastic, contact your card issuer to freeze access to your funds. You might need to provide some information about your account, including how long you’d like your account frozen. They will not allow you to unfreeze the account until that date.

Once the account is frozen, you can focus on repaying your debt without the temptation to keep spending. Not only will this help get you out of debt, but it’ll also help improve your credit score as your debt to income ratio starts to decrease.

If you’re having trouble paying down your debt because of high-interest rates, you can also consider a low rate balance transfer credit card. You can use this type of card to transfer your balance with a 0% interest rate for a promotional period that usually ranges from 6-10 months. This will allow you to repay your debt without the burden of interest fees while the promotion is in place.

Cancel your credit card

If you’ve repaid all of your debts and want to avoid spending on plastic, you can also cancel your credit card. If it’s a rewards card, make sure to transfer or redeem any points you’ve accumulated, cash in on any free gifts you’ve earned and shift any pre-authorized debits to another account to make sure your bills will still get paid.

The you can contact your bank in person, over the phone or in writing to request that your credit card be closed. You might have to speak to a customer service representative whose job it is to try and convince you to keep the account open. So, be mindful of this and stick to your guns.

Remain firm on your decision to close the account, and politely insist that the your request be processed. Once you’ve received confirmation that the account is canceled, check any remaining statements you receive to ensure that the account is truly closed and that no maintenance fees have accumulated.

How to cancel a credit card

Compare credit cards

Closing one card could increase your utilization rate, which in turn may lower your credit score. You can change this by switching to another card instead. Use the tabs below to explore options from different providers based on your preferences and financial needs.

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
RBC ION Visa
3,500 points
1.5 points per $1 spent
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 3,500 Avion points when you get approved for the card.
Neo Credit Mastercard
Get $25.00 + up to 15% cash back
Average 5% cash back
19.99% - 29.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Get $25 when you sign up for the Neo Financial Mastercard. Plus, earn bonuses like 15% cashback on your first purchase at most partners, and earn an average of 5% cashback at thousands of partners and at least 0.5% cashback guaranteed.
Tangerine World Mastercard
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn 10% cash back (up to $100) when you spend $1,000 in the first 2 months. Valid until April 30, 2024. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months.
American Express Cobalt Card
15,000 points
Up to 5x points per $1 spent
20.99%
$155.88
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 15,000 Membership Rewards points in your first year. Earn 1,250 Membership Rewards points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $750 in purchases. That’s up to $150 towards a weekend getaway or concert tickets.
BMO CashBack Mastercard
5% cash back
Up to 3% cash back
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 5% cash back on all eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership (up to max. spend of $2,500). Plus, get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. A 2% fee applies to transferred balances.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn 10% cash back (up to $100) when you spend $1,000 in the first 2 months. Valid until April 30, 2024. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months.
RBC Cash Back Mastercard
N/A
Up to 2% cash back
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 650
RBC ION+ Visa
7,000 points
3 points per $1 spent
20.99%
$48
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get up to 7,000 welcome points. Get 3,500 points on approval and earn 3,500 bonus points when you spend $500 in your first 3 months.
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Name Product Balance Transfer Rate Balance Transfer Fee Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee call to action Min. Credit Score Description
Tangerine World Mastercard
1.95% for the first 6 months (then 19.95%)
3%
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn 10% cash back (up to $100) when you spend $1,000 in the first 2 months. Valid until April 30, 2024. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months.
BMO CashBack Mastercard
0.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
2%
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 5% cash back on all eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership (up to max. spend of $2,500). Plus, get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. A 2% fee applies to transferred balances.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
1.95% for the first 6 months (then 19.95%)
1%
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn 10% cash back (up to $100) when you spend $1,000 in the first 2 months. Valid until April 30, 2024. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months.
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
0.99% for the first 9 months (then 15.99%)
2%
13.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($29 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months with a 2% transfer fee. Plus, get the $29 annual fee waived in the first year.
Scotiabank Value Visa Card
0% for the first 6 months (then 12.99%)
N/A
12.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($29 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 670
Get a 0% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months. Plus, pay no annual fee in the first year. Apply by October 31, 2024.
BMO AIR MILES Mastercard
0.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
2%
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles (enough for $80 towards purchases with AIR MILES Cash). Get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. A 2% fee applies to transferred balances.
Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card
0% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
N/A
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Earn 5% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to $2,000 spend). Plus, get a 0% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months with no balance transfer fee. Apply by October 31, 2024.
Scotia Momentum Visa Card
2.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
N/A
19.99%
$39
Min. recommended credit score: 670
Get a 2.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months. Offer ends October 31, 2024.
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Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
RBC ION Visa
3,500 points
1.5 points per $1 spent
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 3,500 Avion points when you get approved for the card.
American Express Cobalt Card
15,000 points
Up to 5x points per $1 spent
20.99%
$155.88
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 15,000 Membership Rewards points in your first year. Earn 1,250 Membership Rewards points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $750 in purchases. That’s up to $150 towards a weekend getaway or concert tickets.
RBC ION+ Visa
7,000 points
3 points per $1 spent
20.99%
$48
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get up to 7,000 welcome points. Get 3,500 points on approval and earn 3,500 bonus points when you spend $500 in your first 3 months.
BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard
60,000 points
Up to 5x points per $1 spent
20.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 760
Get up to 60,000 points and get the $150 annual fee waived in the first year.
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege
90,000 points
5 points per $1 spent
20.99%
$499
Min. recommended credit score: 760
Get up to 90,000 welcome points in your first year.
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card
40,000 points
Up to 3 points per $1 spent
20.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ points and get the first year annual fee waived (that’s up to $1,300 in value in the first 12 months). Apply by July 1, 2024.
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
40,000 points
Up to 6 points per $1 spent
20.99%
$120
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ points in your first year (that's up to $650 towards travel). Apply by July 1, 2024.
American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
90,000 points
Up to 3x points
20.99%
$599
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 90,000 welcome bonus Aeroplan points. That's a first year value of up to $2,700.
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Name Product Welcome Offer Cash Back Rate Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee call to action Min. Credit Score Reward Description
Scotia Momentum Visa Card
2.99% balance transfer for 6 months
Up to 2% cash back
19.99%
$39
Min. recommended credit score: 670
Earn 2% cash back on all eligible gas station, grocery store and drug store purchases and on recurring bill payments (up to a $25,000 annual spend), and earn 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases (and on all eligible purchases once the $25,000 annual spend is reached).
Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card
Up to 5% cash back
1% cash back
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Get 1% cash back on all eligible gas station, grocery store and drug store purchases and recurring bill payments, and get 0.5% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
BMO CashBack Mastercard For Students
5% cash back
Up to 3% cash back
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Earn 3% cash back on groceries, 1% on recurring bill payments and 0.5% on all other eligible purchases.
BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard
Up to 10% cash back
1% cash back
20.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 760
Earn 5% cash back on groceries, 4% on transit including ride sharing, taxis and public transportation, 3% on gas and electric vehicle charging, 2% on recurring bill payments and 1% unlimited cash back on all eligible purchases.
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express
$400 in statement credits
Up to 4% cash back
20.99%
$119.88
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn 4% cash back on eligible gas station purchases in Canada, 4% cash back on eligible grocery store purchases in Canada (up to $1,200 cash back annually), and 2% cash back on all other purchases.
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card
10% cash back
Up to 4% cash back
20.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn 4% cash back for every $1 spent on eligible grocery purchases & recurring bill payments, 2% per $1 spent on eligible gas purchases & public transit, and 1% per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
SimplyCash Card from American Express
$100 in statement credits
Up to 2% cash back
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn 2% cash back on eligible gas purchases in Canada, 2% cash back on eligible grocery purchases in Canada (up to $300 cash back annually), and earn 1.25% cash back elsewhere.
Neo Secured Mastercard
15% cash back
5% cash back
19.99% - 29.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
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Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
RBC ION Visa
3,500 points
1.5 points per $1 spent
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 3,500 Avion points when you get approved for the card.
Neo Credit Mastercard
Get $25.00 + up to 15% cash back
Average 5% cash back
19.99% - 29.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Get $25 when you sign up for the Neo Financial Mastercard. Plus, earn bonuses like 15% cashback on your first purchase at most partners, and earn an average of 5% cashback at thousands of partners and at least 0.5% cashback guaranteed.
Tangerine World Mastercard
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn 10% cash back (up to $100) when you spend $1,000 in the first 2 months. Valid until April 30, 2024. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months.
BMO CashBack Mastercard
5% cash back
Up to 3% cash back
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 5% cash back on all eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership (up to max. spend of $2,500). Plus, get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. A 2% fee applies to transferred balances.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn 10% cash back (up to $100) when you spend $1,000 in the first 2 months. Valid until April 30, 2024. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months.
RBC Cash Back Mastercard
N/A
Up to 2% cash back
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Neo Secured Mastercard
15% cash back
5% cash back
19.99% - 29.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn bonuses like 15% cashback on your first purchase at most partners, and earn an average of 5% cashback at thousands of partners and at least 0.5% cashback guaranteed.
American Express Green Card
10,000 points
1 point per $1 spent
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points when you charge $1,000 in purchases to your card in the first 3 months as a new Cardmember. That’s $100 towards groceries or concert tickets.
SimplyCash Card from American Express
$100 in statement credits
Up to 2% cash back
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 700
In your first 10 months, earn a $10 statement credit for each monthly billing period in which you spend $300 in purchases. This could add up to $100 in statement credits in the first 10 months.
Scotiabank SCENE+ Visa Card
7,500 points
Up to 2 points per $1 spent
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Earn up to 7,500 Scene+ points in the first 3 months. Apply by July 1, 2024.
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Name Product Min. Required Deposit Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee
Neo Secured Mastercard
$50
19.99% - 29.99%
N/A
$0
Earn bonuses like 15% cashback on your first purchase at most partners, and earn an average of 5% cashback at thousands of partners and at least 0.5% cashback guaranteed.
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Bottom line

What you’ll need to do to freeze or cancel your credit card largely depends on your situation and financial goals. Regardless of whether you decide to freeze, transfer your balance or cancel your credit card, make sure you take the time to carefully understand your options beforehand.

If you’re looking to switch to a more affordable card, check out our guide on low-interest credit cards and start compare options today.

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