How to hide purchases you’ve made on your credit card

Find out how you can keep your credit card purchases private with our tips.

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Many of us have transactions on our credit card statement that we’d rather keep private, but is it actually possible to hide your credit card transactions once you’ve made the purchase? The short answer is no. For regulatory and compliance reasons, bank statements record all credit card transactions to protect you from fraud. For better or for worse, this means that it’s impossible to hide or delete transactions from your history once they’re processed.

However, there are some simple steps you can take before you make a purchase to help protect your privacy. Learn more in our guide below.

What shows up on my credit card statement?

Whether you have some purchases you’d rather not share or you’re trying to surprise your partner, you might be worried that your specific purchase shows up on your credit card. However, what actually shows up on your statement is in fact only the merchant’s name, not a description of the transaction. For instance, if you buy an embarrassing combination of items at the grocery store, no one will be able to differentiate the individual products by looking at your credit card statement.

Check out our guide on how to read your credit card statement for more information.

Can I hide a purchase?

If you’re looking to hide a transaction that you’ve already made, this is unfortunately impossible. You’d be better off physically intercepting and destroying the statement if you want to make sure that no one sees it.

If you’re trying to cover up your spending due to mounting debt, you may wish to consider saving on interest payments with a 0% purchase credit card or consolidating and paying off your debts with a balance transfer credit card. If your debt is crippling, a credit counsellor may be able to give you support and guidance to make your debt more manageable.

Tips to protect the privacy of future purchases

While you can’t remove or hide credit card transactions, here are some ways you can shop with more privacy before you make a purchase:

  • Use PayPal. PayPal is an internet payment solutions provider that processes online payments for consumers free of charge. By signing up for an account and keeping your credit card details on PayPal, you can make online payments via PayPal without giving out those credit card details to merchants. Aside from the convenience and ease of a quicker checkout, PayPal also offers some degree of anonymity on your credit card bill. All transactions processed via PayPal will show up simply as “PayPal”. Be aware though that your PayPal account will show up the list of merchants you have transacted with, so you may want to keep your PayPal password extra secure.
  • Use Google Wallet. Similar to PayPal, Google Wallet lets you make purchases by logging into your Google account. This eliminates the need to provide merchants with your credit card details, and all transactions paid in this manner will show up on your statement as “Google”. If you were to delete your Google Wallet account, your transaction history would also be deleted with it.
  • Use cash. This may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s effective. Next time you want to hide a purchase, pay with cash instead for totally traceless anonymity.
  • Use a gift card. Getting a gift card could also obscure your purchasing patterns. You’ll load the card with funds at the time of purchase and no one can track how you’re using it thereafter.
  • Opt out of paper statements. If you’re worried about leaving a paper trail because someone can open your mail and read your credit card statements, contact your card provider or log in to your online banking and opt to receive electronic statements instead. Apart from enhancing personal privacy, this move is also environmentally friendly and can sometimes help you avoid fees.

Compare credit cards for 2020

If your current credit card doesn’t offer what you need, compare a range of Canadian credit cards below to find the right card for your financial situation.

Name Product Reward Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Min. Credit Limit
American Express Cobalt Card
Earn 5x points on eligible eats and drinks, including groceries and food delivery, 2x points on transit, gas, travel purchases, and 1 point on all other spend.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
N/A
N/A
Earn up to 40,000 bonus points. Earn 2,500 points with minimum spend of $500 for each billing period up to 30,000 bonus points in your first year, plus earn a welcome bonus of 10,000 points when you spend a total of $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card
Earn 1.5 miles for every $1 spent on eligible grocery, gas, drugstore and aircanada.com purchases and 1 mile for every $1 spent elsewhere. T&C's apply.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
$60,000
$5,000
Earn up to 30,000 Aeroplan Miles (equivalent to 2 economy short-haul roundtrip flight rewards) and first year no Annual Fee for the Primary Cardholder. Apply online by March 2, 2020.
BMO World Elite MasterCard
Earn 3 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on dining, travel and entertainment purchases and 2 points for all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
$80,000
N/A
Offers 35,000 BMO Rewards bonus points with a minimum spend of $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. Ends March 3, 2020.
Scotiabank Passport  Visa Infinite Card
Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment purchases, and daily transit. Earn 1 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$139
$60,000
$5,000
Earn up to 25,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year of card membership. Plus, earn an extra 10,000 points with a min. annual spend of $40,000 on your card.
TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card
Earn 9 TD Points per $1 in travel booked online through Expedia for TD, and 3 points/$1 spent elsewhere.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
$60,000
$5,000
Earn up to 80,000 TD Rewards Points, including a 20,000 welcome bonus when you make your first purchase with your card. Earn 5X the TD Rewards Points on all purchases up to a maximum of 20,000 TD Rewards Points per month, for each of the first three months. Plus, first year no annual fee for the primary cardholder. Apply online by March 2, 2020.
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express
Get 2% cashback after the Welcome Rate on all purchases. No cap and no limit.
19.99%
22.99%
$99
N/A
N/A
Receive 5% cash back (up to $300 cash back) and a 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Tangerine World Mastercard
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in up to 3 categories of your choice. Offer ends January 31, 2020.
19.95%
19.95%
$0
$60,000
N/A
Get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
BMO CashBack World Elite MasterCard
Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases. No cap and no limit.
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
$80,000
N/A
Get 5% cash back in the first three months of card membership with a first year annual fee waiver. Ends March 31, 2020.
Scotia Momentum  No-Fee Visa Card
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at gas stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
$12,000
$500
Offers a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first 6 months. Ends March 1, 2020.
American Express Business Edge Card
Earn 3x the points on daily business spend including office supplies & electronics, rides & gas, and eats & drinks and 1x the points on all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$99
N/A
N/A
Earn up to 42,000 Membership Rewards® points in the first year of card approval. Offers 30,000 Welcome Bonus points when you spend $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of membership.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Reward Purchase Interest Rate Balance Transfer Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Credit Rating
Tangerine World Mastercard
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in up to 3 categories of your choice. Offer ends January 31, 2020.
19.95%
1.95% for the first 6 months (then 19.95%)
$0
$60,000
650+ recommended credit score
Get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
Scotiabank Value Visa Card
Save on interest by consolidating your higher-rate balances and get a low 12.99% purchase interest rate.
12.99%
0.99% for the first 6 months (then 12.99%)
$29
$12,000
650+ recommended credit score
Offers a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends March 1, 2020.
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express
Get 2% cashback after the Welcome Rate on all purchases. No cap and no limit.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$99
N/A
Good, Excellent
Receive 5% cash back (up to $300 cash back) and a 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
SimplyCash Card from American Express
1.25% cash back rate on all purchases when your welcome offer ends. No cap.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$0
N/A
Good, Excellent
Earn 2.5% cash back (up to $150 cash back) in the first three months. Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months and no balance transfer fee upon application.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends January 31, 2020.
19.95%
1.95% for the first 6 months (then 19.95%)
$0
$12,000
650+ recommended credit score
Get 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
Low interest rates of 12.99% on purchases and cash advances.
12.99%
3.99% for the first 9 months (then 12.99%)
$20
$15,000
Good
Offers a 3.99% balance transfer intro rate for nine months to new cardmembers.
No-Fee Scotiabank Value Visa Card
Save with a low interest rate and no annual fee
16.99%
3.99% for the first 6 months (then 16.99%)
$0
$12,000
650+ recommended credit score
Offers a 3.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends March 1, 2020.
American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card
Earn 1 AIR MILES® for every $5 you spend at eligible sponsors, stores, drugstores and gas stations (up to $30,000 annually) and 1 Mile for every $10 you spend anywhere else.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$120
N/A
Good, Excellent
Receive up to 3,500 bonus AIR MILES®. Conditions apply (Ends January 20, 2020). Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
BMO AIR MILES Mastercard For Students
Earn 2x AIR MILES reward miles per $20 spend at eligible AIR MILES partners and and 1 miles per $20 spend in credit card purchases.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
$0
$15,000
Good
Enjoy AIR MILES on your every dollar spent and build a healthy credit history. Earn up to 800 AIR MILES bonus miles with minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months. Ends March 3, 2020.
BMO CashBack Mastercard For Students
Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. No caps, no limit.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
$0
$15,000
Good
Enjoy cash back on your every dollar spent and build a healthy credit history. Get up to 5% cash back with minimum spend of $2,000 in the first three months of card membership (Ends April 30, 2020).

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Reward Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Min. Credit Limit
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
Earn 5 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on groceries, dining and entertainment, 3 points on gas, transportation and streaming services, and 1 point on every other purchase.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
$12,000
$5,000
Get up to 20,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points with your first $1,000 in everyday spend in first 3 months. Ends March 1, 2020.
American Express Cobalt Card
Earn 5x points on eligible eats and drinks, including groceries and food delivery, 2x points on transit, gas, travel purchases, and 1 point on all other spend.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
N/A
N/A
Earn up to 40,000 bonus points. Earn 2,500 points with minimum spend of $500 for each billing period up to 30,000 bonus points in your first year, plus earn a welcome bonus of 10,000 points when you spend a total of $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
Scotiabank Passport  Visa Infinite Card
Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment purchases, and daily transit. Earn 1 Scotia Rewards points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$139
$60,000
$5,000
Earn up to 25,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year of card membership. Plus, earn an extra 10,000 points with a min. annual spend of $40,000 on your card.
BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard
Earn 1 mile per $10 spend in purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
$80,000
N/A
Get up to 3,000 AIR MILES Bonus Miles with minimum spend of $3,000 in the first three months, plus a first year annual fee waiver. Ends March 3, 2020.
American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card
Earn 1 AIR MILES® for every $5 you spend at eligible sponsors, stores, drugstores and gas stations (up to $30,000 annually) and 1 Mile for every $10 you spend anywhere else.
19.99%
22.99%
$120
N/A
N/A
Receive up to 3,500 bonus AIR MILES®. Conditions apply (Ends January 20, 2020). Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card
Get free annual partner ticket and unlimited access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges as well as Air Canada priority check-in.
N/A
N/A
$499
N/A
N/A
Get free annual partner ticket and unlimited access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges as well as Air Canada priority check-in. Receive 40,000 bonus Aeroplan Miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership.
BMO World Elite MasterCard
Earn 3 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on dining, travel and entertainment purchases and 2 points for all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
$80,000
N/A
Offers 35,000 BMO Rewards bonus points with a minimum spend of $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. Ends March 3, 2020.
Scotiabank American Express Card
Earn 1 Scotia Rewards point per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
$12,000
$1,000
Get 5,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points upon min. spend of $500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months. Ends March 1, 2020.
TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum Card
Earn 1 Aeroplan Mile for every $1 spent on eligible grocery, gas and drugstore purchases and 1 mile for every $1.50 spent on other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$89
N/A
$1,500
Earn up to 25,000 TD Rewards Points, including a 10,000 welcome bonus when you make your first purchase with your card. Earn 5 additional Aeroplan Miles on all purchases, for the first 3 months up to a total spend of $1000 per month, up to a total of 15,000 Aeroplan Miles. Plus, first year no annual fee for the primary cardholder. Apply online by March 2, 2020.
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card
Get 1.5 miles for every $1 spent on eligible grocery, gas, drugstore and Air Canada purchases and 1.25 miles for every $1 spent elsewhere.
19.99%
22.99%
$399
N/A
$10,000
Earn up to 40,000 Aeroplan Miles, including a 25,000 Welcome Bonus when you make your first purchase with your card. Earn 5 additional Aeroplan Miles on all purchases for the first 3 months up to a total of $1,000 spent per month, up to a total of 15,000 Aeroplan Miles. Apply online by March 2, 2020.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Reward Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Cash Back Rate Annual Fee
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express
Get 2% cashback after the Welcome Rate on all purchases. No cap and no limit.
19.99%
22.99%
2%
$99
Receive 5% cash back (up to $300 cash back) and a 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
SimplyCash Card from American Express
1.25% cash back rate on all purchases when your welcome offer ends. No cap.
19.99%
22.99%
1.25%
$0
Earn 2.5% cash back (up to $150 cash back) in the first three months. Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months and no balance transfer fee upon application.
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card
Earn 4% cash back per $1 spent on groceries & recurring bill payments, 2% per $1 spent on gas & public transit and 1% per $1 spent on all other spend.
20.99%
22.99%
4%
$120
Get 10% cash back on all spend for the first 3 months up to $2,000 in total purchases. Plus, no annual fee in the first year, including on supplementary cards (total value of $350). Ends April 30, 2020.
Scotia Momentum  Mastercard Credit Card
Get 1% cash back on purchases made at gas stations, grocery stores and drug stores, and on recurring bill payments, plus an additional 0.5% cash back on all other spend.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
1%
$0
Get 1% cash back on payments made at gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies, including recurring payments. Receive a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first six months (Ends March 1, 2020).
Scotia Momentum  No-Fee Visa Card
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at gas stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
1%
$0
Offers a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first 6 months. Ends March 1, 2020.
Scotia Momentum Visa Card
2% cash back on eligible gas stations, grocery and drug store purchases including recurring payments. T&C's apply.
19.99%
22.99%
2%
$39
Offers a 2.99% introductory balance transfer rate for the first 6 months. Ends March 1, 2020.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends January 31, 2020.
19.95%
19.95%
2%
$0
Get 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card
Get 3% cash back on eligible groceries, gas and bill payments and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
20.99%
22.99%
3%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 thereafter)
Earn 10% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to a total spend of $2,000). Apply online by March 2, 2020. .
TD Cash Back Visa Card
Earn 1% in cash back on eligible groceries, gas, and bill payments and 0.5% in cash back on all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
1%
$0
Earn 1% in cash back on eligible groceries, gas, and bill payments and 0.5% in cash back on all other purchases.
Shell CashBack Mastercard from BMO
Earn 1.5% cash back per $1 spent at Shell stations in Canada and 0.5% on everything else.
19.99%
22.99%
1.5%
$0
Get $50 limited bonus cash back upon first spend and receive 1% cash back for the first 6 months. Ends March 31, 2020.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Reward Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Min. Credit Limit
Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card
Earn 1 SCENE point per $1 spent on all eligible purchases, plus 5 SCENE points for every $1 spent at Cineplex Entertainment theatres or cineplex.com.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
$12,000
$500
Save with no annual fee and earn 1 SCENE point for every $1 spent on eligible purchases. Get 2,500 bonus SCENE points with minimum spend of $500 in the first three months (Ends March 1, 2020).
Scotia Momentum  No-Fee Visa Card
Receive 1% cash back on payments made at gas stations, supermarkets, pharmacies and recurring bill payments.
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
$12,000
$500
Offers a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all spend for the first 6 months. Ends March 1, 2020.
TD Cash Back Visa Card
Earn 1% in cash back on eligible groceries, gas, and bill payments and 0.5% in cash back on all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
N/A
$500
Earn 1% in cash back on eligible groceries, gas, and bill payments and 0.5% in cash back on all other purchases.
TD Rewards Visa Card
Earn 3 TD Rewards Points per $1 spent on travel booking via ExpediaForTD.com, 2 points when you book via phone, 2 points on grocery dining and bill payments and 1 point on all other spend.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
N/A
$500
Earn up to 10,000 TD Rewards Points. This includes up to 5,000 TD Reward Points when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months, another 2,500 TD Rewards Points when you add an authorized user, and 2,500 TD Reward Points when you sign up for paperless statements by March 2, 2020. Apply online by March 2, 2020.
BMO Rewards Mastercard
Earn 1 BMO Rewards point for every $1 spent.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
$15,000
N/A
Offers a 1.99% balance transfer intro rate for the first nine months to new cardmembers and up to 20,000 BMO Rewards welcome points upon minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months (Ends May 3, 2020).
Shell AIR MILES Mastercard from BMO
Earn 2x AIR MILES reward miles per $20 spent at eligible partners and 1 mile per $20 spent for all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
$15,000
N/A
Get up to 800 bonus AIR MILES reward miles with minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months. Ends March 3, 2020.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends January 31, 2020.
19.95%
19.95%
$0
$12,000
N/A
Get 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
BMO IGA AIR MILES Mastercard
Earn 2x AIR MILES reward miles per $20 spent at eligible partners and IGA stores and 1 mile per $20 spent for all other purchases.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
$15,000
N/A
Get up to 800 bonus AIR MILES reward miles with minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months. Ends March 3, 2020.
Tangerine World Mastercard
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in up to 3 categories of your choice. Offer ends January 31, 2020.
19.95%
19.95%
$0
$60,000
N/A
Get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
Scotiabank GM Visa Card
Get up to 5% in GM Earnings on your initial spend of $5,000 in the first year, and 2% thereafter.
19.99%
22.99%
$0
$12,000
$500
Get up to 5% in GM Earnings on your initial spend of $5,000 in the first year, and 2% thereafter.

Compare up to 4 providers