Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn how we make money.

Can I freeze my credit card?

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

Updated

There are a few reasons you might want to freeze your credit card. If your credit card is 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 relieve yourself from debt. This guide will go through the steps you need to take to freeze your credit card and get a handle on 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, credit card providers such as Discover, American Express or Chase 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.

For getting out of debt

If you’re struggling to repay a growing debt or want to curb your temptation to spend on plastic, contact your card issuer to freeze your 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 0% balance transfer credit card. You can use this type of card to transfer your balance with a 0% interest rate for a promotional period. This will mean you can repay your debt without the burden of interest while the promotion is in place. For further information, see our guide to reducing your credit card debts.

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. Make sure to transfer or redeem any points if it’s a rewards card and move any direct debits to another account to ensure your bills are still being paid.

You can then contact your bank over the phone or in writing to request a credit card closure. Be mindful that you might be put through to a customer service representative whose job it is to try and convince you to keep the account open.

However, if you’re determined to keep your finances in control, remain firm on your decision and insist that you’d prefer that the account is closed. Once they’ve confirmed that the account is canceled, check any future statements to ensure that the account is well and truly closed and you aren’t being charged any maintenance fees. See our guide on how to cancel a credit card for more tips on closing your account without hurting your credit score.

Compare credit cards

Closing one card could increase your utilization rate, which in turn may lower your credit score. You can change this by getting another card.

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
2% at US gas stations and select US department stores, 3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
$0
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
15.99% to 22.99% variable
$95
This popular travel card's signup bonus is worth up to $1,000. Get even more value out of your travel, dining, and Lyft rewards by transferring them to miles.
Chase Freedom Flex℠
5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter (then 1%), 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
$0
This no-annual-fee cashback card is one of the most valuable on the market. It boasts a huge signup bonus and up to 5% cashback in multiple purchase categories.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
N/A
0% intro for the first 18 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
$0
Long 18 months intro APR periods on purchases and balance transfers. Plus Citi Entertainment℠ for deals on dining and going out.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
6% on select US streaming services, 3% on transit and US gas stations, 6% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 annually, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
$95
6% cash back at US supermarkets. Rates & fees
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

The strategy you use to freeze or cancel your credit card largely depends on your situation and financial goal.

Regardless of whether you decide to freeze, balance transfer or cancel your credit card, make sure to do some research beforehand to determine which option is right for you.

If you’re looking to switch your credit card with a better one, make sure to compare your credit card options.

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and finder.com Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site