The best way to stop recurring payments on a credit card (like utilities, subscription services, or rent) is to contact the service provider directly. You may be able to do that online, by phone, in person, or by mail, depending on the service.
Here's how to stop recurring payments on a credit card:
- Online: If you have an online account with the merchant, you will need to log in. There should be a link under your bank information tab to stop recurring payments.
- Phone: Some companies allow you to stop recurring payments by phone. Even if you cancel online, this is a good way to confirm the payments have been stopped.
- Get confirmation: Make sure you keep a confirmation page, number, or certified mail receipt to prove that you made a request in case you run into any trouble.
- Be firm: If you call, the representative will probably try to talk you out of stopping payments. Politely insist to cancel. If they refuse or say they can’t cancel your payments, request a mailing address to send your request.
You should make your request at least three days before the next scheduled payment date, to avoid having another payment go through. Even if you’ve already paid for some of your recurring expense, it’s still worth calling the biller’s customer service department. That way, you can ask about getting a partial refund if you cancel. This can actually work with credit card annual fees, too.
What you should know about recurring payments:
- A recurring payment on a credit card is when you give a merchant the authority to automatically charge your card for a product or service at regular intervals (e.g., monthly) until cancelled.
- Recurring credit card payments can be household expenses such as a phone or electric bill, or a contract payment like gym membership dues. Other recurring payments include loan installments and charges for subscription services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Spotify.
- Generally, you shouldn’t have trouble stopping a recurring payment. But the big issue is making sure to identify all the services you may be charged for on a recurring basis. Then, make sure to stop the ones you don’t want before you get charged again.
If all else fails and it is within your right to cancel, you could report any future charges to your card as fraudulent. This will get the credit card issuer to intervene.
Finally, while you’re allowed to stop recurring payments, you’ll need to find another way to pay if you plan to keep getting service from the provider in question, especially if it’s something like rent. Some places may only let you pay using a card. So, you could always substitute a debit card instead of a credit card. But you’d have to make sure you have enough money in your checking account every month.
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