How To Cancel An RBC Credit Card Online?

How To Cancel An RBC Credit Card Online?

Written by Lisa Rennie
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated November 30, 2021

RBC credit cards offer a convenient way to make purchases, whether in person, online or over the phone. Rather than having to carry around wads of cash, you can lean out your wallet with just a credit card or two. One simple tap and your purchases are made. 

But there may come a time when you might want to cancel your credit card with RBC, and there may be a myriad of reasons why. 

Maybe you have several credit cards and have decided that you’d like to keep your credit card count to a minimum. Or perhaps you’ve noticed your card being used fraudulently after falling into the wrong hands. 

Whatever your particular reason may be to cancel your credit card, you may be wondering if you can cancel it online. Credit card issuers generally require a phone call before cancelling a credit card. That’s because they want a chance to retain you as a customer, so forcing you to call can provide them with the opportunity to convince you to stick around. 

So, can you cancel your RBC credit card online? We’ll answer that question and provide you with the required steps to safely cancel your card before you toss it in the trash.

Got poor credit? Check out these credit building credit cards.

Why Cancel Your Credit Card?

We’ve touched upon a couple of reasons why you may want to cancel your credit card above, but there are several other reasons why people cancel a credit card. The following are among the more common reasons to cancel:

  • Your card has been lost or stolen.
  • You’ve noticed several attempts to use your credit card fraudulently.
  • You want a card with a lower interest rate and annual fee.
  • You’re looking for a credit card that offers you a rewards points system, which your card currently doesn’t offer.
  • The 0% introductory offer on your card is nearing its end.
  • You’re looking to transfer your high-rate balance over to a lower-rate card.
  • You’re not using the perks of the credit card in exchange for a high annual fee. 
  • You’re trying to keep your spending to a minimum.
  • You’re looking to pay down your debt. 
  • You never use your credit card.
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Things You Should Do Before Cancelling Your RBC Credit Card

Before you cut your RBC credit card in half, there are a few important things you’ll need to do beforehand, including the following: 

Pay off what you still owe on your card. If you still carry an outstanding balance on your credit card, you’ll need to pay it off first before you cancel. If you attempt to close your card that still has a balance outstanding, you may be asked for immediate payment anyway. Or, the bank could spike the interest rate, which will leave you with even more debt than before. To avoid any problems, pay off your outstanding balance before cancelling your card.

Got a big credit card balance, find out if you should pay off your credit card balance with a loan.

Redeem or transfer your points. If the card you plan to cancel is a rewards card, you certainly don’t want to lose all those points you worked so hard to accumulate. To avoid that, be sure to either redeem the points you’ve collected or transfer them to another account before cancelling.

Find out if your credit card rewards can be taxed

Take note of the annual fee. Verify when your card’s annual fee is charged and whether or not it will impact your final payment. If you just paid your annual fee, it might make more sense to wait to cancel your credit card just before your next annual fee is due rather than soon after paying it. 

Cancel your direct debits affiliated with the credit card. If you have any direct debits that are linked to your credit card, be sure to cancel that. Otherwise, you risk having your credit card reactivated.

Stop automatic payments on your credit card. If you have recurring payments that are automatically charged to your credit card, be sure to update your payment information with the applicable merchants. 

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How To Close Your RBC Credit Card Online

Generally speaking, there are 3 possible ways to cancel a credit card:

  • By phone
  • In writing
  • Online

When it comes to RBC, you may need to speak with someone by phone to cancel your credit card. That said, you can always try to cancel it online. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Log onto your RBC online banking account.
  • Click on “Messages/Alerts.”
  • Click “Send a Secure Message” in the Message Centre.
  • In the message field, add information about the account you want to cancel, such as the card number and the full name that appears on the card. You may also want to include details about why you wish to close your account.
  • RBC will call you after receiving your message to close your account. 

Learn how to switch bank accounts.

What Doesn’t Cancel Your Credit Card?

Some credit card holders may take other steps to “cancel” their credit cards, such as:

  • Cutting up the credit card
  • Letting it expire
  • Not using it

However, none of these will officially cancel your card. Your account will still remain open unless you take specific steps to cancel it. 

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What Should You Do After You Cancel Your Credit Card? 

Whether you cancel your credit card online, over the phone, or by writing to RBC, there are certain things you should do to verify that your account is indeed closed and that there’s no chance of an unauthorized person using your card. To keep your finances secure, take the following steps after cancelling your credit card account:

  • Make note of who you spoke with and when. After you cancel, jot down the date, time, and name of the person you spoke with at RBC.
  • Get your cancellation in writing. Whether by traditional mail or email, follow up in writing to ensure that your credit card account has been officially closed. 
  • Cut up the card. Once you’ve taken the steps to cancel your credit card, destroy it so that no one will be able to put it back together and start using it.  

Check out what credit score you need to get a credit card.

Does Cancelling My Credit Card Affect My Credit Score?

An important factor to consider when cancelling your credit card is how your credit score could be affected. There is a possibility that your credit rating could be negatively impacted when you close your credit card account based on several factors:

Credit Age

Cancelling your credit card can negatively impact your credit because it reduces your credit age. Your credit age refers to how long you’ve had your credit accounts. The older your accounts, the more positively it can impact your credit. Since the length your credit card can have an impact on your credit score, it’s in your best interests to hold onto older accounts, as long as they don’t carry high balances from month to month. 

Credit Utilization Ratio

Lenders will assess the amount of credit that is available to you in comparison to the amount you are using, which is referred to as your credit utilization ratio. A lower ratio is better for your credit score because it presents less of a risk to creditors. On the other hand, if you spend close to your credit limit, the risk increases, which can push your credit score down. 

By closing a credit card with a high credit limit and no outstanding balance, your credit score could take a hit. The situation can be made worse if you have other credit accounts still open with high outstanding balances.

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New Credit

Applying for new credit cards will require a “hard inquiry” on the part of the credit card issuer. This can temporarily pull your credit score down. If you’re planning to apply for a new credit card in place of the one you are cancelling, be prepared for a ding on your credit score, albeit only for a short period of time. 

Credit Mix

Many factors go into the calculation of credit scores, and a mix of credit is one of them. Lenders like to see that you are able to effectively manage a mix of credit, including credit cards. By closing your credit card, you’ll be reducing that mixture of credit, which may have an impact on your credit score.  

Payment History

One of the best ways to build or repair credit is by making timely credit card payments every month. If you can keep up with your payments every billing cycle, you can effectively build good credit. Getting rid of your card may take that opportunity away, unless you have other credit cards to take over.  Moreover, a long payment history gives lenders a way to determine your creditworthiness. Generally speaking, lenders like to see a long record of effective credit management over a long period of time. 

Having said all that, closing a credit card may be a good idea if you are not very good at keeping your credit card expenditures under control or have a tough time paying your credit card bills every month. If that’s the case, your credit score would take a hit anyway, so you may be better off cancelling it before your debt gets too out of control. 

Alternatives To Cancelling Your Credit Card

Depending on your reason for wanting to cancel your credit card, there may be some reasons why you shouldn’t. Here are some alternatives to cancelling your credit card to consider: 

  • Leave the card alone. You may not necessarily want to cancel your credit card just because you’re not using it. In this situation, you consider keeping it and storing it somewhere safe rather than closing it altogether to help age the account, which can be good for your credit health. 
  • Downgrade your credit card. If you don’t use your credit card to its full potential — or not very much at all — and are paying a hefty annual fee, call RBC to see about keeping your credit account open but downgrade to another credit card with a much lower (or zero) annual fee.
  • Renegotiate a better rate and terms. If the reason why you’re cancelling your RBC credit card is that you want to replace it with a card that offers a lower annual fee and interest rate, consider renegotiating with RBC. The representative you speak with may have something better to offer.  

Find out if your credit card provider can increase your credit card limit without your notice.

Final Thoughts

No matter what your reason may be for cancelling your RBC credit card, there are steps you should take to do it properly. There are also factors to consider to ensure that your credit remains intact and that you’re not losing out on any perks with your card before you discard it. 

And before you cancel, consider whether certain changes can be made to your account first — such as having your rate or annual fee reduced in exchange for fewer perks — to avoid any potential drawbacks that may come with closing a credit account.

Rating of 4/5 based on 8 votes.

Lisa has been working as a personal finance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same.

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