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Set a spending limit and Privacy will decline any transactions that go over the limit

Merchant-Locked Cards

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Single-Use Cards

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Pause/Close Cards

Pause or close your Privacy Cards at any time to block future transaction attempts

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How To Cancel All Subscriptions on Your Debit Card—A Simple Guide

Ashley Ferraro, Product
Oct 9, 2023
 Min Read

A 2023 Forbes Home Survey found that around 47% of people pay for subscription services they don’t use. According to this data, many consumers may benefit from understanding how to manage subscriptions and terminate those they no longer want.

This article aims to shed light on the subject and explore:

  • How to cancel a single subscription on a debit card
  • How to cancel all subscriptions on your debit card at once
  • What tools help you manage subscriptions

How Subscriptions Work—A Brief Reminder

Source: Glenn Carstens-Peters

Subscriptions are recurring and automatic payments taking place on or around a particular day of the month. They simplify access to services, ensuring convenience for the user by automating the payment process. Although most subscriptions are billed on a monthly basis, they can also be debited weekly, yearly, or on some other regular cadence. 

Some common examples of subscription services include:

  • Music and video streaming platforms
  • Gym memberships
  • Insurance
  • Software
  • Magazines and newspapers

Various payment methods are available for settling subscription service charges, including recurring card payments and direct debits. The difference between card payments and direct debits is that the latter requires you to provide your account and routing numbers to the subscription service.

Many subscription services offer free trial periods, but most of them require you to provide your card information to sign up. Some companies may charge you immediately once the free trial is up, which is why many consumers get sucked into subscription payments they didn’t initially intend to keep.

How To Cancel a Subscription on a Debit Card 

Source: John Schnobrich

The exact termination process depends on the particular subscription service and may vary based on the payment method you choose.

While you should visit the company’s official website to learn the exact steps you need to take, the termination process for regular debit or credit card payments typically looks like this:

  1. Go to the company’s website and sign into your account.
  2. Find billing, account, or subscription management settings and look for the cancellation option.
  3. Click the Cancel button and follow the provided steps to confirm the cancellation.
  4. Look out for the cancellation confirmation email.

In some cases, such as when you’re paying via direct debit, you may need to contact the provider via email, phone, or chat to end the subscription. They’ll likely ask for your basic personal information, account number, and the reason for cancellation.

Keep in mind that it can take some time to process the cancellation request, usually up to 24 hours. If you cancel too close to the scheduled payment date, you might still be charged. Some companies also enact minimum notice periods and/or termination fees. You can confirm more specific details of your payment responsibilities by reading the company’s terms and conditions.

Additional Measures You Can Take

You may need to take additional steps to cancel a subscription if you have reasons to believe the cancellation process will be difficult. In such cases, you can contact your card issuer to block further charges.

One solution is to send letters revoking your authorization to the subscription company and your bank. Some banks offer ready-made online forms to help you do so. 

Another way is to give your bank a stop payment order in person, over the phone, or in writing. Every issuer has distinct policies and typically charge a fee for this service, so it’s best to contact them to learn about the process. It’s important to file the order at least three business days before the payment is scheduled.

After canceling, keep an eye on your transactions via the banking app or review your bank statements. If you did everything by the book and still accrued a charge, you may be able to dispute it and get your money back.

How To Cancel All Subscriptions on Your Debit Card

Source: Cytonn Photography

If you want to cancel all the services you’re subscribed to, you have two options.

The first one requires you to cancel each service individually. You should review your monthly statements and compile a list of all your subscriptions. One by one, cancel them following each company’s specific instructions. Using a subscription tracker app can help you manage the process and ensure you’re not forgetting any subscription service. Some banks also offer similar subscription management and tracking features.

The other solution is to use a third-party app or service. These apps may either guide you through the subscription cancellation process or complete it on your behalf. However, these types of services typically come with a cost.

While it may appear simple at first glance, canceling subscriptions can be a lengthy and frustrating process. You have to follow each company’s specific guidelines and navigate potential hurdles, such as unclear cancellation instructions or uncooperative customer support. Subscription services will often make the cancellation process unnecessarily complicated to make you give up your idea and keep paying out of convenience.

When signing up for subscriptions, consider employing a proactive approach and paying with virtual cards. This payment method gives you more control over how your card is used, making it simple to prevent unauthorized charges.

How Virtual Cards Give You More Control While Protecting Your Payments

According to Research and Markets, the global virtual card market is expected to rise to over 60 billion by 2030, with a projected CAGR of 20.7% from 2022 to 2030. These figures are not surprising, considering the many benefits of this payment method, which we’ll go into.

A virtual card is a unique, randomly generated set of card details—a 16-digit card number, expiration date, and security code—that’s linked to a funding source, such as a debit card, bank account, or credit line. You can use it for online transactions without exposing your real card and bank data. While their main function is to protect your real debit and credit card information, virtual cards have features that give you greater control of your finances.

Some virtual card providers let you pause or close the cards and set spending limits, which helps prevent unauthorized charges and additional fees.

Many banks offer virtual cards, but often with limited features and under the condition that you open an account with them. If you opt for an independent virtual card provider like Privacy, you can enjoy the above-listed benefits, in addition to specific features tailored for subscription management.

Enhance the Security of Your Recurring Payments With Privacy Virtual Cards

Source: NordWood Themes

Be it a subscription or a one-time payment, use a Privacy Virtual Card to form an integral security barrier around your payments

Privacy Cards protect your real card or bank data from getting stolen in case of a security breach on the merchant’s server. At the same time, they provide a wide range of features to help you control your spending and prevent sneaky subscription services from overcharging you.

Privacy lets you choose between two types of virtual cards:

  • Single-Use: This type of card closes a few minutes after the first purchase. If you want to try out a new subscription service without worrying about hidden, unauthorized fees, pay with a Single-Use Card. You can also use it when you’re uncertain if the merchant is reliable. Even if your virtual card number becomes compromised within a merchant’s systems, it cannot be used since it’s already closed.
  • Merchant-Locked: This type of card can be used repeatedly with one specific vendor, making it ideal for recurring charges, such as subscription services. Privacy will automatically decline any purchase attempts at another merchant, which is beneficial if a hacker gets hold of the card number from a data breach.

You can close, pause, and unpause your Privacy Virtual Cards anytime without affecting your bank account or real card. If you are attempting to cancel a subscription service and are not confident the merchant will follow through, close the card, and Privacy will block all further charges. 

Setting spending limits will prevent overcharging and hidden fees, which are unfortunately common with subscription services. You can also share the cards with children and other close family members to ensure they stay within budget, as you remain in full control of the card’s settings.

Additional Privacy Perks To Explore

Privacy Virtual Cards are simple to generate and use. They also entail numerous other features to help you manage cards and stay protected:

  • Faster checkouts with the browser extension: Get the Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari extension to check out quickly and seamlessly without having to memorize or type in card numbers. 
  • Safety on the go with Privacy mobile apps: The Privacy iOS and Android apps allow you to generate and use virtual cards wherever you are. Enable push notifications to get alerts every time a card is used or declined.
  • Credential protection with 1Password: Integrate Privacy with 1Password and safely store all your login credentials, card numbers, and other sensitive data in one place.

Privacy is a BBB®-accredited business and employs the highest security protocols to protect its users' data, such as split-key encryption and Transport Layer Security (TLS) HSTS. 

Privacy Cards can be used at most merchants that accept U.S. credit or debit card payments. U.S. residents over 18 years of age with a checking account at a U.S. bank or credit union can request Privacy Cards.

Get Your Privacy Virtual Cards in Four Steps

To get started with Privacy, all you need to do is:

  1. Register
  2. Fill out the information needed to verify your identity
  3. Add a funding source (bank account or debit card)
  4. Request a Privacy Virtual Card

Privacy provides three pricing plans tailored to different budget needs:

  1. Personal (Free for domestic transactions)
  2. Pro ($10/month)
  3. Premium ($25/month)

With the Personal plan, you can request 12 virtual cards per month, close and pause the cards, and set spending limits. You can also access the browser extensions and apps. The paid plans will get you additional cards, 1% cashback on eligible purchases (totaling up to $4,500/month), priority support, and more.

Privacy — Seamless & Secure Online Card Payments
Checkout securely online by creating unique virtual card numbers for every purchase. Avoid data breaches, unwanted charges, and stolen credit card numbers.
Sign Up
Privacy — Seamless & Secure Online Card Payments
Checkout securely online by creating unique virtual card numbers for every purchase. Avoid data breaches, unwanted charges, and stolen credit card numbers.
Sign Up
Privacy virtual cards
Spending Limits

Set a spending limit, and Privacy will block all charges that go over the limit

Merchant-Locked Cards

Lock your Privacy card to one merchant you frequently shop from

Single-Use Cards

Secure your one-time payments to websites whose trust worthiness you're unsure of

Pause/Close Cards

By pausing or closing a card, Privacy will block all future transactions

Get a Privacy Card Now
Privacy — Seamless & Secure Online Card Payments
Checkout securely online by creating unique virtual card numbers for every purchase. Avoid data breaches, unwanted charges, and stolen credit card numbers.
Sign Up
Privacy — Seamless & Secure Online Card Payments
Sign Up