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Spending Limits

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

Merchant-Locked Cards

Lock Privacy Cards to the first merchant they’re used at to prevent misuse if stolen

Single-Use Cards

Create Privacy Cards that close automatically after the first purchase is made on them

Pause/Close Cards

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

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Microsoft Subscription—Cancel the Service Effortlessly

Ashley Ferraro, Product
Feb 14, 2024
 Min Read
Manage Your Subscription Payments With Virtual Cards

Best known for Windows and Azure, Microsoft is one of the largest tech companies and developers of computer software. The company offers various subscription services that cater to different users’ needs, including Microsoft 365, Xbox Game Pass, and Microsoft Office. 

Regardless, you may decide to discontinue one of your Microsoft subscriptions for reasons such as outgrowing the service, higher subscription costs, or dissatisfaction with the product’s offering.

If you no longer need your Microsoft subscription, you can cancel it easily using the guidelines in this article. Besides learning the steps required to discontinue the service, you'll discover tips on how to avoid or limit unwanted charges and other cancellation-related issues.

Note that the information in this article is current as of December 2023. Please visit the official Microsoft website or contact customer support directly for updates.

A photo of a Microsoft office building
Source: Matthew Manuel

How To Cancel a Microsoft Subscription via the Website

To cancel a Microsoft subscription through the website, follow these simple steps:

  1. Log in to your Microsoft account using a computer or mobile browser.
  2. Navigate to the Services & subscriptions section within your account.
  3. Find the subscription you want to cancel and click Manage.
  4. Select Cancel under the subscription’s name.
  5. Follow the on-page instructions and confirm cancellation.

Once your subscription has been successfully canceled, Microsoft will send an email confirmation, and automatic charges will stop. You'll have access to the service until the end of the current billing period.

What You Should Know About Canceling a Microsoft Subscription

You can cancel your Microsoft account at any time. The company doesn't have a minimum subscription period, so you're not tied to any contract and can cancel whenever you want to. However, before you do so, consider these factors:

  • It’s advisable to cancel your Microsoft subscription before the next scheduled payment to avoid being charged for another billing period.
  • Canceling your subscription will result in losing access to all the features and benefits associated with that service.
  • You may be eligible for a refund if you cancel your subscription within 30 days of the initial purchase or renewal. Microsoft should process the refund within 3–5 business days.
  • Microsoft Rewards orders can't be canceled, refunded, or exchanged.
  • If you’re billed for a Microsoft subscription through a third party, you should follow that company’s cancellation procedure. If you’ve acquired the subscription through the Microsoft Store but are billed by another party, refer to that party’s terms of service for information about cancellation and refunds.
A 3D render of a glass cube with the Microsoft logo on it
Source: BoliviaInteligente

Potential Issues You Might Encounter When Canceling Your Microsoft Subscription

While canceling a Microsoft subscription looks fairly straightforward, the process may not always go as smoothly as expected. For example, one Microsoft user claimed in their Trustpilot review that they had to talk to three different customer support representatives to end their subscription. Another reviewer was allegedly charged even after successful cancellation. 

While these issues could have been an honest error, the cancellation processes of some businesses can be challenging by design to get you to remain subscribed and continue paying. Some companies may employ manipulative methods called “dark patterns,” which range from requiring you to spend a long time on the phone with customer support to using unclear language in their Terms of Service. If you are not careful, you might miss a step and get charged for another month or year of a service you no longer want. 

To avoid such frustrating situations and keep control of your spending, consider using virtual cards from Privacy to purchase subscriptions. Virtual cards substitute your actual financial information with random card numbers at checkout, protecting it from potential misuse. Independent virtual card providers like Privacy also offer comprehensive card settings that allow you to define how much merchants can charge you.

A close-up photo of a hand holding credit cards against a gray background
Source: Avery Evans

Use Privacy Virtual Cards for More Spending Control

Privacy provides a secure and reliable way to manage subscription payments and avoid accidental charges. After linking a debit card or bank account to Privacy, you can generate virtual cards to use for various subscription services, including Tinder Gold, Xfinity, and YouTube Premium. Privacy Virtual Cards are available in two variants, and you can find out more about them in the table below:

Type of Card How It Works
Single-Use Card This virtual card closes shortly after you complete the first transaction. You can use it for one-time purchases on unfamiliar websites whose security practices you’re not sure of.
Merchant-Locked Card This card “locks” to the first vendor you transact with and can be used repeatedly. It's perfect for merchants you trust and regularly make payments to, including subscription services like PlayStation Plus, Adobe, and Philo.

You can also pause or close and set a spending limit on your Privacy Card to stay in control of your subscription payments. Learn about these features below:

  • Pausing/closing—You can pause or close your virtual card from the Privacy dashboard. The feature comes in handy when you want to stop subscriptions and avoid unwelcome costs, as Privacy will decline all charge requests on a paused or closed card.
  • Spending limits—You can set a spending limit on your Privacy Card to prevent excessive charges. If the merchant attempts to bill you for more than the specified amount, Privacy will decline the transaction.

Privacy Virtual Cards are issued by Mastercard® or Visa® and can be used at most merchants who accept these payment methods, including popular subscription services like Amazon Music, LA Fitness, and Apple Music, or newspaper services like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times

Privacy’s Setup Process and Additional Features

Registering for Privacy is easy—you only need to:

  1. Create an account
  2. Provide the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) information needed to verify your identity
  3. Link a funding source (debit card or bank account)
  4. Request and generate Privacy Virtual Cards

To streamline your online transactions and improve your user experience, Privacy offers the following features:

Privacy offers three plans—discover their cost and benefits in the table below:

Pricing Plan Personal Pro Premium
Cost per month Free for domestic transactions $10 $25
Number of cards per month 12 36 60
  • Ability to pause/close cards and set spending limits

  • Access to the Privacy Browser Extension and mobile app

  • Everything in Personal

  • Fee-free international transactions

  • Priority support

  • 1% cashback on eligible purchases (totaling up to $4,500 a month)

  • Ability to mask transaction details on bank statements

  • Everything in Pro

  • Dedicated account management

Privacy — Seamless & Secure Online Card Payments
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