Privacy Virtual Cards
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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PayPal—Cancel a Subscription and Halt the Recurring Charges

Ashley Ferraro, Product
Feb 15, 2024
 Min Read
Manage Your Subscription Payments With Virtual Cards

With over 428 million active accounts as of 2023, PayPal is one of the most valuable fintech companies today. It aims to make transactions seamless and secure, regardless of the purpose or your location. The platform also allows you to set up automatic payments, making it easier for you to pay for subscriptions.

If you decide these options don’t fit your needs, and you don’t want to see them on your PayPal, you can cancel the subscription with the help of this article. You’ll also learn how to manage subscription payments and avoid potential excessive charges from merchants.

The information in this article is current as of December 2023. Visit PayPal’s website or reach out to customer support directly for updates.

A close-up photo of a smartphone screen displaying the PayPal logo
Source: Marques Thomas

How To Cancel Subscriptions on PayPal

Subscriptions on PayPal, also known as automatic payments, recurring payments, and billing agreements, occur when you agree to authorize a merchant to bill you in the future without requiring you to log into your PayPal account. You can do this during the first checkout, i.e., when you first pay for the subscription. The exact steps vary depending on the service.

If you want to cancel a recurring payment on PayPal, you need to do so at least three business days before the next scheduled payment is due. In case PayPal fails to complete your request, it will take responsibility for the resulting losses or damages. 

One of the ways to cancel automatic payments on PayPal is through your account settings on the website. To cancel via the website, take the steps below:

  1. Click the gear icon (Settings) in the upper right corner.
  2. Select the Payments tab.
  3. Click Automatic payments.
  4. Select the merchant whose subscription you want removed.
  5. Click Cancel.

How To Cancel Automatic Payments on the PayPal App and Through Customer Support

Learn how to discontinue subscriptions on the PayPal app in the table below:

Android iOS
  1. Tap Menu, then Your Wallet.

  2. Scroll down and select Manage AutoPay.

  3. Select the merchant.

  4. Tap Remove PayPal as your payment method.

  1. Tap Wallet.

  2. Scroll down and select Manage AutoPay.

  3. Select the merchant.

  4. Tap Remove PayPal as your payment method.

You can also cancel by contacting PayPal’s customer support via:

After the cancellation, any future automatic payments with the seller will cease. However, you may still need to settle any unpaid obligations, such as for goods or services you’ve received but haven’t paid for yet.

A photo of a person using a laptop on a wooden desk
Source: Christin Hume

How Virtual Cards Can Make It Easier To Cancel Subscriptions

Although canceling subscriptions on PayPal is simple, some other companies may give you a hard time if you decide to opt out. In hopes you’ll keep your subscription for longer, they might employ various techniques—from using deceptive web design and language in their online cancellation funnel to requiring multiple exhausting steps and in-person visits

If you don’t read the fine print and pay close attention, you could end up missing a step and paying for another month of services you don’t need. In some cases, you may even incur a charge after completing the cancellation process.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is currently working on a new rule that would require merchants to simplify subscription cancellation, but it may be a while before any meaningful change takes place. To help protect your funds from unexpected charges, you can use Privacy virtual cards to pay for a subscription, whether for an everyday resource such as Shopify, Dropbox, and NordVPN, or a nice-to-have such as Amazon Music, Apple TV Plus, and Xbox Game Pass.

While connected to an actual funding source, virtual cards mask your financial information with random unique numbers at checkout, adding a protective layer around your transactions. Virtual cards may also come with features to help you manage your spending—especially if you choose a dedicated virtual card provider such as Privacy.

Privacy Virtual Cards—Effective Protection for Your Funds

When you pay with Privacy Virtual Cards, your funds are protected from unwanted activity, be it potential hackers looking to misuse the data they’ve stolen from you or merchants who may accidentally or intentionally overcharge you. You can connect your debit card or bank account and generate virtual cards for one-time payments or subscriptions such as Philo, LinkedIn Premium, and the New York Times.

Learn about the two types of Privacy Cards in the following table:

Card Type How It Works
The Type of Transactions It’s Best For
Single-Use This card becomes invalid minutes after you complete the first transaction. Transactions with merchants you haven’t bought from before or don’t plan on buying from again
Merchant-Locked This card “locks” to the first merchant you transact with.  Transactions with merchants you frequently buy from, subscriptions, and other recurring charges

Privacy Cards also have additional features to help you manage your subscriptions. You can:

  • Set spending limits—By setting a spending limit on your card, you can protect yourself from charges you didn’t agree to, as Privacy will block all charges that exceed the preset limit.
  • Pause or close cards—If you want to stop a subscription, you can pause or close the card you used to pay for it. Privacy will decline all transactions on said card, protecting your account against any charges that may be imposed on you during or after the cancellation process. 

Privacy—Control and Convenience

In addition to adding a layer of protection to your payments, Privacy also makes it easy to pay, thanks to the browser extension and app. 

The Privacy Browser Extension ensures fast and seamless checkouts by autofilling virtual card details for you—saving you from having to type in the details every time you shop. The extension is available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. With the Safari iOS extension, iPhone and iPad users can enjoy efficient payments too. 

By installing the Privacy mobile app on your iOS or Android, you’ll be able to create and manage Privacy Cards on the go. You can also receive a notification whenever one of the cards is used or declined.

A bird’s eye view photo of a person holding a payment card and typing on a laptop keyboard
Source: Mikhail Nilov

How To Start Using Privacy 

You can become a Privacy user in four simple steps:

  1. Register
  2. Provide the information needed to verify your identity
  3. Add a funding source—debit card or bank account
  4. Request and generate virtual cards

You may use your Privacy Cards with most U.S. merchants and websites that accept Visa® and Mastercard® payments.

Privacy gives you three pricing options to choose from. The Personal plan, which is free for domestic purchases, includes 12 virtual cards a month, card pausing or closing and spending limits, and access to the browser extension and app. You can choose Pro ($10/month) or Premium ($25/month) in case you need more cards and benefits like:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Priority support
  • Dedicated account management
Privacy — Seamless & Secure Online Card Payments
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