Using your credit card: know your rights and responsibilities

Your responsibility when cancelling a credit card

To cancel a credit card, you must contact your credit card issuer. Simply cutting up the card or not using it won’t cancel the credit card account.

Learn how to cancel your credit card.

Your rights when using credit card cheques

Federally regulated financial institutions must get your express consent before providing you with credit card cheques. If you consent verbally, they must send you written confirmation of your consent. You must receive it no later than the date of the first credit card statement provided after you consented.

When you use a credit card cheque, the expense is applied directly to your credit card account. You start paying interest as soon as you use them. 

Using the credit card or any other related service doesn’t count as consent to receive unsolicited credit card cheques.

Learn more about how credit card cheques work.

Your protection against unauthorized credit card transactions

When someone makes an unauthorized transaction with your credit card, your maximum liability, by law, is $50. Your credit card agreement must explain your maximum liability if someone used your card without your permission.

Visa, Mastercard and American Express have committed to protect you against financial loss. That is, if someone makes an unauthorized transaction with your credit card. According to this public commitment, they won’t hold you responsible or charge any fees for the unauthorized transactions.

Learn more about these commitments and policies.

Learn how to resolve an unauthorized transaction.

Your rights related to credit card balance insurance

Credit card balance insurance or balance protection is an optional product. It may cover the payments, or part of the payments due on your credit card. This is only under specific conditions, such as if you become sick, disabled or die. Federally regulated financial institutions that offer this insurance must obtain your express consent before providing this product to you.

There are important exclusions on the coverage that credit card balance insurance provides. 

Learn more about credit card balance insurance.

Your right to information about credit card balance insurance

Federally regulated financial institutions must provide you with:

Banks must provide you with this information before entering into an agreement with you.

Learn more about your rights when signing up for credit card balance insurance.

More information about credit card balance insurance

Banks that are members of the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) have adopted a code of conduct for authorized insurance activities. They commit to provide clear and understandable disclosure. This applies to documents related to authorized insurance products, including credit card balance insurance.

Banks will provide each customer accepted for insurance coverage with disclosure documents that set out:

Banks will make this commitment available:

Learn more about the Canadian Bankers Association Code of Conduct for Authorized Insurance Activities (PDF).

Your rights when dealing with debt collectors

A federally regulated financial institution might contact you about a debt you owe on your credit card. When they do, you have rights with respect to how they collect the debt. This also applies to any party acting on their behalf. 

Learn more about your rights when dealing with a debt collector.

When these rights and responsibilities apply to you

These rights and responsibilities apply when you’re dealing with a federally regulated financial institution like a bank or federal credit union.

Find out if your financial institution is federally regulated.

Learn more about how your banking rights are protected.

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