Credit Cards - How I put a freeze on all my credit cards (Visa, Amex, MC)

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Nov 14, 2017
Just wanted to share this, in case someone else is in my situation.

I wanted to control the use of my credit cards, or more precisely, get rid of a bunch of automatic monthly charges that I have of them. You know, cloud storage for my iPhone, Google Drive Space, name it. I had so many that I lost track. And money. Putting a block on a vendor was no good, because there is no fraud here. I just wanted control.

I called the credit cards and they do not offer ANY way of placing a temporary freeze on my cards. I was thinking that, if I could freeze my cards for a couple of months, the automated charges would fail to go thru, those companies would contact me, and then I would be able to decide which ones to keep and which ones to get rid of. But no, they don't offer this.

So, this is what I did:

1) Asked for new credit cards - I called each and every one of the credit card companies and asked for new cards. With new numbers. I told them the truth: That I wanted to control my expenses and I needed new numbers being issued.

2) Since they arrived, I haven't activated the cards - Yup, all 4 cards are there, in my drawer. I signed them, but I haven't called to activate them. They have that little sticker with the big 800 number still stuck on the front of the card. But they are not active.

What happened? Well, once those companies with my old info tried to charge the monthly charge, it got declined. So they contacted me. Now I have a list of every single one of them. I gave them the number of my prepaid AMEX Serve card, and I put money every month on it to cover just those charges..

I have reduced my monthly recurring charges in about $ 600 per month (yes, that's how bad it was). But since the credit card companies didn't want to help, I had to do something. I still have active accounts with them. And some day, once I learn to use them, I might activate the cards. But for now, the little label with the 800 number stays there.

Maybe they will cancel my accounts since the cards are not active? Maybe they will send me new cards that I will not activate. Maybe they will send the Terminator after me, since they don't want me to share this with anyone.

I will update you all soon...

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
Pedro, I am confused. You also have a post here about your identity being stolen through Equifax:

But in this post you say you just wanted to get control of your expenses? Couldn't you have printed copies of your statements and called the companies with the recurring charges and advised them you want to stop? That seems like it would have been much easier than doing it the way you did it.
Likes: VoR61
Dec 12, 2014
From my experience, banks won't cancel your accounts just because you haven't activated the card. However, they may cancel the account if you have a $0 balance and don't use the card for a period of time, frequently 12-24 months.

Probably easier to go to all the companies that you signed up for automatic payments and cancel those.
Likes: Neil Maley