A gym I used to be a member of and to which I owe no more contractual obligation but are being difficult about membership cancellation still have my CC info. I changed my CC number hoping their not having my new number would prevent them from making charges. However, the CC company says that, because they have a recurring payment set up, they were able to roll over to having access to my account despite the new number.

Rather than dealing with the vendor, who have proven to me to be an unethical business practitioner, I wanted to stop their access to my CC and prevent further charges. I called my CC but they said they were not able to do that, much to my surprise and dismay.

How can I stop an unauthorized entity from charging my CC if they have account info without cancelling the card account altogether (I have a dividend mile program)?

  • 2
    Unless you really love your credit card (maybe it gives you airlines miles on a specific airline?), consider canceling the credit card entirely and opening a new account with a different card company. Dec 23, 2014 at 0:05
  • unfortunately, i have a dividend mile program
    – amphibient
    Dec 23, 2014 at 0:07
  • 1
    What country is this?
    – karancan
    Dec 23, 2014 at 1:03
  • @karancan, US of A
    – amphibient
    Feb 27, 2015 at 0:23
  • Is this a bill payment you have set up directly with your bank or some other third-party? Or is it paid directly to the Vendor through whatever system they had? Oct 25, 2015 at 18:07

2 Answers 2


The bank SHOULD be able to issue you a new card without letting vendors roll over the recurring payments. In fact, I've never had a bank move recurring payments to a new card automatically, or even upon request; they've always told me to contact the vendor and give them my new card number.

So go back to the bank, tell them specifically that you have a security issue and you want the new card issued WITHOUT carrying over any recurring charges, and see if they can do it properly.

If not:

1) Issue a "charge back" every time a bogus charge comes in. This costs the vendor money, and should convince them to stop trying to access your card. It's a hassle because you have to keep contacting the bank about the bad charges, but it won't cost you more than time and a phone call or letter. (The bank can tell you what their preferred process is for this.)

2) Consider moving to a bank that isn't stupidly over-helpful.

  • 4
    Exactly. I've had a card for 15 years, and they've changed my number at least 5 times. Each time I needed to go through the list of auto-pay and sign up again. The new number should be the solution for the OP. Dec 23, 2014 at 2:28
  • My card was recently reissued and there was roughly a three-week overlap where both the old & new numbers accepted charges. After that it worked like you describe -- I had to contact the vendors and update the number.
    – Steve P
    Dec 23, 2014 at 18:55
  • unfortunately, it does not work like this with my card. they told me that anyone who has been authorized for recurring charges gets to keep access to charge again even though i change the CC #. the CREDIT CARD COMPANY told me this. they said they can charge whatever they want and then I have to dispute the charge and go through the hassle. they refused to block this vendor from being able to charge my card.
    – amphibient
    Jan 20, 2015 at 16:22
  • 1
    I strongly recommend you close that card and get a replacement from a less customer -hostile bank, then.
    – keshlam
    Jan 20, 2015 at 18:12
  • 2
    Note that, f you tell them that this is why you're closing the accoun-t, they may suddenly discover that they can stop the recurring charges after all. I'd suggest replacing the card anyway since these folks are clearly consumer-hostile, but if they can do what you need that would give you more time to shop for alternatives. Meanwhile, charge back any unauthorized transaction that you've made a good-faith effort to resolve with the vendor but been unable to get corrected.
    – keshlam
    Jan 20, 2015 at 20:00

There is no way to stop any merchant from setting a recurring charge flag on a purchase. According to the following article, Mastercard and Visa encourages merchants to use this feature and even give them a better rate. I have found it impossible to stop these unauthorized transactions. The article sites that the merchant is allowed to march the charges across expired cards to find a good card that you might have as well as the article states they can cross banks to find you if you have the same type of card. Virtual account numbers will not protect you. Sorry but the only solution I have found is to close the account with the bank and move to a different type of card, mastercard to visa, or vice versa. This will only protect you for one move ,because if you have to do this again. Merchants that you thought were forgotten even years later will find you and post a charge legally. Virtual numbers from Mastercard or Visa won't stop them. I believe this is the number one reason for credit card fraud for consumers. There is no reason for a merchant to let anyone off the hook when the credit card company will side with them. The article below does state that Mastercard does have a "stop recurring payment" flag. Apparently no CSR tht I have talked to knows about it when I have asked to get a problem fixed. I have found that the only way to stop these charges from happening is to close all my visa and mastercard credit cards, pay with a check that you write and mail or a PayPal one time payment that is sent to pay for an invoice.

Recurring Credit-Card Charges May Irk Consumers

  • Did you actually read the article you linked to? You reached a different conclusion than I would have. Oct 26, 2015 at 1:22

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .