Have you ever been signed up for a credit card without fully realizing what was going on? It can happen. People can be lured with promises of reward points or free gifts, and then end up agreeing to sign up for a credit card without consent. Here is some information from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) about your rights and responsibilities regarding credit cards and consent.
- Banks must obtain your consent before issuing you a credit card.
- If you consent orally, the bank must provide you with confirmation (in writing) of your consent immediately.
- The bank must provide specific information about the card in a clear, and simple way (Eg. interest rate and any other fees associated with the card).
- The information must be displayed in an information box. Here is an example of an information box. It is helpful to know what one looks like, because it is an easy way to tell that the document you are signing is an application for a credit card.
Remember that applying for a credit card can have an impact on your credit score and it will show up on your credit report. For more information about your credit reports and scores, visit this page on the FCAC website.
Tips before signing
- Take your time to read and understand the documents before you sign them.
- Make sure to ask questions if any part of the document is unclear to you.
- Don’t feel pressured and take a couple days to think about it if you’re not too sure.
Did you sign up for a credit card knowingly, but wish you hadn’t?
It happens. The FCAC has information on their website that goes over how to cancel your credit card properly.
Were you signed up for a credit card without your knowledge?
The FCAC has received complaints about banks that solicit or promote credit card applications and sign up customers without their consent. They are continuing to investigate these kinds of business practices and encourage you to contact them if this has happened to you.
While we are responsible for overseeing certain consumer protection laws in British Columbia, we don’t have any authority over financial institutions. That being said, if you walk away from a transaction and something just doesn’t feel right, we may be able to help. If we can’t provide you with an answer directly, we will happily act as step on your path to a solution.
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Answers to some of your money-related questions
Tips if you’re considering a credit card reward program
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9 thoughts on “Were you signed up for a credit card without being fully aware of it? Here are your rights”
WalMart in Penticton asked me if I wanted a rewards card. I agreed, She gave me a tracking number attached to a brochure , similar to grocery stores and pharmacies, etc. She indicated that my card would arrive in the mail in a week or so. I did not sign anything but when I got home I realized it was a MasterCard Credit Card. I called a few phone numbers until I could reach someone and canceled it immediately.
Some of the “reward credit cards” are tricky as they do seem like a store point card. I’m glad you were able to take a look at it closely and noticed that it wasn’t something you wanted. Thanks for sharing your experience!
Rainbow Vacuum signed up for a credit card on my wife’s behalf without her knowledge and they made a false representation of my wife’s employment. We dealt wirh BBB in the past but BBB were nit able to help us. Would you help us please? Thanks.
Hi Ricardo, thank you for contacting us. We would like to get more details about what happened with Rainbow Vacuum. Can you please send in a formal complaint form? You can do so on our website here. Thank you!
Walmart in Coquitlam asked if i wanted a points card – did not mention at anytime it was a credit card. I did not know until i got home and realized it was a Walmart Mastercard..
Horrible deceitful practice by Walmart and they should be reported as I don’t see how this can legal. I am not sure as to who I should contact but will start with Walmart customer service tomorrow to get this canceled
Update: I called Walmart Mastercard and was told that my purchase was billed to this credit card and I can not cancel it until I pay for the purchase. Unethical and dishonest practice at Walmart and their employee in misleading first to believe its a Points Card your applying for and then making it impossible for you to can cancel the card (when you realize you actually signed up for a MasterCard). The employee knows exactly what their doing to ensure they probably get a commission on what applications they get.
Hi Daryn, thank you for contacting Consumer Protection BC. As the article above suggests, you can contact the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) regarding this type of issue. FCAC’s website has information on how to cancel credit cards properly – you can also submit a complaint to them as well. I hope they will be able to point you in the right direction.
Hi, I was signed up by a Walmart cashier for a Walmart Rewards card without being fully aware of it.
He asked me if I want a Walmart Card, I thought it’s for collecting points like at Indigo. It’s not a credit card or a master card at Indigo.
He didn’t give me any fliers, never mentioned credit card, etc. I gave him my driver’s license and he signed me up for it.
The card arrived a few days ago. I haven’t activated yet. I want to cancel it. I don’t have any credit card. Fresh out of school. It shouldn’t affect me too much on my credit report to close the card.
Wondering what I can do. Thank you.
Hi there, thanks for your question. To cancel your credit card, I suggest following the steps linked in the post above from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. If you feel you were signed up without your consent, I also suggest you contact them using the link above to report this issue. I hope this helps.