Sometimes you make a purchase and then change your mind just a few seconds after that and it’s very common among all of us. We often buy something and decide to return it soon after that. In some cases, you realize that you don’t want to purchase it anymore even before the payment has been processed, but sometimes you realize it a few days after the purchase. This might become an issue especially when you have made the purchase using a credit card. In the first case when you realize it even before the payment has been posted, there are chances that the payment has been initiated by the merchant, i.e, the merchant has requested money from your card issuer, but hasn’t received it yet.

cancel pending transaction on credit card

In such cases, it becomes difficult to cancel these pending transactions and you might not know whom you should contact regarding this. In fact, canceling a transaction that has been posted is easier than canceling the one that is still pending in the case of credit cards. To help you understand what to do in such situations, we are here with this article with detailed information about pending transactions on a credit card and ways to cancel them. Read on to know all about the same:

What Is A Pending Transaction?

A pending transaction is a payment that has been initiated by the merchant for an approved purchase but is not posted yet. Being a credit cardholder, you should be aware of the fact that payments made through a credit card don’t post immediately, but take time. It is because these payments need to go through a long chain, which includes the merchant, the Credit card network (Visa, MasterCard, RuPay, etc), and the card issuer. So, this is why the payment status might be shown as pending even after you have canceled the purchase from your side.

However, pending transactions are not added to your outstanding balance, but these can affect your available credit limit as the amount equivalent to the pending transaction will be blocked from your credit limit until the transaction is either successful or has been canceled. Moreover, canceling or returning an item is not the only case when a transaction status can be pending, but it also happens when the merchant requests the payment for the same item twice from your card issuer. Now the question that arises is: can you cancel pending transactions on your credit card or not? Let us understand the same further in the article!

Also Read: How Does a Credit Card Refund Work

Can You Cancel a Pending Transaction On a Credit Card?

Yes, you can cancel a pending transaction on your credit card account, but it’s not really easy every time. Once the charge has been added to your account by the merchant, even the card issuer can’t eliminate it easily before it is posted. So, what you need to do is contact the merchant first. Following are the ways to remove a pending transaction from your account:

By Contacting The Merchant

If the payment via your credit card has been initiated by your merchant and you have realized that you don’t want the product/item you purchased, you should inform the merchant at the earliest so that they can cancel the transaction from their end. As soon as you finalize a purchase and swipe your credit card, a charge is placed on your card by the merchant, but as discussed above, the transaction takes a bit of time. Just ask the merchant that you don’t need the item anymore and request them to cancel the charge on your credit card. However, talking to the merchant only makes sense if the payment is still pending and has not been processed completely or hasn’t been posted yet.

The second case when the payment has been requested twice is due to a mistake by the merchant so you can easily ask them to cancel this charge on your account. After contacting the merchant, it totally depends on them and the transaction might be canceled only if the merchant agrees to remove the charge on your account from their end.

By Contacting Card Issuer

If your issue has not been resolved by contacting the merchant, your second step should be to contact your card issuer and ask them to cancel the transaction that is pending on your credit card account. However, it might be challenging to get the transaction canceled in this case as your card issuer can’t remove the charge from your account, but it can only be done by the merchant’s end. But still, if the merchant doesn’t agree or if you feel like the transaction was fraudulent, you must contact your card issuer as soon as possible. It is because most of the major credit card issuers provide zero-liability protection against fraudulent transactions and hence you can keep yourself safe from any such fraud by reporting it to your card issuer on time.

Bottom Line

In the cases when you decide to return an item very soon after purchasing it, you should contact the merchant immediately as the case becomes more & more complicated with time. And once the payment has been posted, you can’t cancel the transaction, but you can only return it and ask for a refund. For doing this, you will have to go through the return and refund policies of both the merchant and your card issuer. Therefore, it is always better to take such actions at the earliest or make your decisions fast to avoid more complications.

One thing that you need to keep in mind is if you feel like a fraudulent charge has been placed on your credit card by a merchant, the first thing you need to do in such a case is to contact your card issuer and not the merchant. We hope that now you have understood how you can cancel a pending transaction on a credit card. If you have any further doubts regarding the same, you can freely ask us in the comment section below!

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