Depending on the issuer, pro-rated refunds are occasionally possible. American Express doesn't do pro-rated refunds, but some other financial institutions, such as TD Canada Trust, will reimburse you a pro-rated amount if you cancel a card in the middle of a membership year.
Virtually all issuers will allow you to get a full refund on a subsequent year's annual fee if you decide to cancel within a certain period of the annual fee appearing on your statement (usually 30 or 60 days).
There are a few circumstances in which you might seek a refund on your annual fee. First, consider a new card that you’ve opened this year. You paid a certain annual fee on the first statement, and then after six months, you decide to cancel. Are you entitled to get half of the annual fee refunded?
With most financial institutions, the answer is no. Once you’ve paid the annual fee upfront, you’ve committed to having the card for the full year, and you aren’t entitled to a refund if you cancel midway through the year.
TD Canada Trust is one of the exceptions – they’ll refund you the pro-rated amount of your annual fee if you were to relinquish the card in the middle of the membership year. This works for both product switches and outright cancellations.
Another situation in which you’d seek an annual fee refund is if you’re charged a renewal fee for another year, but you decide you don’t want to keep the card around. At that point, you can usually call in and ask for the fee to be refunded (and the account closed) within a certain period of the annual fee being charged (usually 30 or 60 days). The exact timeframe of this “grace period” varies from issuer to issuer, so it’s best to call in sooner rather than later.
Last updated 17 November 2018. Any questions? Contact me.