FWIW you just need to ask for a new card number because you believe it has been compromised. However you may have missed the salient issue. Even if you have a new card number issued by the same bank, the bank will connect ‘recurring payments’ to the new card.
A card account is not the same as a card number. A card account can have multiple card numbers assigned over its lifetime, hence why the ‘recurring payment’ follows the card number change.
However if you close a card account and open one at a different bank (new bank, new account, new card) you are correct that the recurring payment cannot follow as the authorisation is to a specific bank and account. However, in a worst case a merchant not getting his authorised recurring payment could turn over your account to a collection agent.
A disputed transaction (eg strange charge) is treated the same by all issuers, however with different levels of competence and customer service. The basic process is dictated by Visa, Mastercard, Amex, etc. A disputed transaction follows the script whereby
- you usually are asked to pay whatever your current bill shows,
- the bank gives temporary credit for the disputed charge while investigating,
- if the merchant substantiates the charge to the bank’s satisfaction the charge is reinstated on your account, or
- if the merchant cannot substantiate the charge your credit is made permanent and the amount is deducted from the merchants account (called a ‘charge back’),
sometimes ‘2’ and ‘3’ can be iterative prior to arriving at ‘4’.
To stop recurring payments the system requires you to
- send the merchant a notice that the authority to debit recurring payments from your credit card account is revoked. Have proof you sent it and if possible that the merchant received it.
- If they continue taking the recurring payments after receiving the revocation notice, send a copy of the revocation notice to the bank with a disputed charge claim. The bank will require the merchant prove they have authority, which they no longer have.
There are anecdotal stories of dodgy merchants playing the system for one billing cycle, but not two when the customer timely files the revocation notice.