What is the difference (semantical or local/cultural) between cancel, close vs. abolish when referred to a debit/credit card?

2 Answers 2


In a nutshell, I would interpret these as:

  • cancel: Stop one individual card from working (e.g. if the card is lost or stolen).
  • close: Shut down a bank account; this includes cancelling any cards associated with it.
  • abolish: The bank no longer offers this product. This could mean that all the bank accounts, and their cards, are closed and cancelled; more often the product is closed to new customers but existing customers' accounts are not closed.
  • +1 Thx for answer, I will wait if there is a slightly different meaning in US.
    – TN.
    Sep 14, 2011 at 12:43

I am from the US, and I feel safe in saying that no one would ever say that your account is "abolished". As far as "closed" vs "canceled", it is possible that the latter would indicate some kind of retroactive action, while the former merely indicates that at some point your account was rendered inactive. "Canceled" can denote that whatever activity took place on your account in the past was in some sense illegitimate, or that such activity is now being retroactively nullified. But this distinction is very subtle, and in general I believe the two could be used interchangeably.

  • +1 Thx, for your opinion. So you would just say cancel the card?
    – TN.
    Sep 15, 2011 at 10:04

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