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Chase cancels Canadian customers' credit card debts

The lender is leaving the Canadian market—and giving its customers quite the parting gift.
Image: JPMorgan Chase
A customer uses an bank ATM in New York.Mark Lennihan / AP file

Chase Bank announced on Thursday it will forgive all outstanding debt for Canadian customers who had either of its two VISA cards.

The move was a business decision to ease the bank's exit as it wound down the credit cards, which it retired last year after 13 years of operation, Maria Martinez, vice president of communications for Chase Card Services, told NBC News.

“Chase made the decision to exit the Canadian credit card market. As part of that exit, all credit card accounts were closed on or before March 2018,” she said in a statement.

Initially customers were told to continue to make payments on the accounts after the credit card operations ceased. But this week Canadian who held the Rewards Visa and the Marriott Premier Rewards Visa saw their balances go to zero.

The bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment about how many customers were impacted or how much debt it wrote off.

Douglas Turner of Coe Hill, Ontario, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that he “couldn’t believe it” when he found out his $6,157 balance was being wiped clean.

"I was sort of over the moon all last night, with a smile on my face," he said.

While it was a welcome surprise for Canadians who still owed Chase money, many debtors in the United States couldn’t help but feel a little envious.

"Chase can you forgive some of my credit card debt too," wrote Twitter user @Jeevescool. "I’m not Canadian but I do love our neighbors to the north!"