How to cancel a credit card
Cancelling your credit card
There is more to cancelling a credit card than just cutting it
up. Here we show you the right way to close your credit card to
avoid these problems in the future.
your credit card account
It's important to close your credit card account correctly. If
you don't, you could still be charged fees or penalties, even if
you no longer use the card. You could also leave yourself open to
undetected fraud if someone else uses your card details without
your knowledge, and to default listings appearing on your credit
Your credit report includes details of your credit cards, so
it's important to repay the outstanding balance in full before you
close the card to avoid a default listing.
There are two ways you can cancel your credit card accounts. You
can cancel by calling your credit provider or online through your
internet banking or mobile app.
How to cancel your credit card by phone
You can cancel your credit card by calling your credit provider
and asking them to close your account. To close and cancel your
credit card by phone, follow these steps.
- Cancel direct debits - Cancel all direct debit
payments from your credit card
- Zero balance - Pay off your account balance or
transfer the balance to
another card with a lower interest rate. Your balance must be zero
before cancelling the card.
- Call your credit card provider - Tell them you
would like to close the account. They will need to verify your
identity because only the primary card holder can close the
account. Take note of the date and time you called, and the name of
the customer service officer you spoke to.
- Put it in writing - Follow up your call with a
letter confirming you want to close the account. Include your
credit card account details, your signature, and details of your
phone call. Ask for written confirmation that the card has been
closed. Keep a copy of your letter in case there are any issues
- Confirmation - You should receive confirmation
from your credit card company once the card is closed. This could
be a letter or a final statement. If it does not arrive, follow up
with the credit card provider.
How to cancel your credit card online
From 1 January 2019, all credit card providers must give you the
option of cancelling your credit card online. Some banks already
let you do this through your internet banking or an app. Before you
cancel your credit card online, make sure:
- you cancel any direct debits
- you've paid off the balance in full, including any accrued
interest and fees
- there are no pending transactions on the account.
Make sure you receive confirmation that the account has been
closed. If you don't, contact your credit provider to check.
To cancel your credit card online:
- View your accounts online - Select your credit
card account in the list.
- Click the link to close your credit card -
Read the information on this page and select continue.
- Close account - Your account will be closed
when you confirm.
- Confirmation - You'll receive confirmation
your credit card is closed and a final statement will be sent. You
will also be advised of the steps you can take if your provider
wasn't able to cancel your card online.
Cancelling joint credit
If your credit cards are linked to a single account, check
whether the account is in both of your names or which one of you is
the primary card holder and which person is
the secondary card holder. This will
determine who can close the account, and how.
Primary and secondary credit card holders
If you are the primary card holder, you are solely liable for
any debt on the credit card account, so talk to your credit card
provider about cancelling the secondary card.
If you are the secondary card holder you may not be able to
prevent your card being cancelled.
Joint credit cards
If your credit card is in joint names, both card holders must
agree to close the account. You will also need to agree on how you
will pay any outstanding debts on the card, as you are both liable
for the debt.
If you cannot pay the account in full, contact your credit
provider to inform them, and ask them to put a stop on the account
to prevent any further transactions.
Getting a refund if your
account has a credit balance
When you close a credit account, any overpayments, credit or
interest adjustments could result in your account balance being in
credit. This may not be automatically refunded to you.
If your credit card has a credit balance after you have closed
the account, contact the card issuer and ask for the credit
balance be refunded. Your credit provider may do this by
transferring the balance to another account you hold with them or
they may send you a cheque.
ASIC will take action against any credit providers who fail to
refund customers of their outstanding balance when their accounts
are closed. See ASIC's media release on refunds given to
Citibank credit card customers.
Avoid unnecessary problems by closing your
account and cancelling your credit card properly.
Last updated: 13 Aug 2018