How to close a credit card in seven easy steps

How to close a credit card in seven easy steps

November 22, 2016
close a credit card
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There are numerous reasons to close a credit card. Maybe you want to free up your available credit, maybe you want to get out of a high interest rate agreement or maybe you want to improve your credit score. If you want to do it, there are seven steps that can take you through the process quick and easy, without any additional charges or other surprises.

1. Clear your balance first

It’s important to know that you can’t close a credit card without clearing the balance first. There are two ways to do it. You either pay off the balance, or transfer it to another card with a lower interest rate.

2. Read the fine print

The next thing you need to do if you want to close a credit card is to check your card holder’s agreement. Look at the closing procedures and see what penalties you have to pay for closing the card.

3. Don’t forget about the rewards

A lot of people get credit cards for the rewards. If you still want them, you have to collect them before closing the card. But be smart about it. See if the rewards are worth it. If they’re not, then just pay off the card and close it.

4. Stop all automatic payments

You’d be surprised to find out how many people forget this step. And this is important. Because, if you still have payments going through on a 0$ balance, it might result in more fees and even more time-consuming paperwork. So, before you close the card, go to your bank’s website and make sure you cancel all automatic bill payments you have set on that card.

5. Change bill payments

Just because you’re closing your card it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to still pay your bills. You need to move those bills to another credit card, so that you won’t have to deal with any interrupted services, or any last-minute charges appearing on the credit card that you want to close.

6. Pick up the telephone and call your credit card company

The customer service number is on the credit card statement. Use it and call your credit card company. Talk to the employee and explain that you want to close your card. The employee will try to talk you into keeping your card. But you have to refuse any offers and continue with your plan. Also ask for the date when the closure will be effective.

7. Get confirmation in writing

Remember to ask for a confirmation letter from the credit card company, with the request for closure and the effective date of closure on it. You will have to hold on to this letter, so that you can prove that credit card was closed.

Thomas Hookton

Thomas Hookton is a finance journalist, history buff and science fiction connoisseur. Hit him up via email.

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