Guide to cancelling your New Zealand credit card

What you need to know

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Whether you are upgrading to a new credit card, getting a balance transfer, or are simply reducing the number of cards in your wallet, there comes a time when you need to cancel a credit card. But it is not quite as simple as cutting your card in half.

Here, we give you the contact details for different providers, go through the steps to ensure your credit card is cancelled correctly, look at other considerations to closing your account and answer frequently asked questions. If you are not satisfied with your current card, you can also compare credit card offers to find a better option.

What number should I call to cancel my credit card?

The phone number on the back of your credit card is usually the first option, but here are the details for contacting major credit card companies to cancel your card:

Provider Contact information
BNZ 0800 735 901 or +64 4 473 5901 – 24 hours, 7 days
ANZ 0800 658 044 or +64 9 522 3010 – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Kiwibank 0800 521 521 or +64 4 473 1133 .
Westpac Bank 0800 888 111 or +64 9 914 8026 – 24 hours a day
American Express 0800 656 660 or +64 9 583 8300
ASB 0800 255 382 or +64 9 306 3000
TSB Bank 0800 872 226 or after hours 0800 406 406 or if overseas call collect on +1-303-967-1096,
Gem Visa 0800 500 505 or +64 800 500 505 – Call anytime
Warehouse Money 0800 801 803 or +64 9 212 5233 – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Onecard Visa 0800 656 66 or +64 9 583 8300
The Cooperative Bank Debit MasterCard call 0800 554 556 or +64 9 526 2426
Fair Rate Credit Card call 0800 554 558 or +64 9 526 2426
Mastercard New Zealand Call 0800 449 140 – 24 hours a day

How to correctly cancel your credit card

Follow these steps to cancel your credit card successfully:

  1. Pay or transfer the outstanding balance. If you try to close your account with an outstanding balance, the bank could increase the interest rate or demand full and immediate payment. If you plan on carrying out a balance transfer, you will need to include details of your previous account in the application and close your account after the transfer is complete.
  2. Transfer any reward points. If you have any existing reward points on the card, redeem them for rewards before requesting the cancellation of the card. All unclaimed points are forfeited when you close your account.
  3. Cancel direct debits. Make sure you cancel all existing direct debits linked to your credit card because a direct debit can reactivate a cancelled card, even when you have requested the account closure.
  4. Call to cancel your card. Once you have paid your outstanding balance and claimed your reward points, call your card provider’s customer service department to inform them of your decision to close the account. Some card providers may agree to cancel your card over the phone by confirming your identity, while with others you may be required to send a written request. If you have to send a letter, confirm the postal address over the phone. If you cancel the card over the phone, make sure you make a record of the date, time, and name of the representative you speak with.
  5. Cancel your card in writing. If you need to send a cancellation request in writing, include your credit card number and account number in the letter and state your request for the card provider to close the account. You should receive a letter confirming the closure of the account, so make sure you keep this information safe in case there is a dispute in the future.
  6. Check for future statements. Try to log into your account or go through your credit card statements following your request to make sure the card is definitely cancelled.
  7. Destroy your credit card. It is recommended that you cut the card into tiny pieces to make it impossible for anyone to piece it back together. If you are feeling extra cautious, discard the pieces at different times or places.
  8. Confirmation. You should receive cancellation confirmation by mail. If you don’t, follow up with your lender, using the details from your first phone call.

What else should I consider when cancelling my credit card?

If you are planning to close your credit card account, make sure you also consider the following factors before you take action.

  • cancelling-card250x250
  • Annual fees. Check when your credit card annual fee is charged and whether this will affect your final payments, when you plan to close your account.
  • Applying for a new credit card. If you plan to cancel one card and apply for a new one, please be aware that applying too many times can have a negative impact on your credit history.
  • Bad credit. Poor creditworthiness will affect your ability to get a credit card in the future. So, if you already have a lot of debt, you may want to hold off on cancelling your card while you focus on paying off your debt. As well as giving you immediate access to credit if you need it, this strategy may help improve your chances of approval for a new card down the track.

Expert advice on cancelling cards and your credit report

We spoke to Katherine Craig, Equifax’s Public Relations Manager, to gain insight into how cancelling a credit card could affect your credit report. She says your priority should be settling outstanding payments on your account before you close it so you can avoid default listings.

“If you have a default on your credit file, it is a smart thing to pay the debt. Your credit report will then record the default as having been paid (and the date on which it was paid). It may impact your ability to get credit or get it at the most valuable price, but it is certainly better than leaving it unpaid.”

So what about cancelling one card and applying for another? If that is your goal, Katherine recommends limiting your applications to reduce the impact on your credit rating.

“Credit reports don’t show the type of credit, or whether it was granted or taken up, what (your) current credit limit is or if it is now closed. However, too many applications for credit can impact a lender’s view. It may actually appear to (the banks) that you have a lot more active credit commitments than you do.” If you have submitted too many credit card applications recently , Katherine suggests you wait around three to six months before applying again.

What should I do if I’m not happy with my credit card?

If you have a credit card that is not working for you anymore, you may want to find one more suited to your needs. There are many types of credit cards in the market including no annual fee, low rate, rewards and Airpoints cards, as well as those with purchase rate and 0% balance transfer offers. Once you find a card that you are happy with, you can apply for it and cancel the old card.

Commonly asked questions about cancelling a credit card

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