How to close and cancel your credit card account

Protect your finances and your credit rating by learning how to cancel and close a credit card account the right way.

Taking scissors to your credit card may stop you from using it, but it doesn’t mean that the account has been closed. Open credit card accounts can accrue fees, leave you vulnerable to undetected fraud and have an impact on your credit rating. So, if you no longer have a use for your credit card, learn how to cancel and close it the right way in order to avoid problems in the future.

How to contact your bank to close your credit card account

You can organise to cancel your credit card at any time by calling your bank or credit card provider. Below, we’ve included contact details for the major credit card providers in the UK, but you could also just call the number on the back of your credit card.

If you have an American Express credit card, make sure you only contact American Express if they are your credit card provider. If you have a credit card from another provider (eg Lloyds or British Airways) on the American Express card network, you need to contact the provider directly.

Steps to cancel your credit card

Closing your credit card account isn’t complicated, but there are a few steps you should take before calling your bank or cutting your card in half.

  • Pay off your balance. You won’t be able to cancel a credit card with an outstanding balance. If you’re struggling to repay your credit card debt because of high interest, talk to your provider about other options or consider transferring your balance to a card with a 0% introductory offer on balance transfers.
  • Call your bank first. While some banks allow you to close your credit card online, it’s usually good to call them first to make sure there are no outstanding fees or pending transactions that could affect your account. Be prepared that any representative you speak to will likely try to convince you to stay and could even forward you to their customer retention division for more persuading.
  • Cancel any direct debits. Make sure that you change the details for any direct debits that were being paid using the credit card. A payment request from a direct debit could reactivate the card even after the issuer has received written notice that you wish to cancel.
  • Transfer or use any remaining rewards points. If you’re using a rewards credit card and still have rewards points left over, either transfer them to a partnered frequent flyer partner if you have an account with them or use the points to redeem a reward to ensure they don’t go to waste.
  • Stand firm. In some cases, your provider may ask you why you’re closing the account and could suggest other options. But if you really don’t want to use the card or open another account, politely decline and reinforce your desire to close the account.
  • Send written notice. In addition to the phone call, you can send a written notice to the bank with your request to close the credit card using registered mail. In the letter, you should list the name on the account and the account number along with your request to cancel. You’re not always asked or required to do this, but it could help give you extra peace of mind.

Once the provider has cancelled your card, you’ll receive confirmation that the account is closed, usually in the mail. Keep these details on hand in case you need them for future reference.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of closing my account?

Closing a long-standing credit card account is not an easy decision to make. Weigh up some of the following pros and cons to help make the right choice for your finances.

Pros

  • Reduced temptation to spend. Without an available line of credit, you might not be tempted to make unnecessary purchases that could result in debt.
  • Improved credit rating. Too much revolving credit could hurt your credit rating, especially when it comes to applying for large loans like a home mortgage.
  • Fewer fees. You could save money on annual fees by eliminating the number of open credit cards you have. Plus, if you’re relying on your bank account to make purchases, you won’t have the burden of interest.

Cons

  • Credit availability. If your credit rating is not stellar you may find it difficult to be approved for another credit card product in the future. In that case, it may be better to keep the account open and use it sparingly and wisely in order to try and re-establish a good credit history.
  • Emergency assistance. Credit cards are a convenient method of covering an expense in the event of an emergency, such as a broken boiler or an unexpected flight to visit a sick relative. Not having one available could force you to look at other more expensive options such as fast-cash loans.

As your financial needs change, you might discover that a credit card is no longer working for you. Rather than having a collection of open accounts that you no longer use, you should take the time to cancel those cards. This allows you to take better control of your spending habits and your credit report so that you can work on building a better financial future. Otherwise, if you’re looking to upgrade your credit card to a more competitive product, you can use our comparison tables and guides to compare your options.

Get a new card that you’ll love

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first

If you want to close your credit card because it doesn’t offer what you want, you may wish to find a new credit card that better suits you. The chart below allows you to compare cards and find one that has the features you want. Click the Compare buttons to get a side-by-side comparison of the cards you select.

Name Product Balance transfers Balance transfer fee Purchases Annual/monthly fees Rep. APR Incentive Link
Santander Everyday Credit Card
0% for 18 months reverting to 20.9%
0% for 18 months reverting to 3% (min. £5)
0% for 3 months reverting to 20.9%
£0
20.9% (variable)
Earn up to 15% cashback with your selected Retailer Offers at selected major retailers.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 20.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 20.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
The NatWest Balance Transfer Credit Card (eligibility criteria apply)
0% for 18 months reverting to 21.9%
0%, transfers must be made within the first 3 months of account opening
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.9% p.a. (variable)
£0
21.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable), your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
M&S Bank Transfer Plus Mastercard
0% for 29 months reverting to 21.9%
2.75% (min. £5)
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
21.9% (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
The Royal Bank Balance Transfer Credit Card (eligibility criteria apply)
0% for 18 months reverting to 21.9%
0%, transfers must be made within the first 3 months of account opening
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.9% p.a. (variable)
£0
21.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable), your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
HSBC Balance Transfer Credit Card
0% for 29 months reverting to 21.9%
2.85% (min. £5)
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
21.9% (variable)
Discounts and exclusive offers for dining experiences, leisure activities and shopping available through HSBC Home and Away.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
M&S Bank Shopping Plus Credit Card
0% for 20 months reverting to 21.9%
2.9% (min. £5)
0% for 20 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
21.9% (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
HSBC Purchase Plus Credit Card Visa
0% for 18 months reverting to 22.9%
2.9% (min. £5) for transfers in first 60 days
0% for 18 months reverting to 22.9%
£0
22.9% (variable)
Discounts and exclusive offers for dining experiences, leisure activities and shopping available through HSBC Home and Away.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
Santander All in One Credit Card
0% for 26 months reverting to 17.9%
0% for 26 months reverting to 3% (min. £5)
0% for 20 months reverting to 17.9%
£3 per month
23.7% (variable)
0.5% cashback after £1 of monthly spend. Cashback paid monthly into card account. Maximum spend for cashback purposes is limited to credit limit.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 17.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £3 per month, your representative rate is 23.7% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
John Lewis and Waitrose Partnership Mastercard
0% for 18 months reverting to 18.9%
2.9% (min. £5) at anytime reverting to 3% (min. £5)
0% for 9 months reverting to 18.9%
£0
18.9% (variable)
Earn 5 points for every £4 spent in store or online at John Lewis, Waitrose and John Lewis Insurance. Earn 1 Point for every £4 spent elsewhere. Vouchers issued once customer reaches 500 points in Feb, Jun or Oct when vouchers are automatically issued to customers. Every 500 points is worth £5.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
first direct Credit Card
0% for 27 months reverting to 18.9%
2.29% (min. £5) for 3 months reverting to 2.9% (min. £5)
18.9%
£0
18.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
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Name Product Purchases Balance transfers Annual/monthly fees Rep. APR Incentive Link
Santander All in One Credit Card
0% for 20 months reverting to 17.9%
0% for 26 months
(0% fee)
£3 per month
23.7% (variable)
0.5% cashback after £1 of monthly spend. Cashback paid monthly into card account. Maximum spend for cashback purposes is limited to credit limit.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 17.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £3 per month, your representative rate is 23.7% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
M&S Bank Shopping Plus Credit Card
0% for 20 months reverting to 21.9%
0% for 20 months
(2.9% fee)
£0
21.9% (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
HSBC Purchase Plus Credit Card Visa
0% for 18 months reverting to 22.9%
0% for 18 months
(2.9% fee)
£0
22.9% (variable)
Discounts and exclusive offers for dining experiences, leisure activities and shopping available through HSBC Home and Away.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
M&S Bank Reward Plus Mastercard
0% for 6 months reverting to 19.9%
0% for 6 months
(2.9% fee)
£0
19.9% (variable)
Double points on spend in M&S for first 12 months (2 points per £1). Then earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
Tesco Bank Clubcard Plus Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 24 months reverting to 19.944%
21.814%
(3.99% fee)
£7.99 per month
37.7% (variable)
1 point per £4 spent (£4 minimum) in Tesco and 1 point per £8 spent (£8 minimum) outside Tesco, must have available credit to earn points. Card can also be used as a Clubcard to collect standard points at 1 point per £1 spent on shopping and 1 point per £2 spent on fuel. Points are converted to Tesco vouchers which can be used towards shopping or exchanged for Partner Rewards.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.944% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £7.99 per month, your representative rate is 37.7% APR (variable).
Sainsbury's Bank Nectar Dual Offer Credit Card Mastercard
Sainsbury's Bank Nectar Dual Offer Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 21 months reverting to 20.95%
0% for 21 months
(3% fee)
£0
20.9% (variable)
Earn 750 bonus Nectar points each time £35 or more spent on Sainsbury's shopping, up to ten times in your first 2 months, up to a total of 7,500 points, offer available for new customers. Earn 3 Nectar points per £1 spent in Sainsbury's and Argos. Earn 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 20.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 20.9% APR (variable).
Lloyds Bank Platinum 0% Purchase and Balance Transfer Mastercard
0% for 21 months reverting to 21.94%
0% for 18 months
(2.99% fee)
£0
21.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
MBNA 0% Transfer and Purchase Credit Card
0% for 20 months reverting to 20.93%
0% for 20 months
(2.99% fee)
£0
20.9% (variable)
Earn up to 15% cashback on purchases through Smart Rewards at popular retailers.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 20.93% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 20.9% APR (variable).
Barclaycard Platinum All-Rounder Visa
0% for 20 months reverting to 21.9%
0% for 18 months
(2.9% fee)
£0
21.9% (variable)
Buy tickets for up to 3500 selected live events through Barclaycard entertainment and get 5% off tickets per year and exclusive presale tickets on selected festivals with 10% off ticket prices.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Virgin Money 19 Month All Round Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 19 months reverting to 21.9%
0% for 19 months
(2.9% fee)
£0
21.9% (variable)
Enjoy exclusive offers and rewards on the Virgin Red app.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
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Name Product Purchases Annual/monthly fees Initial credit limits Rep. APR Incentive Link
M&S Bank Reward Plus Mastercard
0% for 6 months reverting to 19.9%
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
19.9% (variable)
Double points on spend in M&S for first 12 months (2 points per £1). Then earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
M&S Bank Transfer Plus Mastercard
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
21.9% (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
M&S Bank Shopping Plus Credit Card
0% for 20 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
21.9% (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Card
22.2%
£0
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
22.2% (variable)
New Cardmember offer: Get 5% cashback on your purchases (up to £100) for the first 3 months of Cardmembership. Cashback earn rates will change from the 4 August.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.2% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
American Express Rewards Credit Card
22.2%
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
22.2% (variable)
As a new Cardmember, earn 5,000 Membership Rewards® points when you spend £2,000 in your first 3 months of Cardmembership.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.2% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
British Airways American Express Card
22.2%
£0
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
22.2% (variable)
New Cardmember offer: Earn 5,000 bonus Avios when you spend £1,000 in your first 3 months of Cardmembership.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.2% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
Santander All in One Credit Card
0% for 20 months reverting to 17.9%
£3 per month
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
23.7% (variable)
0.5% cashback after £1 of monthly spend. Cashback paid monthly into card account. Maximum spend for cashback purposes is limited to credit limit.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 17.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £3 per month, your representative rate is 23.7% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
The American Express Nectar Credit Card
22.2%
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £25 per annum
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
27.3% (variable)
As a new Cardmember, earn 20,000 bonus Nectar points when you spend £2,000 in your first 3 months of Cardmembership.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a. with a fee of Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £25 per annum, your representative rate is 27.3% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
American Express Platinum Cashback Card
22.2%
£25 per annum
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
27.3% (variable)
As a new Cardmember, get 5% cashback on your purchases (up to £125) for the first 3 months of Cardmembership. Cashback earn rates will change from the 4 August.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £25 per annum, your representative rate is 27.3% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card
22.2%
£75 per annum
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
38.8% (variable)
As a new Cardmember earn 20,000 points bonus when you spend £3,000 in the first 3 months of Cardmembership.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £75 per annum, your representative rate is 38.8% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
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Name Product Annual/monthly fees Initial credit limits Minimum income Rep. APR Incentive Link
TSB Classic Credit Card Mastercard
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
Not specified
26.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 26.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 26.9% APR (variable).
Tesco Bank Foundation Card
£0
Min. limit £100, max. limit not specified.
£5000
27.5%
Collect 1 Tesco Clubcard point per £4 spent (£4 minimum) in Tesco and 1 Clubcard point per £8 spent (£8 minimum) outside Tesco in each purchase transaction.  Must have available credit to collect Clubcard points. Clubcard points are turned into Clubcard vouchers every 3 months or sooner using Faster Vouchers. Clubcard vouchers can be used in Tesco or with Clubcard Reward Partners to get even more value on dining out, hotel stays and travel.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 27.542% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 27.5% APR (variable).
Vanquis Bank Chrome Credit Card
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit £1,500.
Not specified
29.5%
Representative example: When you spend £250 at a purchase rate of 29.5% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.5% APR (variable).
Vanquis Bank Aquis Visa
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit £1,000.
Not specified
29.8%
You could get a credit limit increase after your 5th statement and further increases every 5 months, up to £4,000.
Representative example: When you spend £1,000 at a purchase rate of 29.84% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.8% APR (variable).
Amazon Classic Mastercard
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
Not specified
29.9%
Be upgraded to the Amazon Platinum Mastercard if you make at least one transaction a month, make repayments on time and stay within credit limit in the first 12 months..
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 29.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.9% APR (variable).
HSBC Classic Credit Card Visa
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit £1,000.
£6800
29.9%
Discounts and exclusive offers for dining experiences, leisure activities and shopping available through HSBC Home and Away.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 29.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 29.9% APR (variable).
Barclaycard Forward Credit Card
£0
Min. limit £50, max. limit £1,200.
£3000
33.9%
Buy tickets for up to 3500 selected live events through Barclaycard entertainment and get 5% off tickets per year and exclusive pre-sale tickets on selected festivals with 10% off ticket prices.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 33.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 33.9% APR (variable).
118 118 Money Guaranteed Rate Card
£0
Min. limit £500, max. limit not specified.
£8400
34%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 34% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 34% APR (variable).
Aqua Advance credit card
£0
Min. limit £250, max. limit £1,200.
Not specified
34.9%
Reduce your rate over three years if you stay within your credit limit and pay on time. No extra fees on what you spend abroad.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 34.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 34.9% APR (variable).
Post Office Money® Classic Credit Card Mastercard
£0
Min. limit £200, max. limit £8,000.
Not specified
34.9%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 34.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 34.9% APR (variable).
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Name Product Purchases Annual/monthly fees Initial credit limits Rep. APR Incentive Link
British Airways American Express Card
22.2%
£0
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
22.2% (variable)
New Cardmember offer: Earn 5,000 bonus Avios when you spend £1,000 in your first 3 months of Cardmembership.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.2% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
22.2%
£195 per annum
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
74.7% (variable)
As a new Cardmember, earn 25,000 bonus Avios when you spend £3,000 in your first 3 months of Cardmembership.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £195 per annum, your representative rate is 74.7% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
Virgin Money Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card
22.9%
£0
Min. limit not specified, max. limit not specified.
22.9% (variable)
Earn 0.75 Flying Club miles for every £1 spend and 1.5.miles for every £1 spend with Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Holidays. Spend £20K a year on your card and choose an extra benefit - an upgrade to Premium, or a Companion ticket.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
Virgin Money Virgin Atlantic Reward Plus Credit Card
22.9%
£160 per annum
Min. limit not specified, max. limit not specified.
63.9% (variable)
Earn 15,000 bonus miles with your first card purchase made within 90 days of account opening. Earn 1.5 Flying Club miles for every £1 spend and 3 miles for every £1 spend with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays. Spend £10K a year on your card and choose an extra benefit - an upgrade to Premium, or a Companion ticket.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £160 per annum, your representative rate is 63.9% APR (variable).
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