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.
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.
- 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.
- 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
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.