How to cancel a credit card
Use this step-by-step guide to cancel your credit card account once and for all.
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If your credit card isn't working for you any more, you can cancel it at any time. But there are a few important details to check before you can close the account and cut up the card in your wallet. To help keep things simple, here you'll find steps on how to properly cancel a credit card, contact details for some of the main credit card providers in Australia and some of the other important factors to think about before you completely close the account.
How to properly cancel your credit card
Follow these steps to cancel your credit card successfully:
- Pay or transfer the outstanding balance. Your card needs to have a $0 balance before you can cancel it.
- Transfer any reward points. Redeem them for rewards or transfer them to another program so that you still get value from the points you've earned using this card.
- Cancel direct debits. Avoid penalty charges and other issues by transferring or cancelling direct debits.
- Cancel the card. Depending on the provider, you could cancel your credit card over the phone, online or in writing. Make sure you keep a record of the request by taking a screenshot, reference number or copy of the documents.
- Destroy your credit card. Once your credit card provider has confirmed the cancellation, cut the card into pieces (for security) and throw it in the bin.
These steps are easy to take when you're ready to cancel your card. But the actual time it takes to cancel a credit card can vary depending on how long your provider takes to process it.
So if you haven't received any notice of the account closure within 1–2 weeks, follow up with them. Or, if you still bank with them, log into your account to see if the card has been cancelled.
What number do I call when I want to cancel my credit card?
Many credit cards include a phone number on the back that you can call for account enquiries and cancellations. Otherwise, here are details for contacting the major card companies to cancel your card:
|Provider||Contact information||Availability||Steps available to cancel your credit card|
|ANZ||13 13 14||24 hours, 7 days a week|
|American Express||1300 132 639||24 hours, 7 days a week||Alternatively, you can call the number which can be found at the back of your Amex credit card|
|Bank of Melbourne||13 22 66||Monday to Saturday:|
8:00 am - 8:00 pm
|BankSA||13 13 76||Monday to Saturday:|
8:00 am - 8:00 pm
|Bankwest||13 17 19||Monday to Saturday:|
8:00 am - 8:00 pm
|Citi||13 24 84||24 hours, 7 days a week|
|Coles||1300 306 397||24 hours, 7 days a week||Telephone banking: If calling from overseas, dial +61 1300 306 397|
|Commonwealth Bank||1800 006 729||Monday to Friday:|
9:00 am - 5:30 pm
|HSBC||132 152||24 hours|
|NAB||13 22 65||Monday to Friday:|
8:00am - 7:00pm, or
9:00am - 6:00pm
|St.George||13 33 30||Monday to Saturday:|
8:00am - 8:00pm
|Virgin Money||13 37 39||24 hours. 7 days a week|
|Westpac||1300 651 0890||Monday to Friday:|
9:00am - 8:00pm
*Note: You cannot close your account online.
|Woolworths||1300 10 1234||Monday to Friday:|
8:00am - 8:00pm, or
9:00am - 5:00pm
What else should I consider before cancelling my credit card?
If you're planning to close your credit card account, make sure you also consider the following factors before you take action.
- Annual fees. Check when your credit card annual fee will be charged and whether or not this will affect the outstanding balance you'll need to pay before closing the account. If you want to avoid paying the annual fee for another year, check the date it was charged in the previous year (or the date when you opened your account) and cancel your card before the anniversary of that date.
- Applying for a new credit card. If your plan is to cancel one card and apply for a new one, keep in mind that applying for a number of cards in a short amount of time can have a negative impact on your credit history.
- Bad credit. Poor creditworthiness is bound to 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 down your debts. This strategy can help improve your chances of approval for a new card down the track.
Compare new credit card offers
If you're not happy with your current card but still want one on hand, you could find a better option by comparing some of the latest credit card offers here.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
Frequently asked questions
Why would I cancel my credit card?
There are many different reasons people cancel a credit card. Some of the most common reasons you might want to cancel your card include:
- The introductory interest rate offer or $0 annual fee period is about to end.
- You want to cut down on your interest charges.
- You're not using the benefits of the card (rewards, complimentary insurance etc) and are paying a high annual fee.
- You lost your card or suspect it’s been stolen.
- You don't want to be tempted to spend more than you can afford.
Whatever the reason, it is important that you cancel your card properly to avoid extra fees and hassles down the track.
I want to cancel two credit cards. Will this have a negative effect on my creditworthiness?
Each time you apply for credit or close a credit account, it is listed on your credit file. While lenders might view too many listings as a risk, closing two accounts to minimise available credit is unlikely to hurt your credit score in the long run. Just remember to close the accounts properly so that there are no outstanding debts or defaults for either of the cards.
I cut my credit card up but did not cancel it. Can I get a replacement card?
If you haven’t initiated the process to formally cancel your card, you can call your credit card provider to ask for a replacement card. Keep in mind that just cutting up a card won't change the fact that your account is active, so fees and charges may still apply even if you don't have a physical card to use for payments.
How will I know when my account has been closed?
You should receive a notification of closure from the provider when you close a credit card account. Save this paper in case there is ever any question in the future about the account.
>Will I be charged the annual fee if I cancel the credit card close to its due date?
If you cancel it before the date that your annual fee is charged, you will not have to pay a new annual fee. If you are not sure when the annual fee will be charged, contact your provider to find out. You should also make sure that there is no balance on the card and advise the bank in writing of your intent to close the account (or get a reference if you do it over the phone).
If you cancel the account online, take a screenshot of any confirmation. If you have confirmation that the request was received prior to the annual fee anniversary date, you should be able to dispute that charge if the bank were to add it to your statement.
What happens if I don't cancel the card but just never use it?
The credit card may accumulate debt from the annual fee and interest charges if there is a balance. You also put yourself at risk for fraudulent spending, especially if you are not regularly checking the status of that account.
I am getting ready to buy a house, but am being advised to close any credit card accounts that I don't need or use often, why?
One of the items that lenders look into is the amount of credit available to you. Too much is considered a risk as the bank feels that once your loan is approved you will then rack up a large credit card debt using those available balances.
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