How to cancel a credit card
You can cancel your credit card at any time in just 5 steps. Here's how – plus details for major lenders including ANZ, CommBank, NAB and Westpac.
When you don't want to use a credit card any more, you can close the account. It's usually simple to do this online or over the phone, but there are a few details you need to check before you can completely cancel a card. So, let's take a look at how it works for credit cards in Australia.
5 steps to properly cancel your credit card
Follow these steps to cancel a credit card successfully:
- Pay or transfer the outstanding balance. Make sure the balance on the card is $0 so that you can completely close the account.
- Use any reward points. Redeem your points for rewards or transfer them to another loyalty program so that you still get value from them.
- 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 the credit card. Once your credit card provider has confirmed the cancellation, cut the card into pieces (for security) and throw it in the bin.
Keep in mind that 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||Other ways to cancel your credit card|
|American Express||1300 132 639||24 hours, 7 days a week|
|ANZ||13 22 73||24 hours, 7 days a week|
|Bank of Melbourne||13 22 66||Monday to Friday:|
9:00 am - 8:00 pm
|BankSA||13 13 76||Monday to Friday:|
9:00 am - 8:00 pm
|Bankwest||13 17 19||24 hours, 7 days a week|
|Citi||13 24 84||24 hours, 7 days a week|
|Coles||1300 306 397||24 hours, 7 days a week|
|Commonwealth Bank||13 22 21||Monday to Friday:|
9:00 am - 5:30 pm
|HSBC||132 152||24 hours, 7 days a week|
|Latitude Financial Services||1300 552 079||Monday to Friday:|
8:30am - 6pm (AEST)
|NAB||13 22 65||Monday to Friday:|
8:00am - 7:00pm, or
7:00am - 6:00pm, or
9:00am - 6:00pm
|Qantas Money||1300 992 700||24 hours, 7 days a week|
|St.George||13 33 30||Monday to Saturday:|
9:00am - 8:00pm
|Virgin Money||13 37 39||24 hours, 7 days a week|
|Westpac||132 032||Monday to Sunday:|
8:00am - 8:00pm
|Woolworths||1300 10 1234||24 hours, 7 days a week|
What else should I think about before cancelling my credit card?
If you're getting ready to close your credit card account, keep the following details in mind to make the process as smooth as possible.
- Annual fees. If your credit card has an annual fee, check when it is due to be charged so you can avoid paying it before you close your account. You can do this by looking at your account history or asking the credit card company.
- Applying for a new credit card. If your plan is to cancel one card and apply for another one, think about how long it's been since you last applied for a credit card. If it's been less than 12 months, keep in mind that applying for a few cards in a short amount 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.
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:
- If you have an introductory offer or $0 annual fee offer that is about to end.
- If you want to cut down on your interest charges.
- If you're not using the benefits of the card (rewards, complimentary insurance etc) and are paying a high annual fee.
- If you have lost your card or suspect it’s been stolen.
- If 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 more 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, the details are reflected 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 gone through the steps of actually closing your account, you can get a replacement card by calling your credit card provider. 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?
The provider will send you confirmation of the account's closure once the process is complete. Save these details in case there is ever any question in the future about the account.
Will I be charged an annual fee when I cancel a credit card?
If you cancel a credit card 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 is charged, contact your provider to find out. You should also make sure that there is no balance on the card.
If you cancel the account online, take a screenshot to confirm the process is complete (or get a reference if you do it over the phone). That way you'll have proof the request was received before the annual fee was charged.
What happens if I don't cancel the card but just never use it?
If you don't use the card but have a balance – including from an annual fee – you will need to make minimum payments by the due date on each statement. Otherwise you could be charged late payment fees, which will add to the account balance.
If the account has no annual fee and no balance, keeping it open won't usually cost you anything. But you should still regularly check the account details to help protect yourself against fraud.
I am getting ready to buy a home, but have been 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 your available credit, which is usually in the form of personal loans, other mortgages and credit card accounts. Too much credit is considered a risk and can factor into a bank's decision on how much they will lend you for a home loan.
You can use a borrowing power calculator to see how your credit limits will affect the amount of money you can potentially borrow for a home loan.
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