cutting expired credit card

Guide to cancelling your Australian credit card

What you need to know.

Whether you're 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’s not quite as simple as cutting your card in half.

Here, we give you the contact details for different providers, go through the steps you need to take to properly cancel a credit card, what else to consider before closing your account and answers to frequently asked questions. If you're not satisfied with your current card, you can also compare credit card offers to find a better option for you.

What’s the number to call when I want to cancel my credit card?

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

ProviderContact information
ANZ13 22 73 | 24 hours, 7 days a week.
American ExpressCustomer service: 1300 132 639 | Alternatively, call the number on the back of your card.
Bank of Melbourne13 22 66 | 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Citi13 24 84 | 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Coles Mastercard1300 306 397 | Mon-Fri: 8am-9pm, Sat: 8am-8pm, Sun: 830am-8pm
Commonwealth Bank13 22 21 | 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Latitude Finance (formerly GE Money)Cards have different contact numbers. Please call the number on the back of your card.
HSBC1300 308 008 | Mon-Fri: 8am-8pm
IMB133 462 | Mon-Fri: 8am-8pm, Sat: 9am-4pm
Jetstar1300 150 100 | 24 hours. 7 days a week.
NAB13 22 65 | Mon-Fri: 8am - 5:45pm
People’s Choice13 11 82 | Mon-Fri: 8am-8pm, Sat: 830am-430pm
St.George13 33 30 | 24 hours. 7 days a week.
Virgin Money13 37 39 | 24 hours. 7 days a week.
Westpac132 032 | Mon-Sun: 8am-8pm
Woolworths1300 10 1234 | Mon-Fri: 8am-8pm, Sat: 9am-5pm

How to properly 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 to do a balance transfer, you’ll need to include the 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 or transfer them to your frequent flyer account 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’ve requested the account closure.
  4. Call to cancel your card. Once you’ve 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 might agree to cancel your card over the phone by confirming your identity, while others might require that you send a written request. If you have to send a letter, get the address over the phone. If you can cancel the card over the phone, 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 you need to make 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 that the card is definitely cancelled.
  7. Destroy your credit card. It is advised that you cut the card into tiny pieces to make it impossible for anyone to piece it back together. If you're feeling extra cautious, discard the pieces at different times or places.
  8. Confirmation. You should receive a cancellation confirmation by mail. If you don’t, follow up with your lender using details from your first phone call.

What else should I consider when cancelling my credit card?

If you're planning to closing 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 will be charged and whether or not this will affect your final payments when you plan to close your account.
  • Applying for a new credit card. If your plan is to cancel one card and apply for a new one, know that applying too many times 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. As well as giving you immediate access to credit if you need it, this strategy can 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 get insights on how cancelling a credit card could affect your credit report. She says a priority should be settling outstanding payments on your account before you go to close it so that 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's 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’ve submitted too many credit card applications in the recent past, Katherine suggests that you wait for around three to six months before applying again.

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

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

Compare New Credit Card Offers

Rates last updated July 25th, 2017.

HSBC Low Rate Credit Card

Balance transfer offer has been extended until 31 August 2017.

June 29th, 2017

Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card

Balance transfer offer has been extended until 31 July 2017.

June 30th, 2017

Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card

$100 eGift Card plus BT & annual fee offers have been extended until 30 September 2017.

July 1st, 2017

View latest updates

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Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
St.George Vertigo Visa
$0 First Year Annual Fee with Balance Transfer Offer*
Consolidate your debt and save with a competitive variable purchase rate and up to 55 interest-free days on purchases.
13.24% p.a. 0% p.a. for 14 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Platinum
Low Rate Platinum Credit Card Offer
A low rate Platinum card with a long-term balance transfer offer, up to 55 interest-free days on purchases and complimentary insurance covers.
12.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 20 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 24 months Balance Transfer Offer*
Pay no interest on balance transfers for 2 years, earn Citi Reward Points on purchases and receive complimentary travel insurance.
20.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee $49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Platinum Card with 0% interest rates on purchases and balance transfers
An exclusive credit card offer through finder.com.au that features 0% interest on both purchases and balance transfers.
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
Platinum Card with Purchase Offer
Save with 0% p.a. on purchases for 12 months and rack up Velocity Points by earning up to 0.66 points per $1 spent.
0% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 20.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 6 months $129 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Premium Card - Exclusive Offer
Platinum Card with an Exclusive Balance Transfer Offer
Exclusive to finder.com.au, enjoy a long-term balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 24 months (with no BT fee), travel insurance and a 24/7 concierge.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 24 months $90 p.a. Go to site More info
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card - Online Offer
Frequent Flyer Card with a Bonus Points Offer
Apply by 31 July 2017 to earn 100,000 bonus Qantas Points and receive 2 American Express Airport Lounge entries each calendar year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $450 p.a. Go to site More info
Bendigo Bank Basic Black Credit Card
Long-Term Low Purchase Rate
A no-frills card that allows you to receive up to 44 interest-free days on purchases and add an additional cardholder for $0.
12.24% p.a. $45 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Platinum Credit Card with a Balance Transfer Offer*
A long-term balance transfer card that earns uncapped HSBC Rewards Plus points per $1 spent, plus, complimentary insurance covers.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Exclusive Offer
Velocity Rewards Credit Card with a Balance Transfer Offer*
Apply by 31 July 2017 to earn bonus Velocity Points for the first 3 months, plus receive a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
Low Rate Platinum with a Long-term Balance Transfer Offer
Platinum credit card with a 20-month balance transfer offer, complimentary insurances, a 24/7 concierge and price guarantee cover.
12.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 20 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Fee Card
Low Annual Fee & Balance Transfer Offer
Receive up to 44 interest-free days on purchases and complimentary Purchase Protection Insurance.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee $30 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
100,000 Velocity Points Credit Card*
Earn up to 100,000 bonus Velocity Points on signup when you apply and spend $1,500 on your new card within the first 3 months.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $375 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
Long-term Balance Transfer Offer*
Enjoy the benefits of the home&Away Privilege Program, the ability to pay using Apple Pay and a low annual fee for the life of the card.
13.25% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months with 2% balance transfer fee $55 p.a. Go to site More info
Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Exclusive Balance Transfer Card Offer*
Receive a discounted annual fee in the first year, a long-term balance transfer offer and earn 1.25 Suncorp Rewards Points per $1 spent.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $99 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($169 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
International Frequent Flyer Credit Card*
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend within 3 months, plus, earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on purchases.
19.99% p.a. $199 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Essential®  Credit Card
$0 Fee Card with Balance Transfer Offer
Earn 1.00 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent on eligible purchases and pay no annual fee for the life of the card.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Platinum Card
Platinum Credit Card with an introductory Balance Transfer Rate*
Receive complimentary purchase and travel insurance, a 24/7 concierge service and Visa Front Line access.
13.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee $100 p.a. Go to site More info
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
Supermarket Platinum Credit Card Offer
Receive a $100 Woolworths eGift Card when you apply by 30 September 2017. Earn up to 3 points per $1 spent at Woolworths stores.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 14 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info

Commonly asked questions about cancelling a 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 charged.
  • 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 in the proper manner. If your current credit card hasn’t met your expectations, you can also compare and find a card for your needs.

This is possible in some cases. Get in touch with your card provider and explain your circumstances to arrange a solution that works for you.
Yes. If your credit card attracts an annual fee, you have to pay it as long as the account remains active.
Each time you apply for credit or close a credit account, it shows on your credit file. While lenders might view too many listings as a risk, closing two accounts to minimise available credit should not affect your credit score negatively. Just remember to close the accounts properly so that there are no outstanding debts for either of the cards.
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.
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