From the steps to take to the numbers to call, here's everything you need to know to close your credit card account.
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. You can use this guide to source the contact details for different providers, go through the steps you need to take to properly cancel a credit card, understand what else you should 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.
How to properly cancel your credit card
Follow these steps to cancel your credit card successfully:
- Pay or transfer the outstanding balance. Your card need to have a zero balance to cancel it.
- Transfer any reward points. Redeem them for rewards or transfer them to prevent points from being forfeited.
- Cancel direct debits. Avoid penalties from your bank or creditor by cancelling or transferring any direct debits.
- Call to cancel your card. If you can cancel the card over the phone, make a record of the date, time, and name of the representative you speak with.
- 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.
- Check for future statements. Log into your account following your request to make sure that the card has been cancelled.
- Destroy your credit card. Cut the card into pieces to make it impossible for anyone to put it back together.
- Confirmation. If you don’t receive confirmation of the cancellation, follow up with your lender.
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:
|Provider||Contact information||Availability||Steps available to cancel your credit card|
|ANZ||13 22 73||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 08||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 when 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 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.
Compare new credit card offers
Commonly asked questions about cancelling a credit card