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Guide to cancelling your credit card in Australia

Information verified correct on April 28th, 2017

What you need to know about cancelling your credit card.

Whether you're upgrading to a new credit card, getting a balance transfer or 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.

So here, we go through the steps you need to take to properly cancel a credit card, the contact details for different providers, 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.

How to properly cancel your credit card

Follow these steps to cancel your credit card successfully:

  1. Pay 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 once 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. You can see an example of a cancellation confirmation below:

closed-account-confirmation

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, please 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)Latitude Finance credit 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

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 April 28th, 2017.

ANZ Frequent Flyer Black

A new offer of 75 Bonus Status Credit which is valid until 30 June 2017.

March 8th, 2017

Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card

$100 has replaced $50 eGift Card plus BT & annual fee offers have been extended until 30 June 2017.

April 1st, 2017

Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer

1.5% BT fee has been added to the existing balance transfer offer which is valid until 15 June 2017.

April 3rd, 2017

View latest updates

Jonathan Choi Jonathan
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Velocity Rewards Credit Card with a Balance Transfer Offer*
Earn 2 Velocity Points on top of the standard earn rate per $1 spent within the first three months. Plus, save with a long-term balance transfer offer and a reduced annual fee in the first year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 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
Pay a competitive annual fee and also receive 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers and purchases.
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
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Platinum Credit Card with a Balance Transfer Offer*
HSBC Platinum Credit Card offers an annual fee refund when you spend a minimum of $6,000 per year. You can also enjoy an introductory balance transfer rate of 0% p.a. for 15 months.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
Low Interest Credit Card Offer *
Enjoy a long-term offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers combined with a low annual fee.
13.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
Long-term Balance Transfer Offer*
Enjoy a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 15 months and a low purchase rate of 13.25% p.a..
13.25% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months with 2% balance transfer fee $55 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Premium Card
Platinum Credit Card with Balance Transfer Offer*
Enjoy Platinum benefits including complimentary travel insurance, 24/7 concierge plus a low interest rate on balance transfers.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 24 months with 3% balance transfer fee $90 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
0% for 24 months Balance Transfer Offer*
Enjoy a low and long-term balance transfer offer and reduced annual fee for the first year.
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 Frequent Flyer Black
Up to 75,000 Qantas Points*
Get up to 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card approval. Also enjoy 75 Bonus Status Credits when you apply by 30 June 2017, buy and fly return with Qantas by 30 September 2017.
19.99% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($425 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Low Rate Credit Card & Long Term Balance Transfer Offer*
Enjoy a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 12 months with a low annual fee from St.George
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
Enjoy 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the spend criteria plus 75 Bonus Status Credits when you book and fly back with Qantas. Earn up to 2.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $450 p.a. 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, 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent and complimentary international travel insurance.
19.99% p.a. $199 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Fee Card
Low Annual Fee & Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers combined with a low annual fee.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee $30 p.a. Go to site More info
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
Supermarket Platinum Credit Card Offer
Pay no annual fee in the first year and receive a $100 Woolworths eGift Card when you apply by 30 June 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
American Express Essential®  Credit Card
$0 Fee Card with Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers combined with no annual fee, reward points and insurances.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Rewards Platinum Card
Enjoy 80,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 on everyday purchases within 90 days from card approval. Benefit from $0 annual fee for the first year and a range of platinum features.
19.99% p.a. 4.99% p.a. for 6 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($195 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Platinum
Low Rate Platinum Credit Card Offer
0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers with complimentary insurances and domestic flight inconvenience insurance.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info

Commonly asked questions about cancelling a credit card

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 could 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.

I have a credit card that I keep repaying and using regularly. Can I request for a freeze on spending because I just want to pay it off?

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.

I can no longer use my card because my bank blocked it for non-payments. Do I still have to pay the annual fee?

Yes. If your credit card attracts an annual fee, you have to pay it as long as the account remains active.

I wish to cancel two credit cards I currently use. Will this have an adverse effect on my creditworthiness?

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.

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 simply call your credit card provider to ask for a replacement card.
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