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Cancel a credit card

How to cancel your card the right way

Page reading time: 2 minutes

There's more to cancelling a credit card than cutting it up.

You may want to cancel your card to cut back on spending. Or you may have lost it or decided you're not getting enough value from it.

These steps guide you through the process of cancelling your card.

1. Pay off your credit card in full

Your balance must be $0 before you can cancel your credit card. So the first step is to pay off your credit card in full, including any interest or fees.

If you can pay your card off straight away

Talk to your bank or credit provider. See if you can pay off and cancel the card immediately online, over the phone or at a branch.

If you're finding it hard to pay off your card

Contact your bank or credit provider straight away. Or talk to a free financial counsellor. Taking action early stops a small money problem from getting bigger.

If you're transferring your balance to another card

Consider the pros and cons to make sure a credit card balance transfer is the right move for you. If you've transferred your balance before, doing this again may affect your credit score.

If your card is in more than one name

If your card is in joint names, both cardholders are responsible. Both must agree to pay off the credit card before cancelling it.

If you're the primary cardholder, with someone else as a secondary cardholder, you are responsible for paying the card off before cancelling it.

2. Cancel direct debits

If you have direct debits or regular payments, cancel them online or ask your credit provider to do it. Check your credit card account to make sure those payments have stopped.

If you've signed up for a deal or contract

Check your agreement or talk to the service provider before changing your payments.

If you want your payments to continue

Don't forget to set up new payments from another account so you don't get behind.

3. Cancel your card and get confirmation

Cancel online

Log in to your account and follow the instructions.

Cancel over the phone

Call the credit provider and say you want to cancel your credit card.

They'll ask to verify your identity, as only the primary cardholder can close the account.

Make sure you:

Once your card has been cancelled, your credit card account will be closed. Your credit provider will send you confirmation and a final statement. If you don't get this within a couple of weeks, follow up with them.

4. Ask for a refund if in credit

If you have a credit balance when you close the account, it means the credit provider owes you money. Contact them and ask for a refund. The easiest way is to have that balance transferred to another account.

5. Cut up your card

The last thing to do is to destroy your credit card. Cut it up or shred it so it can't be used by anyone again.