Many people find themselves in situations where they need to do some financial ‘house cleaning’ and want to close some of their credit card accounts in order to make things a little simpler. This can be a good idea, but you need to go about it carefully.
To begin with, you should not close a credit card that still has a balance on it, close your only credit card, close your oldest credit card account or your only card that has an available balance. Closing these kinds of cards can affect your credit score in a negative way.
If your account is paid off and it is a card that you are determined to get rid of, you will need to do 2 things.
Call Customer Service
You will find the number to customer service on the back of the credit card or on a recent bill. Call the number, noting the time and date, and let the customer service representative know that you are closing your account. They may try to persuade you not to close the account, but stand firm.
Submit Your Cancellation Request in Writing
It is necessary for you to follow up the phone request with a written request to cancel the account. Always keep a copy of the letter for your own records. Here is a sample letter for you to use. Just replace the sections in red with your own personal or recent information.
Sample Credit Card Cancellation Letter
Credit Card Company Name
City, State and ZIP Code
Re: Closing account on card name account number
Dear Sir or Madam:
This letter is my official notice that I am canceling my credit card account with your company; list the name of the card company, effective immediately. Please close the following account in my name:
Name on Card: _____________________
Account Number: __________________________
The balance was paid on Date with Check Number or Reference Number from your bank account statement for the withdrawal. That brings my account balance to zero and all fiscal responsibilities with this credit card account to a close.
Please send me written confirmation that my account has been closed. Also, please confirm that you have notified all appropriate credit card bureaus that this account was “closed by request of cardholder.”
If there are any discrepancies between my records and yours, please contact me by mail at the address below or by phone at telephone number.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
Your Typed Name
City, State and ZIP Code
Even if you prefer to write your own version of a letter to the credit card company, be sure that it has all of the required information in it. It will need to have your name, address, credit card number (even if you only list the last four digits of the card number), your request to cancel the account, a reference of your verbal request and listing the date you made the call, request for written confirmation of the cancellation and that you want your credit record to reflect that the account was closed by your request. Oh, and don’t forget to keep a copy for your own records!