General Question

nick2008's avatar

What is the method to cancel a credit card?

Asked by nick2008 (15points) November 27th, 2008
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

13 Answers

simone54's avatar

I don’t know….

but, I’ll ask why would you wanna cancel credit card. It’s bad for your credit score. I’d would just cut it up and not think about it.

augustlan's avatar

Call the number on the back of your credit card. They should be able to help you. If there isn’t a number on the card, look it up online.

Jeruba's avatar

@Simone54, what is bad about canceling a credit card? I have one I definitely want to cancel, not just cut up. I don’t trust them not to hit me with charges for something or other. Why isn’t the responsible thing to cancel it if you never want to use it again?

I got it as an extra, just for backup, and used it just a few times for online purchases. It turned out to be one of those that are the next thing to scams, with excess penalties, slow postings and trigger-happy fees, impossible-to-reach customer service lines, etc. I don’t need the aggravation. I keep my cards 100% paid up month after month and I still wound up paying all kinds of extra charges to these guys. It’s a sleazy racket and I want nothing to do with it. I want my name off their rolls, and I want the act of cancellation to make a statement, no matter how inconsequential to them.

simone54's avatar

Sorry, I wasn’t specific.

Never cancel your FIRST credit card. A big part of your credit score is how long you’ve had good credit. If you cancel the credit the card you had first, it’s like all the time you spent making good credit never happened.

Jeruba's avatar

Ah, thank you, @Simone54. I’ve had good credit for more than 30 years. So no problem with getting rid of this stinker, I hope?

@nick2008, hope you don’t mind my piggybacking on your question. It caught my eye because I want to do the same thing.

omph's avatar

Getting rid of a credit card does no where near the damage that having 50K in possible credit does. If you don’t use the card cut it up and call and make them cancel it. They won’t want too but you need to get aggressive.

And don’t listen to simone54. The misinformation is astounding.

bythebay's avatar

Actually simone is not entirely wrong at all. Your credit score is based on a multitude of things. Establishing and keeping good credit being the most obvious. Keeping good credit involves both having credit and and using it, responsibly. You would be far more damaged, from a credit perspective, if you applied for a multitude of credit and had numerous inquiries on your credit report as these bring your score down, albeit temporarily. You need current active credit to raise your credit score. In actuality, the higher the credit available to you – the better you look as it shows credit confidence on yours and your creditors part.

To dramatically increase your score, keep your accounts open & active. Use your card to buy gas once a month if you need to…just put 10 bucks on it and pay it off. Keeping it active & recent is what is key. Keeping a balance below 30% of the credit available to you s what is key. If you go over 50% of what is available to you…even if you pay on time…your score starts to suffer as you appear to be be reliant on the credit.

basp's avatar

You need to do more than just calling them or cutting up the card. To protect yourself, write tgem an email or letter and request a verification of recirpt. Also, in writing, be specific about the exact date you will consider the account closed and that you will not be responsible for any fees/charges after that date.
If you don’t put it in writing, you don’t have a leg to stand on should there be any disagreement about final fees and charges. Keep a copy of that correspondence in your own records.

Jeruba's avatar

Wow, thank you all for so much additional information. And this isn’t even my question! @nick2008, I hope you are getting what you wanted out of this.

@omph, not sure I understand. Do you mean having $50k in charges (debits to your account) or an unused $50k line of credit?

@bythebay, I don’t (think I) need to raise my credit score, which should be impeccable. Do you mean that just by letting this unwanted card sit there, I am hurting my record? (That would certainly be the apparent effect if I just cut it up.)

@basp, your advice sounds very comprehensive and knowledgeable. I will follow it (unless someone else steps in and says it’s wrong!). Thank you.

bythebay's avatar

@Jeruba: If your score is not a concern and the fees etc. are more than you care to deal with, cancel the card. As a side note, you are entitled to a copy of your credit report (free) every year – it’s worth getting just to know where you stand. As far as available credit; this could only work against you if the amount available to you far exceeded your means to pay it back reasonably. And of course, an underwriter would look at your payment history and see your perfect track record!

basp's avatar

I discontinued all but one credit card about a year ago. It is essential to put this kind of thing in writing. You would not believe what some of those credit card companies will try to do to keep accounts open. Some are ethical, but many aren’t. Might as well go into this by making sure you protect yourself. Could save a lot of headache.

Jeruba's avatar

Thanks, @basp. I have had only one for years and years. I added a second because things got dicey around expiration time, which happens to be September. My son went back to school with the old card, which was about to expire, and I couldn’t get him the new one fast enough to cover him as he got set up for his new school year. So I thought it would be helpful to have a second one with a totally different expiration date as insurance against any unexpected expenses that might come up in that gray zone, from emergency travel to car repair.

I thought the one I picked would be reputable because it came through a well-known online merchandiser, but it turned out to be one of those sticky-fingered operations that give the industry a bad name. Once I get this one shut down, I will apply for one through my own local bank and hope they have a better rating on the ethics scale.

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