There might be a lot reasons as to why you want to close a credit card. You have many credit cards, you’re leaving the country, your credit card issuer raised your interest rate or added an annual fee, or simply because you do not want to spend in credit anymore.

Before calling your credit card provider to have your credit card closed, follow these steps. This will make sure the card is closed correctly to avoid any possible future disappointments.  

Pay Off the Balance

In order to be able to proceed with closing your credit card account, you will need to settle your remaining balance first. 

Choosing to delay paying the outstanding balance amount and filing for a cancellation first is not a valid option. Any delays in repaying the due amount will increase your liability with your provider, as it accumulates month after month. Also, your monthly interest rate will be applicable on your card balance making it harder to settle as it piles up. The sooner you clear off your liability the less of an impact it will have on your credit score rating as well.  

[Related: Are you using your credit card for the right reasons?]

Secondary credit cards

If you are the primary card holder, you are solely liable for any debt on the credit card account, so talk to your credit card provider about canceling the secondary card that might me in the name of your wife for instance.

If you are the secondary card holder, you cannot keep your account active if the primary card holder closes the account.

Jointly Named Credit Cards

If your credit card is in joint names, both of the card holders must agree to close the account. You will also need to agree on how you will pay any outstanding debts on the card, as you are equally liable for the debt.

If you cannot pay the account in full, contact your credit provider to inform them, and ask them to put a stop on the account to prevent any further transactions.

Contact Customer Service

Call your credit card’s customer service using the phone number on the back of your credit card. Let the representative know that you are requesting the closure of your credit card account.

The representative will try to talk you into keeping your credit card account open, but you can assert nicely that you have made up your mind and requested that the representative confirm your request verbally and ask for a confirmation email or SMS to that effect.

Obtain a Clearance Letter. 

As you clear your outstanding balance, make sure to keep the payment receipts of the amounts you paid.  This will serve as a proof of payment in the future and supporting documents in the unfortunate case that an administration error occurs from the issuer side.

For a solid legal cover, you will need to obtain a clearance letter from your credit card issuer once all your payments are made. This will be your confirmation that your liability with this provider no longer exists. Your credit score will be updated accordingly across all banks in the UAE by your provider; however, it is safer to request a credit score update using your clearance letter to avoid any possible future disappointments that may occur.