You can close your credit card without writing a letter, but sending a letter gives you physical proof that you requested your account to be closed. You may even choose to call your credit card issuer first to close your account, and then follow up with a letter for your records. Sending the letter via certified mail gives you additional proof that your request was received. If there's ever a question about whether you closed your account and when, you'll have the letter to back up the fact that you closed your account.
Where to Send Your Letter
Don't send your letter to the same address that you send your credit card payments. Most credit card issuers have a separate mailing address for correspondence. Check a recent copy of your credit card statement for the correct address. You also will be able to get the correct address from your online statement or by calling your card issuer’s customer service number found on the back of your credit card. Verify that you have the correct address before mailing your letter.
Payments, Interest, and Fees After the Account is Closed
You’ll continue to receive billing statements if you still have a balance when you close the account. You’re still required to make at least the monthly minimum payment until your balance is paid in full, but you won’t be able to make purchases on your account since it’s closed. Your balance will still accrue interest and any fees still apply. You can pay off the balance faster by increasing your monthly payment.
If you have any recurring bills being charged to this credit card, make sure you change them to keep them from being declined (and your services cancelled).
Sample Letter for Closing Your Credit Card
Below is an example of what to say in a letter to close your credit card. The letter doesn’t have to include a reason for closing your account; you can simply state that you want your account to be closed.
Make sure you replace the bold information with your personal and account information. You can customize your own letter, too, but be sure to include your name, billing address, and account number so the credit card issuer can identify your account. If your letter is a followup to a phone call, include the date and time of the call and the name of the representative you spoke with.
When you send your letter via certified mail, you’ll be given a tracking number. You can enter this tracking number into USPS.com to verify when the credit card issuer receives your letter. Sending your letter via certified mail isn't a requirement to close your account, but the extra step is insurance for yourself.
Check with the credit card issuer after a few days to confirm your account was closed. After about 30 days, you can check your credit reports to be sure the account is accurately updated to show that the account was closed at your request.
City, State Zip
Name of Creditor
City, State Zip Code
Re: Account Number: Account Number (or Last Four Digits of Credit Card)
Dear Sir or Madam:
On 6/15/18, I made a request by telephone to have my account closed. This letter confirms that request. Any updates to my credit report should reflect the account was closed at my request.
Please send confirmation the account was closed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much does closing a credit card account hurt your credit score?
The exact credit score impact of closing an account will depend on any other accounts you have open. The most significant, immediate impact of closing a credit card will be on your credit utilization ratio. By closing a credit card, you lose that line of credit as part of your total credit profile. Any existing debt you have from other accounts will suddenly take up a higher ratio of your total available credit and hurt your score.
Closing an account will also affect your average age of credit, but you won't notice that effect until the account drops off your credit report, and that can take up to 10 years.
How do you cancel a debit card?
Unlike credit cards, which are tied to a line of credit, debit cards are typically tied to a checking account. You can destroy a debit card by cutting it up, but to "cancel" a debit card account altogether, you'll probably have to close your checking account with the bank.