Cancel Your Credit Card

Category: Reference

My wallet was feeling a little too heavy, and it wasn't because of all the money stuffed in there. So I decided to lighten my load and cancel a credit card that I hadn't been using. Here's a great little shortcut I learned that might help you, too...

cancel your credit card account

"You Wanna Cancel Your Credit Card?!?"

Have you ever tried to cancel a credit card, close a bank account, or (shudder) terminate your AOL service? Some of these companies can really put you through the ringer with their "customer retention specialists" who ask you endless questions, then try to talk you out of your decision to cancel. They lay on the guilt, question your sanity, and make it sound downright unpatriotic.

I had such an experience today, when trying to cancel my Visa card. There's no balance on the account, so I figured I would call the number on the back of the card, tell them I wanted to cancel the card, and that would be it. Not so...

The first person I spoke with after navigating a few levels of voice prompts asked me if I was having a wonderful day. I told her yes, and that I would like to cancel my account. She transferred my call to someone else, and after being on hold for a short time, I was greeted by "Randy" (name changed to protect the guilty).

Randy identified himself as a Customer Support Supervisor and asked how he could help me. I told him I wanted to cancel my card. That's when the dark coulds rolled in. Here's how our conversation went from there:

Randy: Can you tell me why you want to cancel your card?
Me: I have no further use for it.

Randy: You have no further use for the card??
Me: That's right.

Randy: What was it that made the card "unbeneficial" to you?
Me: Can we skip to the end of the questions and just cancel the account?

I recently read the story of a guy who called to cancel his AOL account. They kept him on the phone for 15 minutes, asked endless questions, insulted him and then demanded to speak to his father. (The guy was 35 years old.) I knew I wanted to cancel, and I didn't want to participate in a pointless Q&A session. So I persisted...

Randy: Nope. (long pause)
Me: Can I speak to someone else who can help me cancel?

Randy: No, I'm the only one. Just me.
Me: Okay, Randy, I'm going to start recording this call now. Will that be alright?

Randy: No, that's not alri...
Me: Okay, I just started recording.

(Click!) Randy hung up on me.

Resistance is NOT Futile

Apparently it's okay for THEM to record calls for "training or verification purposes" but they sure don't want YOU to record what THEY'RE saying. Maybe it would prove embarassing to them if folks knew what a hassle it really was to cancel an account.

I called back right away, punched in my account number, and the next thing I heard was "Your account is closed. The balance is zero dollars." Well that's exactly what I wanted! So it seems that if you tell the phone rep you want to cancel, and that you're going to record the call, they can cancel your account in under ten seconds. That's good to know... I have another card I need to cancel. :-)

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Most recent comments on "Cancel Your Credit Card"

(See all 44 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

25 Aug 2006

Humor always works for me, some girl at aol

kept badgering me with why and what and who and such so I finally asked her if there was a web site I could go to to cancel. She just laughed and finally did give in and cancelled my account.

Posted by:

25 Aug 2006

2 suggestions: 1) Tell them you are currently filing for personal bunkruptancy. 2) Always leave the card balance in 5c credit.

Posted by:

26 Aug 2006

I recently paid off the balance on a MasterCard that had a monthly fee and called them to cancel the account. The very nice man asked me why, and offered to change the account to no fee, but as I already have a Visa card with the same bank (no fee) I repeated that I really didn't need both cards. He tried to tell me that not all places take Visa, but I have never seen a place that took MC that didn't also take Visa. After I listened to his entire script, he agreed to cancel my account, and two months later, the account was finally closed. I wish I had thought of the request to record him. It might have gone faster for me, too.

I went through nearly a year of discussion with AOL after my mother died, and I closed her credit card accounts, and canceled her AOL account before they finally stopped sending "Please come back" notices to HER after I had told them she was deceased. They are incredible!

Posted by:

28 Aug 2006

This is a very funny and simultaneously useful post. We've featured and linked to it, while leaving the goods -- the phone convo and the resulting advice -- where it belongs. See

Check us out. You might find some more useful stuff! - The Bankruptcy Blog Network - "Going Broke, Without Being Broken"

Posted by:

06 Sep 2006

I had the same experiance trying to close an account with GE Money. I had a stand up row with the woman on the phone as she persisted to ask me 3 times if id like to keep the account then on the third polite but firm 'NO THANK YOU' she reeled off about 6 or 7 reason as to why i should remain a client! This went on but wont bore you with the details.. The account is still not shut, i wrote a letter of complaint 3 weeks ago and no reply yet... Fingers crossed!

Posted by:

Eric Tienter
26 Sep 2006

We paid off the card two years ago, I took sissors and destroyed the card. The mail kept coming. I called, after much stalling they said we would have to write a letter to end the torment(i added). Today I get a letter telling us we have a new card on the way!!!!

Posted by:

18 Nov 2006

Well are you sure the card is really canceled? I have just been dealing with Amex. My card was cancelled in 2005. Our company travel agency gave the hotel my old card number. The hotel tried to used the card 12 time and it was rejected the hotel then did a manual transaction. I ask Amex if the merchant got a authorzation # from them for the transaction and Amex told me No. But the charge did go through because I just received a new statement last month(remember this is a cancelled card). My statement said this card is cancelled but please pay this charge immediately. Looks like Amex can only track electronic transaction not manual ones. I asked Amex can you cancel this card for electronic and manual transactions and was told no.

So are you sure your card is really cancelled ?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Wow, that's incredible. I would call them and ask to speak with a supervisor.

Posted by:

18 Feb 2007

I just got a bill from a credit card company on an account closed for over 6 months. The charge was an automatic renewal (they had sent me a note that said my credit card was expired and that they would not renew unless I updated the information.) I had closed the credit card account when it expired in June. The credit card company told me that if a charge is made on a closed account that I am responsible to straighten it out. I have called the company that had the automatic renewal but I will be sending the credit card company a dispute letter. Anyone else had this problem? What can I do about it? Is it true that I am perpetually responsible?

Posted by:

27 Mar 2007

If you use the internet to check credit card balances, etc. it should be easy to verify your account was closed.

I have 5 cards with Chase (that I know about) and only use one of them for ebay business. I am in the process of closing the other 4 with a certified letter, and reminding them 'customer's request' to be noted in credit ratings.

One of the reasons to say you want to cancel (besides the obvious financial ones) is tell them you don't use these cards anymore and have a real concern about the greater security risk if you leave them open and cards get lost, etc.

Posted by:

02 Jun 2007

for those who do want to cancel their aol account you can finally do it online: just go to this url and change it from a paid plan to a FREE plan (you can keep using the account and software on that as long as you dont use dialup)

Posted by:

01 Apr 2008

Well, if you think you've canceled your card, think again. I canceled my Citicard two years ago and they still charge against it. They are saying that any recurring agreemens can be charged even if the card is canceled. The probelm is that I never bought the product they claim I did and here is the best part, the product they claim I purchased is owned by citi itself called "Citishoppers". I asked for the proof of purchase which they claim is the signed agreement but they kept giving me the run-around. This is beyond evil, they are charging me for a product which never bought and charging to an account which i canceled two years ago.

Posted by:

10 Jul 2008


When canceling a card you should be aware of its terms and conditions about charges. I think this is the better way to cancel a card. I still don't understand why you should cancel a card?

Posted by:

29 Jul 2008

Daniel, are you kidding me? Are you saying that forever I'm stuck with AMEX charging me over and over again by a company that I authorized but no longer want to come from my AMEX (which was canceled in FEB). They say they have to accept recurring charges no matter what. That is INSANE!!! And by the way, talking to a Supervisor does not help.

Posted by:

Luis F Florez
16 Sep 2008

Cancel my AOL Chase Credit Card

EDITOR'S NOTE: Pretty sure you're in the wrong place...

Posted by:

13 Jan 2009

Now that I read all these comments I'm kind of nervous about canceling my macys card =(

Posted by:

28 Jun 2009

Some hacker is using my compromised cancelled amex card as well. the hacker is smart and charged only less than $20 but luckily I checked my statement and saw this and called amex. they were good enough to refund the money but said any electronic transaction will go thru and there is no way to stop that with any credit card...

I am disappointed and cancelling card does not even give you peace of mind...

any idea how to permanantely block all transactions on cancelled cards? is there a way or will this glitch will continue??

EDITOR'S NOTE: That seems totally unacceptable. I'd check with your state attorney general.

Posted by:

24 Nov 2009

aol s..ks i cancelled 6 months ago they told me do it online they was down so i did this morning go get cash little low 109.00 aol took that for the months back i told bank i dispute it they did nothing will not said call merchant

EDITOR'S NOTE: Wow. Perhaps Vanna White can sell you some capital letters and punctuation marks.

Posted by:

Yellow Credit Card
15 Jun 2010

Excellent site, keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog.
Yellow Credit Card

Posted by:

17 Jun 2010

This is actually a good site which helps to know all this stuff. keep up this good work.

Posted by:

04 Aug 2010


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