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Published June 27, 2023
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How To Cancel A Credit Card The Right Way

Before you cancel a credit card, know your reason, check transactions, pay off your balance, and redeem your rewards.

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Over 14 million Australians currently use a credit card, but that doesn’t mean you have to own one. Used strategically, credit cards can be a useful personal finance tool, but they can be disabling, and two people can use the same credit card in very different ways. 

This is why it’s important to reflect on your finances because money management is more than how much you earn, spend, save, and invest. How you manage money is emotional, psychological and behavioural. Under these circumstances, if you realise a credit card is not serving you, it’s okay to cancel it. 

Should you cancel your credit card?

If a credit card’s a problem, you might be tempted to cut it up or put it in the freezer so you can’t use it anymore. While this is an easy way to prevent spending, cancelling a credit card can hurt your credit rating in Australia, and there are workarounds. 

If you know your credit card number, expiration date and CVV/CVC number, you can still make online purchases (and incur the monthly or annual card fees), and many devices automatically remember this information.

If you’re set on closing a credit card account, first talk to your bank — then, before you destroy the card, there are a few steps you must take.

Know your reason for closing the account 

Whether you’re moving on from your first credit card to something more rewarding, or are concerned about credit card debt, make sure you know your why before you cancel. 

If you’re concerned about spending, examine your credit card statements for trends and problem areas. Will cancelling your credit card put a stop to unnecessary spending? Are you paying too much interest or card fees?  Maybe switching to a low-rate or zero-interest credit card could help you keep on top of interest charges.  

If you’re looking to upgrade — maybe because your income increased or you recently improved your credit score — you might want to graduate to a card that offers credit card rewards. If you know the reason for closing the account, you can discuss the situation with your bank. 
Closing a card can affect your credit score, positively or negatively. If you have a habit of overspending or you have other credit products, cancelling could help you. But if you’re struggling with debt repayments, applying for different credit cards might hurt your score. Before making any decisions, get a credit report to see your current score.

Consider alternatives

While closing a credit card may feel like a psychological win, you have options. You can speak with your bank about more suitable credit cards (lower interest, no fees or a balance transfer), reduce your credit limit, give your card to a loved one for six months while you pay it down, and use your debit card for everything. 
Share your concerns with your bank and see if you can keep the card open on your terms before switching to a different type of credit card.

Check your transactions

If you decide to close the card, note all pending transactions and move recurring payments to a debit card. Print out your three most recent statements and highlight any automatic payments. You want to avoid missing any payments, especially if it affects your credit score when you close the card.

Pay off the outstanding balance

You’ll need to settle the remaining balance before you close the credit card. You can calculate any interest fees or pending charges as well as the credit balance, but your bank will provide you with a final payout amount. Your credit card must have a balance of $0 for your bank to officially close it. Pending transactions will prevent you from cancelling. 

If you’re unable to pay off the full balance but want to get rid of the card as soon as possible, consider a balance transfer to a low-interest card. For example, Westpac offers 0% p.a. for 28 months. That’ll give you over two years to pay off the debt without incurring interest. 

If your credit card is in the green (and you want to close it to switch to a better product), request a refund. This money can be transferred to another account. 

Redeem your rewards

Before you close your credit card, make sure your rewards points come with you. 

If you’re a Westpac customer, any unclaimed rewards points expire 90 days after closing the account. For NAB customers, it’s 60 days from the closure date. Call your bank to claim all your points and find out how to access them. 

Cancel the card and cut it up

Now you can officially close your credit card. Get written confirmation from your bank, then grab those scissors and destroy the card by cutting along the numbers and through the microchip. You can’t reopen a closed credit card account.

Cancelling a card with the Big 4 banks (and beyond) 


Contact number: 13 13 14 

  • Log into Internet Banking 
  • Select your Credit Card Account g
  • Choose ‘Request for account closure’ 
  • Follow the prompts. 


Contact number: 132 032 

  • Log into Online Banking 
  • Navigate to ‘Service’, ‘Services’, and ‘Account Services’ 
  • Select the credit card you want to cancel 
  • Follow the prompts. 


Contact number: 13 22 21

  • Log into NetBank
  • Click ‘View accounts’ 
  • Choose the credit card from the drop-down menu 
  • Click ‘Account settings’, then ‘Close my credit card account’ 
  • Confirm ‘Continue’ at the bottom, followed by ‘Close account’. 


Contact number: 13 22 65 

  • Log into Internet Banking
  • Select the ‘Chat’ icon to launch a secure conversation 
  • Type in ‘Close credit card’ and click ‘Chat with a specialist’ 
  • A NAB representative will help you from here. 


Contact number: 1300 132 639 

  • Log into Online Banking
  • Click on ‘Account Management’, ‘Card Management’, then ‘Cancel Card 
  • Use the online chat to request a cancellation. 


Contact number: 132 484 

  • Log into CitiOnline
  • Go to ‘Credit card services’ and ‘Manage my account’ 
  • Click on ‘Account closure request’ 
  • Follow the prompts. 

Macquarie Bank

Contact number: 1300 150 300 

  • Log into Online Banking 
  • Navigate to credit card in the account list 
  • Select ‘I want to’ 
  • Click ‘View account details’ 
  • Confirm ‘Close Account’. 


Contact number: 132 152 

  • Log into Online Banking 
  • Go to Credit Cards Online 
  • Select ‘Manage Your Account’, ‘My Cards’, then ‘Close my Credit Card Account’ 
  • Enter your details in the online form and submit. 

There are many more banks, all with their own processes for cancelling credit cards. ING, Bankwest, Suncorp, St. George, Qantas Money, and Virgin Money are a few examples. 

There’s no shame in closing a credit card. It’s a sign of self-awareness and that you’ve recognised your finances are healthier with a change. Follow these strategies to set yourself up for financial success, free from credit card stress. 


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