How to close a credit card account

January 28, 2011 

Dear Dave: Do you have any suggestions for closing a credit card account? I just paid off my last debt, and I want to close the account once and for all.

- Krista

Dear Krista,

I'd start with a phone call. Let them know the account is paid off and you want it closed permanently. Also, ask for written confirmation that the account has been closed. If you don't see something like this in your mailbox in a few days, you'll need to check your credit bureau report for an update on the status of the account.

If it's not showing the account closed at this point, you'll probably have to call them back and jump somebody's case. Make sure they understand that you want to see verification in writing that the account has been closed. If they're still dragging their heels at that point, you'll need to send them-via certified mail, return receipt requested-your demand that they permanently close the account.

But usually a phone call is all it takes. The problem with talking to them is you'll have to listen to all their crap about how dumb you are for cutting them loose. Trust me, they'll fuss and cry and offer you stuff to try and get you to keep the account open. Stand firm and don't listen to them, Krista. Close the account!

- Dave

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