How to Cancel a Credit Card Online in 30 Seconds or Less

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A couple days ago I wrote a post about “Five Times to Cancel a Rewards Credit Card“.  If you missed it, go check it out because I think knowing when to cancel a credit card is just as important as knowing when to apply for a new card.  However, one thing I did not talk about in that post was how to very quickly cancel a credit card online.

I don’t like making more phone calls than I have to, and I really don’t enjoy the back and forth with customer service reps when I’ve got a long to-do list.  So, yesterday when the $450 annual fee came due on a Citi credit card I needed to cancel, I did what any phone-hating busy person would do and cancelled the credit card online.  Yes, you can really cancel some credit cards online!  If your bank offers a “secure message center”, there is a good chance you can simply send a message asking to close a specific account and it can be handled all electronically without you ever having to pick up the phone.

In this case I used the Citi Secure Message Center to close a card with less than 30 seconds of time invested on my end.

First, I logged into my Citi online account.

Then I went into the account I wished to close.

Next, I selected the Message Center highlighted in red below.

How to Cancel Credit Card Online

I wrote a brief new message asking to close my account ending in number XXXX.

Close Credit Card Online

The next day the account was closed and I received a message back to that effect.  Woohoo, another thing checked off of the to-do list!

In this case I didn’t want any retention offers or to move the credit to another account, I just wanted to straight-up close the card.  If you want to try to negotiate some of those sort of things you are best served calling in the old fashioned way.  If you just want a quick and to-the-point closure like I did, then online is the way to go.  Again, this isn’t something that will work with all banks, but it is worth a shot if your issuer offers online support so you don’t have to waste valuable time on the phone when you can get to the point online in 30 seconds or less!

Have you closed some credit cards online using secure messaging?

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.



  1. So far I’ve made all card cancelations online. Through the messaging system and yesterday, I canceled Delta through an online chat thingy that popped up.

    I hate being asked why I want to cancel unless I wanted them to try to retain me by giving me some perks.

  2. So, by closing that credit card and losing that line of credit will your credit score get a hit? I struggle with one of my first credit cards which is a Citi AAdvantage Platinum which I never use, does not add much value for me and has a $95 annual fee. However, it has way over 10 years and the highest credit line of all my credit cards. What are your thoughts on that?

    • Transfer it over to a lower fee AA card or a no fee alternative from Citi. Just call them and see what they can do – will keep the account open and your credit score higher!

  3. It’s time to cancel my US Airways Master Card now that my sign up bonus has now transferred to my AA account right? How do I do that online?

    • It’s your choice, but It depends on your reason for wanting to cancel. If you just got the miles and they just transferred over, most people wouldn’t cancel right away. You do have some perks on that card, and I think companies do start to notice when customers cancel that fast.

      • I’ve had it for at least 6 months. I never use it and I’d like to get other cards. I just don’t know how to cancel online.

  4. @Santastico

    Based on my experience – don’t do it. A long, long time ago I cancelled a CC that I had for a long time. My score PLUMMETED. Always keep your oldest card. Period!

    It took a very long time to build that back up. Right now I’m sitting over 830/850. : ) Not worth it to cancel, IMHO.

    • I keep oldest but I have so much available credit I’m okay losing some. Actually in my case probably necessary to get another card easily in the future. You can keep the account history and downgrade to a fee free card. That’s what I did with my oldest account at Chase.

    • But that’s you. He might have a completely different credit profile and it might only drop 5 points and quickly recover. Your score may have dropped due to the amount of credit you lost rather than the age.

      If your oldest card is 10 years and your next oldest is 9 years, it’s not going to be that big of a difference. Also, the card history still stays on your account for several years, even after it is closed.

      It’s definitely best for your oldest card to be a no-fee card though.

  5. I’ve closed them online through secure messaging. Also through the mail with a form letter I typed up and signed. Works well if when hate phones like I do.

  6. I’ve wondered about this. I’ve had the Delta Amex since 1991 but don’t want it any more. It’s my oldest card though. I’m not sure how I’d downgrade that. I’ve thought about getting the Everyday Amex but that’s membership rewards, not Skymiles. I don’t need the Skymiles Amex b/c I have the Skymiles debit. Thoughts?

  7. I’ve closed Citis and Chase by secure message.

    Barclays made me call after I secure messaged to waste double the time. Thanks. During the call I let them downgrade me to a no annual fee card from an arrival plus. I just noticed they did a hard credit pull for the new downgraded card without permission from me! FAIL. Not happy about that. I don’t get the way they do business.

  8. I’m old. I still write them a letter thanking them for the relationship, but telling them the card no longer fits my needs. I know no one cares anymore, but I still do it that way.

  9. Dear Mommy Points,

    Recently, I read one of your articles on getting an American Express card, so I applied online. I couldn’t ever get the application to go through online, but a few days later received a letter stating that It was denied.

    Strangely, a few More days passed and I got an email from them stating that my statement was ready to view online. I couldn’t view the statement online since I had never received a card with a number, so I called the number listed on the email. When I pressed the number directing me to the customer relations department, a voice came on asking for my account number, so I began putting in The numbers to any department to try and reach a real person. No luck. EVERYTHING AT AE is run by robots.

    In your opinion, how should I handle this? I am very worried someone else is out there with this card and I am powerless to do anything about it.

    Please help!!



  10. Many thanks. Unfortunately it failed to work as Citi Bank messaging only allowed one option for message description, “Account Card Agreement” and wouldn’t allow me to type in a personal message. So frustrating. I can only assume they are having a wave of pissed off Costco members… Citi Bank never sent the first bill and then charged me interest. I sent in my latest bill saying to cancel the account.

  11. Was not pleased with the American Airlines Platinum Citi Card. We travel internationally and the card doesn’t allow for free checked on bags on International flights. What a pain in the butt. The USAirways credit card used to.
    Other international airlines such as QATAR allow two free checked in bags. And that is for everyone. Not just airline card holders.

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