What to Do Before You Cancel Your Credit Card

Deciding to cancel a credit card is a significant financial move that requires careful consideration and planning. Before you take the step to close an account, there are several important actions you should take to ensure a smooth transition and minimize any potential negative impact on your financial health. In this article, we’ll guide you through the essential steps to take before you cancel your credit card.

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1. Review Your Finances

Before you cancel your credit card, take a comprehensive look at your finances. Evaluate your outstanding balances, upcoming expenses, and overall credit utilization how to cancel a subscription. Understanding your financial situation will help you make an informed decision about whether canceling the card aligns with your goals.

2. Assess Your Credit Card Benefits

Review the benefits and rewards associated with the credit card you’re considering cancelling. If the card offers valuable rewards, cashback, or travel benefits, make sure to use them before you close the account. Redeeming your rewards can provide you with additional value before saying goodbye to the card.

3. Pay Off Outstanding Balances

Ensure that all outstanding balances on the credit card are paid off in full before you proceed with cancellation. Unpaid balances can lead to additional fees and negatively impact your credit score. Clearing the balances ensures a clean break from the card.

4. Transfer Recurring Payments

If you have any recurring payments set up with the credit card you’re planning to cancel, transfer them to another payment method. This step prevents any disruptions in your services or payments while you transition away from the card.

5. Update Automatic Payments

Review your automatic payment settings and update them with the new payment method you’ll be using. This ensures that your bills and subscriptions continue to be paid on time, even after the credit card is cancelled.

6. Contact the Credit Card Issuer

Reach out to the credit card issuer’s customer service department to inform them of your intent to cancel the card. Ask about any specific steps you need to follow and any information they require from you to process the cancellation.

7. Request a Confirmation in Writing

After speaking with the credit card issuer, request a confirmation of your intent to cancel the card in writing. This can serve as proof of your communication and intention, which can be helpful in case of any discrepancies or issues that arise later.

8. Prepare for a Potential Impact on Your Credit Score

Understand that cancelling a credit card can impact your credit score, particularly if the card has a high credit limit or a long credit history. Be prepared for a potential temporary decrease in your credit score, especially if the card you’re cancelling is one of your oldest accounts.

9. Monitor Your Credit Report

After the credit card is cancelled, regularly monitor your credit report to ensure that the account is correctly reported as closed. This step helps you catch any errors or discrepancies that might negatively affect your credit history.

10. Consider Alternatives

Before finalizing the cancellation, consider if there are any alternatives that might better suit your needs. Some credit card issuers offer the option to downgrade to a no-fee or lower-tier card, which can help you preserve your credit history.


Cancelling a credit card is a decision that should be made thoughtfully and with careful planning. By following these steps before you cancel your credit card, you can ensure that the process is smooth and well-executed. Taking the time to assess your financial situation, clear balances, transfer payments, and communicate with your credit card issuer can help you navigate the process successfully. Remember that preserving your credit score and financial stability is key, and being proactive can make all the difference.

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