Closing a credit card requires that you pay off your balance in full, notify the company of your plans in writing and provide proof of meeting your debt obligation. If your credit card is lost or misplaced, you'll want to cancel it by phone, rather than close it by letter, to protect yourself against unauthorized use.
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Request a Payoff Figure
If you still have a balance on the card, verify the payoff amount by calling your card's account member services division. Let the representative know the date you want to close your account so she can give you a figure that includes all interest and fees you may accrue between the time you make the call and the time your final payment is received and processed by the card company. Get the name and direct extension of the person you talk to in case of discrepancies about the total.
Pay It Off
Pay off your credit card balance using a personal check or cashier's check, and ask your bank to notify you once the check is cashed by the credit card company. If you opt to make an online electronic payment to the card company, print the confirmation page that typically appears on your account page or copy the email the card company sends you to verify payment is received. If you pay off your total by phone using an electronic check, cash transfer or debit card, ask for a confirmation number that shows the payment was received.
Write a Letter
Write a dated letter to the credit card company's customer service division that includes your full name, address, phone and email contact information and your credit card account number. Say you are writing to request your account be closed and note the verification you have that shows the account is paid in full. For example, "On Oct. 1, I paid off account 1234 using ABC Credit Company's online payment option. I request the account now be closed and the transaction noted on my credit report as closed at the consumer's request."
Attach Relevant Materials
Attach copies of relevant documents that support the information in your letter, and note all the enclosures or attachments in the body of your correspondence. These might include confirmation from your bank that your final payment was cleared or a notice from your credit card company that your balance is zero. Also consider cutting up the card, wrapping it in plastic to avoid sharp edges, and enclosing it as proof that you no longer intend to use the card. Send your letter by mail and request signature verification when the letter is received.
Conclude your letter by asking for written confirmation that your account has been closed as requested. If you don't receive one within 30 days, contact the customer service division to verify the status of your account. The next time you check your credit report, make sure the account is listed as paid in full, closed in good standing and that the account was closed at your request, not by the card company. This will ensure your move is viewed as positive rather than negative by the credit reporting agencies.