Step-by-Step Guide: How to Cancel Your Credit Card (& Why)

cancel credit card

The world of credit card benefits is so fickle. What was once your beloved go-to card for any type of spending can become a useless piece of plastic overnight. All it takes is a change of T&Cs, and bam, your relationship has come to an end.

If a credit card has fallen from grace, it’s better to cancel it than to let it collect dust. Here’s our guide to why and how to cancel your credit card.

Why should you cancel your credit card?

Just as you thought you’d found The One — the perfect cashback or rewards credit card for your lifestyle — the bank decided to revise its T&Cs. With a higher minimum spending amount and new cashback cap, suddenly your card gets condemned to a “hardly used” slot in your wallet.

Tempting as it is to hang on to it, just in case the bank realises it’s made a grave mistake and changes the T&Cs back, it’s much wiser to cancel your credit card.

By cancelling the card, you not only receive one less annoying credit card statement per month, but you also remove the risk of accidentally getting slapped with annual fees.

In addition, you become eligible for sign-up promotions and welcome bonuses targeting “new customers” if you no longer have any cards from a particular bank.

Most banks will consider you a “new customer” if at least 12 months have elapsed since you cancelled your last credit card with them. So the earlier you cancel the card, the sooner you can qualify for the next juicy welcome bonus.

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Before you cancel your credit card…

First, make your decision about which credit card(s) to cancel. If you’re cancelling to become a new customer in 12 months’ time, make sure you don’t have any other cards with that same bank.

Before cancelling, check that you’ve cleared your account balance, including paying off in full any money owed through instalment programmes. The bank can refuse to cancel your card if you still owe them money.

You also want to redeem all your existing rewards points, air miles or (if necessary) cashback before cancelling, otherwise you will lose them.

If you have a positive balance (e.g. because of cashback), the bank is supposed to refund this cash to you after you cancel your card, but if you don’t want to risk any hiccups you might want to use up any cash before cancelling the card.

And now you’re all set! Read on to find out how to cancel the most common credit cards in Singapore:

How to cancel DBS credit card

Don’t want to have to listen to hours of automated voice messages before getting connected to a customer service officer? You can cancel your DBS credit cards online. Click on the “Cancel Now” button. A chat box will pop up on the bottom right hand side of the screen to assist with the cancellation.

Another way to cancel your card is through iBanking. Log into internet banking on desktop, select Messages > Compose > Credit Cards > Cancel Card.

Otherwise, you can cancel your card the conventional way by speaking to a customer service officer on their 24-hour hotline at 1800 111 1111 or, if you’re calling from overseas, +65 6327 2265.

How to cancel OCBC credit card

To cancel your OCBC credit card, you’ll have to call their 24-hour hotline at 1800 363 3333 or, if you are calling from overseas, +65 363 3333. Choose the option to speak with a customer service officer.

You can also terminate your credit card by submitting this credit card maintenance form to the bank by post or in person.

How to cancel UOB credit card

To cancel a UOB credit card, call their 24-hour hotline at 1800 222 2121 or, of you’re in another country, +65 6222 2121 and request to speak with a customer service officer.

How to cancel Citibank credit card

You can cancel your Citibank credit card by calling their 24-hour hotline at 6225 5225. After verifying your identity, press 0 to speak to a customer service officer.

How to cancel Standard Chartered credit card

You can cancel your Standard Chartered credit card through the online banking portal or app. After logging in, click on Help & Services > Card Management > Credit Card Cancellation > Select a reason for cancelling the card.

For those who have never bothered to use internet banking, you can simply call their 24-hour customer service hotline at 6747 7000.

Some tips on cancelling your credit card

When calling the bank’s hotline to cancel your credit card, the customer service officer might ask why you are cancelling the card.

There’s no need to feel like your privacy is being invaded as this is just part of their standard operating procedure. Just tell them you no longer use the card and they’ll leave you alone.

Some banks might also make their customer service officers try to persuade you to continue using the card — just tell them you’re not interested.

When your card has been successfully cancelled, you should receive a notification from the bank that your account has been closed. Make a note of the date your card was cancelled so you’ll know when you can once again qualify for new customer sign-up bonuses.

You can now dispose of your card safely. Before tossing your card into the trash, cut it into half with a pair of scissors, making sure to cut through the EMV chip. If you’re particularly cautious, toss the two halves into two different bins. Congratulations on Marie Kondo-ing your wallet!

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