Capital One Financial Corp., a Fortune 500 company, offers a range of financial products. Many of the products offered are credit cards that cater to consumer's lifestyles, such as the Cash Rewards credit card hawked by Jimmy Fallon in one of Capital One's TV commercials. Capital One is also one of America's largest consumer franchises, with a whopping 45 million customer accounts. However, if you're ready to jump off the Capital One bandwagon and cancel your card, be prepared to go through a -- sometimes lengthy -- specific multistep process to end your relationship with the company.
Call all third-party vendors that you've entered into automatic billing arrangements with concerning your Capital One Card. Tell each vendor that you want to cancel the arrangements. Some vendors may say that the cancellation won't take place until the following billing cycle. Wait to go forward until all automatic billing arrangements have ceased.
Call the Capital One customer service line at 800-955-7070 and ask for the payoff balance. Tell the representative you want to close the account and that you've cancelled all automatic billing arrangements that were in place. Ask if you have any automatic billing arrangements in place through your credit card agreement, such as payment protection insurance. If you didn't opt out of this service when you applied for the card, it may be in place. Ask the rep to cancel the automatic billing or get a number for the third party you need to call to ask for cancellation. The representative may ask why you want to close the account and try to persuade you to keep it open by offering incentives. Refuse to keep the account open in a polite way: "Thanks for the offer, but I'd like to go ahead and close the account today." Give the representative any required information -- such as your bank account or credit or debit card number -- to pay the card balance over the phone.
Ask the customer service representative to close your credit card account while you are on the phone. Ask for a "hard-close," which doesn't allow future charges to post to the account. According to the Consumerist website, Capital One keeps consumers' accounts open for 30 days after cancellation to allow any remaining automatic charges to be applied to the account. The rep may tell you that he has closed the account, but he likely has done a "soft close," which allows automatic payments to post to the account for up to a month.
Ask the representative to make a notation in your account record that the account should be reported to the credit bureaus as "closed at the customer's request." This will help prevent the company from making a notation that the account was closed by the card issuer -- a definite hit on your credit record.
Follow up with a letter to Capital One stating the date and time that you called the company to request an account closure. Include the name of the representative who helped you. Mention that the account should be reported to the credit bureaus as "closed at the customer's request" and ask for written confirmation. Additionally, ask for written confirmation that the account has been closed. Send the letter certified mail, return receipt requested, to the following address: Capital One Attn: General Correspondence PO Box 30285 Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0285
Call the Capital One customer service line at 800-955-7070 if you don't receive a written response to your letter after two to three weeks. Ask the rep if the account has been closed and noted that it was at your request. Ask for written confirmation of these facts.
Wait 30 days after you receive written confirmation that account has been closed at your request. Get a copy of one of your credit reports from one of the three credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Experian or Equifax. You can order the credit report for free on a website called Annual Credit Report. Check your credit report to see whether the account is noted as closed at your request. If not, call Capital One Customer Service again and follow up with another certified letter. Repeat the process until you see confirmation that your account is noted as closed at your request. You are entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three credit bureaus. When checking your credit report a second -- or third -- time, order a credit report from one of the bureaus you haven't used to avoid a charge.
- Visit Capital One online at capitalone.com.
- When cancelling automatic payment arrangements or closing your account, write down the customer service representative's name and the date and time of your call for future reference.
- If Capital One does a soft close on your account and allows charges to come through, you will not receive a statement since your account is technically closed, according to the website for The Consumerist. To avoid this, check with Capital One for one to two months after you request the account's closure to see if you have a balance on the account. If you don't monitor the card's activity, you may end up with late fees and the account may be sent to collections.
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