When it's time to change what's in your wallet, you'll need to sign in to your Capital One® online card account, look for the "I Want to" menu option and choose the "Close Your Account" option. Directions for closing your account will then appear on the screen; follow them to get your account closed. You can also call the customer service number on the back of the credit card and ask the customer service representative to close your account.
Keep in mind, though, that a closed account doesn't automatically become an inactive one. You'll still have to pay off your account balance and do a bit of financial housekeeping to avoid problems.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
To cancel your card, you can log in to the Capital One® website or call your card's customer service number to have a representative assist you.
Think It Through
There are many good reasons to close a credit card account. You may want to avoid an annual fee, or you may recognize that you struggle to control your credit card spending. If you have a good reason for closing the account, do so. Keep in mind, however, that closing a credit account while in debt increases your credit utilization ratio and can hurt your credit score.
Consider how long you've had the card as well. The longer you've had credit, the better your credit score may be. Closing the accounts you've had the longest can shorten your credit history and lower your credit score. Confirm that you won't do more harm than good before closing the account.
Use Your Rewards
Some credit cards offer reward points that you can use to purchase discount airline tickets or to get cash back. Capital One dissolves these points when your account closes. This may not matter if you've only accumulated a handful of points.
However, if you've got a lot of points in the bank, use them before closing your account. If you don't use them, you'll lose them.
Stop Automatic Payments
If you carry a balance on your credit card or forget to pay the bill on occasion, you may have set up an automatic payment plan with your bank. If you did, your bank automatically sends the designated payment amount to Capital One for you every month as you directed. If you close your Capital One account, remember to cancel your automatic payment plan so your bank stops sending your money to them. You can, of course, get a refund of any overpayments you make, but it's easier to simply keep your money.
Change Your Payment Type
Automatic payments made to Capital One aren't the only automatic payments you'll need to stop. If you use your Capital One credit card to automatically pay other vendors, you'll need to set up a new payment method. You may have given your credit card information to subscription service vendors like Netflix, internet service providers, online publications and others. These vendors then automatically charge the credit card periodically to renew the subscriptions.
You may also have this payment information stored in your online shopping accounts for faster ordering. If you close your credit card account, you'll need to give these vendors and service providers new credit card information. Failure to do so could result in a service interruption.
Keep Making Payments
Although your credit card will stop working after you close your account, the account isn't truly closed until you've paid any outstanding balance in full. You can cut your card into tiny pieces and work out some frustration, but your debt doesn't go away when the credit card does.
If you can, pay off your balance before closing your account. If you have to carry an outstanding balance on your Capital One card after you close it, keep sending in your payments until you've paid back every penny. Sometimes vendors stop sending statements after closing the account. Make sure you still have online access to your balance information, or ask the company to keep sending you statements so you don't forget and miss a payment.
- 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.
Michelle earned her accounting degree summa cum laude and has extensive experience in business management and accounting. Entrepreneurship is in her blood, and her work focuses on helping small businesses successfully compete in a big market. Michelle also knows the value of a dollar and enjoys helping readers understand how best to maximize their money and enjoy a healthy financial life. Her work appears Chron's small business site. She has also worked on small business blogs for a national insurance chain.