A New Way to Cancel Credit Cards

…new to me, at least.  I recently cancelled my CitiBusiness AAdvantage card online, via secure message.  The annual fee was coming due and I didn’t think it was worth it for me to keep the card and pay the fee.  I have always wanted to try this method and it worked like a charm.

Cancelling cards by phone is usually pretty simple, but sometimes the rep will try to harangue you into keeping the card by reminding you of the card’s benefits, offering you some bonus points, or waiving your annual fee.  In some cases, this is what you want.  Having a few cards with long account histories helps your credit score, but many cards come with an annual fee after the first year and keeping them around may not be worth the fee.  Often, calling to cancel will trigger a retention offer.  Flyertalk keeps an updated record of reports by bank on what kind of offers people are getting:

(Be sure to click “click here to display Full Wiki” for the list of recent offers people have received)
American Express

But if you simply want to cancel the card and aren’t interested in retention offers, the phone call to the rep can be annoying.  They understandably want to keep you as a customer, but if you can avoid a pitchy phone call where you have to say “no” 50 times to get your point across, why not jump at that opportunity!

For some guidance, I found this MommyPoints post which gives some simple instructions.

I sent a brief message to Citi when logged into my account.  It said that my business expenses ended up being less than anticipated, and the amount of spending I would be able to put on the card would not warrant keeping the card, and I would like to close the account effective immediately.  I’m sure not even that much explanation is necessary.  “Please close this account effective immediately,” is probably good enough.

A few days later I logged on the account and it showed it as closed:
Keep in mind this was a Citi account and so was the example in  the MommyPoints blog post, but every issuing bank has a similar secure messaging system on their websites.

Have you closed a card via online message?  Which bank was it with?  I’d love to hear of any similar experiences, successful or unsuccessful.

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