Citi offers several different types of credit cards, including cash back credit cards, cards that earn points in the Citi ThankYou program and a selection of popular balance transfer credit cards. There are plenty of ways you can use any of their credit cards to accomplish specific goals, yet there are also situations where you may not want to keep your Citi card for the long haul.
Maybe you are tired of paying your Citi card’s annual fee, or maybe you just need an option with a lower fee requirement. Perhaps you used a Citi balance transfer credit card to pay down debt, but now you’re done and know you’ll never use the card again.
Whatever the reason, you should know it’s fairly easy to close a Citi credit card if that’s what you prefer.
How to close a Citi credit card account
Here are the steps you can take to close your Citi credit card for good:
Close your Citi account online
To close your Citi credit card account online, all you have to do is log into your Citi account and open the online chat feature. From there, tell the representative that you want to close your account and answer any questions they have.
It’s possible Citi will let you cancel online, but the chat representative may also require you to call and cancel your account over the phone.
Close your Citi account over the phone
You can also cancel your Citi credit card account by calling the number on the back of your credit card. When you get the chance to speak with a representative, tell them you want to close your account and provide any information they require.
You’ll likely be required to prove your identity before you can close your account. To make sure you’re prepared, be ready to offer information such as your name, account number, address, ZIP code and security code or account PIN if you have one.
What to do after closing your Citi credit card account
After you close your Citi credit card, you’ll need to continue making payments on any remaining balance you have. After all, any remaining debt you have on your Citi credit card won’t disappear just because you close your account.
Once your account balance is down to zero, you can unlink your card from your online account management page if you prefer. This step is fairly easy within your online Citi account page. All you have to do is find the closed account you want to unlink and click on the prompt that says “Unlink this account from my User ID.”
Alternatives to closing a Citi credit card account
If you’re not entirely sure you want to close your Citi credit card, there are a few alternatives to consider instead. These options could help you reach your goal, whether that includes getting away from credit cards with an annual fee or avoiding an impact to your credit score caused by account closure.
Request a product change
Citi is one of the most flexible card issuers when it comes to product changes, which describes any time you switch between multiple credit card types from a single issuer. With a product change, you could drop a card like the Citi Prestige® Card with its $495 annual fee and switch to one with a lower fee, like the Citi Premier® Card. You could also switch from a card that earns points in the Citi ThankYou program to a cash back credit card like the Citi® Double Cash Card.
Regardless of what you hope to accomplish, you can call Citi using the number on the back of your card to request a product change. The customer service representative you’re speaking with can let you know your options, and you can decide from there whether you want to move forward.
Stash your card away somewhere safe
If you have a Citi credit card with no balance and no annual fee, you can also consider stashing your card away somewhere safe. Doing so can help boost your credit score since the length of your credit history is one of the factors credit bureaus consider. Also, keep in mind that the available credit on your card is likely helping your credit utilization rate if you’re carrying debt on other cards.
Closing a Citi credit card: FAQ
Before you close your Citi credit card account, you should arm yourself with information. The following frequently asked questions and answers can help.
Does closing a Citi credit card affect your credit score?
Closing a credit card account can impact your credit score in a negative way, and for more reasons than one. First off, closing your credit card can reduce the average length of your credit history, which makes up 15 percent of your FICO score. Second, closing a credit card account can reduce the amount of available credit you have. If you carry debt on other cards, this can lead to a substantial increase in your credit utilization rate—another determining factor that makes up 30 percent of your FICO credit score.
Can you reopen a closed Citi credit card?
Citi doesn’t let you reopen credit card accounts that have been closed. However, you may be able to reapply for a card you have had in the past. You can even earn the sign-up bonus on the same rewards credit card multiple times provided you follow Citi sign-up bonus rules, which vary by card family. For example, the Citi Premier says this in its fine print:
“Bonus ThankYou® Points are not available if you received a new cardmember bonus for Citi Rewards+®, Citi ThankYou® Preferred, Citi ThankYou® Premier/Citi Premier® or Citi Prestige®, or if you have closed any of these accounts, in the past 24 months.”
What happens to your ThankYou points when you close a Citi credit card?
If you close your Citi credit card account, your Citi ThankYou points are automatically forfeited unless you have another Citi credit card that offers this rewards currency. Also note that, when you close a Citi ThankYou card and have another one, points earned with the closed account will still expire once 60 days have passed if you haven’t redeemed them.
The bottom line
You always have the right to close a credit card account any time you want, but there are definitely pros and cons to consider. Many people wind up keeping old accounts open just so they don’t hurt their credit score, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with putting your old, unused card in a safe or sock drawer. Then again, you could always consider a product change to a new type of credit card from the same issuer altogether.
The information about the Citi Prestige® Credit Card and Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.