The Bankrate promise
At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for . The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
As if that wasn’t enticing enough, Discover credit cards also stand out since none of them charge an annual fee. Further, Discover’s rewards credit cards all come with a dollar-for-dollar match program that doubles all the rewards you have earned after the first year.
Regardless, there are still situations where you may want to close a Discover credit card account. For example, maybe you’re getting a divorce and need to close all accounts with your former spouse. Or perhaps you’re just trying to simplify your finances and no longer want to keep credit cards you don’t use.
Either way, closing a Discover credit card account can be easy and quick. This guide will explain the steps you need to take to close your Discover account, as well as a few alternatives to consider.
Steps to take before closing your Discover credit card account
Before you move forward with closing your Discover credit card account, there are a few housekeeping items to take care of.
First, you should make sure you pay off your credit card balance, although you can close your Discover account even if a balance remains. By paying off your remaining debt with Discover, you can close your account completely without having to continue making payments on a line of credit you can’t even use.
Second, you’ll want to go ahead and redeem any Discover rewards you have on your account. This part should be easy since Discover lets you redeem your rewards for cash back or statement credits at any time and in any amount. You can also redeem your rewards for gift cards, purchases made with Amazon.com or PayPal.com or charitable donations.
How to close a Discover credit card account
Discover lets you close your credit card account over the phone, and you can get started by calling either the number on the back of your credit card or 1-800-DISCOVER. You may need to provide information such as:
- Your name
- Your account number
- Your address
Make sure to explain to the customer service agent that you’re ready to close your account, keeping in mind that they may ask you to explain the reason behind it. It’s important to understand you don’t have to provide them with a reason for account closure and have the right to close a credit card account any time you want.
What to do after canceling your Discover credit card
Once you have canceled your Discover credit card account, you should log into the Discover mobile app or your online account management page to make sure your account has a notation that shows its new status. Also, make sure that any final payments you have made on your card are applied to your balance. If you still owe a balance on your Discover credit card, you should plan on continuing to make payments as normal until your debt is gone.
Most people cut their credit cards up and throw the pieces away once their old accounts show a $0 balance. If you decide to dispose of your card this way, make sure you destroy your old credit card number in the process.
Instead of canceling your Discover credit card, consider these options
If you’re on the fence about whether to cancel a credit card with Discover, there are other options you can consider.
Put your card away for safekeeping
Since Discover credit cards never charge an annual fee, you can simply stash your card away if you don’t want to use it. Doing so can ensure the available credit on the card will be there if you ever need it, and the lack of an annual fee means you won’t have to pay for the privilege of keeping your account open.
If your Discover credit card is one of the oldest credit cards in your wallet, it’s wise to keep your account open for that reason anyway. This is due to the fact that older accounts can help increase the average length of your credit history, which is a factor that makes up 15 percent of your FICO credit score.
Request a product change
If you simply want a different rewards credit card, you can also consider a product change through Discover. For example, you could switch from a cash back card like the Discover it® Cash Back to a flexible travel credit card like the Discover it® Miles.
To request a product change, all you have to do is call the number on the back of your Discover credit card and ask.
Closing a Discover credit card: FAQ
Can you reopen a closed Discover credit card?
According to Discover, you cannot reopen a Discover credit card account after an account closure. You can, however, reapply for the same card product or a different one if you prefer.
What happens to your rewards when you close a Discover credit card?
It’s always best to redeem your Discover rewards before you close your account. Discover will credit your account balance with your rewards balance, however, if you close your account before you have time to redeem.
Does closing a Discover credit card affect your credit score?
Closing your Discover credit card could negatively impact your credit score in more than one way. First, closing any credit card account can shorten the average length of your credit history, which makes up 15 percent of your FICO credit score.
Second, closing an account can increase your overall credit utilization rate if you carry a balance on other cards. Since your credit utilization makes up 30 percent of your FICO score, this factor is important to keep in mind.
The bottom line
If you’ve been wondering how to close a Discover credit card, you should also think long and hard about whether you should close the card. Since Discover cards don’t charge an annual fee, they are a good option to stash away in a sock drawer or a safe place where you can access them later if need be.
In the meantime, there’s nothing wrong with picking up a better everyday card for your regular spending and bills. Search all the best credit card offers on the market today, and you’re sure to find the right fit.