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Before you close a Chase credit card, you should think long and hard about why you’re considering this move. In the meantime, you should also look into the alternative steps you could take that could change up your credit game for a goal (i.e., avoiding an annual fee) without all the downsides that come with closing your account completely.
While ditching your card might ultimately make sense, the Chase 5/24 rule and other limitations from Chase can make getting a rewards credit card you’ve had in the past much more difficult if you change your mind.
This guide aims to explain how to close a Chase credit card account, as well as some alternate steps you could take instead.
How to close a Chase credit card
Chase doesn’t make it difficult to close your credit card account if that’s what you really want to do. Here are the steps you can take to close down your credit card account altogether.
If you’re wondering how to close a Chase account over the phone, you can begin the process by calling the customer service number on the back of your credit card. Once you get a customer service representative ready to assist you, let them know you want to close your credit card account altogether. While you’re on the phone, you’ll need to share information like your ZIP code, name and account number to prove your identity.
If you don’t want to call the number on the back of your Chase credit card, you can also reach Chase customer service at 1 (800) 432-3117.
Cancel your card online
Chase doesn’t offer an online chat feature like American Express does, but they do offer a secure way for you to contact them online. If you bank or manage your credit card account using Chase.com, you can ask Chase to cancel your card through their secure messaging system.
You’ll have to log into your Chase online account management page to do so. From there, head to your “secure messages” from the drop-down menu on the left side of the screen. Then, select the option that says “I have a question about one of my accounts.”
At that point, you’ll select the credit card account number for the card you want to close and write a simple message stating you want your account closed and can provide additional information if necessary.
Send a letter in the mail
You can also send a letter to Chase in the mail, which may make sense if you don’t manage your account online or feel like calling in to speak to someone. In your letter, you’ll want to include your name, account number, address and a brief message that says you want your Chase credit card account closed right away.
If you are wondering how to close a Chase credit card via snail mail, you can use the following address:
National Bank By Mail
P.O. Box 6185
Westerville, OH 43086
Does closing a Chase credit card affect your credit score?
Due to the way credit scores are determined, closing a credit card account can hurt your credit score—even if the card is rarely used. There are two main reasons this is true.
First, closing a credit card account shortens the average length of your credit history, which is used to make up 15 percent of your FICO score. Second, and most importantly, closing a credit card can reduce the amount of open credit you have and raise your credit utilization considerably.
Since this factor makes up 30 percent of your FICO score, raising your credit utilization rate through account closure should be your biggest concern. But, how would this factor come into play?
Imagine for a moment you currently have two credit cards—a Chase credit card and a Citi credit card. Each one has a limit of $10,000, so your total credit is $20,000.
Now imagine you just paid off the balance on your Chase credit card, but you still have $4,000 in debt on your Citi credit card. At this moment in time, your credit utilization rate is 20 percent since you owe $4,000 with a total credit limit of $20,000. However, closing your Chase credit card would leave you owing $4,000 in debt across $10,000 in total credit limits, so your credit utilization rate would increase to 40 percent overnight.
Options to consider before canceling your Chase credit card
If you are worried about damaging your credit score or you don’t necessarily want to ditch your Chase credit card altogether, there are a few smart options to consider:
Ask for Chase to waive the annual fee
If you are canceling your credit card because you don’t want to pay an annual fee, keep in mind that you can always call Chase and ask them to waive the fee. They may or may not approve your request, but the worst they can do is say “no.”
Request a product change
You can also request a product change from one Chase credit card to another, a popular move among those who want to avoid paying high annual fees on rewards credit cards from Chase.
For example, you could call and ask to switch from the Chase Sapphire Reserve® with its $550 annual fee to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card with its $95 annual fee. This would let you save hundreds of dollars per year, yet you could continue earning points for travel in the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.
Safely store your credit card
Also, remember that you don’t have to close your credit card just because you don’t want to use it. You can store your card in a safe or a sock drawer, and you don’t have to get it out unless you really want to.
By keeping your credit card open without any activity, the account is still helping to lengthen your average credit history.
Closing a Chase credit card: FAQ
Can I close a Chase credit card with an outstanding balance?
You can cancel a credit card with an outstanding balance. However, you will still have to repay your remaining balance based on your credit card’s current terms and conditions.
Will Chase still charge me interest on a closed account?
Chase will still charge interest on remaining balances even after you close your credit card account. If they are going to raise your interest rate, they are required to give you 45 days of notice before they do.
Can you reopen a closed chase credit card account?
You cannot reopen a closed Chase credit card account, but you can apply for another Chase credit card or the one you had before. Just remember that Chase has rules that limit who can and cannot get their credit cards or earn a sign-up bonus.
For starters, the Chase 5/24 rule says you cannot get approved for a Chase card if you have had five or more credit cards within the last 24 months. Further, Chase has specific rules that govern their families of cards. If you read the fine print on the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, for example, you’ll notice it says:
“The product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 48 months. If you are an existing Sapphire customer and would like this product, please call the number on the back of your card to see if you are eligible for a product change. You will not receive the new cardmember bonus if you change products.”
The bottom line
Closing a credit card can sometimes be the right move, but there are definitely situations where you’re better off switching products or stashing your card away in a sock drawer. Make sure you consider all the options, as well as potential consequences you’ll face if you close your Chase card account for good.
There’s no real “right” or “wrong” answer that applies to everyone, but you should make an informed decision.