Strictly speaking, you can’t close a credit card account as long as you owe the card provider money. What you can do is tell the credit card company to close the account to new charges. The account will remain open until you pay off the existing debt. As long as you owe money, new charges can be added to your credit card account balance.
Closing a Credit Card
Credit card companies charge fees and interest on the money you borrow each time you make a purchase with your card. Your obligation to pay the charges doesn't end until you pay off what you owe. This means interest charges continue as long as there is an outstanding balance. You'll also be charged any fees that apply under the terms of the credit card agreement. For example, you can be hit with a late fee if you don’t make the monthly payment on time. Once you pay off any outstanding balance, you can close the account and no more charges can be imposed.
- Bankrate.com: Credit Card Fees and Penalties FAQs
- Bankrate.com: How to Cancel a Credit Card – the Right Way
- Capital One. "How Credit Card Interest Works." Accessed Aug. 31, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Can a Credit Card Company Charge Me Interest After I Close My Account?" Accessed Aug. 31, 2020.
- Discover Bank. "How Does My Credit Card Interest Work." Accessed Aug. 31, 2020.
- Discover Bank. "Does Closing a Credit Card Hurt My Credit Score?" Accessed Aug. 31, 2020.
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, W D Adkins has been writing professionally since 2008. He writes about business, personal finance and careers. Adkins holds master's degrees in history and sociology from Georgia State University. He became a member of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2009.