Ways to cancel your credit card

Credit cards are a huge benefit for many customers, but there comes a time that you have too many cards to handle. You can benefit from card cancellation greatly, and you can cancel them smoothly by following this short guide.

What Happens After You Cancel a Credit Card?

You’ll mostly get positive outcomes after you cancel an OCBC credit card or any credit card account from virtually any provider.

Cancelling your card can give you peace of mind and relief from the enormous credit card debt, annual fee, and possible future debt it can cause to you. Alternatively, it will negatively affect your credit score if you don’t pay its outstanding debts and previous fees for the year completely.

In addition, cancelling your credit card turns you into a new card owner by the time you re-apply for a card from your credit card issuer. But, keep in mind that taking on a new card will cause its neutral score to affect your existing credit history negatively for a temporary period.

Reasons To Cancel Your Card

Here are three solid reasons why you must consider cancelling your credit card accounts.

Eligibility and Sign-Up Bonus Renewal

Credit cards are excellent tools for instant financing, building your credit score, and getting excellent 1-2 year sign-up bonuses that some credit card companies provide. Some cards from HSBC and Standard Chartered give you first and second-year annual fee waivers and lower interest as a new credit card owner.

After you cancel a card from the same bank, you’re eligible for their new card sign-up bonuses after 6-12 months. The length of time it takes to become a new card owner depends on the credit card issuer’s stated limitations. For example, DBS, HSBC, and Citibank will consider you eligible for sign-up bonuses after canceling your card 12 months ago.

Here’s a handy table to help you determine when you’re considered a new credit card owner after canceling your card from the same issuer.

Bank New-to-bank Definition
Citibank 12 months
DBS 12 months
HSBC 12 months
Maybank 9 months
OCBC 6 months
Standard Chartered 12 months
UOB 6 months

Prevent Accumulating Orphan Points

Orphan points are points saved on a credit card that cannot be used because a card account has been closed.

Most card owners who have a high-spending credit card credit card will often accumulate “orphan points”. These points cannot be used because they infrequently use the credit card or the bank has policies that leave the card with unspent points.

For example, a card issuer may indicate that you need 4,000 card points to exchange for 1,000 miles as a minimum. You currently have 4,200 points, leaving you with 200 orphaned points after redeeming your miles and canceling the credit card.

With this in mind, spend your rewards before you cancel your card – it’s important! Do this whenever possible to avoid missed promotions and savings.

On the other hand, some cards allow you to cancel your existing card but leave your accumulated points in an account pool. Once you sign up for another credit card with the same company, you can recollect or redeem your points using your new card.

Below is a handy table to help you determine which Singaporean banks and card issuers have pools that reduce your accumulated orphan points upon cancellation.

Pools Your Points Does Not Pool Your Points
Banks DBS




American Express

Standard Chartered



Bank of China

Reduce Annual Fees

Credit cards are optimal solutions if they suit your lifestyle. For example, the Maybank Family and Friends card is useful for young professionals and budding Singaporean families because of its excellent spending categories. The credit card’s cashback features make it useful for saving cash and worth paying the annual fees.

In this light, only keep credit cards that are a crucial part of your monthly budgets or if it’s the last card you currently have. Reducing the cards, you use immediately reduces the annual fees you pay yearly, a great relief to your existing budgets and extra money for your savings or leisure.

Things to Consider Before Cancelling a Credit Card

After reading about the benefits it’s motivating to just be done with your card. However, cardholders need to consider a few things before canceling their credit card.

Clear Outstanding Balances

Clear all of your outstanding balances from your credit card before canceling it. If you cancel a credit card and leave a balance, you’ll get a negative rating on your credit score. In addition, the credit card company will most likely collect the amount that remains unpaid while applying the same interest rate.

It can be challenging to clear your outstanding balances, especially if you’re canceling the card because of the enormous debt. Fortunately, you can use balance transfer accounts and cards, which the same bank may provide. Using balance transfers helps you reduce your interest rate to zero while paying a huge chunk or all of your debt in the process.

Some banks can charge you high penalties for canceling cards with outstanding debt. Therefore, do some research before you decide to cancel a card with existing debt (if it’s the only way).

Pay All Possible Penalties

All credit cards have annual, cash advance, and late fees. You’ll need to pay all these fees, especially the ones you’ve continuously accrued through the years. Late and overdraft fees can accumulate if you’ve left them unpaid, and you may pay a high penalty if you don’t address them before canceling your credit card. Consider that banks can charge penalties on all unpaid debt or penalties accrued from supplementary cards after you’ve canceled the main card.

Use All Outstanding Rewards

No bank will penalize you for leaving orphan points after canceling your credit card. However, these were benefits you took leaps for in the past numerous times. If you can exchange them for vouchers and spend them on necessities, do so where possible. On the other hand, if it consumes your time rather than give you any benefits, it’s best to leave orphan points and just cancel your card.

You won’t need to worry about this step if you work with a bank that pools your credit card points even after canceling it.

Cancel Automatic Billing and Transfers

Forgetting to cancel automatic billing and transfers can lead to unpaid monthly bills and subscriptions. Overdraft credit cards that have yet to receive the issuer’s cancellation confirmation will cause your debt to plunge further because of the automated charges. With this in mind, make sure to remove automatic billing and transfers to avoid higher debt and possible penalties.

Fortunately, most Singaporean card issuers let you use applications to manage your existing credit cards. Head to your app and cancel all automatic billing and transfer schedules from its internal calendar. In doing so, you give yourself peace of mind and fewer hassles after canceling.

Anticipate Last-Minute Charges On Your Card

Your bank will give you a full overview of penalties and other fees to pay before closing your card. One of them is the inactivity fee that is most common with unused cards.

Credit companies charge inactivity fees when you have not used your credit card for a certain period. It is common for cards to remain unused for at least one year. However, banks can only charge you for inactivity for five years. If you haven’t used your card for a long time, anticipate this last-minute charge on your card.

Contact Your Credit Card Company

With all details considered, it’s time to contact your credit card company. You can contact them in various ways.

First, you can call your bank’s customer care service. This process is the easiest, especially if banks have a streamlined card cancellation process for their customers. Customer service representatives will list the requirements and fees to pay before closing your card.

Next, you can use either snail mail or email to send a written request to have your credit card canceled. Write about your intent to cancel your card and send it to their postal or email address.

Lastly, online facilities on the bank or card issuer’s website can make it easier to send them a message and process your cancellation.

Get The Exact Credit Card Date Cancellation

After submitting and fulfilling all your card closing requirements, ask your customer service representative about the exact card cancellation date. This is crucial because you’ll plan your expenses and future credit card application based on that date.

Request a Written Confirmation of Your Cancellation

In addition, once they’ve notified you about the final cancellation date, request any documentation that confirms your card has been canceled. In doing so, you prevent any future attributions to illegal expenses done with your card or card number. Many fraudsters use deactivated cards in scams and spoofing, making this step important if you face sudden charges.

Re-Check Your Credit Reports and Dispute Any Incorrections

If you’ve successfully paid all fees and complied with the bank’s requirements, you won’t see any issues or changes in your credit score. Only customers who closed their card with existing outstanding debt and ongoing installment payments will face negative financial activity reports that negatively affect scores.

Other Important Things to Know

Here are some questions that can help further your knowledge about closing credit cards.

How Do I Choose Which Card to Cancel?

Any customer with multiple credit cards pays for multiple annual fees, interest rates, inactivity fees, and penalties. Thus, it’s wise to leave just one or two cards they can afford to use. Choosing between your available cards can be challenging, so here’s a short guide to help you out.

Card Usage

A card that gives you perks and discounts benefitting your lifestyle is frequently-used. For example, a frequently-flying businessman meeting clients from every part of the world will want a card that gives them flyer miles, airport perks, and takes care of their transportation and lodging. However, the same card wouldn’t benefit a family that spends frequently on groceries and seldom on travel.

With this in mind, list down the perks and disadvantages of each credit card you own. Then, list down your daily and monthly necessities. Doing this helps quickly match you with the cards that are worth keeping.

Card Fees

In reality, credit cards are privileged services, so they have high fees and minimum spending. If you have multiple fees to address with your cards, it’s worth removing the expensive ones from your roster.

Is It Wise to Cancel All My Credit Cards?

If you have a credit card that has a 0% balance transfer offer, canceling it may not be wise. Canceling all of your credit cards may lead to the cancellation of services you’ve subscribed to and automated transfers.

Our Final Thoughts

Canceling credit cards is a huge step towards improving your budget and managing your expenses. These privilege services are a great benefit – but only if it helps your lifestyle and give you full control over it.

  • Canceling your credit card won’t negatively affect your credit score if you’ve paid all your dues and submitted all requirements.
  • Depending on your card issuer, a canceled credit card can give you sign-up perks in 6-12 months.
  • You may lose rewards points from non-pooling cards. Make sure that your bank pools your points to avoid any orphaned points.

Raffles Credit can provide you with up to six months of your monthly salary in a personal loan that you can receive when you submit all requirements. Fill out our inquiry form today to get started!