How to Deactivate Your Credit Card?

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While credit cards come with an assortment of benefits, offers, and benefits, having multiple credit cards can certainly be overwhelming. In such circumstances, experts often advise to eliminate less frequently used cards by deactivating them.

Several factors such as unfamiliarity with usage, difficulty in expense management, relocation to another country, and various other reasons might prompt you to deactivate your credit card.

However, many individuals mistakenly assume that refraining from using a credit card will automatically result in the account being deactivated — this notion is an inaccurate one.

Even if you are not actively using your credit card, certain charges may still apply. Moreover, procrastinating on payments could potentially lower your credit score. To avoid all of this, you should consider deactivating such credit cards.

Let’s find out more about how to deactivate your credit card.

When Should You Deactivate Your Credit Card?

You might think about deactivating your credit card in the following circumstances -

  • If your credit card comes with a high annual fee but provides limited advantages
  • When the interest/profit rate on your credit card is significant and you intend to maintain a balance
  • If handling your debts has become challenging and having multiple credit cards is encouraging overspending
  • If you wish to transition from a student or secured card to a standard or rewards card 

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How Does Deactivating a Credit Card Impact Your Credit Score?

If you decide to deactivate your credit card, keep in mind that this will lead to a reduction in your available credit limit. Consequently, your credit utilisation ratio will rise, indicating a potentially higher risk to lenders.

Note: Your credit utilisation ratio is calculated by dividing the sum of your credit card balances by the total of all your credit limits, yielding a percentage that represents your utilisation ratio.

This elevated ratio suggests that you are using a significant portion of your available credit, a scenario experts advise against. As a rule of thumb, the lower your credit utilisation rate, the more favourable it is. Experts generally recommend maintaining a credit utilisation rate below 30%.

Deactivating a credit card can also have adverse effects on your credit score, particularly by decreasing the average age of accounts on your credit report. The age of your credit accounts is a significant determinant of your credit score in the UAE.

The al etihad credit bureau (AECB) assigns higher credit scores to individuals with longer payment histories. If the closed credit card account has a history of missed payments, this negative information will persist on your credit report for a duration of 5 to 7 years.

With all that said, although your credit scores might experience an immediate drop upon closing a credit card, you can certainly take steps to enhance them within a few months by consistently paying your bills on time. Similarly, if you have deactivated an account but have not acquired new debt, your credit score will gradually rebound over time.

It is recommended by experts to refrain from deactivating a credit card if you intend to apply for other credit cards or loans in the upcoming months.

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Ways in Which You Can Deactivate Your Credit Card

Let’s go through some ways in which you can deactivate your credit card -

How to Deactivate Your Credit Card via Customer Care?

To deactivate your credit card, you can get in touch with your bank's customer service representatives. Once you've made this request to the bank's customer support team, one of their agents will reach out to you to guide you through the subsequent steps. They will inquire about the reason for deactivating your credit card and gather a few related details.

You can readily locate the contact information for your bank's customer support personnel on the official website of the bank.

How to Deactivate Your Credit Card via Email?

To deactivate your credit card, you can also initiate the process by sending a request for the same to your bank or credit card issuer via email. Simply furnish your credit card information and personal details in the email and clearly state your request for deactivation. After the information that you provide is verified, your request will be duly processed.

You can locate the appropriate email address for sending your request on the official website of your bank or credit card issuer.

How to Deactivate Your Credit Card Via Website?

Certain banks and credit card issuers provide the convenience of remotely deactivating your credit card through their official online platform.

Just follow these simple steps in this case -

  • Access the bank's official website and log in using your account credentials.
  • Navigate to the 'Credit Card' section and choose the 'Deactivate' option.
  • Complete the deactivation form by providing the necessary information and click 'Submit'.

Once you've submitted the form, a representative from the bank will get in touch with you to confirm your request, after which the deactivation process will start accordingly.

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Things to Keep in Mind When Deactivating Your Credit Card

Here are some things and tasks you should complete when deactivating your credit card -

  • Know the Implications of Deactivating Your Credit Card - When you deactivate your credit card, your credit score might get affected negatively. Moreover, it can also affect your lifestyle if you have been using luxury benefits available on the credit card. Thus, make sure you consider this one major factor when deactivating your credit card. If you have always maintained your credit card smartly and used it in a way that raised your credit score, deactivating it will affect your credit. It is affected even if you underwent the correct exiting procedure. Similarly, deactivating a credit card to mask a negative payment history will not help either. The delinquencies in your payment history will stay no matter what. 
  • Make the Most of the Credit Card Benefits - Prior to deactivating your credit card, you should use up all the remaining benefits on your credit card - air miles, reward points, cashback, and more. Alternatively, you can connect with your bank to find out if you can transfer the remaining benefits to another credit card. 
  • Pay Your Final Bill - It is important to settle all the remaining balances, charges, and fees before deactivating your credit card. 

Other things to consider before deactivating your credit card -

  • Cancel all auto-debits and bill transfers on the credit card
  • Get a written confirmation of the credit card deactivation date from the customer care executives and make sure that your account is closed 
  • Check your credit card statement to find out if there are any last-minute charges on the credit card. 
  • Make yourself aware of the credit card deactivation process of your bank or credit card provider.

Go through the following frequently asked questions section to know more about how to deactivate your credit card. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Can you deactivate your unused credit card?

Ans: Yes, you can deactivate your unused credit card if you don’t need it.

Q2. Is there any fee or charge involved in deactivating your credit card?

Ans: No fees or charges are involved in deactivating your credit card.

Q3. What happens if you have a remaining balance when you file a request to deactivate your credit card?

Ans: You cannot request for credit card deactivation if you have an outstanding balance on your credit card. You would first need to clear all the dues before filing a request for the same.

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