The Real Deal: How to successfully close out your credit card
Did you decide to open a new credit card this holiday season to rack up points, or added discounts?
News 12's consumer reporter Janice Lieberman has advice on whether you should close them out.
January may be the month to clean out your wallets and cut the cards.
Closing a card is tricky as it may affect your credit score, so it may make sense to keep the cards with no annual fees.
MORE: The Real Deal
There are steps to take before closing out:
Pay off your balance. You have to have a zero balance to get rid of the account.
Redeem your awards. Your points vanish when you close the card. Use them or lose them. Book a future flight, or ask if you can get a check in exchange for the points, or if the points can transfer to another credit card.
Call the number on the back of your card and speak to a representative to close out the account. Don't be swayed by extra incentives to keep it open.
Document the request to close the account by sending a letter or email to the right person at the bank to make sure the card is canceled.
After you have closed your cards, request a free credit report to make sure they have been closed, and to see if there are any errors that need to be addressed. You can go to annualcreditreport.com to request a free report every 12 months from all three credit bureaus.
If you have a story idea, question or tip, click here to reach out to Janice.