How to close a debit card account?

How to close a debit card account?

You can close a debit card account in person, via phone, or – in some cases – online. Before you do, you must move your money to a new account or location and edit any payments or deposits you may have scheduled. 

Are you tired of your bank’s policies and fees? Have you found a better alternative and need to close out your account? 

No matter your reason, we’re here to help you learn how to close a debit card account quickly and easily.

Luckily for you, I’ll show you how to close your debit card account. I’ll even show you some of the most common problems people face when closing their accounts. You’ll be on your way to closing your account in no time!

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Closing Your Debit Card Account

If you need to close your debit card account, there are a few steps you must complete before the closure is set in stone.

  1. Move your money
  2. Change scheduled payments
  3. Close the account
  4. Confirm the closure

Let’s take a deeper look at each one below.

1. Move Your Money

Chances are you have some money in the debit card account you want to close. If you haven’t considered it already, you need to brainstorm where you’ll move that money. If you only have a few bucks in the account, you could easily pull it out at an ATM without much effort.

Keep in mind, some banks will have an account minimum deposit. Falling below this account minimum may result in fees. Therefore, the best thing to do is talk to your bank before pulling all of your funds.

You may have to move a larger sum of money for those who get consistent paychecks or deposits into the account. While banks can be frustrating, it isn’t the most practical idea to stuff your money under your mattress and hope for the best. Your bank may not have given you the experience you wanted, but there are other banks out there that may.

If you’re tired of fees and surcharges, try looking into some online banking options. These usually offer no fees, higher interest rates, and easy online management of your money.

If you’re tired of giving your money to a bank for a measly few cents per month, you may like moving your money into a money market account or another type of investment.

The general recommendation is always to have at least one savings account where you can keep a safeguarded rainy-day fund.

Once you’ve chosen where to move your money, initiate the transfer. To facilitate the closing process, you’ll want to make sure your debit card account doesn’t have any money left.

2. Change Scheduled Payments

You have been missing out if you’ve never set up an automatic payment from or direct deposit into your debit card account. Scheduled payments are a great way to cross off a tedious task from the to-do list. Some types of scheduled payments can be used to pay for:

  • Memberships (gym, beauty, social, etc.)
  • Subscriptions (Netflix, Spotify, newspapers, monthly boxes, etc.)
  • Car payments
  • Mortgages/rent
  • Insurance
  • Student loans
  • Personal loans
  • Utilities
  • Household bills/credit cards

As for deposits, you may automatically receive one from your job every paycheck or from friends or relatives who transfer money to you from apps, Zelle, or their bank directly.

Take some time to write down all of the monthly payments and deposits. Then, you’ll need to go into each account to switch the payment or deposit source to your new account. This is another reason step #1 recommends opening up an alternative account and moving your money there before closing your debit card account.

You can usually reschedule those by calling the creditor or logging onto your account on the creditor’s website when it comes to automatic payments.

You’ll need to verbally communicate your new bank account numbers to your job and/or acquaintances for deposits. If you use apps like Venmo, PayPal, or CashApp, you should log on to your account and manually change the connected bank account to be up to date.

3. Close the Debit Card Account

Now that your finances are in order, it’s time to close your debit card account. First, you’ll need to choose how to do so.

If you live near your local branch, you may opt to pop in for a visit and close it face-to-face. You may prefer to make a phone call to customer service for those who are always on the go. 

Finally, you could close the account online from a computer for those whose bank offers it.

All forms of closure will require you to verify your identity, so be sure to have these few things handy:

  • Government-issued ID
  • Debit card
  • Bank account number

In-Person

To close your account in person, head to your local bank. You’ll probably need to speak to a customer service agent instead of the teller, who just does daily transactions.

The bank agent will likely ask you about your reasons for closing the account. They may even try to remedy your issues by waiving fees or reimbursing bank charges.

Banks tend to do this to avoid losing customers – especially if you’ve been with them for a long time – but the reasons you want to close your account will still be valid, so be sure to stay strong and accomplish what you went there to do.

Finally, be sure to ask for a confirmation of your account closure after all is said and done.

Via Phone

You may also opt to call your bank’s customer service line to close your account. You’ll be asked a few questions to confirm your identity, after which you can ask about account closures. The representative may try to convince you otherwise, but they must proceed according to what you want.

Be sure to ask about receiving a confirmation of the account closure via email. You’ll want some sort of record that this conversation took place.

Online

Closing an account online is the easiest way to eliminate your debit card account; however, not all banks offer this option. You’ll likely be able to close your account online if you’re using online banking or a bank that has few brick-and-mortar locations.

For example, Bank of America does not allow for online account closures as of April 2022, and TD Bank only accepts email request closures for specific accounts. Meanwhile, other banks like Capital One, Chase, and Ally allow for online closures.

Closing your account online is different at every bank. You’ll need to find the option to close the account under your settings, and you’ll likely have to wait 1-2 business days for confirmation. This process must typically be done on a computer or laptop – not on your bank’s mobile app.

4. Confirm the Debit Card Account Is Closed

As mentioned, it’s vital to confirm that your account has been closed. Keeping accurate financial records will save you from countless headaches in the future. Ask your bank to provide you with a confirmation notice or email about the closing of your account.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends that you have a paper trail of closed accounts in case the bank fails to close your account or this is a discrepancy down the line. Get a copy of this confirmation and keep it in your records.

Potential Problems with Closing an Account

Sometimes, you may not be able to close your account because of an issue. Common problems that may stop you from closing your debit card account include:

  • An overdrawn account: If your account is overdrawn, the bank will ask you to pay what you owe before they approve the account closure. If you manage to close the account while owing money to the bank, your debt will be moved to a creditor company that will follow you.
  • An inactive account: If you haven’t used your account for a long time, you may have reached your bank’s time limit, labeling your account as inactive. An inactive account usually cannot be closed, so you’ll need to reactivate it first. Reach out to your local branch to ask about reactivating and closing your debit card account.
  • Joint accounts: Some joint accounts will require both account holders to be present or approve the account closure.
  • Minor account: If the account is for a child (a minor), the parent who signed off on the account has the right to close it. If the child has reached the legal banking age in that state, they may close the account themselves.
  • Accounts of the deceased: If you are trying to close a debit card account that is in the name of a deceased person, you’ll need to abide by your state’s laws for this procedure. This will be impacted by the deceased’s will, listed beneficiaries, relation to you, and other factors. Speak with the bank and legal counsel before proceeding.

The Bottom Line

Before closing your debit card account, you should move your funds to a new account and reschedule any payments or deposits you had previously set up.

Once that’s done, you’ll be able to close your account at your local branch or over the phone. Some accounts even allow for cancellation online but check on your bank’s FAQ page for details. Make sure you have your ID, debit card, and account number handy when closing your account. 

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