How to cancel your credit card: Citibank, DBS, Standard Chartered and OCBC

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The world of credit card benefits is so fickle. Benefits change like the wind - your proudest 8 per cent cashback benefit can get removed anytime. What was once your beloved go-to credit card with the best promotions can become a useless piece of plastic overnight. All it takes is a change of credit card's terms and conditions, and bam, your relationship has come to an end.

If a credit card has fallen from grace, it's better to cancel it than to let it collect dust (and incur annual fees that you may forget to pay).

Here's our guide to why and how to cancel your credit card.

1. Should I cancel my credit cards?

Just as you thought you'd found the best credit card on earth - the perfect cashback or rewards credit card for your lifestyle - the bank decided to revise its terms and conditions. With a higher minimum spending amount and new cashback cap, suddenly your card gets condemned to a "hardly used" slot in your wallet.

Tempting as it is to hang on to it - just in case the bank realises it's made a grave mistake and changes its terms and conditions and reinstates some lucrative benefit - it's actually much wiser to cancel your credit card.

By cancelling the card, you not only receive one less annoying credit card statement per month, but you also remove the risk of accidentally getting slapped with annual fees (that you forgot about, incurred late charges, and could potentially give you a bad credit score).

After cancelling your credit card, wait out for 12 months. After that, you become eligible for credit card promotions and welcome bonuses targeting "new customers" if you no longer have any cards from a particular bank.

Most banks will consider you a "new customer" if at least 12 months have elapsed since you cancelled your last credit card with them. So, the earlier you cancel the card, the sooner you can qualify for the next juicy welcome bonus.

2. I'm about to cancel my credit cards… here's a checklist

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First, make your decision about which credit card(s) to cancel. If you're cancelling to become a new customer in 12 months' time, make sure you don't have any other cards with that same bank.

Before cancelling, check that you've cleared your account balance, including paying off in full any money owed through instalment programmes. The bank can refuse to cancel your card if you still owe them money.

You also want to redeem all your existing rewards points, air miles or (if necessary) cashback before cancelling, otherwise, you will lose them.

If you have a positive balance (pictured above, e.g. because of cashback), the bank is supposed to refund this cash to you after you cancel your card, but if you don't want to risk any hiccups you might want to use up any cash before cancelling the card.

And now you're all set!

3. Cancel credit cards in Singapore: Summary

When calling the bank's hotline to cancel your credit card, the customer service officer might ask why you are cancelling the card.

There's no need to feel like your privacy is being invaded as this is just part of their standard operating procedure. Just tell them you no longer use the card, and most often they will respectfully leave you alone.

Some banks might also make their customer service officers try to persuade you to continue using the card - just tell them you're not interested.

Credit card How to cancel
Citibank Call 6225 5225
DBS DBS Website Chatbot
Standard Chartered SCB Website
OCBC Call 6363 3333 or submit the form
UOB UOB Mighty app
HSBC HSBC Website Chatbot
CIMB Call 6333 6666 or submit the form
Maybank Call 1800 629 2265

4. Cancel Citibank credit card

PHOTO: Reuters

You can cancel your Citibank credit card by calling their 24-hour hotline at 6225 5225. Press three and log in with your NRIC or FIN and follow the instructions.

After verifying your identity with an SMS OTP, press zero to speak to a customer service officer (only from 8am - 8pm).

5. Cancel DBS credit card

Don't want to have to listen to hours of automated voice messages before getting connected to a customer service officer? You can now cancel your DBS credit cards online.

  • Go to the DBS website. Click on the chat box icon on the bottom right-hand side of the screen
  • A chatbot will pop up. Type "Terminate Card"
  • You'll be prompted to sign in to your DBS iBanking account
  • Select the credit card you plan to cancel, verify
  • Done!

Otherwise, you can cancel your card the conventional way by speaking to a customer service officer on the 24-hour DBS/ POSB. customer service hotline at 1800 111 1111 (from 8am - 12am). If you're overseas, call +65 6327 2265 instead.

6. Cancel credit card Standard Chartered

PHOTO: Standard Chartered

You can cancel your Standard Chartered credit card through the online banking website or the Standard Chartered mobile app.

After logging in, go to the menu bar, click on:

  • Help & Services
  • Card Management
  • Credit Card Cancellation
  • Select a reason for cancelling the card
  • Select credit card to cancel
  • Key in your mobile number so the Standard Chartered team can contact you
  • Submit. Screenshot and keep the reference number handy
  • Wait for a cancellation completion email and SMS
  • You may receive one more credit card statement after the cancellation

For those who have never bothered to use internet banking, you can simply call the Standard Chartered customer service hotline at 6747 7000 (8am - 8pm).

7. Cancel OCBC credit card

PHOTO: Reuters

Banks want you to hold their credit cards. Naturally, they will make it inconvenient for you to cancel your credit cards. Most banks, just like OCBC, don't explicitly allow you to cancel your credit card online.

You'll have to call the customer service hotline, hold and wait in queue for half an hour, before you speak to a customer service officer. Otherwise, you'll have to find a printer and print out the cancellation form.

To cancel your OCBC credit card, you'll have to call the OCBC customer service hotline at 6363 3333. If you are overseas, call +65 363 3333 instead. Choose the option to speak with a customer service officer.

You can also terminate your credit card in person by

8. Cancel UOB credit card

You can cancel your UOB credit card via the UOB Mighty mobile app. First, login to your UOB mobile app, then:

  • Choose the credit card you're cancelling (from the main page)
  • Click on "Settings"
  • Go to the bottom right corner, scroll the horizontal menu and click on "Cancel Card"

Otherwise, you can call the UOB customer service hotline at 1800 222 2121. If you're overseas, call +65 6222 2121 instead. Go through all the automated menus and request to speak with a customer service officer.

9. Cancel HSBC credit card

PHOTO: Reuters

There are two ways you can cancel your HSBC credit card: online via the HSBC ibanking website, or call the HSBC Customer Service hotline.

To cancel your HSBC credit card online, visit the HSBC website, and login. Then, click on the "Chat" icon on the bottom right-hand corner. You will be able to do it via the Chatbot.

Otherwise, you can call the HSBC customer service hotline at 6472 2669.

10. Cancel CIMB credit card

You can cancel your CIMB credit card by calling the CIMB customer service hotline at 6333 6666 (24 hours, daily).

Otherwise, you can cancel your CIMB credit card in person:

11. Cancel Maybank credit card

To cancel your Maybank credit card, you will need to call the Maybank Singapore customer service hotline at 1800 629 2265 (24 hours).

When your card has been successfully cancelled, you should receive a notification from the bank that your account has been closed. Make a note of the date your card was cancelled so you'll know when you can once again qualify for new customer sign-up bonuses.

You can now dispose of your card safely. Before tossing your card into the trash, cut it into half with a pair of scissors, making sure to cut through the EMV chip. If you're particularly cautious, toss the two halves into two different bins. Congratulations on Marie Kondo-ing your wallet!

ALSO READ: A Singaporean's guide to Visa credit card surcharge fees

This article was first published in MoneySmart.