Can I close a bank account online?

A couple seated on a sofa use a mobile phone to close a bank account online.Image: A couple seated on a sofa use a mobile phone to close a bank account online.

In a Nutshell

Some banks may let you close your account online with options such as a live chat with customer service. But if closing your account online isn’t an option at your bank, you may be able to do it over the phone, by mail or fax or in person.
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Closing a bank account online is simple and convenient.

Maybe you’ve moved to a new city, or you want to consolidate all your accounts across different banks with one institution. More commonly, maybe you’ve just found a better deal at another bank and want to jump ship.

For convenience, you might be wondering, “can I close a bank account online?” That would be a faster way to get it done, after all. And if you’ve moved, it might not be possible to visit a local branch to close your old account.

The answer is yes, some banks let their customers close their bank accounts online. But you’ll need to get a few things in order first. Here’s how to do it.

Can I close a bank account online?

If you’re looking to close your bank account and you’d rather avoid a trip to the bank in person, some banks let you close your accounts online.

The details will vary from bank to bank, but closing your bank account online might be as easy as logging into your account and looking for the option to close your account. If not, you may need to send a secure message through your online messaging portal.

If you can’t find where to close your bank account online, or if closing the account online is not an option, your bank may also have other ways for you to close an account remotely through different methods. After all, banks do need some way to close accounts for people who aren’t physically in the area.

What you need to know about closing a bank account

Closing your bank account online is relatively easy, but it’ll take some work before you’re actually ready to pull the plug on your old account for good.

Here are some key steps to take:

Open up your new bank account

If you’re switching banks, you’ll want to have your new account set up and ready to go before you start transitioning everything over from your old account. Opening a new bank account is easy and quick to do.

Transfer your money to your new bank account

Once you have a new place set up for your money, it’s time to transfer your cash over.

It’s a good idea to leave a small amount of money in your old account for the time being, just to cover any surprise charges that come through. Once you’re sure no more charges will be hitting your old account, you can finish transferring that last bit of cash over.

Set up your automatic deposits and bill payments with your new bank

Make a list of all the places that you get deposits from and who you owe money to. You’ll need to link up your new bank account with each of them. Things to check include:

  • Credit cards
  • Your employer
  • Any money transfer services you use, like Zelle for business
  • Payment apps, such as Venmo or PayPal
  • Student loans, mortgages, auto loans, personal loans or other debt

Go through your bank statements for the past year

You’ve worked to make a list of people who you send money to and get money from regularly — but just to be sure, set aside some time to go through the last 12 months of your bank statements.

This helps you avoid missing anything, like annual payments for insurance or auto registration, for example — or your Amazon Prime subscription. Make sure you link each of these up with your new bank account as well.

Close your old bank account

It’s a good idea to let your old bank account sit idle for a month or two just to keep an eye on it in case any surprise charges go through. Once you’re confident that you’ve gotten everything, go ahead and transfer the last bit of cash over.

Then you should be ready to finish closing the account.

Will closing a bank account affect my credit?

Good news if you’re worried that closing your bank account will affect your credit scores: It generally won’t. Your credit scores depend on a lot of factors, but your bank account dealings typically aren’t one of them.

There are some exceptions, though.

First, if you signed up for a service like UltraFICO that uses your checking, savings and money market accounts to help increase your credit scores, you’ll want to make sure those linkages are transferred over to your new bank account.

You’ll also want to be extra vigilant for any missed payments being drawn from your closed account. If you miss a payment, you could get hit with a late fee and a ding to your credit score. Make sure your contact information is up to date with all of your lenders so that they can quickly contact you if any payments don’t go through.

Finally, if you have a negative balance when you try to close your account — and if you don’t settle it — the bank will likely close the account for you and send your debt to a collection agency, an action that would hurt your credit scores.

What’s next?

Closing a bank account online can be a convenient way to wrap things up at your old bank. But if using online methods isn’t an option at your financial institution, here are a few alternatives to consider:

  • Send a letter: You may be able to print out a form and send it in to your bank, or even fax it in.
  • Call the bank: A customer service rep may help you close your bank account with a phone call.
  • Visit a branch in person: If all else fails or if you’d prefer to close your account in person, you can always head to your local branch — assuming it’s not an online-only bank.

About the author: Lindsay VanSomeren is a freelance writer living in Kirkland, Washington. She has been a professional dogsled racer, a wildlife researcher, and a participant in the National Spelling Bee. She writes for websites such a… Read more.