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Banking Basics

How to Close a Bank Account at the Top 5 Biggest U.S. Banks

Get the answers you need to quickly and easily close accounts with a traditional bank and take charge of your money.

Melanie Lockert • June 11, 2021

Not all banks are created equal, and it’s often not very clear how to close your account. Whether you’re moving, looking to upgrade your banking features or sick of how many fees are involved, there’s still time to find a better banking option that will fit your needs and help you keep more of your hard-earned money. 

Closing a bank account is usually pretty easy. The most common ways to close your account are by visiting a local branch, calling your bank or sending your bank a letter. Read on to figure out what you need to do.

In This Article

  1. Before You Close Your Account: A Checklist
  2. How to Close a Bank of America Account
  3. How to Close a Wells Fargo Account
  4. How to Close a Chase Account
  5. How to Close a PNC Account
  6. How to Close a Citibank Account
  7. Closing Accounts at Traditional Banks FAQs
  8. Final Thoughts

Before You Close Your Account: A Checklist

Once you decide to break up with your bank, there are some items to check off your list before you officially close your account. 

1. Open Your New Account

First, you’ll want to figure out where you want to open your new account. Focus on what’s most important to you. For some, it’s the no hidden fees or amazing mobile features that allow you to bank easily on the go. Once you make your decision, go through the steps to open your new account.

2. Transfer Your Money

Next, you’ll want to move all of the money out of your old account into your new account. Make sure you talk to your bank about withdrawal/transfer limits. If you empty your account and hold off on closing it, you may also get hit with a balance limit fee. It’s often helpful to close your account the same day you transfer your money to avoid this. 

You can also keep a small cushion in the account to cover unexpected fees. Banks will usually send you a check with your remaining balance after your account is closed. 

3. Change Any Automatic Payments

If you have any automatic transactions set up, make sure you switch them over to your new account. Think electric bill, credit cards, car payments, etc. It may help to check over your last billing statement to make sure you have everything covered. 

4. Switch Your Direct Deposit 

If you have direct deposit setup, change it over to your new account. This usually involves providing your employer with a  voided check from your new account or a permission form. This will ensure your paycheck lands in the right spot. 

5. Confirm Everything Has Cleared

Make sure there are no pending transactions on your account. This means deposits have cleared and anything you’ve spent has left your account. 

Once you complete these steps, you’ll be ready to actually close the account. Keep a record of everything, whether it’s receipts, billing statements, etc. This will help confirm you switched your account correctly.  

How to Close a Bank of America Account

A common reason you might want to close a Bank of America bank account is because of their fees. Bank of America’s monthly fees can hit up to $25 a month¹ — that’s $300 a year! If you’ve decided to ditch the monthly charges, here’s what you can do to close your Bank of America checking or savings account.  

  • Visit a local Bank of America branch and ask to close your account 
  • Call Bank of America at 1-800-432-1000 and follow the prompts to request to cancel your account
  • Send a written request to close the account to:  Bank of America, FL1-300-01-29, PO Box 25118, Tampa, FL 33622-5118. Sign the letter and include instructions on how to receive your remaining balance, if eligible

You might be wondering, “Can I close my bank account online?” As with Chase Bank, you cannot close a Bank of America account online, so your safest bet is to use one of the methods above. To confirm your account is closed, get a written confirmation for your records.¹

How to Close a Wells Fargo Account

The next traditional bank up is Wells Fargo. Whether it’s lack of trust, seeing too much bad press, or just looking for something that better suits your needs, if you want to close your Wells Fargo bank account, we’ve got you covered. There are a couple of ways you can close your Wells Fargo checking or savings account.

  • Call 1-800-869-3557 and request to close your account over the phone 
  • Visit a Wells Fargo branch near you and request to close your account in person
  • Complete Wells Fargo’s “Account Closure or Partial Withdrawal Request form” and send it to them in the mail 

If you close your account via mail, they will send you a check for your remaining balance. Make sure you get a confirmation from Wells Fargo that your account has been successfully closed. They will continue to charge fees, such as a monthly service charge, until the account is fully closed.² 

How to Close a Chase Account

Next up is Chase. If you’re wondering how to close a Chase bank account, there are a couple of ways to do it. 

  • Fill out the “Account Closing Form” and bring it to a nearby Chase branch 
  • Call Chase at 1-800-935-9935 and tell them you want to close your Chase checking account or Chase savings account 

Chase does not have an option to close your bank account online. Make sure you get written confirmation that your account is closed for your records.³

How to Close a PNC Account

If you’re wondering how to close a PNC bank account, you may be stumped. PNC doesn’t provide easy-to-find instructions on their website. According to ex-customers, there are a couple of options.  

  • Go online and request to close your bank account through PNC’s chat system 
  • Visit a PNC branch in-person and tell them you want to close your account
  • Call their customer service line at 1-888-PNC-BANK (1-888-762-2265) and ask how to can close your account

When closing a bank account with PNC, be sure to get a written confirmation for your records.⁴

How to Close a Citibank Account

Last on the list is Citibank. If you’re interested in closing a bank account with Citibank, there are a few ways to do this. 

  • Visit your local Citibank branch and tell them you want to close the account.
  • Call 1-888-374-9700 to talk to a representative and let them know you’re interested in closing a bank account.
  • Send a message through your Citibank online portal with a request to close the account

Be sure to get written confirmation for your records when you’ve closed a Citibank checking or savings account.⁵

Closing Accounts at Traditional Banks FAQs

Can I close a bank account online?

It depends on the bank. Some let you submit a request using online messaging, some let you talk to a rep through online chat, and others make you go in-person or get on the phone. It never hurts to try.

How do I get money from a closed bank account?

As long as you can produce a valid form of identification that complies with your bank’s Customer Identification Program (CIP), you can make a withdrawal at any banking center. Alternatively, your bank may allow you to submit a request to have your account closed via the mail, at which point the remaining funds are disbursed in the form of a check.

How do I close a joint bank account?

The process for closing a joint bank account depends on your bank. While sSome banks require both account holders to provide their consent to add or remove a person from a joint account. Others allow any account holder to close a joint account unilaterally by visiting the branch in person.

How much does it cost to close a bank account?

With careful planning, it’s possible to avoid any fees when switching over to a new bank. But if you’re shutting down a relatively new account, you may have to pay an early account closure fee. And if your bank reopens your inactive account because of stubborn automatic transactions you forgot to deactivate, you could be on the hook for a longer list of fees. You also want to beware of minimum balance fees if there is a lag between transferring money out of your account and officially closing the account.

Will closing my bank account affect my credit score?

Closing a bank account won’t directly affect your credit. It could, however, cause you difficulties and affect your credit score if it’s been closed with a negative balance. Make sure any outstanding fees are paid and pending transactions have cleared. 

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of options to consider when it comes to banking. Prioritize what’s important to you, and decide if you’re ready to move on from traditional banks. If you’re ready to make the leap, make sure you follow the right steps to make the process as quick and easy as possible. 

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1 https://www.bankofamerica.com/deposits/account-information-and-access-faqs/

2 https://www.wellsfargo.com/help/checking-savings/open-close-account-faqs/

3 https://www.chase.com/digital/customer-service

4 https://www.pnc.com/en/customer-service.html

5 https://online.citi.com/US/ag/contactus

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