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

By Melanie Lockert
October 30, 2019
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC

Here’s the deal: not all banks are created equal and there’s not a lot of clear information on how to close a bank account. Like many of us in banking relationships with big banks, you probably had a good start and all was going well. Then things started to get complicated and expensive. There were overdraft fees, monthly maintenance fees, minimum balances fees, etc. And, perhaps the worst part: you felt as if you were giving up more than you were getting.

Don’t worry, there’s still time and there are plenty of other no-fee bank accounts in the sea that fit your needs. If you feel like you’re ready to part ways with your bank and open a new account with a better banking option, take a look at our primer on how to close a bank account at the top 5 biggest banks.

  1. How to close a Wells Fargo Account
  2. How to close a Chase account
  3. How to close a Bank of America account
  4. How to close a PNC Bank account
  5. How to close a Citibank account
  6. 5 Ways to Make Switching Banks Easier
  7. FAQ

How to close a Wells Fargo Account

Wells Fargo has seen a flurry of press coverage in recent years — and not the good kind. As it turned out, Wells Fargo employees created millions of fraudulent accounts in order to try and inflate their sales numbers, according to the New York Times and other news outlets. Not only did Wells Fargo create fake accounts, but employees received bonuses for meeting phony sales goals, too.

If you’re a Wells Fargo customer, it’s understandable if you no longer trust your bank. So if you want to close your Wells Fargo account, here’s three ways to do it:

  1. Calling 1-800-869-3557. Submit a request to Wells Fargo to cancel the account. You can do this either online, in-person, or over the phone.
  2. If you have a remaining balance, you’ll want to transfer your funds to another financial institution before closing your account. You can also fill out the Account Closure or Partial Withdrawal Request form if you want your balance to be sent to you via check. Make sure you switch the accounts on any bills you have on auto-pay, so your payments can continue to go through.
  3. Contact Wells Fargo by visiting a Wells Fargo branch to close the account in-person or sign into your Wells Fargo account and click on ‘Contact Us’. From there, go to the ‘More’ menu to submit a formal request to close your account.

To make sure Wells Fargo canceled your account, get a written confirmation for your records.

How to close a Chase account

Wondering how to close a Chase bank account? There are a couple of ways to close the account. It should also be noted that your cancellation cannot be processed online. Here’s how to close a bank account with Chase:

  1. Transfer your remaining funds to your new bank account. Remember to leave a small sum of money in your Chase Bank account to cover any unexpected expenses.
  2. Fill out the Account Closing Form. You’ll need to provide information, including the name of the account, your address and the address where you want Chase to send you the remaining balance in the account.
  3. Bring the form to a nearby Chase branch and request to close your account. You can also call Chase at 1-800-935-9935 to get assistance with closing your Chase account.

To cancel the account completely, make sure you get written confirmation for your records.

How to close a Bank of America account

If you’re a Bank of America customer and want to avoid a monthly fee, you need to keep a minimum balance. If you don’t meet that requirement, you could end up paying $12 to $25 in monthly maintenance fees. Customers that are unable to consistently meet the minimum balance pay between $144 to $300 per year! Ready to ditch fees and minimum balances? Here’s how to close a bank account with Bank of America:

  1. Transfer any remaining balances to another financial institution. Then, update your payment preferences on bills that use auto-pay so you can continue to make payments automatically.
  2. Go to a local Bank of America branch to close your Bank of America account.
  3. Call Bank of America at 800.432.1000 to close the account.
  4. 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 closing a bank account, get a written confirmation for your records.

How to close a PNC Bank account

Closing bank accounts can be difficult as there are not always clear-cut instructions on how to do so. If you’re wondering how to close a PNC bank account, it can be tough to find available information online.

However, according to some PNC customers, you can close a PNC account online through their web chat system. It’s likely you can also call the bank or go into a PNC branch to learn how to close your PNC account. Here’s how to close a bank account with PNC:

  1. Transfer any remaining balances to your new bank account. Update your payment preferences on bills that use auto-pay so you can continue to make payments.
  2. Close your PNC account online through their chat system or go in-person to your local branch. You can also call their customer service line at 1-888-PNC-BANK for assistance on how to close the account.

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

How to close a Citibank account

If you’re interested in closing a bank account with Citibank, there are a few ways to do this. Here’s how to close a bank account with Citibank:

  1. Transfer any remaining balances to your new bank account. Update your payment preferences on bills that use auto-pay so you can continue to make payments.
  2. Visit your local Citibank branch and tell them you want to close the account.
  3. Call 1-888-CITIBANK (1-888-248-4226) to talk to a representative and let them know you’re interested in closing a bank account.
  4. Send a message through your Citibank online portal with a request to close the account.

If you want to close Citibank accounts, be sure to get a written confirmation for your records.

5 Ways to Make Switching Banks Easier

1. Find a new bank

First, you’ll want to find a new bank. Chime, for example, is all about bringing you financial peace of mind. Whether it’s getting your paycheck earlier, getting support when you overdraft, or working on your credit score, Chime always has your back. Sign up today!

2. Set all of your bills to autopay

Track down and set all of your bills to autopay to ensure there is no lapse in payments. A good way to make sure you’re covered for all of your auto-payments is to pull up your last month’s statement and find the monthly recurring transactions. Look for: power, garbage, transit passes, subscriptions, etc. For subscription services, Chime offers a Bill Switch option which allows you to instantly switch bills for services like Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, and more once you enroll.

3. Keep a small amount of money in your old bank account for a month

Make it official and stop using the bank account you are closing, but keep it open for a month and leave a small cushion in the account (i.e. $100-$200). This will cover any unexpected transactions or bank fees that may hit your account while you’re making the transition.

4. Gather your bank information

Have your bank account numbers and an I.D. at the ready to answer any security questions. If your bank requires you to cancel in person, be sure to fill out the required documentation ahead of time so that you can make the process as painless as possible.

5. Update your direct deposit

Ask your company’s payroll department to update your direct deposit settings to reflect the change in account. You’ll need to provide your new bank account’s routing and account numbers. This may take some time to take effect so be sure to monitor both accounts to make sure the changes go through correctly.

FAQ

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 some banks require both account holders to provide their consent to add or remove a person from a joint account, most banks 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.

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.


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