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Card surrender

Owning a credit card involves paperwork and some time but returning it is a bigger task, writes Arnav Pandya.

india Updated: Oct 03, 2007 21:34 IST

Credit cards are somewhat easy to own as the issuing bank's representative will come to your doorstep to sell the card.

Try giving it back and then you will realise that there are lots of problems in just completing the procedure of returning the card. In such a situation it is better to ensure that some basic steps are taken care of by you to help complete the process.

Outstanding amount

This is a very important situation that many face when try to return their cards. Often a small amount remains unpaid or is under dispute and this is the reason that the closure procedure is not completed. No matter how small the amount is or the fact that there will be some expense coming on the card, it has to be sorted out before the entire closing procedure begins. One should not use the card when it is being returned as this will result in an outstanding that will have to be settled by the end of the cycle and can cause a delay in the process.

Write a letter

There are several convenient options available when one is able to interact with the executives of the issuing bank. But the most effective route when it comes to closing a credit card is the old fashioned mail.

This does not mean that the other routes are ineffective but this route remains in the forefront as far as convenience and effectiveness is concerned. Once a letter is sent to the credit card bank, then you are more likely to get calls from the bank trying to persuade to retain the card rather than you running after them.

Proper procedure

People often call up the help line and then later find out that the route suggested by the call centre is not the actual one to be followed.

Further, every time there is a different executive on the line and you have to start explaining the case again and this can take a lot of time and effort.

Always check and confirm the instructions given by the call centre executive and then follow it so that you ensure that your efforts give results.

Be clear

Another important factor is that the person wishing to return the credit card has to be very clear that he actually wants to surrender it.

There will be lots of persuasion from the bank to change the conditions and other details, but if one is firm then the process will be smoother.

Also, this will enable the card holder to ensure that the correct procedure is being followed in returning the card.

(The writer is a Certified Financial Planner)