How to Cancel an American Express Card for You or Someone Who Died

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An American Express card can be very helpful (if you use it wisely) in many instances. However, there may come a time when you no longer have use for yours. This guide will explain how to cancel your American Express card if you ever find yourself in that situation.

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Additionally, along with managing someone’s digital assets after death, you might also be responsible for managing a loved one’s credit cards after their death. We will also delve into the process of canceling a deceased loved one’s American Express.

Just keep in mind that this is a general overview. Specific circumstances such as needing to cancel a deceased person’s corporate American Express card can sometimes alter the steps in the process slightly. If you still have some questions about how to cancel an American Express card after reading this blog, it’s best to contact the company.

How to Cancel Your Own American Express Card

American Express’s online information doesn’t explain the process for canceling your card in any specific terms. They advise calling them directly to begin the cancelation process. They’ll likely need you to have your account number on hand, and they’ll ask you questions to confirm you are who you claim to be.

You can call American Express via the number on the back of your card. If you’re outside the US, call 1-336-393-1111. American Express also states you may need to call the Program Administrator to cancel a corporate card.

That said, experts also recommend following certain essential steps when canceling any credit card, whether it’s an AmEx or not. They are:

Step 1: Pay off your balance

If you have a remaining balance, make sure you pay it off before trying to cancel the card.

Step 2: Redeem rewards

Don’t rob yourself when canceling an American Express card. If you cancel your American Express, only to later find out you had rewards you never redeemed, you may not be able to do so now.

(This blog will cover that topic in greater detail later.)

Step 3: Send a letter

Along with calling the bank to start the cancelation process, experts also recommend sending an official cancelation letter.

The customer service representative you speak with can tell you where to send it. This ensures there’s documentation proving you intended to cancel your card in case any disputes arise later.

Step 4: Destroy the card

Using a shredder is the best way to destroy most typical credit cards. However, sometimes a card may be made of metal, and a shredder won’t do the trick. Contact the bank if this is the case.

They can send you a prepaid envelope for you to send the card back in. They’ll dispose of it for you.

ยป MORE: Grief is hard enough. Use our post-loss checklist to prevent added hardship.

 

How to Cancel a Deceased Loved One’s American Express Card

Canceling someone’s credit cards after their death will naturally be a little trickier than canceling your own, but if you have certain information about their account available, it can still be easy.

Step 1: Gather information

Canceling a loved one’s American Express card may be among your executor duties if you’re the executor or administrator of their estate. American Express will need you to provide documentation proving you’re the executor or the administrator when you reach out to them.

You may need to provide a letter of testamentary, which can be provided by a probate court judge. In addition to that, you may want to have a certified copy of the death certificate and an ID that helps establish your relationship to the deceased.

Step 2: Call American Express

As with canceling your own American Express card, when canceling a deceased loved one’s, American Express requires you to call them. The number is 1-800-266-7064. American Express is available Monday through Friday, from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM EST.

Step 3: Explain the situation

American Express will need you to provide the name of the deceased, the date of their death, and an explanation of your relationship to them, and your contact information. 

Step 4: Arrange payment

American Express can help you arrange a payment option for any remaining credit card debt. That said, American Express’s website also explains that even if you’re a loved one or third party managing someone’s account after their death, you’re not necessarily personally responsible for paying this off.

Depending on your specific circumstances, this may be a topic you need to discuss in greater detail with an American Express employee.

Canceling Your AmEx: FAQs

Whether canceling someone else’s American Express card is among your duties when managing the financial and digital afterlife of a deceased loved one, or you’re simply canceling your own card, maybe you still have some questions about the process. The following information might answer them:

Do you get your annual fee back when you cancel your American Express card?

You might be able to get your annual fee back when you cancel your American Express card. Check the date of the billing statement the annual fee appears on. If you cancel your card within 30 days of that date, American Express will refund the fee.

Can you cancel your American Express card on the app?

You can’t directly cancel your American Express card on the app. You need to call American Express to cancel your card. However, the app does have a chat feature you can use to ask AmEx questions when beginning the cancellation process.

Do you lose miles or points if you cancel your American Express card?

There’s no single answer to this question. Whether or not you’ll lose your miles or points after canceling an American Express card depends on the specific card you’re canceling.

For example, if a hotel or airline “owns” the points or miles you accrue with your American Express card, you may get to keep them. If a bank owns the points, there’s a greater chance you’ll forfeit them when you cancel the card. You need to check your card’s policies (and contact American Express if they’re unclear) to determine whether you’ll keep your points and miles.

Canceling an American Express Card Can Be Pretty Easy 

While the steps involved in canceling an American Express card can vary depending on your situation, if you prepare accordingly before calling AmEx, you shouldn’t have too much trouble. This is true regardless of whether you’re canceling your own card or a deceased loved one’s.


Sources

  1. “Backing our customers with the American Express® App.” American Express, www.americanexpress.com/us/customer-service/digital/amex-mobile-app.html
  2. Cheung, Joseph. “Will I Lose All of My Points If I Cancel My Credit Card?” 10XTravel, Mediavine Travel, 2 December 2019, 10xtravel.com/will-i-lose-all-of-my-points-if-i-cancel-my-credit-card-update/
  3. “Guidance for Managing Deceased Accounts.” American Express, www.americanexpress.com/us/help/deceased-cardmembers.html#:~:text=If%20you%20are%20the%20Executor,together%20to%20finalize%20the%20account.
  4. “How do I cancel my Card account?” American Express, www.americanexpress.com/us/customer-service/faq.cancel-card-account.html
  5. Miller, Dan. “Canceling Credit Cards: Will I Get My Annual Fee Back?” Forbes, Forbes Media LLC, 4 August 2020, www.forbes.com/advisor/credit-cards/canceling-credit-cards-will-i-get-my-annual-fee-back/#:~:text=American%20Express%20will%20refund%20the,a%20refund%20is%20not%20possible.
  6. White, Alexandria. “How to cancel a credit card.” CNBC Select, CNBC LLC, 15 October 2020, www.cnbc.com/select/how-to-cancel-credit-card/

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