How to Cancel a United Airlines Credit Card: Step-by-Step


Canceling a credit card can be an important way to manage your debt and your credit. This is especially true for credit cards you no longer need, like an airline credit card. While there are many different types of reward cards that give incentives for frequent spending, this alone isn’t reason enough to keep a card open. 

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One of the most popular types of rewards cards is the United Airlines travel card. With both personal and business credit cards, these are designed to reward loyal United Airlines travelers so they can afford more flights. However, if you no longer need your United Airlines credit card, here’s how to cancel. 

How to Cancel Your Own United Airlines Credit Card

First, if you need to cancel your own credit card for United Airlines, this is a simple process. Because this card has a membership fee annually, you might wish to cancel to avoid paying this fee. 

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1. Check your card anniversary date

To begin, it’s a good idea to check when your card anniversary date is. This is the day you’re charged your annual fee. It’s also when your benefits renew for the upcoming year. United Airlines doesn’t refund the annual fee if you don’t cancel your card in time. You need to cancel at least 30 days before your anniversary date to avoid paying this fee. 

2. Use or transfer your reward points

With the United Airlines card, you earn rewards points on everyday purchases. These can be applied toward future purchases with United Airlines as well as travel partners. In most cases, you lose access to your reward points once you close your account with United Airlines. Before you cancel, use or transfer your rewards points for future travel. 

3. Pay or transfer your account balance

Another important step when preparing to cancel your United Airlines credit card is to pay or transfer your balance. You can’t close your credit card account with a balance. 

If you have a balance you’re unable to pay at the moment, you can transfer it to a personal loan, consolidation loan, or a transfer card. When in doubt, it’s a good idea to talk to a financial advisor about the right move for your goals. Once your account balance is at zero, you’re ready to cancel your United Airlines credit card. 

4. Contact customer service

You can’t cancel your United Airlines credit card online. The fastest way to complete this process is to call the number on the back of your card. Ask to speak to a representative and let them know you wish to cancel your account. 

Don’t be surprised if they try to persuade you to stay. It’s common for them to offer a special deal, such as waiving or lowering the annual fee. It’s up to you whether or not you want to take United Airlines up on this offer. If not, proceed to the next step. 

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5. Keep a copy of your account statement

From here, keep a copy of any confirmation as well as your final account statement. Check your account statement for up to 90 days after closing your account with United Airlines. This can take over a month in some cases. You want to avoid any unexpected fees or interest on the account, as well as suspicious activity. 

6. Cancel automatic payments

Another step to keep in mind is that you need to cancel your automatic payments. If you had any payments scheduled for your United Airlines credit card, make sure to change these to another payment method. If you continue charging this canceled card, you could face unexpected fees. 

7. Destroy your credit card

Last but not least, make sure you destroy your credit card with United Airlines. You can cut your card up, run it through a shredder, or bring it to your bank in person. You will also need to delete your United Airlines account information from your password manager.

Keep in mind that canceling a credit card account could impact your credit rating. When you close an account, your overall line of credit is reduced as well. It’s important to have a strategy for monitoring your credit score long-term, even after you close an account. 

How to Cancel a Deceased Loved One’s United Airlines Credit Card

Do you know what to do when someone dies? One of the most important steps is to cancel your deceased loved one’s credit cards. This is especially true for rewards credit cards like United Airlines cards. These typically have higher fees and interest rates, so make sure you act quickly. 

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1. Check the account balance

The first step is to check your loved one’s account balance. If your loved one has a balance remaining with their United Airlines account, these funds need to come from the estate. This is part of the executor duties. The creditors are the ones responsible for making requests from the estate. Loved ones never have to feel pressured to pay on the behalf of deceased relatives. 

2. Use any reward points

Similar to when you cancel your own accounts, you should consider using any reward points before you cancel your loved one’s account. You can usually use these to redeem travel, purchase airline points, and so on. This could help afford last-minute travel, like bereavement flights

Similarly, you can often redeem points on your loved one’s credit card statement. This means you can reduce your loved one’s balance if one remains. When in doubt, ask a United Airlines card representative about your options for your loved one’s rewards. 

3. Contact customer service

Next, contact the customer service number on the back of your loved one’s credit card. From there, speak to a representative. Let them know you’d like to inform them of the cardholder’s death. They’ll share how to close the account. 

You typically need to provide proof in the form of a death certificate or court documents. It’s easy to know how to get a death certificate, and this is a process your funeral home can help with. You might need to submit a copy virtually or by mail, depending on what the representative requests over the phone. 

4. Confirm the account closure

Once your account is closed, you still have a few steps to take. You need to closely monitor your loved one’s account statement for up to 90 days to make sure there are no extra charges or fees. If there are any payments scheduled for this account, make sure these are changed to another payment source or canceled altogether. 

Unfortunately, many scammers target the recently deceased for fraudulent activity. By protecting his or her account history, you avoid harm falling to your loved one’s legacy. One way to be careful is to shred your loved one’s credit cards, account documents, and so on. 

If your loved one had any authorized users for his or her account, destroy these cards as well. These cards are no longer active or usable. It might seem like a lot of steps, but it’s important to make sure your loved one’s account is safe even in the future. 

Close Your United Airlines Card

Regardless of why you choose to close your United Airlines credit card, it’s easy to begin the process. However, you want to pay close attention to make sure your account is closed safely and securely. The same is true if you’re acting on behalf of your loved one. 

There are a lot of ways to protect your financial legacy. A travel rewards credit card is a great way to earn travel perks, especially if you frequently fly on the same airline. That being said, it’s not right for everyone. If you decide it’s time to cancel your United Airlines card, be sure to follow the steps above to keep your finances safe.

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