How to Close a Bank Account in the US: A Full Guide

Closing a bank account and switching providers can seem like a hassle - but it doesn’t have to be. And upgrading your account to one which serves you better can mean you get a better interest rate, lower fees, or better perks.

Closing a bank account and switching providers can seem like a hassle - but it doesn’t have to be. And upgrading your account to one which serves you better can mean you get a better interest rate, lower fees, or better perks.

Find all you need to know about closing accounts of different types, with some of the biggest banks in the US, in our comprehensive guide.

How can I close a Bank Account Online in the USA? 💻

Unfortunately most major US banks do not offer the option to close your account online. It’s far more common to be asked to close your account in person, by phone or by mailing in a specific account closure request form. 

That said, it’s worth checking with your own specific bank as some now offer the option to send secure messages and download forms using the online banking system.

How can a non-resident close a US bank account? 🌎

If you’re not physically in the US you’ll want to check the arrangements in place for non-residents looking to close an account. In some cases, there are specific phone numbers you can use from overseas to reach customer service, or you’ll be invited to mail in your request.

How do I Close a US Bank Account in a Branch? 🏢

Whichever route you take to close your account, you may need to take a few steps first. Here’s what you may need to do before you initiate your account closure, to avoid unnecessary fees, delays and hassle:

  • Choose an alternative provider and open a new account
  • Switch over any ongoing payments from your old account to your new one
  • Confirm that all payments have cleared from your old account
  • Transfer out your balance from your old account - check the transfer limits in place on your account to understand how best to do this

Your bank will not allow you to close an account which is overdrawn, and you may find you’re hit with extra fees if unexpected charges come out of the account before it closes. Consider leaving your balance in the account until the day you’re closing the account - or even leave a little money in at the point of closure to avoid any surprises. Your old bank will then return the balance to you by check or a transfer to your new account once everything is settled.

To close your account in branch you’ll need to go along with your personal ID, and proof of your account details. This may be a card or pass book, or correspondence from the bank in your name. Some banks may need additional specific documents, such as an account closure form - calling in advance is the best way to make sure you have everything you need before you head out.

How Much Does it Cost to Close a Bank Account in the States? 💰

In most cases you won’t be charged any fees for closing your bank account. However, some banks do impose early closure fees if your account has been opened for 6 months or less - check the terms and conditions on your account before you initiate the closure.

There are other fees you may unintentionally run into while closing your account, which are well worth watching out for. These may include:

  • Service or fall below fees if you withdraw your balance and then do not immediately close the account
  • Overdraft or returned item fees if you withdraw your balance and payments or checks have not yet cleared
  • Costs of transferring out your balance - especially if you’re closing your account because you’re moving abroad, and need to send your money to a foreign currency. More on that later.

How do I Close a Joint Bank Account? 🔎

To close a joint account you’ll usually need the approval of all named signatories on the account. This may be as simple as writing a joint letter or adding all relevant names to a closure form - or you may all need to attend the bank in person to confirm the closure. Check with your own bank before you get started.

1. How to Close a Bank of America Bank Account

Bank of America customers can close accounts in person, by phone, and in some cases, in writing. Here’s how.

In person:

  • Close any Bank of America account in person by visiting your local branch

By phone:

  • To close a checking or savings account call 800 432 1000
  • To close a credit card account call 800 732 9194 
  • To close a CD account or IRA, call 888 827 1812

In writing:

  • To close a checking or savings account write to Bank of America, FL1-300-01-29, PO Box 25118, Tampa, FL 33622-5118
  • To close a credit card account write to Bank of America, PO Box 982234, El Paso, TX 79998-2234
  • IRAs and CD accounts can not be closed in writing 

Applications to close an account in writing must include signatures from all account holders, and set out how you’d like to receive any remaining balance. This may be via a mailed check or a transfer to your new account for example.

2. How to Close a Chase Bank Account

Closing a Chase bank account can be done in person or by phone. You can also confirm you want to close your account in writing, although the address you need to write to may vary depending on where you opened your account. 

  • Find your local Chase branch using the branch locator tool and call in
  • Schedule a meeting by phone or in person using the Chase meeting scheduler tool
  • Get in touch with Chase customer service on 1-800-935-9935 to either close your account by phone, or request the correct address to mail in your account closure letter

3. How to Close a Wells Fargo Bank Account

Wells Fargo offer a few different options when it comes to closing your accounts - here’s what you need to know:

  • You can close your Wells Fargo account in person by visiting your local branch
  • To close your account over the phone call 1-800-869-3557
  • If you're outside the US you can also close your account by mail using the account closure form

It’s good to know that the mailing address can vary according to your situation - check the details before you send in the paperwork to avoid delays.

4. How to Close a PNC bank Account

The easiest way to close your PNC account is to call into a branch and get help in person. However, you may also be able to close your PNC account by phone, or in writing. Call the customer service team to check the protocol for your specific account before you get started.

  • Find your local branch to close your account in person - there’s a handy branch locator tool on the PNC website to help
  • Call PNC customer service
  • Outside the US? Call PNC International Collect on 412-803-7711

Looking to send money overseas after closing your bank account?

If you’re closing your US bank account because you’re moving overseas, you may need to send your balance to your new account in a foreign currency. 

You can check out specialist international money transfer providers - compare a few options such as Revolut, Wise, XE or your regular bank to pick the one that’s best for you. 

Here's a rundown of some key features of some international payment specialists:

Revolut Account

Revolut offers customers one of 3 account options:

  1. Standard -  a free standard plan
  2. Premium - with a fee of USD9.99/month 
  3. Metal - an account with a USD16.99/month fee, which comes with a broad range of perks and benefits compared to the standard plan. 

Revolut key features:

  • Choose the account plan that suits you best
  • Send money up to your account foreign exchange limit, using the mid-market exchange rate and with no extra fees for standard transfers
  • Access money management tools to help you budget
  • Account options for kids and people who wish to save
  • Deal in crypto as well as foreign currencies
revolut account

Learn more

Wise

You can send money from the US to bank accounts all over the world with Wise, using the mid-market exchange rate. This can mean you get a better conversion rate for your transfer compared to other providers, bringing down overall costs.

Wise key features:

  • Set up your account online in just a few steps
  • Send money online or using the Wise app
  • Transparent service charge and no minimum transfer amount
  • The mid-market exchange rate is typically the best rate available for retail customers
  • Scores 4.6/5 on Trustpilot
revolut account

Learn more

XE

Create an online XE account and send money all over the word right from your phone or computer screen. You’ll be able to model the payment to see the costs for your transfer 24/7, so you can compare it with other providers. 

It’s worth noting that the exchange rate may include a markup on the mid-market rate you’ll find online.

  • Send 139 currencies to over 220 countries and territories
  • Enterprise level security and fraud protection available
  • Business accounts can also be created
  • Long established company with good reputation and 4.5/5 rating on Trustpilot
revolut account

Learn more

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By Ileana Ionescu Updated July 14th, 2021