NAB: You can cancel our credit cards online – in days

NAB offer comes after CHOICE calls out big banks over hard-to-cancel credit cards

NAB will approve a credit card application in minutes, but cancelling the same card online can take days.

A day after CHOICE called out the big banks for not letting customers cancel credit cards online, NAB is claiming it's the first bank to allow it.

Chief operating officer, Antony Cahill, has confirmed the bank will register credit card cancellations via NAB's internet banking.

"We have now enabled customers to close their credit card through our internet banking platforms," Cahill told a parliamentary inquiry held in Canberra today.

"We have had discussions around this previously, and I think there was a view that we were not making it easy enough for customers if they no longer wanted their credit card with us."

But the functionality Cahill refers to resembles a secure messaging service, where customers can send an email asking to close a credit card. A response can take three business days.

This is in contrast to the bank's speedy online systems its customers use to apply for a credit card or raise their card's limit – processes that take minutes.

Making it difficult for people to cancel their credit cards is one way the big four banks protect their revenue, says Erin Turner, the head of campaigns at CHOICE.

"In the age of online banking if defies belief that ANZ, NAB, Westpac and Commonwealth all require you to call or email them when seeking to cancel a credit card.

"It seems clear that the big banks' 'go slow' on card cancellations is about protecting revenue from interest and fees, with data showing the big banks slug consumers with an average annual fee of $146 compared to just $58 through a mutual or customer-owned banks."

Cancelling a credit card currently requires customers to call during business hours, mail a letter or head into a bank branch. Read more about the convoluted processes for how to cancel a credit card with each bank.

DISCLOSURE FROM CHOICE: Our CEO Alan Kirkland is part of an independent expert panel appointed by the federal government to review the framework for external dispute resolution and complaints in financial services. You can find out more about the review and make a submission through the Treasury's website.