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Should I Let My Inactive Credit Card Expire?
Old 06-17-2016, 12:13 PM   #1
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Should I Let My Inactive Credit Card Expire?

Got a letter from a credit card company saying use my credit card in about a month's time or else the card will go bye bye due to inactivity?

Should I let the card go or make the card company happy and us it to make a purchase?

With a sports analogy, the card is question is #4 of my credit card depth chart. In other words, the card is nearing cancellation for a reason. It's used seldomly.

As for convenience, I don't mind letting the card go bye bye, but may keep so it won't impact my credit score. The credit limit is only $2,000.
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Old 06-17-2016, 12:20 PM   #2
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I would say that unless you need it for a good reason, let it cancel. I have MANY credit cards at a given time (I am one who tries to maximize CC awards/promos) and I would say that I have had 3 cancellations this year, with very minimal impact to my credit. HOWEVER, I have a couple of cards that I have had for 20+ years and I make sure to use those on occasion to help keep the "age" of total accounts reasonable. The only "hit" on my credit score is for average age of accounts...although with a 800+ score, I guess that's pretty minimal in the calculation.
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Old 06-17-2016, 12:28 PM   #3
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It may affect your credit score. You will have less credit, and if it is one of your older cards, the length of credit will be less.

It may not matter, but that is the risk.
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Old 06-17-2016, 12:44 PM   #4
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I let a pair of credit cards expire back in 2009-10 when banks were cutting back on credit in general following the recession. They were cards I had used rarely (one of them, Discover, I had never used in the 20 years I had it), if ever, so I welcomed the banks canceling them. I am down to 2 cards which is fine, one for primary use and the other as a back-up which I use once a year to keep it active. I increased the credit limit on my primary card because it was a little on the low side, not that I charge a lot of stuff anyway. My credit score is over 800, not that I have any ongoing debts after I paid off the mortgage in 1998.
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Old 06-17-2016, 01:05 PM   #5
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I would say that unless you need it for a good reason, let it cancel. I have MANY credit cards at a given time (I am one who tries to maximize CC awards/promos) and I would say that I have had 3 cancellations this year, with very minimal impact to my credit. HOWEVER, I have a couple of cards that I have had for 20+ years and I make sure to use those on occasion to help keep the "age" of total accounts reasonable. The only "hit" on my credit score is for average age of accounts...although with a 800+ score, I guess that's pretty minimal in the calculation.

I am nearing my second cc cancellation of the awards game...I've been transferring out of the one's that don't waive the fee, but in reality the rewards game would be more lucrative if I cancelled more often.

How long until you receive the cancelled card's next pts offer?

I cancelled delta and they sent me another offer for 50k I think about 3 or 4 months later so I had to apply again. I've earned 100k delta miles + minspends of like another 4k miles for roughly $198 annual fees. That's a lot of travel miles for $200 and I was able to fly DH and DS to Orlando twice from Minneapolis on that maneuver alone. I will do the same thing again next year if they give me another 50k offer. Its a great way to get away from the cold.

I watch my credit religiously... it doesn't seem to hurt too much to cancel a card...unless you had a high limit and your other cards were small limits then your credit utilization % would go out of whack with the much smaller overall credit line.

If you don't use the card, and you don't need the emergency credit, and you don't get any other rewards from it, just cancel.
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Old 06-17-2016, 01:18 PM   #6
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If it's your oldest (or one of your oldest) card - consider keeping it. I have a card that I will keep going forever... my newer cards are all younger... that old card has a big impact on my credit score.
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Old 06-17-2016, 07:15 PM   #7
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How long until you receive the cancelled card's next pts offer?
Come to think of it, I think the only one I have gotten a "new" offer from was with Amazon. I haven't gotten any others...at least as I can recall.
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Old 06-17-2016, 07:17 PM   #8
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If it's your oldest (or one of your oldest) card - consider keeping it. I have a card that I will keep going forever... my newer cards are all younger... that old card has a big impact on my credit score.
Yep. This happened w/ my DW a while back. She inadvertently cancelled a BoA card she had since she was 18 and it had an available credit along the lines of $25k. As soon as it cancelled, her credit score took a 25 point hit but it did recover fairly quick. Any card you have had for 15+ years, I would do your best to keep it around.
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Old 06-17-2016, 08:04 PM   #9
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Yep. This happened w/ my DW a while back. She inadvertently cancelled a BoA card she had since she was 18 and it had an available credit along the lines of $25k. As soon as it cancelled, her credit score took a 25 point hit but it did recover fairly quick. Any card you have had for 15+ years, I would do your best to keep it around.
I have a BA card that costs about $150 per year. We are not doing any more overseas travel, and I have 200K miles to use for domestic. I switched to another card that gives between 1 and 5% cash back.
I plan to cancel it shortly, before the renewal date. I do not care if my FICO takes a hit as I do not need any credit.
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Old 06-17-2016, 08:35 PM   #10
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If it's your oldest (or one of your oldest) card - consider keeping it. I have a card that I will keep going forever... my newer cards are all younger... that old card has a big impact on my credit score.
Not my oldest card. Only about 4 years old. But I decided to take their bribe offer of spending over $100 on the card in the next two months, then get a future $20 credit on the statement.

Looks like my next grocery purchase is going on that card, then I may tuck the card back away until the next time they give me a cancellation notice .
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Old 06-18-2016, 04:55 AM   #11
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Closed everything and FICO went from 840 to 804, took out car loan / paid it off and it dropped to 763. Now just 1 Mastercard and on another thread someone stated USAA is closing off those cards. Ah well, they extend credit any time I want it
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Old 06-18-2016, 11:01 AM   #12
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I would say that unless you need it for a good reason, let it cancel. I have MANY credit cards at a given time (I am one who tries to maximize CC awards/promos) and I would say that I have had 3 cancellations this year, with very minimal impact to my credit. HOWEVER, I have a couple of cards that I have had for 20+ years and I make sure to use those on occasion to help keep the "age" of total accounts reasonable. The only "hit" on my credit score is for average age of accounts...although with a 800+ score, I guess that's pretty minimal in the calculation.
Thanks for posting this many people act like it is the end of the world if a person cancels an old card. It is not a super bad deal. I applied for several cards and it dropped my score 12 points. I am guessing a person would recover in six months from the hit of the oldest card.
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Old 06-19-2016, 07:06 PM   #13
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I have a BA card that costs about $150 per year. We are not doing any more overseas travel, and I have 200K miles to use for domestic. I switched to another card that gives between 1 and 5% cash back.
I plan to cancel it shortly, before the renewal date. I do not care if my FICO takes a hit as I do not need any credit.
You can get them to convert it to a no annual fee card. Call them and find out your options. Maybe they can even convert it to something with rewards.
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Old 06-19-2016, 07:39 PM   #14
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You can get them to convert it to a no annual fee card. Call them and find out your options. Maybe they can even convert it to something with rewards.
TheFreedom Card that gives between 1% and 5% back and has no annual fee.
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:49 AM   #15
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Think of credit cards as doors into your financial house... Even if you have a lock someone could get in. No door no entrance...close that card...


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Old 06-20-2016, 08:57 AM   #16
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Think of credit cards as doors into your financial house... Even if you have a lock someone could get in. No door no entrance...close that card...


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If you don't use the card, very likely it won't be compromised. And you have the credit limit of the card helping your credit score.

I don't worry about exposure to credit card fraud. It's very easy to detect quickly and recover from.

I do keep some cards for certain recurring bills only physically locked away, so that if one of my "regular" cards is compromised I don't have to redo the recurring bills. I also keep some rarely cards as backup if I'm having a regular card replaced.
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:12 AM   #17
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I would suggest you cancel the credit card by giving the bank a "written notice to cancel" rather than have the bank cancel the credit cards due to inactivity or any other reason they might choose to post.
Thanks.
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:33 AM   #18
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I've decided to charge something just to keep the card alive, then will tuck that card away. Since I don't carry all my cards in my wallet, that card can be used in case of emergencies like if something happens to the other cards.

Not including debit cards, that makes 4 active credit cards for me which is plenty.
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:36 AM   #19
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I've decided to charge something just to keep the card alive, then will tuck that card away. Since I don't carry all my cards in my wallet, that card can be used in case of emergencies like if something happens to the other cards.

Not including debit cards, that makes 4 active credit cards for me which is plenty.
I couldn't imagine trying to put all my active cards in my wallet. I think the end result would be something like this...

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Old 06-20-2016, 12:12 PM   #20
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I am nearing my second cc cancellation of the awards game...I've been transferring out of the one's that don't waive the fee, but in reality the rewards game would be more lucrative if I cancelled more often.

How long until you receive the cancelled card's next pts offer?

I cancelled delta and they sent me another offer for 50k I think about 3 or 4 months later so I had to apply again. I've earned 100k delta miles + minspends of like another 4k miles for roughly $198 annual fees. That's a lot of travel miles for $200 and I was able to fly DH and DS to Orlando twice from Minneapolis on that maneuver alone. I will do the same thing again next year if they give me another 50k offer. Its a great way to get away from the cold.

I watch my credit religiously... it doesn't seem to hurt too much to cancel a card...unless you had a high limit and your other cards were small limits then your credit utilization % would go out of whack with the much smaller overall credit line.

If you don't use the card, and you don't need the emergency credit, and you don't get any other rewards from it, just cancel.
I'm curious about the timeline on the Delta Cards, recently AMEX has really cracked down and said the bonus miles are a one time per customer offer. I had wait around 3 years and did another offer, I got the 100 bucks off the delta purchase but they did not award the miles saying it was one per customer, now this was the offer where you pay no fee the first year.When my renewal came up, I called to cancel and said I was unhappy that I didn't get the bonus miles. I got an offer of paying the fee for one year and getting 15K in bonus miles which I accepted because that got me over a free flight threshold. Just called to cancel again and got NADA for retention offer. To be clear I signed up for a bonus miles offer and then accepted but pointed out the very fine print said if your have gotten a bonus miles offer in the past you will not be eligible for the bonus miles.
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