Advice on canceling cards

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by arshavin, Oct 24, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. arshavin

    arshavin Silver Member

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    I have following cards which I am finding hard to manage.

    1. Amex Gold ( signed up for 25 K MR) mist recent card
    2. Chase Marriott ( signed up for 70K bonus) few months ago
    3. Chase Hyatt - my fav for hyatt I like. Three years old
    4. Chase Southwest- Signed up for rewards which I am redeeming for December vacation. Less than a year old
    5. US Dividend miles- signed up for bonus recent
    6. Barclays World MC - signed up for 40K bonus recent
    7. Amex Blue Cash I like as it gives 6% on groceries and 3 on gas
    8. Amex Spg - least used card more than a tear old
    9. Cap One Quicksilver which used to be Household card, more than 6 years old

    Lot of cards. I got tired typing about them. I am looking for canceling some of these so that I can do another round of app in 2014 and also reduce management load of these cards.
     
  2. flynhwn

    flynhwn Silver Member

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    If you're going to cancel some cards consider cancelling cards that you have multiples from the same bank. ex. Chase, cancel a card and have the credit line go to the one you're keeping. This will keep your credit utilization percentage constant.
     
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  3. Counsellor
    Original Member

    Counsellor Gold Member

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    And you'll probably want to hang onto the oldest one.
     
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  4. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    My 3-bureau credit score, which was between 770-800, ticked down a few points after I had to cancel a 19-yr old AMEX Corporate card belonging to a previous employer and then I also got a bunch of new cards this year. Two reasons were given for the slight decrease of the 3-bureau score: (a) average age of credit history dropped, and (b) the number of credit record inquiries ("hard pulls") increased. The advice to address the first reason was to avoid canceling older cards...
     
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  5. adventuress

    adventuress Silver Member

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    So this goes along with the old saying "Make new friends but keep the old; one is silver and the other gold" ;)
     
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  6. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    Try not to cancel anything to quickly as there is a sense that the credit card companies don't like this and might not approve you in future. Try to keep cards at least 9 months or so.

    Keep the cards that you want to have for the long haul. Get rid of the ones you don't.

    Keep the one or two oldest cards you have.

    As others have said, transfer the credit lines so your credit score doesn't go down.
     
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  7. flynow

    flynow Silver Member

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    Those are very good reason to look what you are doing in the long run!!!
     
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  8. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    Also look and see which of your cards are no annual fee. Those are worth keeping whether you use them or not, as they cost nothing to keep and over time they will steadily increase the the average age of your accounts.
     
  9. arshavin

    arshavin Silver Member

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    As you can see from the timeline, most of these cards are pretty new with less than a year on file. Hence I am little hesitant to cancel so soon after the awards. I would probably cancel SPG as I barely use it and have no plans to stay in SPG property in foreseeable future. The question is what should i do with the around 15000 points I have in the SPG account?

    Any idea on how long a card can remain inactive without any transaction or fees before it is flagged by the card issuer that there has been no activity on this card for a long time?
     
  10. arshavin

    arshavin Silver Member

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    Sorry but I did not understand your post? Was it directed at me or some other post?
     
  11. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    I'd move them to one of Starwood's many partner airlines. But you could also redeem them for merchandise. Just do whatever you want to do before canceling the card (if you decide to cancel it), so you don't lose the points.

    Your Capital One card and Chase Hyatt card are both reasonably old cards. I don't think canceling the SPG would ding your credit history too badly.
     
  12. Counsellor
    Original Member

    Counsellor Gold Member

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    The answer to that question seems to vary depending on the issuer and the individual cardholder.

    General wisdom says to use a card at least once every 6 months to a year, but I've had some cards I didn't use for well over a year, and nothing happened. On the other hand, Traveler's had a card some years back that I applied for and received, and used pretty consistently for a while, then began focusing on other cards. I was careful to make a charge on that card about every 6 to 9 months, though. After about two years of that pattern, they sent me a letter cancelling the card.

    Well, you don't want "cancelled by issuer" on your credit report, so I called and tried to get it reinstated, but to no avail. I ultimately talked with a senior CSR, who explained that they were getting rid of cards that generated more administrative expense than they brought in as fees, and mine was one in that category. I had been charging against it every once in a while, but they were relatively low charges, about $25 or so, and even two of those in a year don't bring in enough to cover the overhead costs of maintaining the account.

    As it turned out, my credit rating didn't seem to suffer, so except for my ego being bruised a bit by "being fired" nothing bad happened. I think Traveler's merged with Citi shortly thereafter and quit issuing their own cards, anyway.
     
  13. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    The SPG cards are good for transfers to AA, and who knows when you need a hotel stay. It is a good card for me, and Costco.
    I drop a card at 11 months, and keep my oldest ones active.
    The banks put the deals out there because they want the business,
    They will approve you if you have the credit, if you abuse it they will cancel you.
    Your application make them look good, and they are there to sell you a product.
    Why feel guilty, you are keeping them in business.
     
  14. Dad to GO

    Dad to GO Silver Member

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    Keep in mind that the SPG card is good for more than just hotel stays. You can transfer those points to airline partners. You could literally use your SPG card at your CVS to buy $5K in VRs and then once you get to 20K SPG points transfer them to an airline. It would only cost you $39.50 in fees to do this. Just a suggestion.
     
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  15. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    And the SPG points will be yours to keep regardless of whether you cancel the Amex SPG card or not. You can of course transfer those 15,000 points to 15,000 miles by logging into your SPG account and doing the transfer. If you were willing to put a little more spend on the SPG card to get it to 20,000 miles you'd get the 25% bonus, meaning 20,000 points transferred would become 25,000 miles, so that extra one-time spend of $5,000 or so on the card MIGHT be worth it to you.
     

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