To Cancel or to Downgrade? (Citi AA, Delta Amex, US Airways Barclay Card)

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by nonstopski, Mar 10, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. nonstopski

    nonstopski Silver Member

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    So far, I have only had to deal with this for my two Citi AA cards. I downgraded both, but that's partly because I haven't figured out how to churn them yet (in other words, if I'll need to cancel them completely to apply again later and get the bonus after minimum spend, or if I can keep the two downgraded cards and apply for the better card later). I also don't know how long I have to wait to do this.

    It seems to me, that to keep myself from having 20 cards (and instead like 10 :D), I should cancel them if there of no use to me, and to avoid the annual fee.

    My delta and US airways cards are about to come up for annual fee as well, so I need to decide soon on whether to cancel or try to downgrade! I know these cards all have different rules/tricks on how to churn them. Looking for any insight you all have.
     
  2. pointshogger

    pointshogger Silver Member

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    If you do not plan on applying for a loan anytime soon, it could make sense just to cancel. You can downgrade some of them to a no annual fee card.

    For your credit score purposes, as long as you have a few long term credit cards you'll be fine. There is no reason to keep some more recent credit cards that you no longer plan to use.
     
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  3. nonstopski

    nonstopski Silver Member

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    Mostly concerned about making sure I can apply again for them later and get the bonus still. My credit score is great, and I know the credit score ramifications of canceling.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014
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  4. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    I would keep the US Air if you are getting some miles CP upon renewal.

    Delta miles are for life, so say.

    The points are in the churn, yet points are nothing if you can not use them...

    Pick you game and play it...

    Your treasure may be my trash..
     
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  5. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    As long as they don't downgrade miles to, let's say, meters!! :mad:
     
  6. newbluesea
    Original Member

    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Some of this may be coming to an end soon:)
    See the thread about Amex on this very topic.
     
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  7. pointshogger

    pointshogger Silver Member

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    If you plan on doing some churning, then you should probably cancel a few of the cards because for some cards, you cannot get the bonus again until at certain waiting period has elapsed, sometimes up to a year.
     
  8. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    Let's see...

    To maintain good relations with the credit card companies, the standard advice from the blogs is to keep the cards at least 8 months before cancelling. No reason to cancel sooner. I'd go 10 or more months honestly.

    To optimize your credit score you want a long credit history. As long as you have a couple of cards you keep for the long haul, that you've had for a while, I wouldn't worry about it.

    As far as churning goes, its different for each issuer. Chase you can't get the same card again. Citi you can CURRENTLY churn, and it doesn't matter whether you previously cancelled the same card or still have it. So decide for yourself when to cancel the Citi AA card. Same for the US Air currently. Very churnable, doesn't matter if you already have the same card. For the Delta the CURRENT rule for Amex is you can't have had the same card within the last 12 months (or a card in the same family in some cases). So in general you want to cancel the card so you can start the clock on getting it again. HOWEVER, as others have hinted there is good evidence that Amex is going to change to the Chase model starting May 1st, though you won't know until it happens. Given that you can't cancel it now, wait 12 months, and get it again before May 1st, it probably doesn't matter to you.
     
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  9. nonstopski

    nonstopski Silver Member

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    Thanks gconnery for the great and thorough advice. Where did you get this info? It'd be great if this was succinctly reported on somewhere for all to reference in one place. Otherwise I guess I'll go into the weeds on flyertalk or something :D

    Some clarity:
    I have 3 no fee cards that I plan on holding on to to keep my AAoA up/long/old
    None of the cards I've discussed yet I've had less than 10 months.

    • Delta Card: Had since April 2013, so 11 months. I should cancel that card I think, even though you said I can't cancel it now? Maybe a misunderstanding on how long I've had it?
    • US Airways Card: Had since April 2013, so 11 months. Sounds like I should just downgrade to avoid the fee. But is there a timeline to apply again for it and get the bonus?
    • CSP: Had since april 2013, so 11 months. I can never get the bonus again on this card? Is that correct? This is the card I'd most likely actually pay a fee for since I genuinely like it so much. And the Ink card minimum spends are just a little too high for me, even with manufactured spend.
    • Citi AA Amex AND Visa: I downgraded both to no fee cards. It seems from what I've read I can't apply and get the bonus again until anywhere from 12-18 months after? Is that correct?

     
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  10. miles and smiles
    Original Member

    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    AMEX has recently changed their policy, so that you probably can NOT get another card if you have had it before:
    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads...s-more-than-once-per-lifetime-per-card.83291/
    Many folks have had success getting a second USAir card, but it is not a guarantee. I recommend doing some research before you apply again. Also, I just read tonight that US is adding the benefit of first bag free to the card starting next month.
    Citi is the most generous at giving retention bonuses. Generally it is easy to get your fee waived. For me, all they have required (year after year) is that I use the card five times and then they refund the annual fee.
     
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  11. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    O.K., I've got to ask, what precisely does not being able to get another/same as before card mean? Can you get a particular card after cancelling it in 2-3 years? 5 years? never? I'm simply curious about the reasoning behind such decisions. Not granting a card to someone who "cashes in" the miles and dumps it is understandable. Not granting a card to someone who is not deliberately churning cards is puzzling.
     
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  12. miles and smiles
    Original Member

    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    AMEX just announced this new policy, so it's hard to say exactly how they will enforce it. In the past, you could get a card you've had before,12 months after cancelling. Now they have the right to keep you from getting that permanently. Only time will tell just how they enforce it. Read this for more info on their new policy:
    http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/41831
     
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  13. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    I think that starts May 1. So you could CURRENTLY get another card you'd had before if you qualify by the current rules (can't have had the same card within the last 12 months etc) but starting May 1 you probably can't get the same card again if you've ever had it before. At least for personal cards and maybe for business ones although that apparently isn't clear. We won't know the real rules until people try to break them and see what happens of course.
     
  14. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    BoardingArea blogs, Milepoint, FT, etc etc. Built up over a couple of years now.

    Feel free to cancel the Delta Card. I would unless you value the card above the annual fee. I was only pointing out that you probably won't be able to get it again so consider that. You can probably get a DIFFERENT Delta Amex card, but not this one. At least if the rumors are true.

    US Air? Cancel or not. Up to you. If you're going to apply again, and can cancel and get approved before you cancel then do that and then cancel. You don't have to cancel the current card to apply for the new one. I don't know what the limits are wrt applying back to back for this card. I did them maybe 5 months apart with no issue.

    CSP. Correct, you can never get the bonus on this card again. And yes its genuinely a great card to keep for the long haul and you therefore may not want to cancel it. The thing to realize about Chase UR is that you only need one of the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Bold/Plus to get the flexibility to transfer UR points to other programs and thus get full value out of them. So in the long run you might want to have an Ink Cash (no fee) and a CSP OR a Chase Sapphire not-preferred and an Ink Plus or Bold. Figure out which one you want in the long run. Don't cancel that one. Cancel the others and apply for different ones. Ink Bold -> Ink Plus -> Ink Cash for example.

    Last fall you could churn the AA Platinum VISA over and over again. I got three. The wife got two. All within weeks. Then Citi tightened things back up again and now things are different. The new rules since then are that all AA cards are the same and you need to wait 18 months for the next. EXCEPT that the current Citi Exec card is apparently churnable if you wait a week between applications for whatever reason. No idea why. I just applied for my 2nd and the first for the wife. Rumor has it this offer MAY disappear when Amex Platinum loses access to admiral's clubs, which is coming up soon, so I wouldn't wait long if you're going to go for it.
     
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  15. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    Tonight I noticed that when I go to deltaamexcard.com, I receive NO offer for getting a Delta Amex (which I have had before). Just a few days ago, I could see the 30,000 mile offer available. So, I believe that AMEX is changing things more quickly.
     
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  16. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    I'd say clear your cookies or launch a different browser, say Chrome in incognito mode, and see if that's still true.
     
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  17. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    Same thing in Chrome. I can't see what difference a browser or incognito mode would make. Offer is tied to my account.
     
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  18. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    Sorry, never been to the site before. Incognito mode apparently used to work but given that you have to identify yourself to get the offer, I'm not suprised they can decide whether to make you the offer or not. If you click the "not a member" link on the page you'll see an offer anyway but the terms & conditions are there in clear text:

    "For Personal Use: Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product. † For Business Use: Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months or any other Consumer Delta SkyMiles Credit Card account within the last 90 days."

    Sounds like they have already tightened up the personal use to once per lifetime and either the business card hasn't been tightened yet or it won't be. We'll see going forward I guess.

    You can still go to the stock page for Delta Amex cards and apply. Course its only 30,000 miles and $50 credit. But the current T&C's there haven't been updated yet:

    "Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months or any other Consumer Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card account within the last 90 days. $500 or more in qualifying purchases on the Card must be completed within 3 months to be awarded the 30,000 bonus miles. The 3 month period is evaluated from the date the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card is issued to the date ending 3 months thereafter. Miles will be credited to your account 2-4 weeks after you reach the spend threshold."
     
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  19. nonstopski

    nonstopski Silver Member

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    With the AA cards rules, anyone have any idea if you lower it down to a non-fee version of the card, and then apply in 18 months for the bonus, if they'll just claim you already have the card? In other words, I'm wondering if I should cancel versus holding onto the no fee card that I dropped it down to. I'd like to do whatever allows me to get a bonus in 18 months.

     
  20. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    First, Citi only worries about when you were last approved for a card. They don't care about when you closed it. So the only "18 month rule" is to wait 18 months after applying for a Citi AA Personal Card of any type before applying for another personal Citi AA card whether of the same or a different type. Obviously currently the Citi Exec is an exception to this rule for some reason.

    So it wouldn't matter if you closed the card or downgraded it, period. Keep it open for all they care.

    However, in general with any card issuer that allows repeat bonuses (e.g. not Chase and perhaps soon not Amex), if you up or downgrade the card to a different card, and that card issuer cares about when you last had the card (like Amex does currently) then you would stop having the card on the date you up/downgraded it.
     
  21. ariosto

    ariosto Silver Member

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    Same results here I did the AA platinum last fall and currently working on Exec.
     
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  22. nonstopski

    nonstopski Silver Member

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    Gotchya. On the citi regulations, Yea I read up on Flyertalk (and gconnery's response) about it and now all makes sense.

    I agree with the sentiment of keeping the Ink instead of the CSP (if I had the Ink), just a 5k spend in 3 months is a bit above what I would usually spend, although I could pay the small penalty of paying for my rent on a credit card (buying two $500 gift cards and transferring to bluebird) - if that's still alive! But that would be a situation of JUST doing that card versus 2 or 3 cards (with smaller min spends) in one apporama.
     

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