What to do with all these credit cards?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by dcoplan, Apr 25, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. dcoplan

    dcoplan New Member

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    Being fairly new to travel hacking, I've acquired 4 different cards over the past few months in order to rack up bonus signup miles. I'd like to keep doing this to get as many miles as I can, but I don't really like having a bunch of cards lying around - before this I only ever kept 2 cards.

    1. How soon after getting a card and the bonus miles is it ok to cancel it?
    2. Is it better to cancel a card or let it sit dormant?
    3. If it's better to let it sit for a while, how long then should I let it sit before I cancel it?

    Depending on the answer to these questions, if I get more cards my thought is that I'll only ever use a couple and put the rest in a safe until it's a good time to dump them. I'm hoping I don't have to spend a little bit on every single card to keep my credit score up. Then it might not be worth it for me to manage that mess.

    I suppose it's also worth asking how long after dumping a card can you get the same card to take advantage of the same offer.

    Thanks for your advice!
     
    gconnery likes this.
  2. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    In general, it's best to wait a year before canceling it. Some programs can claw back points if you cancel too early (generally before 6 months of card ownership). Most folks who churn cards cancel unwanted cards when the first annual fee comes due.

    If a card has no annual fee, or if the other benefits of card ownership (such as free checked baggage or a free weekend hotel stay) outweigh the cost of the annual fee, then it can be a good idea to let a card stay dormant.. You want one or two cards in your wallet which you will never cancel; these serve as "anchor cards" and serve to boost your average age of accounts (one of the factors which figures in to your credit score). I put a small recurring charge (such as a charitable donation) on each of my dormant cards just to make sure that the issuing bank won't cancel the card due to inactivity.

    No problems there! Not using the cards won't affect your credit score negatively at all. The risk is that the bank will decide to cancel the card due to non-use; you can mitigate that risk just by charging something small to the card every few months.

    That varies widely between banks. Some banks, like Citibank, allow you to reapply and receive the signup bonus every two years or so. Others, like Chase, don't allow their cards to be churned at all. AmEx used to allow churning, but is moving away from it starting this May. In general, churning is getting harder to do, so take that into account when you plan your card strategies.
     
  3. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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  4. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    Put an auto charge and an auto payment on each one.

    Put a rubber band around the ones you do not use, and on your appointment book note to cancel them

    Put a sticker on them
     
  5. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    If you keep a no fee card, your CL is decreased, and the bank retail your CL

    the only reason to keep a NF card is if it is your longest held card, you do get CREDIT SCORE points for the length of the longest held card,

    Banks Give CC based on your CL, and your ability to pay them,

    Banks do not mind qualified CHURNERS, they even get points for switching you to a NF Card, they are in the credit selling business,
     

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