When to cancel...

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by gconnery, Dec 11, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    Okay, so I'm a month into my current churn and thinking about the next one because, hey that's what we do... And I'm still a newb and thought I'd ask the obvious question.

    What cards should I cancel and when?

    To be more specific, in one example I've currently got three Citi cards: a CitiBusiness World M/C (November), Citi AA Platinum Select M/C (June) and a long term Citi AA World Elite M/C that I don't want to close as its got a large balance and presumably helps my credit score. All of these are tapped out.

    In February or so, depending on the offers available at the time of course, I'll likely be looking to add another Citi AA card to the pile. The Platinum AA VISA or the Amex AA. Or perhaps the Hilton. Anyway, another Citi Card.

    Since Citi isn't Chase and you don't want to try and talk them into shifting credit around, it seems like I probably want to cancel one of these cards, presumably the June Citi Select. I've had it the longest of the cards I'm willing to cancel, the new card will almost certainly be a personal one so its the obvious one to get rid of. We're already past 6 months so its maybe okay to kill it now. Should I make sure to kill it a month before my application so that its off my credit file? Should I kill it now to maximize this potential? Should I wait until just before my new application so I'm not seen as a churner? Does it matter?
     
  2. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    Looks like the current 'official' 50K miles for $10K spend offers are going to be pulled tomorrow. No responses huh?

    Seems like the T&C's for the personal cards exclude current Citibank customers, whereas the Business cards don't. Of course I already have a business card, but the wife doesn't...

    Still I would like to understand the answer. I had the long term World M/C when I applied for my Platinum M/C and yet still got the 40K points. Did I just luck out with an offer that didn't mention the 'new customers only' in their T&Cs? Do they not enforce their T&C's in all cases? Was it a mistake? Seems unlikely since the wife did the same thing.

    Then there's the long term issue that it seems as thought to get a new Citi AA Personal card I'd have to close that long term AA M/C which could affect my credit score. Should I? Its got a bunch of credit on it I don't use and its my longest held card...
     
  3. StartInSanDiego

    StartInSanDiego Silver Member

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    I am not experienced with this, but I think general wisdom is to keep the cards open as long as possible. Other factors to decide "keep or cut" include; what perks do they offer you; what is the credit line; etc.

    In short, keep the longest opened card and make your decisions about the rest. You need to wait 18-24 months before reapplying for the same AA card.
     
  4. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    6 month mark is fine for removing it, from everything I've read, but I don't believe you're going to qualify for another Citi AA personal card in 6 months, even if it's the AmEx version. That's why people do the 2 browser trick, so they can get 2 personal cards at once. I think you have to wait at least a year or up to two in order to get another AA personal card once you've had one. That's when they'd consider you new again to qualify for a bonus.
     
  5. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    Well, I had to go to FlyerTalk and do some research, but to answer my own questions...

    Looks like Citi AA Personal Cards can all be considered identical wrt applications. Doesn't matter if you've only had the M/C and not the Amex or not the VISA. You'll want to wait at least 18 months from your last personal Citi AA card application for the next. It appears the general consensus is that this is what matters, not whether you actually have a current Citi AA card or not. At 18 months some people get the cards/bonus and some don't. At 24 months you're good to go. Make your own choice as to when.

    The Business cards are separate, though you still want to wait 65+ days from any Citi card application to a new one. I assume you want to wait 18-24 months between applications for those as well.

    You can get two personal cards, though the two browser trick might not work, and you might get two pulls. No real harm in trying though.

    If you're going to do a churn anyway, and take the pulls, you might want to try a personal card a little early just to see. If you can't take the pulls, then wait longer so your chances are better.

    Keep the long term card open. Its a long time since I applied, so it doesn't matter that I've got that card. I'm still considered a "new" cardmember.

    As far as canceling, Citi will sometimes move credit from one card to another or allow you to cancel an old one to get a new one, but its still a good idea to cancel before you apply for the new one. If you're going to cancel though, you want to do it long enough before the new application that the line of credit is freed up on your credit report before you apply. So at least 3-4 months.

    I'm going to want to cancel before the new fee comes up, at least unless they waive it or offer me something to keep the card open. So probably cancel at 11 months or so since there are some benefits to having the card, and I can't reapply for 20+ months anyway.

    Apparently the Citi Hilton cards can be churned much more frequently, on the order of 65+ days between applications. But at least in my experience even if Citi denies you due to being a prior AA cardmember, you'll still see hard pulls on your credit so you need to consider carefully when to apply.
     
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  6. Dad to GO

    Dad to GO Silver Member

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    Just as a data point. My wife applied for 2 Citi cards 19 months after getting her last one using the 2 browser trick. We had to call the reconsideration line and move some credit around but she was approved for both after only 5 minutes on the phone. I really don't know why it is necessary to cancel before you apply for another one. From what I've mostly read (and my own personal experience) there is no need to cancel the card. In fact I think it may look worse if they see you canceling a card and then applying right away for another one. Those are just my 2 cents though.
     
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  7. gconnery

    gconnery Silver Member

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    @Dad to Go,

    Thanks. That's helpful. I had read that Citi was different than Chase. Obviously with Chase you can keep the old card open and either cancel it on the call or move credit around. What I had read was that Citi was different and generally the reconsideration lines weren't that helpful so you wanted to improve your chances of getting approved automatically without a call and thus cancelling the card well ahead to free up credit for them to re-assign you again. I'm relatively new to this though, so don't really know what is right.

    Also sounds like the CitiBusiness AA card is more churnable, perhaps 3+ months. I'm presuming this is after cancellation, but not sure. Will be digging into this more.
     
  8. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    The poster named ParticleMN indicated on another thread that he and his spouse are getting those 2 Citi Hilton cards every 90 days for the last 3 quarters.


    They do seem to be much more strict on personal AA cards.
     
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