Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

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bling
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by bling »

anon_investor wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 11:06 pm
bling wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 10:16 pm
anon_investor wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 9:51 pm
bling wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 9:20 pm got almost 20 active cards :twisted:

4-5 get active use, based on the category. the rest, i call a number once every 5 years to activate and then it goes into the drawer, never to be seen again until its replacement arrives another 5 years later.
The CC companies don't close any of your non-utilized accounts for inactivity?
i used to do one small transaction yearly on all of them to keep them active. i stopped doing that a couple years back and so far only a couple have closed out due to inactivity. most are still open.

in general you want to keep all your cards open, not for the credit history (that's always on your report, even after you've closed them), but because it lowers your credit utilization ratio. the 4-5 active cards i use account for like 80% of my available credit so it's not a big deal to me if my unused ones get closed.
I thought closed accounts drop off your credit report after a certain number of years.
exactly, it's years. i still have one showing on my report from 6 years ago, so i wouldn't be surprised if the cutoff is 10 years.
nolesrule
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by nolesrule »

Independent George wrote: Tue Jan 11, 2022 12:43 am
On average, how much do you spend on each card per year? How much does that translate to in rewards per card? My issue with that many cards is not the complexity, but that when you disperse the rewards across that many accounts, the benefits are minimal. For example, I cancelled my Target red card because for the amount I was spending, the 3% difference between that and a flat 2% cashback came out to less than $10/year. My total reward points/year is usually around $300 ($200 on my 2% Citi card, $50 each on the other two); at best, having more specialized cards might take that up to $350, which just doesn't seem worth it to me.
Well, yeah, if you are only spending $300/year at target it might not be worth it to have the card.

You should acquire and use cards that are match up with your existing regular spending habits (not ones that will drive your spending habits).

I'm not the person you responded to, but we average about $200 in rewards a month (not including target which is a register discount). 2/3 of that comes from our 2% card, so the other 3rd comes from higher cards. Since the additional cards range from 1% to 4% higher it's likely that about $600 additional per year comes from using the other cards.
Last edited by nolesrule on Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
humblecoder
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by humblecoder »

Independent George wrote: Tue Jan 11, 2022 12:43 am On average, how much do you spend on each card per year? How much does that translate to in rewards per card? My issue with that many cards is not the complexity, but that when you disperse the rewards across that many accounts, the benefits are minimal. For example, I cancelled my Target red card because for the amount I was spending, the 3% difference between that and a flat 2% cashback came out to less than $10/year. My total reward points/year is usually around $300 ($200 on my 2% Citi card, $50 each on the other two); at best, having more specialized cards might take that up to $350, which just doesn't seem worth it to me.
Last year, I netted about $2000 in credit card rewards. I am not sure what that translates into by card.

I get what you are saying though. Having a specialized 5% card vs a generic 2% card may not net you enough of a difference to make it worthwhile to carry the specialized card. That is certainly a valid opinion.

Regarding the Target card in particular, honestly, it is pretty much zero effort for me. I use the Target app's e-wallet feature to pay when I am at Target, so it literally is zero additional effort for me to use the Target card. Similar with Amazon. I set the Amazon Visa as my default payment so it gets used for all of my Amazon purchases. So even if I only get $100 benefit from using these cards, it is worthwhile for me since it is essentially free money for no additional margin effort on my part.

Again, I understand that everyone is different in this regard, so I am not saying that my way is the right way. Everyone should do what they think is best for them. I certainly understand that point of view of valuing simplicity with regards to credit cards. Even I have my own limits. If you read the various websites and blogs dedicated to credit cards rewards, some of the strategies make what I do seem tame by comparison!
JackoC
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by JackoC »

tomsense76 wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 11:18 pm
anon_investor wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 11:06 pm
bling wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 10:16 pm
anon_investor wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 9:51 pm
bling wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 9:20 pm got almost 20 active cards :twisted:
4-5 get active use, based on the category. the rest, i call a number once every 5 years to activate and then it goes into the drawer, never to be seen again until its replacement arrives another 5 years later.
The CC companies don't close any of your non-utilized accounts for inactivity?
i used to do one small transaction yearly on all of them to keep them active. i stopped doing that a couple years back and so far only a couple have closed out due to inactivity. most are still open.

in general you want to keep all your cards open, not for the credit history (that's always on your report, even after you've closed them), but because it lowers your credit utilization ratio. the 4-5 active cards i use account for like 80% of my available credit so it's not a big deal to me if my unused ones get closed.
I thought closed accounts drop off your credit report after a certain number of years.
Is there much reason to keep them if you don't use them any more?
But there's no real reason to close them either if no annual fee. You can only lose money to credit card fraud if you pay the fraudulent charges and never dispute them. That would not happen with a card I don't use, where any charge and non-zero bill (I see via email alert) automatically gets scrutiny.

And as was mentioned, credit utilization is measured as balance at statement closing date divided by both line on that particular card, and in relation to all cards put together. So unused line on unused cards still helps. If you don't care about your credit score that's fine, but still not a positive reason to shut down no fee cards you don't use rather than let them 'die naturally'. But as other mentioned while consumer advice sources will say 'use it every few months if you want to keep it alive' it seems like it usually takes years of inactivity for an issuer to close even a no fee card.

Like I said, key factors in card number include how busy you are, your spending level, and whether it's plausible you'd have a CC borrowing problem. I nowadays have time and spending level is pretty high, CC borrowing problem not plausible. Getting $5k+ a year on CC bonuses and cash back is worth some of that time but even one multi-minute call (you might get xferred around and have to listen to sales pitches) to cancel a no fee card is not IMO. Annual fee cards I got for bonuses, sure, cancelled before the second annual fee, like clockwork. :happy
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Meg77
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by Meg77 »

I just want to say that I love your username. lol.

That said, definitely not only close some of these cards but consider adding better ones. Cancelling your cards shouldn't hurt your score as long as you have a low utilization rate still (usage is 25% of limit or less on average). Length of history matters too so maybe keep your oldest card if you only have one that is a decade older than the others or something. But it's not worth a fee just for that - if the oldest card has a fee and you don't use it, nix it. Some of these limits are really high, so cancelling
Money_Badger wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 11:04 am I did recently sign up for a new Chase / United Airlines card to take advantage of a $250 incentive for some flights we are taking in April. Paying a $99 annual fee to save $250 is not really a good enough incentive to add a new card in my opinion. Generally airline cards are the worst too. They don't give you many miles/points per dollar AND the miles/points you earn are generally worth a lot less. AND they usually have an annual fee. Frequent flyer programs have been consistently watered down over the last decade.

Chase (leftover from a balance transfer promotion) - don't use - 0 balance - $8800 limit What kind of Chase? The Chase Sapphire Reserve is the best travel/dining card generally if you have a mid/high spend per year. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is better for lower spend. Both have fees but are largely offset with annual travel reimbursements and great fee earn capacity.

BofA Preferred Rewards - use for dining out only - 3% cash back - No fee - 19K limit. Meh. The citi double cash card has no fee and you get 2% back on everything with no annual fee. And the Chase cards referenced above give you 3x points for dining spend. This has no fee and a high limit though so keep if you want.

BoA Quantum MasterCard - Don't use - 0 balance - 30K limit - No fee Unless there are nice rewards here, I'd close it. You don't need two BOA cards that you barely/don't use.

Citi Costco - use for other cashback stuff (gas, travel, etc) - Pay off monthly - 27K limit - No fee, just the Costco membership fee I don't know what the cash back is here, but if it's less than 2% cash back then I'd switch to one of the Chase ones if your main spending is dining/travel. For groceries and gas, the Amex blue card has 6% back on groceries and 3% on gas which is what I use. But I know you need to use Visa at Costco so if this is your only visa you may need to keep.

Citi American Airlines - just for airline stuff - 0 balance - $99 yearly fee - 19K limit Cancel! See above re airline stuff. A generic 2% cash back card will probably serve you better, especially if you have status and already get a free checked bag. But for $99 even paying for bags once or twice wouldn't be larger than the cost of the card.

Chase United - used only for this large airfare purchase recently - I just got this card so can't cancel - $99 / year - 19K limit Cancel whenever you can (see above).

Discover - I've had this card forever and haven't used it in years. - No fee - Not sure what the limit is Cancel if you can figure out how. Or just leave open if it's way older than others. I have a super old capital one I've had for 20 years and have no idea how to log in or use the card, but it's still technically open. As long as there's no fee, who cares.
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anon_investor
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by anon_investor »

Meg77 wrote: Tue Jan 11, 2022 2:54 pm I just want to say that I love your username. lol.

That said, definitely not only close some of these cards but consider adding better ones. Cancelling your cards shouldn't hurt your score as long as you have a low utilization rate still (usage is 25% of limit or less on average). Length of history matters too so maybe keep your oldest card if you only have one that is a decade older than the others or something. But it's not worth a fee just for that - if the oldest card has a fee and you don't use it, nix it. Some of these limits are really high, so cancelling
Money_Badger wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 11:04 am I did recently sign up for a new Chase / United Airlines card to take advantage of a $250 incentive for some flights we are taking in April. Paying a $99 annual fee to save $250 is not really a good enough incentive to add a new card in my opinion. Generally airline cards are the worst too. They don't give you many miles/points per dollar AND the miles/points you earn are generally worth a lot less. AND they usually have an annual fee. Frequent flyer programs have been consistently watered down over the last decade.

Chase (leftover from a balance transfer promotion) - don't use - 0 balance - $8800 limit What kind of Chase? The Chase Sapphire Reserve is the best travel/dining card generally if you have a mid/high spend per year. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is better for lower spend. Both have fees but are largely offset with annual travel reimbursements and great fee earn capacity.

BofA Preferred Rewards - use for dining out only - 3% cash back - No fee - 19K limit. Meh. The citi double cash card has no fee and you get 2% back on everything with no annual fee. And the Chase cards referenced above give you 3x points for dining spend. This has no fee and a high limit though so keep if you want.

BoA Quantum MasterCard - Don't use - 0 balance - 30K limit - No fee Unless there are nice rewards here, I'd close it. You don't need two BOA cards that you barely/don't use.

Citi Costco - use for other cashback stuff (gas, travel, etc) - Pay off monthly - 27K limit - No fee, just the Costco membership fee I don't know what the cash back is here, but if it's less than 2% cash back then I'd switch to one of the Chase ones if your main spending is dining/travel. For groceries and gas, the Amex blue card has 6% back on groceries and 3% on gas which is what I use. But I know you need to use Visa at Costco so if this is your only visa you may need to keep.

Citi American Airlines - just for airline stuff - 0 balance - $99 yearly fee - 19K limit Cancel! See above re airline stuff. A generic 2% cash back card will probably serve you better, especially if you have status and already get a free checked bag. But for $99 even paying for bags once or twice wouldn't be larger than the cost of the card.

Chase United - used only for this large airfare purchase recently - I just got this card so can't cancel - $99 / year - 19K limit Cancel whenever you can (see above).

Discover - I've had this card forever and haven't used it in years. - No fee - Not sure what the limit is Cancel if you can figure out how. Or just leave open if it's way older than others. I have a super old capital one I've had for 20 years and have no idea how to log in or use the card, but it's still technically open. As long as there's no fee, who cares.
If the oldest card has a fee, the OP may be able to downgrade to a no fee card in order to retain that card's credit history.
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jeffyscott
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by jeffyscott »

Costco card has no fee. Rebates are 4% gas, 3% travel and restaurants, 2% at Costco, 1% everything else. Plus it gives a 2 year extended warranty and still has rental car insurance.

The only reason to cancel that would be if the Costco membership is not worth the $60 or $120 per year cost, IMO.

Regarding the idea to downgrade to eliminate fees...

The B of A preferred rewards could probably be changed to a no fee customized cash rewards. One popular option for that would be 3% for online purchases.

Airline cards may be downgraded to no fee versions. Those can be handy for keeping points alive via earning some with an occasional charge. Although United and SW points/miles no longer expire and AA shopping portal is another way to earn some to avoid expiration of theirs.
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by bling »

jeffyscott wrote: Tue Jan 11, 2022 3:49 pm The B of A preferred rewards could probably be changed to a no fee customized cash rewards. One popular option for that would be 3% for online purchases.
depends. BoA's credit card lineup is easily the best if you care about cashback and you have 100k that you're willing to move to them (can be invested). that gives you a 2.625% floor for everything, and their other cards get you 5.25% for bonus categories (restaurants, gas, online). their card is even better than the costco card because you get 3.5% with the boost for warehouses.

even the best points/miles cards would have a tough time topping that. the only way is if you're the type to spend all your points upgrading to first class or staying at five star hotels.
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by grabiner »

jeffyscott wrote: Tue Jan 11, 2022 3:49 pm Airline cards may be downgraded to no fee versions. Those can be handy for keeping points alive via earning some with an occasional charge. Although United and SW points/miles no longer expire and AA shopping portal is another way to earn some to avoid expiration of theirs.
You can also avoid expiration by earning miles on a different airline for a hotel or car rental. I rarely fly Delta, but I have miles I don't want to expire, so I earn Delta miles with most of my car rentals.
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mikejuss
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by mikejuss »

Thinking of going all cash all the time myself.
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by ivgrivchuck »

It is highly personal.

My spouse and I have around 20 cards open. But 7 of them we intend to close in a year or two.
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jeffyscott
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by jeffyscott »

grabiner wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 10:38 pm
jeffyscott wrote: Tue Jan 11, 2022 3:49 pm Airline cards may be downgraded to no fee versions. Those can be handy for keeping points alive via earning some with an occasional charge. Although United and SW points/miles no longer expire and AA shopping portal is another way to earn some to avoid expiration of theirs.
You can also avoid expiration by earning miles on a different airline for a hotel or car rental. I rarely fly Delta, but I have miles I don't want to expire, so I earn Delta miles with most of my car rentals.
Can do that with some hotels, too. We're about to nearly zero out an IHG rewards account and going to switch to AA miles to keep those alive.

Delta miles don't expire, though.
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livesoft
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by livesoft »

mptfan wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 1:14 pm
RobLyons wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 12:07 pmI currently have about 8 or 9 cards and there's no need to look through statements.
How do you know if there are any unauthorized charges?
Just because someone has a lot of cards does not mean they (a) get statements to look at and (b) even use the cards.

For instance, we have cards that have never had a charge on them since getting them. One of them is for overdraft protection. The others would send an e-mail of "Your Balance is $0.00 this month." Another card is just for the water bill because the water company will take a credit card without an extra charge, but charges for an e-bill payment from the bank. So the credit card gets paid as an e-bill from the bank. Also we don't have to go scrounging through a workhorse credit card statement for the water bill charge.

So to make it obvious: Any charge on some of our cards is an unauthorized charge, so if that ever happened (it hasn't), then it would be terribly obvious.

Anyways, I guess my answer for the OP is: It depends.
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JoMoney
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by JoMoney »

I cancel my no longer used cards. It's caused my score to drop from some higher number excellent rating to some lower number excellent rating and then it starts going back up again. As near as I can figure, closing your oldest account/card hurts a bit more than average, and lowering your overall available amount of credit hurts more than closing the card/account - if you consolidate multiple cards issued by the same bank to have a single card with the same available credit limit as the multiple cards combined it's essentially no impact.

If I was planning on getting a mortgage anytime soon, I might try to manage my credit score to try and make sure I was eligible for best rate, outside of that I really don't care about borrowing money, I wish to avoid it, so credit score is not something that concerns me.
I've heard that in some places credit score may be used in insurance ratings, in California (and several other states) using credit scores for insurance underwriting isn't legal.
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by MikeG62 »

Meg77 wrote: Tue Jan 11, 2022 2:54 pm
Money_Badger wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 11:04 am I did recently sign up for a new Chase / United Airlines card to take advantage of a $250 incentive for some flights we are taking in April.
Paying a $99 annual fee to save $250 is not really a good enough incentive to add a new card in my opinion. Generally airline cards are the worst too. They don't give you many miles/points per dollar AND the miles/points you earn are generally worth a lot less. AND they usually have an annual fee. Frequent flyer programs have been consistently watered down over the last decade.
I don’t disagree that airline points do seem to be more watered down vs the past.

Having said that, typically one can get around 1.3 cents per point and with a sign up bonus at 40,000 miles (that’s what I got when I reopened a chase United card in 2021) plus a $250 statement credit those two things can be worth around $750.

Add in that this card gets free checked bags for two people (a $100 value per trip) and priority boarding and it’s not a bad card to hold onto despite the annual fee (which is offset by free checked bags on one trip per year) - provided one travels at least once per year on that airline. They also provide two United club passes for two people every 12 months.
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by mptfan »

livesoft wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 7:45 am
mptfan wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 1:14 pm
RobLyons wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 12:07 pmI currently have about 8 or 9 cards and there's no need to look through statements.
How do you know if there are any unauthorized charges?
Just because someone has a lot of cards does not mean they (a) get statements to look at and (b) even use the cards.
Fair point, but there is a lot more involved with having many credit cards:

1) You have to keep track of all of the cards (I have heard stories of people forgetting about a card and not knowing there was unauthorized activity)
2) Create a new online account for each card which means creating a new username and password for each and giving out your personal information, including your address and email and phone number for each
3) Accept a new account agreement and privacy policy for each
4) When each card arrives you have to activate it
5) You have to keep the cards in a safe place
6) You will receive emails or physical mail about various things such as new products or services (I am aware that you can usually opt out of marketing emails)
7) Even if you opt out of marketing emails, you will get updates about changes to the account agreement or the privacy policy or other communications that the issuer deems important to send.
8) The credit issuer may sell or share your information with other companies with our without your permission. In some cases even if you opt out of sharing they will still share with so called "affilliate companies" which will mean you will get more junk email and physical mail.
9) Everytime you give out your name and addresss and email and other identifying information you make yourself just a little bit more exposed to hacking and identity theft. It's a fact of life.
9) You will have to remember to use each of the cards every so often or else they may be cancelled.
10) If you do use a card you will get a statement, either by email or physical mail and the onus is on you to review each statement for unauthorized charges
11) Every open credit account makes you just a little bit more exposed to credit card fraud.
12) You will have to set up payment methods to pay each of the cards.

No thanks.
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by livesoft »

mptfan wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 8:56 am...

No thanks.
You are welcome! I can tell you that you have really gone overboard on what you wrote which I applaud you for.

4) You don't have to activate the cards you get.
5) You can shred the cards you get when they arrive which is a pretty safe place to keep them.
6) I truly believe that the number of credit cards one has is unrelated to the amount of junk mail one gets. Junk mail is probably more related to the demographics of your ZIP code and your age than anything else.
6-10) We have a USAA credit card because we have USAA insurance and get all the marketing stuff anyways. The card has not been activated ever and thus has not been used and has not been cancelled. They send us a new card when the old one expires.
11) Who cares about credit card fraud? The credit card companies take care of it for you.
12) If you don't charge on the card, there are no payment methods to set up.

We do not have a lot of useless credit cards, but we also have more than 3 cards. I know folks with fewer cards than us who are always having issues with fraud, so I do not believe amount of fraud has to be related to number of cards.

OK, no one is going to go out and get a bunch of credit cards because of what I wrote, but I also don't think anybody is going to cancel a bunch of cards because of what other people wrote. :)
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by danaht »

Yes, cancel some of the ones you don't use regularly. I plan to do the same thing. I need to wait a few months before I cancel anything - since I am moving to Las Vegas into a new home with a new mortgage pending. The advice was that someone should not open or close any credit cards while opening a new mortgage - since both could effect your credit score. I'll need to wait for a couple weeks after closing before closing my unused cards.
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by afan »

Please explain. Why have a bunch of cards you never use? What are you getting out of it?
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by Sammy45 »

I slowly got down to just this general mix of three cards which seems to work well:

- No-fee Visa Cash Back (Fido or Costco) - primary card (Visa since it can be used at Costco)
- Local Hub/Preferred Airline Card - Only used for airline purchases or sketchy-looking merchants
- No-fee Amex Card - Access to Amex Offers - plus back-up card on a non-Visa network
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by Rex66 »

Keep the 3 best based on cash back or points

Get rid or rest

Just more ways to have fraudulent charges with that many
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by jeffyscott »

afan wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 9:29 am Please explain. Why have a bunch of cards you never use? What are you getting out of it?
I have cards that I got for one reason or another, but no longer use. What am I going to get by making the effort to cancel vs. doing nothing?

The long list of supposed issues that someone gave above don't amount to anything of significance to me. If I get a bill, it's fraud and is the credit card company's problem. This has never happened with any of my idle cards, though.

Last summer, one of my unused cards offered me a $200 bonus to switch to a different product and charge $1000, with no new credit check. So that's something that I've gotten out of it recently.
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by JackoC »

mptfan wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 8:56 am
livesoft wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 7:45 am
mptfan wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 1:14 pm
RobLyons wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 12:07 pmI currently have about 8 or 9 cards and there's no need to look through statements.
How do you know if there are any unauthorized charges?
Just because someone has a lot of cards does not mean they (a) get statements to look at and (b) even use the cards.
Fair point, but there is a lot more involved with having many credit cards:

1) You have to keep track of all of the cards (I have heard stories of people forgetting about a card and not knowing there was unauthorized activity)
2) Create a new online account for each card which means creating a new username and password for each and giving out your personal information, including your address and email and phone number for each
3) Accept a new account agreement and privacy policy for each
4) When each card arrives you have to activate it
5) You have to keep the cards in a safe place
6) You will receive emails or physical mail about various things such as new products or services (I am aware that you can usually opt out of marketing emails)
7) Even if you opt out of marketing emails, you will get updates about changes to the account agreement or the privacy policy or other communications that the issuer deems important to send.
8) The credit issuer may sell or share your information with other companies with our without your permission. In some cases even if you opt out of sharing they will still share with so called "affilliate companies" which will mean you will get more junk email and physical mail.
9) Everytime you give out your name and addresss and email and other identifying information you make yourself just a little bit more exposed to hacking and identity theft. It's a fact of life.
9) You will have to remember to use each of the cards every so often or else they may be cancelled.
10) If you do use a card you will get a statement, either by email or physical mail and the onus is on you to review each statement for unauthorized charges
11) Every open credit account makes you just a little bit more exposed to credit card fraud.
12) You will have to set up payment methods to pay each of the cards.

No thanks.
This is a matter of perception since nobody is going to be able to demonstrate the likelihood/unlikelihood of whatever people worry about in having open unused cards.

I perceive it as basically zero, as has been my actual experience. The logical place for fraudulent charges to appear is on cards you use all over, not on ones you only used for a $1k or few of manufactured spending to trigger a bonus, or ones you used to use all over but haven't for a long time. But if it did happen, it's easiest to see, as well as logically least likely, on cards you don't use. The only way I can see to lose money to CC fraud at all is to pay without looking at a non-zero bill. I never do that, and I get alerts for non-zero bills (I only now get paper CC statements for ones I'm likely to need for tax records, which I still prefer to have on paper).

I don't care much about junk email (easy to filter/delete, for me) and though I regret the trees lost to physical junk mail, I can see what comes and I see no perceptible relationship to unused CC's. As for going around around and around uselessly on whether unused credit cards have any real impact on identity theft risk, I really doubt it, but 'no thanks' to that debate. :happy And cards I no longer use will occasionally give actually valuable follow on offers (for example I haven't used but haven't closed my Capital One 1.5% card in a few years, 2.625% is my lowest cash back now, but year before last they made a special offer of 5% on $10k, used that instead of 2.625% card on fed est tax, wouldn't have gotten it if I'd closed the card).

However if these unconvincing arguments were somehow convincing to me, I'd simply close no fee cards I no longer use rather than let them wither on their own. It would be a much higher hurdle to convince me I shouldn't go for higher cash back if it means changing cards, or getting bonuses to open card I won't use beyond the requirement minimum spend. That's real money.
iamblessed
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Location: St. Louis

Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by iamblessed »

mptfan wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 8:56 am
livesoft wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 7:45 am
mptfan wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 1:14 pm
RobLyons wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 12:07 pmI currently have about 8 or 9 cards and there's no need to look through statements.
How do you know if there are any unauthorized charges?
Just because someone has a lot of cards does not mean they (a) get statements to look at and (b) even use the cards.
Fair point, but there is a lot more involved with having many credit cards:

1) You have to keep track of all of the cards (I have heard stories of people forgetting about a card and not knowing there was unauthorized activity)
2) Create a new online account for each card which means creating a new username and password for each and giving out your personal information, including your address and email and phone number for each
3) Accept a new account agreement and privacy policy for each
4) When each card arrives you have to activate it
5) You have to keep the cards in a safe place
6) You will receive emails or physical mail about various things such as new products or services (I am aware that you can usually opt out of marketing emails)
7) Even if you opt out of marketing emails, you will get updates about changes to the account agreement or the privacy policy or other communications that the issuer deems important to send.
8) The credit issuer may sell or share your information with other companies with our without your permission. In some cases even if you opt out of sharing they will still share with so called "affilliate companies" which will mean you will get more junk email and physical mail.
9) Everytime you give out your name and addresss and email and other identifying information you make yourself just a little bit more exposed to hacking and identity theft. It's a fact of life.
9) You will have to remember to use each of the cards every so often or else they may be cancelled.
10) If you do use a card you will get a statement, either by email or physical mail and the onus is on you to review each statement for unauthorized charges
11) Every open credit account makes you just a little bit more exposed to credit card fraud.
12) You will have to set up payment methods to pay each of the cards.

No thanks.
That is the way I think to. I have thought about goin down to one card with cash as the backup.
MrJedi
Posts: 1617
Joined: Wed May 06, 2020 11:42 am

Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by MrJedi »

All my credit cards are set to send me an email on any transaction. Very easy to know when there is fraudulent activity.

I do not mind the spam offers because they will send me offers like pay a bill with my card and give me a bonus $10. It is not much, but it also only takes about as much effort as picking up a $10 bill off the ground. Since I have many cards, I get lots of these offers every year from the various lenders. I only do the offers I would spend anyway.

Credit card deals and offers are a bit of a hobby for me though so I am probably more tolerant of it.
RobLyons
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by RobLyons »

mptfan wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 1:14 pm
RobLyons wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 12:07 pmI currently have about 8 or 9 cards and there's no need to look through statements.
How do you know if there are any unauthorized charges?


I don't use 6 or 7 most of the time, so any auto pay for those is the indicator. I also set purchase limits to be notified for purchases over $50 on all cards except the 2 I make larger purchases on frequently.
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"
hudson
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by hudson »

AerialWombat wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 8:52 pm 1. Congratulations on digging yourself out of debt. That is a massive accomplishment.

2. If you always pay them all off each month now, closing cards will not impact your utilization— because it’s already zero. This will thus not impact your score.

3. You might want to keep open the oldest card (Discover?), because your Age of Oldest Account does have a bearing on scores.
I was careful to keep one Visa card open because I thought that it was the oldest.
When I dug down deep into my Chase credit score online report, I found that my oldest card was a department store card that I'd closed. It was showing on my credit report as closed and Experian counted it as my oldest account.

Bottom Line: A closed credit card account can count as the oldest account....at least it did for me.
Last edited by hudson on Fri Jan 14, 2022 11:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
mptfan
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Re: Should I cancel a few of my credit cards

Post by mptfan »

hudson wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 9:37 am Bottom Line: A closed credit card account can count as the oldest account....at least it did for me.
Yes, it can. Closed accounts stay on your credit report for 10 years after the last activity.
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