myFICO: Should You Ditch a Credit Card If You Start Losing Perks?

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb 6, 2024--

Your most-loved credit card just cut one of your favorite perks. What’s your next move? Do you keep the credit card even though you’ve just lost a major feature? Or should you close it and risk damaging your credit? The answer isn’t so cut-and-dried. Here are a few things to consider, from myFICO.

For more credit education, visit myFICO’s blog at https://www.myfico.com/credit-education/blog

Consider the Annual Fee

The best rewards cards come with an annual fee, something you have to consider as you decide whether to keep a credit card or let it go.

Weigh the annual fee against the remaining credit card benefits. Will you take advantage of them frequently enough? Are they valuable enough to justify paying the annual fee? If you’re only left with features you’ll rarely use, keeping the card may not be worth the cost.

The ongoing rewards also factor into your decision. Can you earn enough each year to make the fee worthwhile? Reviewing how much you've previously earned on this card can help you here. Consider closing the card if you’ll only earn just enough rewards to break even on the annual fee.

Impact to Your Credit

Closing a credit card is risky because of the potential impact to your FICO® Scores. When it comes to your credit, there are a few things to keep in mind when you’re deciding to keep a card or close it.

  • Your oldest credit card boosts your credit age by showing you have more experience using credit.
  • High limit credit cards can help your FICO® Scores and help you land high credit limits on other credit cards you apply for.
  • Closing a credit card, especially one with a balance, can have a big impact on your credit utilization and your FICO® Scores.

How closing a credit card affects your FICO® Scores depends on a number of factors. If you have a major loan or credit card application coming up, it's smarter to wait until after you're approved to close any credit cards.

Don’t Lose Your Rewards

If you ultimately decide to close your card, keep it open long enough to use up any remaining rewards. Otherwise, you’ll forfeit your rewards if you ditch your credit card before using them.

Cash rewards are fairly easy to use—you can simply redeem them for a statement credit or a deposit to an eligible bank account. Consider transferring points or miles to another loyalty program or redeem them for a gift card, if that's an option.

Another Option

You may not have to close your card. You can ask your card issuer for a product change —where you switch to another credit card from that same issuer.

Before switching, confirm how the account will appear on your credit report. You want it to be a continuation of your existing account rather than an entirely new one. This way, you keep the account age and payment history and get a credit card that's a better fit.

You may need to use any unredeemed rewards before the product change is complete. Ask your card issuer whether you'll keep your rewards so you can use or transfer them if necessary.

Bottom Line

If you have your FICO® Scores in mind, closing a credit card has no benefit to the score. If you opt to keep the card, be sure to use it periodically to keep it open and active.

About myFICO

Get your FICO® Score from the people that make the FICO Scores, for free. Plus, free Equifax credit monitoring and a free Equifax credit report every month. No credit card required. For more information, visit https://www.myfico.com/products/fico-free-plan-a

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20240206924952/en/

CONTACT: Elizabeth Warren

[email protected]

KEYWORD: CALIFORNIA UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: BANKING PERSONAL FINANCE PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FINANCE

SOURCE: myFICO

Copyright Business Wire 2024.

PUB: 02/06/2024 12:34 PM/DISC: 02/06/2024 12:33 PM

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20240206924952/en

 

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