Deciding whether to keep an old credit card or get rid of it is not a simple choice to make, but with the right knowledge, it should be easier to come to a decision. Find the pros and cons of cancelling an old credit card below:
Pros of cancelling old credit cards
You’ll rid yourself of a possible liability
Whatever the reason for closing an old credit card, one less credit card could mean one less opening for incidences of fraud or theft. Because old credit cards are often forgotten and are generally more difficult to maintain and manage, they could be vulnerable to criminals.
You’ll have less temptation to fight
If you are one of those who feel richer than you really are because you have extra credit, then it might be best to cancel some of your credit cards. The same applies to people who tend to spend more than they should, so in order to prevent or reduce temptation, it is a good idea to close any extra lines of credit.
You can cut back on paying annual fees
Your old credit card accounts may have annual fees and you really shouldn’t be paying annual fees on a credit card you don’t use. Whether it is because you were not paying close enough attention or because you applied for the card when your credit was poor, you will save a good deal of money by getting rid of the card and if you must, replace it with a personal credit card with a better deal. Once you have good credit, the competitive financial landscape will sort out the rest.
Cons of cancelling old credit cards
Cancelling could hurt your credit score
If you have a negative payment history, closing an old credit card won’t work magic for you because the payment history of a card continues to affect your credit even after the account has been closed. While the effect the closed account has on your credit score will lessen over time, it is certainly not a solution for improving your credit. Other factors to consider include the utilisation rate and whether the card you intend to cancel is your only credit card.
You could lose out on existing customer deals
While they are often not as juicy as new customer deals, some lenders may offer current cardholders a fantastic deal every now and then. If your lender is one of the considerate ones, you might be losing out on opportunities to enjoy great deals on your credit card if you decide to cancel. While the offers may not be better than those for new customers, at least you won’t have to go through a credit check.
Before taking the leap and cancelling an old card, be sure to evaluate your position carefully so you don’t end up with regrets. Learn how keeping or cancelling the card will affect you in the long and short run.