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Answers (4)

Understanding when to cancel cards

Understanding when to cancel cards

  1. Matthew Herbst


    I’ve been following the blog for a while now and feel fairly comfortable with most of what’s being posted. I am currently working towards my first ever bonus with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express since they gave me a mail offer for 50,000 miles with $1,000 spend in the first 3 months, which I knew was limited plus I already have about 30,000 miles with Delta.

    I’m almost done getting that bonus and thinking about the next card. However, what’s not clear to me is when I should cancel cards. I’m going to cancel the Gold Delta SkyMiles card since after the first year the $95/year fear will kick in.

    My plan is to now focus on Hilton cards/points until the Business version of the Gold Delta SkyMiles card gets a better bonus than 30,000.

    So, what I’m looking at is first getting the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature Card, which is currently offering 50,000 HHonors Bonus Points after $1,000 spend in four months. After that I was going to get the Hilton HHonorsTM Card from American Express, which is currently offering 40,000 HHonors Bonus Points after $750 spend in three months.

    Both of the above mentioned Hilton branded cards have no annual fee. This is where my question lies. Once I finish the bonus on the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature Card, [B]is it right to cancel that card immediately in the hopes that I will be able to get the bonus again in two years?[/B] I’d likely hold onto the Hilton HHonorsTM Card from American Express after finishing that bonus so that 1) I can cancel the Delta card but still keep the Amex membership, and 2) so that I have some Hilton branded card to use for any Hilton spend that might come up.

    (Side note: I know there are other Delta/Hilton cards, but I’m only interested right now in cards where the minimum bonus spend is <= $2,000 in three months)

  2. Gaurav

    [USER=1136]@Matthew Herbst[/USER] it’s less a question of right or wrong and what is sustainable longer terms. Yes, you can close the card right after you get the bonus and reapply after ~18 months but if you make a habit of this banks are likely to look less than favorably on you as a client. The general consensus is to hold a card for at least a year or so before canceling.

    The AmEx regularly has higher sign bonuses btw, I would wait on that since you can only get AmEx sign up bonuses once in a lifetime on personal cards.

  3. MidSouthSkier

    [USER=1136]@Matthew Herbst[/USER] – also with the Amex Hilton card you can hang on to it and at a point in the future when you need a big bump in HH points you’ll likely get a targeted offer from Amex if you upgrade to the Surpass card. That’s what I was able to do. I’d had the free card for years and was able to upgrade to Surprass and get a 60K bonus. Maybe that’s not as large a bonus as applying outright but I got to keep the same credit card number and it’s considered the same line of credit so it helps my Average Age of Account.

  4. Matthew Herbst

    [USER=79]@Gaurav[/USER] So, by at least a year do you mean cancel right before the yearly fee would kick in? Good to know the bonus has been higher before for for the Amex Hilton HHonorsTM Card – how high have you seen it? I didn’t know that about only being able to get the Amex bonuses once, thanks!

    [USER=184]@MidSouth Skier[/USER] I hadn’t thought about that – good idea! I also know that if you are a good customer with Amex they’ll do a lot to keep you: my parents threaten every few years to downgrade their Platinum card and Amex keeps giving them some extras so that they stay Platinum.

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