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Length to keep a card
How long is it necessary to hold a card before cancellation without losing reward points?
A lot of it depends on the specific card, for instance if you have an airline credit card, the points would be transferred to the airline, so the card issuer would have no way of taking back the points when you cancel.
On the other hand, American Express “owns” their membership rewards points, so you are more at risk of them taking those back if you sign up for a card and immediately cancel.
As a general rule, if you’re not doing it often, you can hold on to the card until an annual fee is due with little risk. At that time, you could transfer the points out to keep them ‘safe’, or look at downgrading a card to something with no annual fee.