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Married and have the same annual fee card?
My wife and I got married last year and got the travel itch once we went on our honeymoon to Italy and Greece. We came across your website shortly after that and have been trying to earn points and miles since, though I rarely travel for work and we don’t get a ton of time off to travel together.
We thought one of the best ways to get going would be to start with credit cards and hit minimum spends as we are very responsible with our finances, always pay on time, and have very good credit scores. Within a year of each other, we each applied and got the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. My signup bonus was 40,000 at the time, but she got the 50,000 bonus and we also added a friend reference and authorized user for more points.
It’s starting to dawn on me that now my wife and I essentially have two Chase Sapphire Preferred cards each. We each have one that is tied to our own account and one tied to each other’s account. Moving forward, what should we do with both cards?
It seems like a waste of money to pay $95 annual fees on both cards, considering we can both spend on just one of them. But I’ve also read that canceling cards is a bad habit to get into and can drive down your credit score.
Do credit card companies allow you to negotiate down to a no annual fee card so the account can remain open but we don’t have to keep paying the annual fee and getting all of the perks offered for the card? If not, what would you suggest we do?
A great advantage to being married is taking advantage of two signup bonuses for the same card but after the first year, it gets tricky!
Thanks for all of your help!
Breckenridge–there are some cards where you can negotiate down to a no-fee version of the card but I have never heard that happen with the CSP. Maybe you have a shot if you spent an inordinate amount of money on the cards but if you are average consumers like the rest of us that probably isn’t likely. I was able to downgrade my CSP to a CS (no AF and still earns 2x on dining but not on travel).
The authorized user cards aren’t really an issue here. It seems to boil down to whether you want to keep the cards open for your wife and yourself. The upside to closing one is obvious, more efficient to accrue miles in one account and saving one annual fee.
On the other side is the issue that Chase has become much more strict with issuing UR earning cards and if you close the card you may not be able to get the card again if you are actively applying for other cards. This means that you will not be able to transfer miles to the account of the person with a CSP account any more in case you need to top off the account for a trip with UR so it may be worth it to pay the AF in this case as an investment for the future.
You are right that closing an account will hurt your account but it is not the act of closing but the associated effects on your average life of credit and reduction in available credit. Some of this is unavoidable unless you want pay huge amounts of annual fees every year but you can mitigate the effects by downgrading to a no fee card or moving your credit line to another card before closing your account. If you look at the factors contributing to your credit score, regular increases in your overall credit will offset the negative effects of closing accounts in the long term. It’s also good to have a few no fee cards that you keep open for a while to lengthen your average age of credit. A card like the Freedom would fall into this category plus provide you with bonus points to increase the value of the CSP.