Most people have at least one credit card. Even if you’re not using the card, and you’re not interested in swapping the balance to another lender, it still might be worth cancelling the card and switching to another one.
With credit card fraud on the rise, it doesn’t make sense to have a really old card lingering around unchecked. Moreover, your ancient credit card most likely won’t be benefiting from the latest zero percent interest deals on spending and balance transfers. Even if you have no intention of getting into debt, you can use the card for purchases for 18 months and save the equivalent cash in an ISA, so you’re actually making money as you spend!
In addition, many credit card companies are so keen to temp you back to their services, that they’ll often treat you as a new customer after a few months have passed. That means you’ll be entitled to all the offers that have since elapsed on your older credit card.
When To Hold On To A Card
If you travel frequently, or find yourself in any situation where you might require an emergency stash of credit, an older, empty credit card can be really beneficial, especially if you don’t have any savings to fall back on.
Weigh Up The Options
If you’ve got an old card lying around, and you’re in good standing with the credit card company, there’s a chance that your borrowing limit could be significantly larger than any new card you might apply for. The fact that you also won’t need to go through a credit check means that it’s often less hassle to keep an old card running if all you’re going to use it for is emergency purchases.
Will My Credit Rating Be Damaged?
There’s really no way of telling: Some lenders will look at your empty £7,000 limit credit card and think that it’s great you’ve got so much potential to get into debt but have stayed sensible. Others will view the massive unused balance as a ticking time bomb that you could fill up in a single day. Every situation is different.
It’s definitely worth checking out your credit report to see if everything is in order before you make a decision to switch cards. Credit Cleaner allows you to check your credit score and amend any admin errors. They offer advice for repairing and improving bad credit ratings, all for a low monthly fee. Hunt down a Credit Cleaner review to see if the service is right for you. Click here for more information.
How Do I Cancel An Old Card?
It’s best to make a direct phone call and have the account shut down. You’ll still be able to access your account for a short time, so make sure you completely stop using the card or payments might still go through. This is because the card company needs a small buffer period to make sure everything is in order and the balance has been settled. It’s also worth noting that simply chopping up a card won’t suddenly close your account down.
Keeping an old credit card hanging around can be a great piece of mind for emergency situations, but it pays to shop around and find the right deal. You may be missing out on some great offers!
Wendy Lin is an author and mother. Although she travels many months out of the year, she always tries to take her family with her as she prioritises her family above business.