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Hi guys, I have multiple credit cards, but I have been using only one on a regular basis.
I have 3 Visa Credit cards and 2 AMEX. I have about 20k worth in Credit limits in total.
My auto loan has a balance of about $2800 left off (4.9%APR) Should be paid off by this summer.

What should I do? Should I keep those credit cards or close some of them?
Should I consider using those credits cards once in a while or can I just leave them be?

I hope not using the credit cards will not hurt my credit.

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leave it be if there is no annual fee.

There is no reason to close a card unless it has an annual fee that you do not profit from.

The only one that has an annual fee is the Costco one, but then I do shop there often...

I would use all of them once in a while to keep them active. While "not using them" won't hurt your credit - credit card companies will eventually cancel for non-use and that will hurt your credit.

I've had 2 companies cancel credit cards for non-use - 1 Chase, 1 GE, and while one was small, the other was a decent sized line.

You are missing some float opportunities by only using 1 card. For instance - depending on when your statement cuts - you are looking at 50 days or so of float time by putting a charge on a card that has just cut.

Some people on FW change their due dates on all their credit cards to the same date for balance transfer and ease of remembering, but I don't.

While Cash Back percentages, especially with category cards, will usually trump float time, there may be times where you are putting your money to other uses or just not have it. I have a no fee balance transfer as standard purchase card that I use so I get the best of both worlds - Cash Back/points on other cards, then balance transfer to other card = about 90 days no interest and Cash Back.

You should also expand your credit and get a Mastercard and a Discover.

Hi there, thanks for all the info.
I've been getting few pre-qualified offers from Discover to get the new Discover It card...
I always wanted a MC card, but never really found a worthy MC to go for without annual fees that has a good Cash Back rewards program.

Why have you been paying 4.9% on your auto loan ?

It's kinda late to Refimance it now that its almost paid off , but you could have refi last year under 2% and not needed to pay 4.9%.

Don't close cards. If you do you'll have a thin file. Just leave things alone and use them every so often to keep them active

They send me cards now a year before the expiration date. I don't use them so I don't activate them. Nothing bad happens.

I have a binder full of cards that I never use.

IcEWoLF said:   The only one that has an annual fee is the Costco one, but then I do shop there often...
which costco cc carries an annual fee?

http://www304.americanexpress.com/getthecard/learn-about/Costco-...

DeGlass said:   IcEWoLF said:   The only one that has an annual fee is the Costco one, but then I do shop there often...
which costco cc carries an annual fee?

http://www304.americanexpress.com/getthecard/learn-about/Costco-...

I think OP is confusing the fact that the Costco membership gets charged to the AMEX card.

5 cards , add a 0 to that then ask if it is time to downsize, and the answer is no unless you have an annual fee to weather on any. Having a low utilization of credit with activity on your accounts make your FICO happy happy happy. Keep applying! Snag a bonus every 3-4 months, nice extra income and the short term credit hit gets washed out relativity soon. I used to get excited about $100 or $150 signups but recently it has been well over $200, gotta love that. Make sure to fall back to the best card for your situations though, Fidelity AMEX 2% everywhere is awesome pair it up with the 1.5% Visa to use where the AMEX will not go, and AMEX Blue ($250 signup on that one recently) works great for grocery (6% CashBack) and gas (3% CashBack).

The Costco AMEX card is junk - they say they give you 3% but it's only 1% with the card and 2% if you are an executive member plus you still pay for a membership. Much better to use the 2% Fidelity rewards card + 2% Executive discount if it makes sense and the AMEX blue at the pumps there for the 3%.

OP, in case you are wondering what the advice to use them "occasionally" translates to time-wise, using them on a small purchase once every 3 months was the recommended timeframe on FW Finance when I was looking into this topic several years ago.

DamnoIT said:   5 cards , add a 0 to that then ask if it is time to downsize, and the answer is no unless you have an annual fee to weather on any. Having a low utilization of credit with activity on your accounts make your FICO happy happy happy. Keep applying! Snag a bonus every 3-4 months, nice extra income and the short term credit hit gets washed out relativity soon. I used to get excited about $100 or $150 signups but recently it has been well over $200, gotta love that. Make sure to fall back to the best card for your situations though, Fidelity AMEX 2% everywhere is awesome pair it up with the 1.5% Visa to use where the AMEX will not go, and AMEX Blue ($250 signup on that one recently) works great for grocery (6% CashBack) and gas (3% CashBack).

The Costco AMEX card is junk - they say they give you 3% but it's only 1% with the card and 2% if you are an executive member plus you still pay for a membership. Much better to use the 2% Fidelity rewards card + 2% Executive discount if it makes sense and the AMEX blue at the pumps there for the 3%.


I think you're a bit confused about the CostCo AMEX. They clearly state everywhere that it's 3% on gas (4% with the business card), 2% on restaurant and travel and 1% everywhere else, including at CostCo.

A CostCo Executive membership at its accompanying rewards has nothing to do with the CostCo AMEX. With an executive membership, you get 2% back on most CostCo purchases (gas purchases are excluded, for example), and that is regardless of what payment form you use (CostCo AMEX, another AMEX, debit card, gift card, cash).

True, if you have a better AMEX to use at CostCo, use it. I don't, so the CostCo Business AMEX is my fallback at CostCo (when I'm not using an RCA debit card or CostCo g/c's bought online with a Visa/MC/Discover). I will also use it to get gas at CostCo when the price there is at least 1% lower than I can elsewhere using a 5% on gas Visa card. That's not usually the case at home, though it has been when traveling (for example, recently Hawaii and San Diego).

Chris.

You made good points. I used to have 4 actively used credit cards with 4 spread out closings to give the greatest float time, but now I use my cards strickly by Cash Back advantages.


mactv said:   I would use all of them once in a while to keep them active. While "not using them" won't hurt your credit - credit card companies will eventually cancel for non-use and that will hurt your credit.

I've had 2 companies cancel credit cards for non-use - 1 Chase, 1 GE, and while one was small, the other was a decent sized line.

You are missing some float opportunities by only using 1 card. For instance - depending on when your statement cuts - you are looking at 50 days or so of float time by putting a charge on a card that has just cut.

Some people on FW change their due dates on all their credit cards to the same date for balance transfer and ease of remembering, but I don't.

While Cash Back percentages, especially with category cards, will usually trump float time, there may be times where you are putting your money to other uses or just not have it. I have a no fee balance transfer as standard purchase card that I use so I get the best of both worlds - Cash Back/points on other cards, then balance transfer to other card = about 90 days no interest and Cash Back.

You should also expand your credit and get a Mastercard and a Discover.

Sorry, I should have been more specific, I pay $100 year for the Costco executive card, I will most likely downgrade that card this year.

I saw the Discover Credit Card but no cash bonus to begin with.
But it might be worth it. I've been getting pre-qualification letters for weeks now....
Any other credit card worth looking at that has cash bonus?

I already took advantage of the Barclay NFL $400 bonus a month ago which was awesome.
I have Chase Sapphire & Chase Freedom, both of them had a bonus when i got it them.

For Discover, try looking at thread http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1266782/

gloreglabert said:   I have a binder full of cards that I never use.

Same here. I put about $1 on them every 3 months or so, though, to avoid inactivity. It's often a $1 Amazon gift card purchased on-line. Do you do small charges periodically, or have you not had issues with cards being closed due to inactivity? (I've not yet had one closed for inactivity, but I've never wanted to risk it.)

I won't qualify for the $75 bonus since I am signed up with Amazon Prime Student...

NVM, I qualified for the $75 bonus from Amazon.com!
I added the Discover CC.

I pulled up myFICO credit and saw that the amount of new credit was good, but not "very good".
Anyways, I am hoping with this new credit card it will give my credit score a boost.
My current Credit score right now (as of today) it's 755 (Equifax) I am hoping someday I can get closer to 800.
Anyways, I think I am done with credit card applications for a while unless something similar like the $400 cash bonus offer comes around like the Barclay card. That was a nice Bonus offer and I loved it hehe.

Thank you everyone!

@IceWolf... To answer your initial query - It should be noted that your credit card company can target your inactive accounts for reduced limits or closure. However, it is not sure at what point they take will take the action. You should also remember that if you account gets closed, then your scores may get tanked irrespective of who closes the account. Moreover, an account closure can hurt your credit utilization ratio. So, before taking any steps in this regard, keep the above points in mind!



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