January 31st, 2012

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Having a strong credit score is like having the keys to the kingdom, since credit card bonuses are the quickest way to rack up tons of miles and points quickly (and without having to step foot on a plane). However you need to maintain a good credit score and the first part of doing that is understanding how credit score calculations work. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions and myths out there so this new Credit FAQ series that will clarify a lot of these points so you can get your credit score as high as possible.

Q: Part of a good credit score is having a high average age of accounts. Will closing a credit card account that I’ve had for a long time hurt the average age of accounts?”

A: No- at least not in the short term. It is true that the average age of accounts is something FICO takes into account when calculating your credit score, but an account will still stay on your credit report even after you close it. So as long as it was in good standing when it was closed, it will still help to increase the average age of accounts, just as if it were still open. Though it can still drop off at some point – but usually not after 7-10 years.

I’ve heard this several times, but this Bankrate interview with FICO rep Barry Paperno confirms it.

Note: closing credit cards can still have a negative impact on your credit score which I’ll get into in future posts, but they won’t negatively impact the average age of accounts.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
5.00%
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.