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When to Cancel a Credit Card: My Personal Card Inventory and Decision Process

by on March 20, 2013 · 99 comments

in Credit Cards, Credit FAQ

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Update: The offers mentioned below for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards from American Express has expired. View the current offers here – personal, business.

This is the second post in a series on my most recent round of credit card applications and will focus on how to conduct a personal credit card inventory and decide which cards to keep and those to cancel. The first post covered the basics of credit and how to perform a personal check to make sure everything is healthy before a round of applications.  Post 3 is evaluating the top current card offers and which offers to go after and which to hold off on. Post 4 is the results of my applications and my experience with reconsideration lines.

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here.

Before applying for a fresh new batch of credit cards, I always like to take inventory of my current cards and decide which are not carrying their weight so I can then try to fill the gaps with new cards.

Time to take a look at what's in my wallet.

Time to take a look at what’s in my wallet.

Things I take into consideration:

1) Are the perks/benefits of each card more than the annual fee?

2) Is there a duplicate/substitute card that can get me similar benefits/perks and a new sign-up bonus?

3) How long have I had the card? Is it worth keeping open to preserve the history of the account?

I went through each card in my portfolio and did a quick cost/benefit analysis. I don’t need to cancel any cards – most credit card companies will let you have numerous cards and as long as your credit score is strong and you pay your bills on time, that is what matters most. However, I don’t like having unnecessary accounts open if I’m not using the card or getting valuable benefits. Plus, I’d rather cancel a card now and give it a year or two and then hopefully get the sign-up bonus again down the line (this works for most issuers besides Chase, but timelines vary).

While it is good to keep accounts open for a long time, the age of your accounts is only 15% of your credit score, so as long as you have a couple old accounts helping to keep the average long, that should suffice though there is really no set formula that will guarantee a high credit score. As I talked about in the first post in this series maintaining a strong credit score is integral to playing the points game.

FICO score breakdown from myfico.com

While length of credit history is important, it’s not the most important factor.

Putting a Value on Perks and Benefits
My valuations will likely differ from yours – especially since I am fortunate to have a significant amount of credit card spend. I put almost every single dollar of personal and business spend on cards, as well as a lot from family and friends. I’m always that guy at dinner who will put a huge meal on my card to “simplify things” and then get paid from everyone. I buy a lot of Vanilla Reload cards to pay all of my mortgage/car/HOA and other bills by credit card (via Bluebird). So I have the luxury of being able to hit some lofty spend thresholds to get some of the best perks out there.

When evaluating your needs, estimate your annual spend on credit cards and then decide which spend bonuses are worth your while and which cards best align to the categories where you spend most of your money.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?
After thinking about my current cards (you can see my basic spreadsheet below), I came to the following conclusions:

Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa: Keep, but at some point switch to the Mastercard version and get the sign-up bonus and enjoy most of the same benefits.

Chase Ink Bold: This is my workhorse business card – I use it to buy lots of office supplies, including gift cards for major retails like Starbucks and get 5 Chase points per dollar spent. Keep.

Chase Ink Plus: It’s basically the same thing as Ink Bold, but a credit card so you could theoretically run a balance and pay over time. I pay all of my bills off every month so I don’t need this duplicate version. If I were spending more than the $50,000 in some of the 5x categories I’d think about it, but I am focusing spend on other cards to hit bonuses/perks so I plan to let this one go.

Chase Ink Exclusives (Discontinued): When you spend $100k you are getting 1.67 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent. So on large purchases, like tax bills, for me it makes sense to spend the 1.8 cents per dollar in fees for using a credit card to get 1.67 Ultimate Rewards points since I value UR points at about 2 cents each.

Chase Freedom Visa: I get 7,500 points per quarter by spending $1,500 in the bonus categories like Starbucks (Q1), drugstores (Q2) and at stores like Lowe’s (Q2). Since there is no annual fee, I will keep it around, though at some point I may switch to the Mastercard version if there’s another 20,000-30,000 sign-up bonus. No rush there. Keep.

Chase Hyatt Visa: I don’t put any spend on this card, but the category 1-4 annual fee night far outweighs the $75 annual fee, plus having it often gives me bonuses during Hyatt promotions. Keep.

Chase British Airways Visa: Even though British Airways charges big fees on Companion Ticket redemptions, the bottom line is that I can get two business class roundtrip tickets from NY/Philadelphia to London for a total of 80,000 Avios and $800 a ticket. I value business class roundtrip to Europe at $2,500, so I’m coming out way ahead here – even with the fees. Keep.

American Express Platinum: I value lounge access and since I fly American and Delta, having access to both saves me having to pay over $900 in membership fees. The $450 annual fee is even further justified by the $200 yearly airline rebate, which I used on buying American Airlines gift cards, so essentially it costs me $250 for the lounge access and perks like Fine Hotels & Resorts and free Global Entry ($100 value). However, there is a Mercedes-Benz Platinum that comes with a 50,000 point sign-up bonus, so my plan is to switch to that card to continue getting the same perks, snag a solid bonus and get another $200 in airline rebates.

American Express Premier Rewards Gold: I buy lots of airfare, so the 3x per dollar category spending bonus is the main way I boost my Membership Rewards balance so I can take advantage of their (seemingly more infrequent) transfer bonuses. Plus I get 15,000 points at $30,000 in spend, which more than justifies the $175 annual fee. Keep.

American Express Business Rewards Gold: I use the Ink Bold for most business expenses, so I haven’t been using this card much at all. Cancel and potentially pick up in 12+ months if they run any more lucrative 75,000 point offers.

American Express Starwood Personal: I like the 2 stay/5 night elite status benefit, but it’s already been applied to my account. I may cancel my personal card and just use my business version (with OPEN benefits), especially since the balance will sit on my business credit report and not impact my personal score. Cancel.

American Express Starwood Business: Keep (see above).

Citi American AAdvantage Visa: I like the 10% up to 10,000 miles rebate, which pays for the $75 annual fee, however I don’t need two cards. Keep and cancel the Amex.

Citi Select American AAdvantage American Express: Cancel (see above).

Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve: The free weekend night at top-tier hotels more than pays for the $95 annual fee. Keep.

MBNA/Bank of America University of Pittsburgh No Annual Fee Card: Keep since I’ve had the account open for almost 10 years.

Capital One Basic Card (I even forgot the name since I never use it!): Keep since I’ve had the account open for almost 10 years.

Card Personal/
Business
Category Spend
Bonus
Other Valuable Perks/ Benefits Duplicate? Value from Perks/
Spend Bonus
Annual
Fee
Keep/
Cancel
Chase Sapphire Preferred Personal 2x travel and dining 7% annual dividend on all points earned including bonus category; no FX fees Mastercard w 40k sign-up bonus 7% Dividend was 22,940 = $459 $95 Keep, but get Mastercard at some point
Chase Ink Bold Business 5x internet/office supplies/ phone, 2x gas and hotels Lounge Club, No FX fees Plus (Already have) Low end I get 100,000 points a year in 5x = ~$2,000 $95 Keep
Chase Ink Plus Business 5x internet/office supplies/ phone, 2x gas and hotels Lounge Club, No FX fees Bold (Already Have) I don’t exceed the 5x on my Bold so not getting $95 $95 Cancel if I don’t need the extra $50k spend capability in 5x category
Chase Ink Exclusives (Discontinued) Business 1.2 points per dollar + 7,500 points at $25k+ 15,000 at $50k + 25,000 at $100k Bold/Plus I max out the 100k so 167,500 points = $1,350 $95 Grandfathered in, so keep
Chase Freedom Visa Personal 5x quarterly (capped at $6k total per year) Mastercard 30k points from 5x categories = $600 $0 Keep, but get the Mastercard down the line
Chase Hyatt Visa Personal 2x restaurant, airline, car rental Chip + Signature No Annual free night = $175 easily $75 Keep, annual free night pays for annual fee
Chase British Airways Visa Personal 1.25 on everything, 2.5 on BA Companion Award Ticket at $30k in spend, no FX fees, Chip + Signature No Companion ticket easily = $1,300 $95 Keep, companion ticket pays for the annual fee many times over
Amex Platinum Personal $200 airline rebate + lounge access + free Global Entry and more Mercedes-Benz + Business Version $200 annual rebate makes $250 for all other benefits including lounge access to American and Delta a no-brainer. Pays for itself $450 Switch to MB version for 50k points
Amex PRG Personal 3x airfare, 2x gas and grocery 15,000 points at $30k spend Business version with frequent 75k signups 15k at $30k in spend = $270 $175 Keep, 15k bonus is worth ~twice annual fee.
Amex BRG Business 3x airfare, 2x on advertising in select media, gas, and shipping Not maximizing bonus categories, so not meeting annual fee $175 Cancel since I don’t put enough in 2x categories to justify fee. Get again in 12+ months potentially for large bonus
Starwood Amex Personal 2x on Starwood 2 stays/ 5nights towards elite status, Gold status at $30k Business version 2 stays/5 nights credit is easily worth $150 $65 Keep business version for OPEN discounts and hope to get personal again next year after 12 months of account closing for signup again
Business Starwood Amex Business 2x on Starwood 2 stays/ 5nights towards elite status, Gold status at $30k Personal version 2 stays/5 nights credit is easily worth $150 $65 Keep
Citi AA Visa Personal 2x on American 10% miles back up to 10k miles a year when redeeming AA, $100 AA credit with $30k in spend American Express 10k in rebates is worth $180, but only going to keep one card $75 Keep
Citi AA Amex Personal 2x on American 10% miles back up to 10k miles a year when redeeming AA, $100 AA credit with $30k in spend Visa 10k in rebates is worth $180, but only going to keep one card $75 Cancel, because I already got 10k mileage rebate and potentially want to get this card again late next year
Citi Hilton Reserve Personal 10x on Hilton plus 5x on Airline and Car rental Free weekend night at $10k in spend, Diamond at $40k, Gold with just having card open Amex  Hilton products like Surpass with Diamond status at $40k Weekend night at $10k in spend is easily worth $300 $95 Keep because free night at $10k spend is worth more than twice annual fee
Cap One Mastercard (Old College) Personal 0 Keep to help average age of accounts
MBNA/BOA Card (Old College) Personal 0 Keep to help average age of accounts
$7,114 $1,725

Since it looks like I’ll be canceling 5-6 cards, I came to the conclusion that I wanted 5 or 6 new ones. Stay tuned tomorrow to see which cards I chose and why and whether I got approved or not!

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.

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  • osubildo

    Another question that arises for me when evaluating the same situation is; if I like the card/perks, but don’t want to pay the fee, how long must/should I wait to apply again in hopes of receiving the bonus/fee free perk a second time? Any thoughts?

  • cga

    Also I always close my cards immediately after my AOR

  • Jeanette

    You have no idea how much I wanted to read something like this. Amazing advice !

  • salmonslayer

    I have a UK LTD subsidiary of my US Corp and am looking for a a European based card to keep the transactions on one card. Total spend will be less than $25k per year. Any suggestions on that front for a UAL 1K /starwood Gold/ Marriott silver?

  • A. S.

    Slightly off-topic (only slightly, though): Say you have a personal AMEX Platinum and a business AMEX Platinum, each of which give you the $200 airline credit. Say you choose the same airline for both (US, for example) and you make one eligible $400 charge. Will each card pick up half of that, or will only one card be “activated” for that charge, leaving $200 of it un-reimbursed?

  • Patrick Stahl

    Off Topic – What type of wallet is that?

  • Rogo

    How long does canceling a card affect your credit score?

  • Chad M

    Thanks, this was a great analysis! One question though, what made you choose to keep AA Amex over AA Visa? I’ll be in exactly that situation this year, and I was leaning toward keeping the Visa.

    The way I’m looking at it is, while having the Amex means another Small Business Saturday score, that may not be enough to outweigh the fact that there are some merchants who don’t take Amex. I’m far from decided though.

  • http://twitter.com/snshahmd samir shah

    so you are saying the 10K Rebate for AA is per account and not per Citi AA card in case if you have both (ie Citi AA Amex and Visa)

  • Josh

    Thanks for the rundown, although I think a few of your decisions are a little misleading. For instance, keeping the British Airways Visa doesn’t get the perks you mention unless you are also spending $30k a year on it (to get the companion certificate). Just paying the annual fee doesn’t really get you anything. The same is true with the Citi Hilton Reserve card – you only get that free weekend night if you have $10k in spend on the card. You don’t get it just for paying the annual fee. If you have unlimited spend opportunities each year then it is worth keeping these, but I think most people have to assess what it takes to get the bonus… not only do you pay the annual fee each year but you have to meet the minimum spends to make some of these cards worth it.

  • Elyse

    When you say you are going to switch from the Amex Platinum to the Amex Mercedes Platinum, does this just mean you are going to cancel the one and apply for the other? Or is there actually a way to just switch over and get the 50k points bonus?

  • HLK

    (this works for most issuers besides Chase, but timelines vary).What do you mean: does Chase not re-issue after a year or do they?

  • choi

    how do you obtain Amex (personal) Plat and Gold at the same time ?

  • Dusan

    I was interested in the same thing. It’s Ettinger. http://www.ettinger.co.uk/

  • thepointsguy

    Correct- I got it when I went to Tokyo a couple years ago. Great quality leather

  • thepointsguy

    Correct- I mentioned that I am able to hit spend thresholds so my valuations will be different from others.

  • thepointsguy

    I had gotten the Platinum in May of 2011 and then Premier Rewards Gold Aug 2011. Back then they didn’t have restrictions of “Cannot have any XYZ product in the past 12 months” like they do now. Now you need to get one and then another 12 months later, usually

  • thepointsguy

    You can’t get the same exact card and bonus twice with Chase (generally). However you can get a Starwood Amex bonus again generally 12+ months after cancelling- Amex will state the bonus eligibility criteria on the application

  • thepointsguy

    Correct- per AAdvantage accounts, so having two cards will still only get you 10k max rebate

  • thepointsguy

    I applied for the Mercedes Benz Platinum, got approved and eligible for the bonus, then cancel regular Platinum

  • thepointsguy

    Small Business Saturday is defintiely a consideration and also how many other Visa products you have. I have a bunch of Visas so decided to keep the Amex

  • thepointsguy

    The act itself has no impact, but if you close a large credit line it could increase your score if you have higher balances and less available credit (higher credit utilization which is a key factor). However, applying for new cards generally adds new credit which outweighs that. The other factor is average age of accounts, but that is why I keep some really old cards open to help with that- but it is only 15% of your score so I don’t obsess about it too much

  • thepointsguy

    Only the card that you made the charge on. Both will be activated and will reimburse up to $200 when you use that card for the eligible charge

  • thepointsguy

    Me too..or within a couple days since some reconsiderations take up to a week

  • thepointsguy

    With Chase you can’t get the same exact bonus twice (some people have reported differently, but that is the general rule of thumb). Amex is at least 12 months and Citi is 18+.

  • http://twitter.com/miffSC miffSC

    I believe there is only a six months waiting period between one and the other. As much as I hate to do it, I think I am going to cancel my Gold ($175AF) card so I can apply for the Platinum in the future. I would keep the Gold if I can talk them into a no/lower fee card. I also still have my AMEX Platinum Optima which I have had for twelve years, so I will keep that for earning MR points in the meantime. I need to call some time this week.

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  • thepointsguy

    Right now the disclaimer on the Platinum app says “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months or any Consumer ZYNC®, Green or Gold Card account within the last 90 days.”

    So I guess it all depends, but cancelling and getting Plat 91+ days should be fine

  • Shaun

    Wouldn’t you want to keep the Citi Amex AA instead so you can take advantage of small business Saturday?

  • Brian L.

    Is anyone able to get the Sapphire Preferred to come up on the Mastercard site? It’s not working for me.

  • Kyle

    Why have you suddenly gone quiet about the Chase BA Visa? Is it coincidentally that they cut your commission fee now that the bonus has dropped??

  • Thanh

    I have the Chase Sapphire Visa as well and my annual fee probably should be coming up soon. I’m thinking to cancel it but seeing that you plan to convert to the MC version, how do you go about doing that? Will you just call up the Chase number on the back of the Sapphire Visa and ask to convert it to the MC? And if so, will you be eligible for the 40k bonus points? Or do you apply for the MC yourself and if you get declined, you’ll call and ask to cancel the Visa and approve the MC? Any advice is appreciated!

  • adam
  • thepointsguy

    Gone quiet? This post states that I’m keeping the card because I get huge value from the Travel Together ticket.
    As for bonus dropping- my commission is the same, but why should I be excited about an offer that’s half the potential miles? It’s still a great card, but I’m not focused on promoting an offer that will like increase in the near future

  • Bill Tanner

    What is the deal with the Mastercard/Visa Chase Sapphire Preferred? I have the Visa now, can I apply for the MC and get those points too? Is there any fine print?

  • TheOtherSobeBrian

    My first CC on my own credit (as opposed to an Authorized user) was the Amex green card about ten years ago. Since then I added the Business Gold Rewards (within the last year). I feel like I miss out on a ton of great personal card offers and want to cancel the green but dont want to lose my credit length history. Is it true that with amex my biz gold rewards would preserve the earlier credit length history date due to amex’s card member since policy? If not could i get a personal amex no fee card like true blue and would that preserve my credit length history?

    I really want to cash in on a gold rewards, mercedes benz, or regular amex plat sign up bonus but because i have the green card i cant. help lease

  • StockShootingVegasBound

    Why do sign-ups & downgrades-cancels in batches
    rather than as needed? Also, one strategy I’ve yet
    to see covered in detail is advantage in cancelling
    wrt signing up anew 1 yr. later or whenever to get
    repeat sign-up bonuses…

  • StockShootingVegasBound

    PS. there must be group of cards for which
    cancelling & signing up anew 1 yr. later for
    repeat bonuses works well…?

  • Pointasaurus

    So, now that I have a bunch of Chase cards, if I cancel any are you saying that I can never get them again with any applicable bonus at the time? Never, the rest of my life? Is there not a time period like with most of the other issuers?

  • thepointsguy

    You can get other cards within the family- link Ink Bold and then get Ink Plus.. but technically not the same exact card and bonus. Some people have had luck getting the British Airways 100k twice, but generally Chase is strict with one bonus per customer per product. Others can comment if they’ve had different experiences- it may be possible to talk reconsideration line reps into approvals, but it isn’t the norm. Luckily Chase has many products so it takes a while to get all of the good bonuses!

  • Pointasaurus

    AOR???

  • thepointsguy

    App-o-rama aka round of credit card applications

  • pricesquire

    Which collection and/or style? Trying to find it on Ettinger…

  • ST

    In the past I have been able to get customized offers by threatening to close the credit card. For example – Citi gives me 2% flat on first $500 I spend on my card every month in addition to $2 for every month I keep it open, no fees and $100 one time to keep it open…

  • marie90808

    I recently got the Gold AMEX with the 50K promo. I want to apply for the Mercedes Plat AMEX card. (50K MR w/1K spend). Do I have to close the Gold AMEX and wait 91 days to apply for the Mercedes Plat AMEX?

  • Emily

    Would you recommend canceling cards right before or after applying for a batch of new ones? I figure it’d be nice to open up some lines of credit by canceling before, but wasn’t sure if it would reflect negatively on my credit report that the banks would be looking at shortly thereafter.

  • leonew6s

    Had to chuckle. Give TPG a break, he is presenting independent information on offers across all card issuers. Not pushing any one particular card or issuer.

  • leonew6s

    Yes – that is true. However, it is worth noting that I have the Amex PRG. When I called and asked about Plat Amex I could upgrade and receive the 25,000 bonus points – even though I recently received Gold bonus points.

  • Rob P

    Brian, why pay the Sapphire Preferred Visa annual fee instead of switching to the Mastercard beforehand?

  • Robert

    How come OnePass has not been replaced with MileagePlus by Chase :)

  • Chad M

    Good point, I hadn’t looked at it in terms of how many I had of each. Thanks again!

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  • Josh J

    Nice Florida drivers license :) If you convert your New York State drivers license to another state within the first four years of issuance, New York will refund part of your license fee.

  • thepointsguy

    There are a couple different strategies- some people just apply for MC and then on the reconsideration line agree to cancel Visa since you can’t have both open. some have changed the Visa to MC then applied for Visa again.. check out this post and the comments http://thepointsguy.com/2013/02/srq-can-i-get-a-mastercard-sapphire-preferred-if-i-already-have-the-visa/

  • thepointsguy

    Because I didn’t want my one Chase application this time around to be the Mastercard because it’ll be around for my next application (I hope) whereas the targeted United 55k may not

  • thepointsguy

    I close after I get approved and offer to close during reconsideration calls if needed as leverage to get the approval. If you cancel before you lose that option

  • thepointsguy

    No. You can apply for the MB card whenever.. the only stipulation on getting the MB bonus is that you haven’t had that exact card within the past 12 months

  • thepointsguy

    Never hurts to ask!

  • thepointsguy
  • thepointsguy

    You can do it as needed. Signups are done in batches to hope to improve the chances of getting approved because if you do 5 apps the thought is that not all the credit card companies will see the other inquiries on that day since there is a delay on the hard inquiry going on your report

  • thepointsguy
  • thepointsguy
  • Carter29072

    I have a Chase Sapphire Preffered, Chase Ink Plus, Freedom (and some other chase cards). My husband just downgraded his Chase Sapphire Preffered to the Freedom. If he closes his ink, will he be able to transfer his points from his newly acquired Freedom to my Ultimate Rewards account since he will no longer have a Sapphire or Ink? I am getting conflicting reports from CHase and don’t know whether we should close his Ink card or not. Thanks for any info you may have.

  • Carter29072

    I got the American Express Business Rewards Gold about 6 months ago when they were offering 75K for 10k spend. Then I got the person Amex Ex Personal Premier Gold about 1 month ago. I have all of these membership rewards in the same account now. If I cancel the business card, will I lose the points that I earned while I had the business card. Sorry if this sounds confusing, I am so new to Membership rewards. My husband has both of the cards as well. Don’t won’t to keep all of these cards with the annual fees.

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  • DianaLynn

    You state that you buy a lot of Vanilla Reload cards to pay all of your mortgage/car/HOA and other bills by credit card (via Bluebird). Are you able to purchase the Vanilla Reloads with a Prepaid Amex or Visa or are you using your credit cards to get the additional points?

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  • Ken Paynter

    I completely agree with this. Same goes for my SPG Amex. Annual fee is $65. I add one authorize user and register both cards for Small Business Saturday, I think the $15 difference is worth it. Plus AMEX usually does a couple other promos for $5 rebates here and there (gas, Foursquare checkins, etc.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.p.lund Daniel P. Lund

    I have an American Express Business Platinum Card. I tried to buy American Airlines gift cards to get the $200 airline rebate. American Express advised me that the rebate would not apply to gift cards. Were the two representatives I spoke to incorrect or is this benefit only applicable to personal cards. AA is my designated airline on the card. Thanks.

  • Fanfoot

    No. You only need one valid MR at any time to keep your MR points alive–Platinum, Gold Rewards, Blue Sky Preferred (though that has limits on what you can do with them until you get a better card). The best card in your account determines which type of MR program you are enrolled in.

  • Fanfoot

    Very helpful post. Thanks. I’m still getting the hang of canceling. Applying for those first few cards is easy in comparison.

    In fact I think there might be a nice series of posts on CYCLES of cards you can get. For example when you look at Amex, you can’t get a bonus for the MR Gold if you currently have a Platinum. So you might want to downgrade your current Platinum to say Blue Sky Preferred to keep your MR points alive, then wait 3 months, then apply for the Gold. You can then apply for the MB Platinum since it doesn’t have that exclusion. Etc. Haven’t worked out the complete details of the cycle, and obviously it gets all messed up if there are any special offers out there, so maybe all this planning goes awry. Anyway, I’m working out some of my AOR details over the next year and thinking through some of this stuff.

    I want the Freedom for the Q4 bonuses (Amazon), I want a 2nd Southwest to get the companion pass as soon as I can do another Chase round, I want …

    It all gets rather complex actually.

  • Fanfoot

    BTW, with the Amex Platinum if you only keep it a year and straddle a year boundary, seems to me you can get $400 in credits (I do 2 x $100 United each time) and only pay one fee. Which is a pretty good deal. And since you can do the same thing with the MB Platinum, another $400… isn’t there a cycle there that would be doable?

  • carpooltunnel

    What about the other way around? Right now I have neither Platinum card, and I’d like to wait on the personal Plat until another killer bonus pops up. I understand the MB card only restricts thos that’ve had that exact card, but the personal Plat generally states “any personal Platinum” in the past 12mos or something like that. Am I correct in assuming then that were I to snag the MB card now, I would be ineligible for the personal plat bonus?

  • Brian P

    I have about 100K MR points. I also have an Amex Plat card that I would like to switch to MercedesBenz version for the 50K points. In order to keep my MR points, do I get approved for the MB version before canceling the Amex Plat? If so, How long do I wait before canceling the Amex Plat?

  • Wade

    Points Guy – I have used a Capital One card (now the Spark – the business version of the Venture) for many years as my primary card b/c it gives 2 points/dollar and the return is 100:1, so pretty solid. It’s a no frills card b/c Capital One doesn’t give big signup bonuses, and there aren’t many perks outside of the points accrued due to spend. 2 points/dollar is more than any other card I can see on the market. I’ll obviously keep it around b/c I’ve had it for over 10 years. But….

    I just started churning this year, mostly due to your blog, and have gotten several big bonuses (amex gold pesonal, amex gold platinum, chase BA) – is lack of bonuses the main reason I don’t ever see you mention the capital one venture/spark? Do you just prefer to use as your every day cards ones that you signed up for to get bonuses? Do you just not want to waste precious credit score capital on cards that don’t give bonuses? Do you value the perks more than I do (I don’t travel on big airlines much, etc.)?

  • Mark

    Great article..THANKS
    What’s the general “rule of thumb” on how long to keep a card (that one got just for the sign-up bonus)?

  • 323kid

    Do you know if Citi will move credit if one card is cancelled?

    I have both Citi AA personal cards and am thinking of cancelling one for the reason you gave.

  • http://YeahThatsKosher.com Dani Klein

    Brian, you mention closing your SPG personal since you have the Biz. I have both as well. How do you not take the personal credit hit when that closes? Thx

  • levi

    when you say switch from the Amex plat to the Amex MB what to you mean? close and reapply?

  • Bobby

    Thanks for all the great info. I’m planning a RTW trip for next year so I just started getting into accumulating points now. I applied and got the Chase Sapphire two days. I want to get the Ink card next. I have some big expenses coming up in August that I can use to meet the minimum requirements. When should I apply for the Ink card and can you apply for both at the same time? (Plus and Bold). I already have 3 other Chase cards (no fee), that I don’t use at all, so it looks like I should get rid of them after getting approved.

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  • Frogger

    In light of the recent change by Citi AAdvantage to not allow one to get multiple cards (Visa, MC, AMex), I’m interested in knowing which cards I must cancel before reapplying for them, and which are OK to hold multiples of.

    Also, when calling in on each card to get the annual fee waived, can the issuer see if you’ve waived the fee on any of their other cards, or if you have multiples of the same card? Do they care?

  • etilyeti

    Hi TPG, your link to this page is broken http://thepointsguy.com/2013/02/srq-can-i-get-a-mastercard-sapphire-preferred-if-i-already-have-the-visa/

    and I can’t find the page with your search tool. How do you go about canceling vs. converting to other cards?

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  • jeff

    This probably seems like a dumb question – but it is something I’m not clear on. I’ve had the United MileagePlus Explorer Chase MC for many years, I like the lounge access, but other than that I don’t use it much… and it comes with a yearly fee. My question is, if I cancel this card, will I loose the miles that I have accrued? if I apply for a new card – will I get the bonus miles offer? I’d love to take advantage of Mileage plus offers, but I feel hostage to this card.

  • thepointsguy

    You will not lose the miles and you can get another signup bonus as long as it isn’t for the same exact card.

  • Jesse

    I have a question. You say for a few cards you will just switch to the Mastercard/other version in order to get the same amount of points you have already gained with a different version of the same card. Does that entail another CC application? Do you do that at the 11th month to avoid the annual fee (if applicable)? Do you just tell them you’d rather have the MC version. I’d love if you could elaborate and thank you so much for your insight. I’ve booked a few trips abroad free using your knowledge and it is such a useful tool for travelers w/o a lot of expendable income. Thanks!

  • Jesse

    TPG! Can you send this link again? the link you posted is broken. Thanks!

  • Esther

    You must pay a lot to have all those cards.

  • Mark

    If you have the chase sapphire preferred visa, how long do you need to wait before switching to the mastercard version and getting the 40k bonus points again?

  • Frankie

    @thepointsguy:disqus I am looking to begin my points journey and am currently looking through some of the CC’s to get the best bonuses. My monthly expenditures are roughly around $1500-2500/month, but wanted to get your opinion on how I should go about obtaining the best CC’s and working them to my advantage. I have a big trip i am trying to plan for in August, so I want to use these point for that trip. Can you help guide me.

    Thank you,
    Frankie

  • Cindy K.

    Per your articles, thanks to you, I’ve got my second Citi World AA Mastercard that gives 100,000 mi on AA after spending $10,000 in first three mo. The annual fee is $450. I remember you mentioning that you applied and received your second card. Why isn’t this card mentioned in your latest article on credit card inventory?

  • Tejas

    Any thoughts on adding Citi Prestige now that AMEX Platinum is going away with some of the lounge benefits?

  • SusieW

    If I cancel my jet blue Amex card will I lose my sign up bonus? I did transfer Amex points to the account. I don’t really use the card. I use my Amex premier card. Thanks

  • fredgauss

    can you give more details on the mortgage/HOA payment with vanilla? what are the requirements and process

  • http://aboyontheroad.wordpress.com/ Kevin E

    Pointsguy- maybe I missed it, but how do you pay your mortgage, hoa, car payment, etc. on your credit card to get the points! I need to get on that plan!

  • Teen Angel

    1. I have 2 credit cards with a 0 balance for many years (started in 2006
    & 2009). I also have 2 other Credit cards I use regularly & pay the
    Bill for each in full at the end of each month (these cards started in 1989
    & 2009). I have a new 5th credit card (obtained this year) with a balance
    not very large which I pay the minimum each month. I heard it is good for ur
    credit rating to keep older cards. The first two cards mentioned, I’d like to
    close, however I’d like to know if this is beneficial or not in terms of my
    credit score.

    2. I’d also like to reduce the amount of credit on some cards. How does this
    affect my score?

    My goal actually is to clear out what I don’t need without having an adverse
    effect on my credit & then I’d like to get some other credit cards that
    offer a promotion.

    What does anyone know regarding this ??

  • TravelBug2015

    How about if you have a terrible customer service experience? I just cancelled my Barclaycard Arrival Plus MasterCard due to five recent terrible customer service experiences.

  • jbw

    If you have a credit card…say AMX Plat. Card or Gold card –can you cancel the renewal and then come back and get card and get bonuses …or would they look at you as old customr coming back and not give you the bonuses…

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