Can you reopen a credit card after you’ve closed the account?

Mar 17, 2020

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Reader Questions are answered twice a week by TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Ethan Steinberg.

Opening or closing a credit card is not a decision that should be made lightly, as both choices can severely impact your ability to earn future credit card welcome bonuses, and more importantly, your credit score. Still, as carefully as you plan, sometimes you might end up making a decision that you then later regret. TPG reader Jamie wants to know if she can reopen a card that she’s already closed …

My Chase Sapphire Preferred Card annual fee posted a few weeks ago so I called Chase to cancel my card. Now I’m having second thoughts; is there any possible way to get the account reopened?

TPG READER JAMIE

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is an amazing credit card for beginners and pros alike, and it makes sense that Jamie would want it in her wallet long term. The good news is if she acts quickly, she might be able to get her account reinstated. Chase has a policy that allows you to reopen a credit card within 30 days after closing the account, though some reports online indicate that people have had success even outside of that time frame.

Related: The ultimate guide to credit card application restrictions

American Express has a similar policy, where within 30 days you should have no trouble but you might have some luck after that. The two issuers you’ll want to pay the most attention to are Bank of America and Citi, which may initiate another hard pull on your credit report before reinstating your account.

If you’re trying to reopen a card that was closed in the last few weeks, or even month or two, you should definitely call the issuer and inquire about what options they have available for you. If your card was closed by mistake (I’ve heard reports of people accidentally closing accounts through an automated phone system when they were just trying to get transferred to a representative), your case will be stronger and you might find more leniency. If you closed the card intentionally, things might be a bit stricter, though many issuers will honor the 30-day grace period.

Let’s say you close a card, and then six months later you decide you want it back. At this point you’re probably out of luck in terms of getting your old account reinstated, and you’ll need to apply for a new card instead. You’ll want to be very careful in picking that next card, as many issuers require you to wait two to four years before you can reapply for the exact same card, and some like American Express only allow you to get each card once per lifetime.

Related: Maximize your wallet with the perfect quartet of Chase cards

Bottom line

This question ultimately boils down to two factors: how long its been since you closed the card, and who the card was issued by. In most cases you’ll be able to reinstate an account within 30 days after closing it, no questions asked, but after that things start to get more variable on a case-by-case basis. Even within the 30-day window, be careful with BoA and Citi who may try and pull your credit again first.

Thanks for the question, Jamie, and if you’re a TPG reader who’d like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at info@thepointsguy.com.

Featured photo by Emilija Manevska/Getty Images.

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