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Credit Cards Understanding when to cancel cards

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Matthew Herbst, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. Matthew Herbst

    Matthew Herbst New Member

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    I've been following the blog for a while now and feel fairly comfortable with most of what's being posted. I am currently working towards my first ever bonus with the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express since they gave me a mail offer for 50,000 miles with $1,000 spend in the first 3 months, which I knew was limited plus I already have about 30,000 miles with Delta.

    I'm almost done getting that bonus and thinking about the next card. However, what's not clear to me is when I should cancel cards. I'm going to cancel the Gold Delta SkyMiles card since after the first year the $95/year fear will kick in.

    My plan is to now focus on Hilton cards/points until the Business version of the Gold Delta SkyMiles card gets a better bonus than 30,000.

    So, what I'm looking at is first getting the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature Card, which is currently offering 50,000 HHonors Bonus Points after $1,000 spend in four months. After that I was going to get the Hilton HHonorsTM Card from American Express, which is currently offering 40,000 HHonors Bonus Points after $750 spend in three months.

    Both of the above mentioned Hilton branded cards have no annual fee. This is where my question lies. Once I finish the bonus on the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature Card, is it right to cancel that card immediately in the hopes that I will be able to get the bonus again in two years? I'd likely hold onto the Hilton HHonorsTM Card from American Express after finishing that bonus so that 1) I can cancel the Delta card but still keep the Amex membership, and 2) so that I have some Hilton branded card to use for any Hilton spend that might come up.

    (Side note: I know there are other Delta/Hilton cards, but I'm only interested right now in cards where the minimum bonus spend is <= $2,000 in three months)
  2. Gaurav

    Gaurav Well-Known Member

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    @Matthew Herbst it's less a question of right or wrong and what is sustainable longer terms. Yes, you can close the card right after you get the bonus and reapply after ~18 months but if you make a habit of this banks are likely to look less than favorably on you as a client. The general consensus is to hold a card for at least a year or so before canceling.

    The AmEx regularly has higher sign bonuses btw, I would wait on that since you can only get AmEx sign up bonuses once in a lifetime on personal cards.
  3. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    @Matthew Herbst - also with the Amex Hilton card you can hang on to it and at a point in the future when you need a big bump in HH points you'll likely get a targeted offer from Amex if you upgrade to the Surpass card. That's what I was able to do. I'd had the free card for years and was able to upgrade to Surprass and get a 60K bonus. Maybe that's not as large a bonus as applying outright but I got to keep the same credit card number and it's considered the same line of credit so it helps my Average Age of Account.
  4. Matthew Herbst

    Matthew Herbst New Member

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    @Gaurav So, by at least a year do you mean cancel right before the yearly fee would kick in? Good to know the bonus has been higher before for for the Amex Hilton HHonorsTM Card - how high have you seen it? I didn't know that about only being able to get the Amex bonuses once, thanks!

    @MidSouth Skier I hadn't thought about that - good idea! I also know that if you are a good customer with Amex they'll do a lot to keep you: my parents threaten every few years to downgrade their Platinum card and Amex keeps giving them some extras so that they stay Platinum.