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Give It Up, Already! The Credit Cards I Just Can’t Quit & The Wacky Reasons Why

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Why Close Credit Cards? Here Are a Few I Just Haven’t Been Able to Quit

I sometimes love closing credit cards as much as opening new ones.  The feeling of taking off a bit of excess credit card weight gives off a refreshing feel, at least for me.  We are in a hobby where adding stuff – cards, points, miles, experiences – is consistently accentuated.  Decluttering in the hobby can bring happiness as well, though.  The decision to close credit cards shouldn’t be taken lightly, but perhaps I’ve overanalyzed several.  Here are just a few cards I continue to hang on to, maybe against my better judgment, and why I do so.

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Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature

I’ve previously talked about my affinity for the $69 annual fee Wyndham Rewards Visa card.  As one of the card’s early adopters, I earn 2x everywhere and 15k points each anniversary.  With every passing day, I’m spending less on this card because I value other rewards more (pretty much any 2% or higher cash back card).  And even now, I still don’t close the card.  Why?  Because Barclays and Wyndham have touted the ability to product change this card to the newer Earner+ card.  This card interests me, particularly its 4x grocery category and 10% rebate on redemptions.  Unfortunately, I’ve been turned down multiple times in the past few weeks when I tried to product change.  At this point, I’m wishfully holding onto the card and hoping another upgrade opportunity comes around.

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Barclays Aviator Blue – One Credit Card I Plan to Close

Historically, I’ve appreciated this card for its access to American’s reduced mileage awards.  But I can count on one hand how many of those flights I’ve taken in the last few years.  And I’ve taken advantage of exactly zero of those flights in the last year or so.  Also, I probably overvalue this 1x everywhere card simply because it’s a non-Citi AA card.  For whatever reason, having an AA card that isn’t affiliated with Citi makes me feel more well-rounded.  I easily rationalize paying the $49 annual fee for these reasons.  Taking a step back, this doesn’t make much sense.  I’m fairly confident I’ll close this card before paying another annual fee.

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Citi AA MileUp Mastercard

Speaking of American Airlines, I love the MileUp for one reason, and I undeniably overvalue that reason.  I feel great having a card that earns 2x AA miles at grocery stores.  But when’s the last time I used it at a grocery store?  I can’t remember.  Similar to my Wyndham card, I value 2% cash back more than 2x AA miles.  That’s probably because I already have plenty of American’s currency.  I’ll probably product change to another Citi card, given their relatively liberal policy for doing so.  I’m just awaiting enough of a reason to make the move from this no annual fee card.

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IHG Select Mastercard

I’ve held the Chase’s legacy IHG card for several years.  I happily pay the $49 annual fee for the annual free night certificate (FNC) and mid-tier IHG Platinum elite status.  Where has that gotten me?  Currently, into FNC prison.  For the last two years or so, I’ve paid about $100 in annual fees, haven’t used the card once, and seen the FNC’s grow mold in my IHG account.  I’ll probably hold onto the card, continue refusing the upgrade to the Premier version, and dream about the cinnamon rolls at Holiday Inn Express until I can use the FNC’s.

PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa

I still love this card, but I haven’t used it for months.  I simply don’t have a need for it currently or in the foreseeable future.  The utility of this card for me hinges on other hobby dynamics related to high spend opportunities.  Regardless, it’s tremendously versatile for a seemingly normal 2% cash back card, providing quick and easy access to rewards.  But there’s nothing else to draw one to this card beyond cash, unlike the ability to transfer Double Cash rewards to ThankYou points-earning cards.  I plan to keep the card long-term, since I value the relationship with PenFed credit union, however.

Rakuten Visa

Ah, to go back a few years.  An additional 3x Membership Rewards points on all purchases made via the Rakuten portal, on top of normal portal rewards?  Geez, what a time that was.  Since portal rewards were virtually zeroed out at GiftCardMall and last summer, this card has been in deep hibernation.  Once in a while, I’ll use it for a random Rakuten portal purchase, though.  And those times are just often enough to convince me to hold onto this no annual fee card.

Why Close Credit Cards?  Conclusion

We have cards we love and cards we can’t stand.  Often, I’ve focused on those two polarized categories, and not so much on the stuff in the middle.  That goo in the center can be easily forgotten if we don’t vigilantly pay attention to the nuances.  Otherwise, we could become passive victims of cards providing little to no value while we pay annual fees and/or earn at inferior points rates.  Periodically, I remind myself to tend to this group of cards in the middle, and I encourage you to do so as well!

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

Responses 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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