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Credit card closed for inactivity: What to do

Call your issuer's support line right away.

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If your issuer closes your credit card due to inactivity, call the issuer’s support line right away. A representative will be able to give more detailed reasons about the closure and what you may be able to do to reinstate your card.

What to do if my card is closed for inactivity

  1. Find your issuer’s support phone number. You can find this on the back of your credit card.
  2. Inquire about your closed account. Ask the representative for more details on the card closure.
  3. Ask how you can get your card reinstated. Your issuer will likely refuse to reactivate your card. If your issuer says it can reactivate your card, however, ask if there will be a hard pull on your credit.
  4. Look for other cards if you’re denied. Consider applying for a similar — or better — credit card. This might be a good opportunity to start fresh with another product or issuer.

Why was my credit card closed for inactivity?

Credit card providers can close your card for a number of reasons, including inactivity. That’s because they want to move your unused credit limit to other card members who will actually use it.

Avoid getting your credit card account closed for inactivity by using it at least once every three months. Another option is to use the card for subscriptions and recurring charges, like Netflix or Amazon Prime.

How often should I use my card to keep it active?

Most issuers won’t disclose how long their cards can remain unused before they close it for inactivity. Several users on social media mention going at least three to six months of no activity before their issuer reached out to inquire about the account.

If you want to keep your card account active, try putting a few simple recurring payments on the card. Your phone bill, internet service, or even your rent are good candidates. These payments alone can help keep your card account open, even if you don’t make any other purchases.

Will my credit score be affected if my card is closed for inactivity?

Yes, your credit score will be affected because of changes to your:

  • Overall utilization rate.
    When your credit card account is closed, you lose your available credit limit. This can hurt your utilization rate, which negatively affects your credit score.
  • Credit card account age.
    An old credit card that’s closed will shorten your overall credit history. Because this accounts for 15% of your credit score, it may negatively affect that credit score.

What if I don’t want my old card?

If you don’t want your old card anymore but would rather not close it out, consider a product change. Your issuer might allow you to upgrade or downgrade your card to another one in the product line. Eligibility depends on your credit score and account history, but making the switch can prove as simple as asking your issuer online or over the phone.

Compare other credit cards

Card issuers are often reluctant to reactivate closed credit cards for inactivity. In this case, you could consider applying for a new credit card.

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
6% on select US streaming services, 3% on transit and US gas stations, 6% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 annually, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Perfect for families: Get up to 6% on everyday purchases and a welcome offer worth $300. This heavy-hitter rewards card has uncontested value. Rates & fees
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
20% at Amazon.com up to $200 back in the first 6 months, 2% at US gas stations and select US department stores, 3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
$0
This everyday cashback card is ideal for Black Friday and holiday shopping with 20% back at Amazon.com up to $200 back in the first 6 months. Rates & fees
Chase Freedom Flex℠
5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter (then 1%), 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
$0
Get up to 5% cashback in rotating and newly added everyday categories. The refreshed Freedom Flex card has lots of earning potential.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
15.99% to 22.99% variable
$95
Earn a signup bonus worth $750 with this popular travel card. Combine with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards for even greater value.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
N/A
0% intro for the first 18 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
$0
An impressive 18 months intro APR on balance transfers and purchases, as well as no annual fee make this one of the top 0% APR cards available.
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Bottom line

When your credit card is closed for inactivity, call your card provider and ask them to reactivate your card. A closed credit card can negatively affect your credit score because of the available credit limit you will lose and because it could shorten your credit history.

But if the card provider doesn’t want to reinstate your credit card account, you can always apply for a new credit card and get back the credit limit you lost.

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