Credit card closed for inactivity: What to do

Not using your credit card can end up hurting your credit score.

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If you keep a card in your drawer to avoid overspending or to use for certain occasions like traveling abroad, don’t be surprised if you find it closed for inactivity. This can be frustrating, especially if you want to keep the card.

Closing your credit card account can also have a negative impact on your credit score.

What to do if my card is closed for inactivity

Call customer support as soon as possible and ask them to reinstate your credit card. Some card providers may reinstate your card but beware of a credit check.

In most cases, your card provider will refuse. As an alternative, ask if they can transfer the credit limit to another card you have with them. Of course, if neither attempt works, you can always apply for a similar credit card or for an even better card than your old one.

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
Citi Rewards+℠ Card
Earn 2x points at supermarkets and gas stations on up to $6,000 annually, then 1x points after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 24.99% variable)
$0
The only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
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 14.49% to 25.49% variable)
$0
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
CardMatch™ from creditcards.com
See terms
See issuer's website
See terms
Can't decide on a card? Get personalized credit card offers with CardMatch™.
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
1.25x miles on all purchases and 10x miles at hotels.com/venture
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.49%, 19.49% or 23.49% variable)
$0
Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
Citi Simplicity® Card
N/A
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 16.24% to 26.24% variable)
$0
Enjoy one of the longest intro APRs on balance transfers, no late fees, no penalty rate and no annual fee.

Compare up to 4 providers

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.

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.

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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