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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
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year, 5% on Lyft and 1.5% on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
$0
Earn a $200 signup bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year
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
This popular travel card's signup bonus is worth up to $750. Get even more value out of your travel, dining, and Lyft rewards by transferring them to miles.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
N/A
0% intro for the first 18 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
$0
Long 18 months intro APR periods on purchases and balance transfers. Plus Citi Entertainment℠ for deals on dining and going out.
Citi® Double Cash Card
Up to 2% cash back on purchases (1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay)
13.99% to 23.99% variable
$0
This one of the most valuable flat cashback cards. It comes with 2% cash back (1% when you buy plus 1% when you pay) and 18 months to pay off transfers.
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
4% at gas stations on up to $7,000 annually (then 1%), 3% at restaurants and on travel, 2% at Costco and 1% on all other purchases
15.24% variable
$0
Earn valuable cash back on everyday purchases at gas stations, restaurants and Costco as well as eligible travel with no foreign fees.
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Compare up to 4 providers

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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