What to do with old unused credit cards

37
Posted 10th Jan
I have about 5 cards now

started with a aqua £500 now £5950

and a capital one card £250 now £2000

and a fluid BT card £350 now £2950

all three have recently been paid off in full and I don't intend on using them again because of the interest rates

I have two new cards recently which have good offers

MBNA and virgin money

what would you do with the three high interest cards? keep or close ? leave at zero owed or spend a fiver on each one every month? really not sure what to do with them

aqua is my oldest so was thinking keep that due to my credit utilisation rate
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This here, in this thread, is the reason we are going to damage ourselves immeasurably with the single most ridiculous act of self harm since the end of the World Wars. Yes I'm referring to the decision to withdraw from the single market etc.

You ask a question. Someone (deeky) answers with the learned opinion of an expert. The answer gives various scenarios you might find yourself in and expands on why/how the recommended course of action will benefit you. The expert answer is completely ignored in favour of anecdotal stories and personal opinion based on nothing more than what sounds good. Everyone laughs and high fives.

Tell you what OP, ignore the expert, listen to the "some say" gang, close your bloody cards, take a hit on your credit history. Then carry on in blissful ignorance.
deeky10/01/2020 09:50

Did you read my link? Or don't you think Experian know what they're …Did you read my link? Or don't you think Experian know what they're talking about?

37 Comments
Why is interested a concern? Just pay the monthly balance in full.
Buckyball10/01/2020 09:11

Why is interested a concern? Just pay the monthly balance in full.


Did you read what the OP wrote?

They all have a zero balance, he now has a better credit card with a better rate and is asking what to do with his old high interest cards.
Too many credit cards could impact your credit rating and therefore impact getting best mortgage rates etc etc. Cancel those you don't need.
Get rid of them, too many on you credit file. You’ve paid them off so shut them down and keep the other 2 as emergency
rogan179110/01/2020 09:14

Did you read what the OP wrote?They all have a zero balance, he now has a …Did you read what the OP wrote?They all have a zero balance, he now has a better credit card with a better rate and is asking what to do with his old high interest cards.


Thanks. Your correct
ndyanem10/01/2020 09:18

Get rid of them, too many on you credit file. You’ve paid them off so shut …Get rid of them, too many on you credit file. You’ve paid them off so shut them down and keep the other 2 as emergency


Thanks. Even the old aqua card. Get rid yes?

I keep reading online to keep your oldest card open
efc_4ever10/01/2020 09:21

Thanks. Even the old aqua card. Get rid yes?I keep reading online to keep …Thanks. Even the old aqua card. Get rid yes?I keep reading online to keep your oldest card open


Anything which doesn’t has zero interest isn’t worth it. Plus you have far to many and would be deemed a risk to most companies with credit. Download clear score and look at your credit file and the impacts on there
ndyanem10/01/2020 09:22

Anything which doesn’t has zero interest isn’t worth it. Plus you have far …Anything which doesn’t has zero interest isn’t worth it. Plus you have far to many and would be deemed a risk to most companies with credit. Download clear score and look at your credit file and the impacts on there


Also credit karma is another good site to look at your credit report
ndyanem10/01/2020 09:23

Also credit karma is another good site to look at your credit report


I'm already with credit karma and clearscore

I had zero credit history about 3-4yrs ago but obviously now I've had the cards mentioned used them and never missed payments my score and history is in good shape.

I think hence why I was recently offered the much better cards by MBNA and virgin
Edited by: "efc_4ever" 10th Jan
efc_4ever10/01/2020 09:25

I'm already with credit karma and clearscore I had zero credit history …I'm already with credit karma and clearscore I had zero credit history about 3-4yrs ago but obviously now I've had the cards mentioned used them and never missed payments my score and history is in good shape. I think hence why I was recently offered the much better cards by MBNA and virgin


That’s good that you’ve kept on your payments. I think 2 credit cards on your file really is the max and if your already able to organise your money you wouldnt need cards unless your buying holdings or large items for insurance purposes.
Might as well keep them, maybe get rid of the really low limit cards.
It's not going to really have a noticeable hit to any credit score and it just means that you have more credit available to yourself if you ever need it.
teh.arn10/01/2020 09:39

Might as well keep them, maybe get rid of the really low limit cards.It's …Might as well keep them, maybe get rid of the really low limit cards.It's not going to really have a noticeable hit to any credit score and it just means that you have more credit available to yourself if you ever need it.


Exactly. See this is why I'm not sure what to do

Some say close and some say just leave open
This is online


As a general rule, having lots of unused credit cards is likely to adversely affect your credit rating, though this is not always the case.

Basically: the more you responsibly use credit, spending and paying back on time, the better your credit score will be.

Having unused credit cards lying around will generally cause a lender to see you as someone who doesn’t use credit often, thereby restricting your credit history and to that extent making you less of a viable candidate to lend to.

However, the opposite also applies: if you’ve got loads of active credit cards all maxed out, then you will look desperate to a lender, again reducing your eligibility as a candidate for borrowing.

The best thing to do if you have multiple cards is to spread payments across all of them so that you don’t exceed 70% of the credit limit on any of them. This will make you appear as someone who uses credit regularly and well, staying within their budget while borrowing consistently.

If you have several credit cards, the best thing you can do is to cancel a few of them, starting with any unused cards, and then continue to spend carefully across the remaining cards. This will improve your credit score over time.
efc_4ever10/01/2020 09:45

Exactly. See this is why I'm not sure what to do Some say close and …Exactly. See this is why I'm not sure what to do Some say close and some say just leave open


Did you read my link? Or don't you think Experian know what they're talking about?
efc_4ever10/01/2020 09:45

Exactly. See this is why I'm not sure what to do Some say close and …Exactly. See this is why I'm not sure what to do Some say close and some say just leave open



You've just got to weigh it up, here's pretty much the pros/cons to keeping as I see it:

Pro to keeping:
More credit available if needed - Never really a bad thing.
They're there if you need them, in case of emergency etc.

Con to keeping:
If you don't pay in full each month it might be harder to track/slip your mind.
Takes up space.

Pro to closing:
Clear out your wallet/safe/drawers etc
One less thing to monitor.
If you never see yourself using it, is it worth keeping?

Con to closing:
Loss of available credit.
Loss of any benefits linked to that card.
If you continue to use credit cards your utilisation goes up as a percentage due to you reducing the amount of available credit.

Deeky left a good link above, worth taking a look.

Honestly I'd probably just keep them, or close them and get a better card with a higher credit limit to cover for the loss of all three, like an Amex Platinum Cashback/Gold card.
I'd bet it has much better benefits than any of those three.
deeky10/01/2020 09:50

Did you read my link? Or don't you think Experian know what they're …Did you read my link? Or don't you think Experian know what they're talking about?


I have read this before yes. I know it says to keep them open but lots say to close them also

Surely having 3 credit cards not used amounting to about 11k is probably going to effect me getting other credit if needed from elsewhere at better rates ect
efc_4ever10/01/2020 09:53

I have read this before yes. I know it says to keep them open but lots say …I have read this before yes. I know it says to keep them open but lots say to close them alsoSurely having 3 credit cards not used amounting to about 11k is probably going to effect me getting other credit if needed from elsewhere at better rates ect


No worries. It's your call. I was just pointing you towards a credit reference agency's take on it.
deeky10/01/2020 09:55

No worries. It's your call. I was just pointing you towards a credit …No worries. It's your call. I was just pointing you towards a credit reference agency's take on it.


I appreciate that thank you. I have read most article on the credit reference agency's website's and even some of them say close but some say keep open

Might ditch the fluid and capital one as both low limits with zero offers but keep the aqua as the limit is 6k and obviously keep the new MBNA and virgin cards
Edited by: "efc_4ever" 10th Jan
I would keep the oldest one, and close the others.. keep the ones your still using ofcourse and close when no longer needed.
When i check my credit score having a card for a long time shows as a good thing.. also having available credit is good too. so the fact that it has a high limit is good.
colinsss10/01/2020 09:16

Too many credit cards could impact your credit rating and therefore impact …Too many credit cards could impact your credit rating and therefore impact getting best mortgage rates etc etc. Cancel those you don't need.


Not entirely true.
You are scored on how much of your available credit you are using.
So if OP closes them all down leaving him with his one credit card with let's day £1000 on and he's got a balance of £800, the OP is using 80% of his available credit limit.
Having a huge negative impact on his credit score.
If OP leaves these open, or at least one of them open OP is using a much smaller % OF OO's available credit and therfore scored much higher on credit scores.

Closing them all down would be disastrous. That would mean the use of available credit goes from let's say, 10-20% dependent on how much OP balance is, to 80% overnight.
Credit scores would plummet in this possible scenario.
Everyone's case is different obviously dependent on how much credit is being used and what your financial aims are going forward but that is how it works.

I am not a financial advisor, I have just recently been in a position where I need to inform myself of this so I got my information from Martin Lewis and experian website . Pretry credible sources by all accounts. Haha

experian.com/blo…ce/
This here, in this thread, is the reason we are going to damage ourselves immeasurably with the single most ridiculous act of self harm since the end of the World Wars. Yes I'm referring to the decision to withdraw from the single market etc.

You ask a question. Someone (deeky) answers with the learned opinion of an expert. The answer gives various scenarios you might find yourself in and expands on why/how the recommended course of action will benefit you. The expert answer is completely ignored in favour of anecdotal stories and personal opinion based on nothing more than what sounds good. Everyone laughs and high fives.

Tell you what OP, ignore the expert, listen to the "some say" gang, close your bloody cards, take a hit on your credit history. Then carry on in blissful ignorance.
deeky10/01/2020 09:50

Did you read my link? Or don't you think Experian know what they're …Did you read my link? Or don't you think Experian know what they're talking about?

chitychatty10/01/2020 11:09

This here, in this thread, is the reason we are going to damage ourselves …This here, in this thread, is the reason we are going to damage ourselves immeasurably with the single most ridiculous act of self harm since the end of the World Wars. Yes I'm referring to the decision to withdraw from the single market etc.You ask a question. Someone (deeky) answers with the learned opinion of an expert. The answer gives various scenarios you might find yourself in and expands on why/how the recommended course of action will benefit you. The expert answer is completely ignored in favour of anecdotal stories and personal opinion based on nothing more than what sounds good. Everyone laughs and high fives. Tell you what OP, ignore the expert, listen to the "some say" gang, close your bloody cards, take a hit on your credit history. Then carry on in blissful ignorance.


Thanks. Will do
chitychatty10/01/2020 11:09

You ask a question. Someone (deeky) answers with the learned opinion of an …You ask a question. Someone (deeky) answers with the learned opinion of an expert.


You're too kind
The only cards I've ever closed is the ones I took on with a bonus ie 5% cashback on spend for 6 months, free airport lounge tickets, cashback for taking them out etc etc, these usually come with a fee in the second year after the first free year.

I've Credit Cards going back years and haven't even thought about closing them, they're just dormant.
OP I have at least 3 cards, 2 of which I never use at all. My credit score is excellent and the amount of available credit across my cards would frighten most people, and in fact I recently received a letter offering more credit on one of them...I say leave them alone, don’t close the accounts unless you need to.
Diggsy10/01/2020 15:08

OP I have at least 3 cards, 2 of which I never use at all. My credit score …OP I have at least 3 cards, 2 of which I never use at all. My credit score is excellent and the amount of available credit across my cards would frighten most people, and in fact I recently received a letter offering more credit on one of them...I say leave them alone, don’t close the accounts unless you need to.


Thank you
Do you pay interest?
MR112310/01/2020 16:56

Do you pay interest?


I was doing yes but obviously not now as I recently cleared them all
Keep all , keep eye out on credit scores , you’ve cleared them so technically your score should rise as mine is
I dont know the technicalities and cant tell you whats best but just thought id point out, i currently have 4 credit cards, 3 unused. Same as you i have 3 old cards with 0% sign offers ended and ive never got round to closing them.
On top of those i have paypal credit which i think shows up as a credit card, plus i have a very account which i never use much just when theres 20% off etc..
Anyway i applied for a Barclaycard platinum last week and got accepted no problem and my score on clear score is higher than the uk average so i dont think having open unused accounts affect it as much as some believe.
Mark_Hickman10/01/2020 19:44

I dont know the technicalities and cant tell you whats best but just …I dont know the technicalities and cant tell you whats best but just thought id point out, i currently have 4 credit cards, 3 unused. Same as you i have 3 old cards with 0% sign offers ended and ive never got round to closing them.On top of those i have paypal credit which i think shows up as a credit card, plus i have a very account which i never use much just when theres 20% off etc.. Anyway i applied for a Barclaycard platinum last week and got accepted no problem and my score on clear score is higher than the uk average so i dont think having open unused accounts affect it as much as some believe.


Thanks mate. I think I will just leave them as they are then as it seems like it's not going to negatively effect me I think going forward
efc_4ever10/01/2020 19:53

Thanks mate. I think I will just leave them as they are then as it seems …Thanks mate. I think I will just leave them as they are then as it seems like it's not going to negatively effect me I think going forward


The only thing i was thinking is it might cause you to get a lower credit limit with new applications
Mark_Hickman10/01/2020 20:25

The only thing i was thinking is it might cause you to get a lower credit …The only thing i was thinking is it might cause you to get a lower credit limit with new applications


That's right. I was thinking this. It's a tricky one isn't it?

What would you do?
efc_4ever10/01/2020 20:27

That's right. I was thinking this. It's a tricky one isn't it? What would …That's right. I was thinking this. It's a tricky one isn't it? What would you do?


Its your choice and you've had alot of good advice above so i guess ots up to you i just wanted to tell you my story as im in a similar situation.
However now ive got a Barclaycard with 0% on purchases and transfers i might close one or two ready for when i apply for another in a few years
Just remember you’ve been with the companies for a very long time so you have a good credit history, clear them off if you don’t use they will get in touch with you to either use or decrease your limit if not using, if you close and later time Re apply you won’t be getting the same limits and there won’t be enough history as was past and they will look at current, so best to keep them as I have a few cleared off and my credit score on Experian is very high too,
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