What happens if I don't use my credit card?

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What happens if I don't use my credit card?

Postby Dylan1982 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:37 am

I have 4 credit cards that are paid off, have a 0 balance but haven't been used in a while. They last time they were used was 10/2011.

What is the general rule of thumb? If there are not used will they get closed out?

I do not want them to get closed out at all. I will make small purchases with them if need be. I have a long credit history with these cards..

So what should I do, make a small purchase, pay it off and leave it alone for another year?
Chase Freedom - $12,500 (2/2013)
GM Card - $7,700 (7/2002)
CitiBank (Thank You Preferred) - $6,400 (6/2012)
CitiBank (Diamond Preferred) - $4,600 (6/2012)
Rogers & Hollands - $3,300 (3/2006)
Target REDcard - $3,000 (11/2014)
BestBuy - $1,600 (9/2003)
Discount Tires - $1,000 (2/2004)
Kohl's - $300 (4/2012)

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Postby hematino » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:38 am

Eventually they will probably be closed for inactivity, some creditors such as GE Money Bank will butcher your credit limits after inactivity as a first step. How long you can go without using the card or at least making payments on it if you carry a balance varies from bank to bank. In addition some rewards cards will penalize you for inactivity by resetting your accrued points or whatever back to zero. Barclays reserves the right to dump your rewards on some of their cards if there are no purchases made in as little as a 6 month period. Always check the fine print.

How long is too long for lack of activity to matter? Unfortunately there's not really a clear answer since every bank has different rules on what they will tolerate. Personally I try to use every card I have at least once every 3 months, sock drawered cards included, and I've never had adverse action due to just not using the card. As always, your mileage may vary.
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Postby namvet » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:13 am

I agree with henatino! The general rule of thumb in credit management is use em or lose em! Show some activity at least once every 6 months and you should avoid credit line adjustment and/or closures.

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