Keep It Going

The case for keeping credit cards active

With the coronavirus making a mess of finances, you might be wondering if you should let one of your credit cards sit for a bit. Here’s the case for using your cards even during times of uncertainty.

It Won’t Get Cancelled

Credit card companies can cancel your card due to inactivity. Even worse, they don’t have to let you know that they’re about to do it. If your card gets cancelled, it will hurt your credit score. A cancelled card will shorten your overall credit history. You want a long, shining credit history to help keep your score high. A cancelled card could also mean an increase in your credit utilization ratio, because you have less total credit available to you. Keeping that ratio low below 30% is important for your overall score.

You’ll Protect Yourself

Using a credit card regularly will keep you checking in on the account activity. This is a vital step toward protecting yourself from identity theft. The more in tune you are to your finances, the more likely you’ll spot errors or fraud. As USA Today reports, in 2019, 42 percent of all identity theft complaints involved credit card fraud. If you have an open card but don’t use it, you probably won’t check the billing statements. That leaves you more susceptible to fraud.

It’s Not Hard to Keep It Open

Keeping a card open is fairly easy to do. You could try to use it for rewards or simply buy something small on it each month and pay off the bill. This allows you to keep the card active without the fear of plunging into debt.

Chris O'Shea

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