Learn Why Your Credit Card Might Be Cancelled

Your credit card issuer has the right to cancel your credit card at anytime. You may not even get a warning when your credit card is cancelled and inconveniently learn your card has been cancelled when it's declined at the register. If you're wondering why a credit card issuer would cancel a credit card, here are a few reasons.

You stopped using the card.

Credit cards on a padlock
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Credit card issuers aren't allowed to charge a dormancy or inactivity fee to cardholders who don't use their credit cards for several months. While some card issuers charge an annual fee that can be waived if you use your credit card, others skip the fee and just cancel your credit card if you stop using it.

Your credit card terms may outline how often you need to use your credit card to keep it open. To be on the safe side, use all your credit cards every three or four months to keep them open and active.

You stopped making payments.

Regular minimum payments are a requirement of your credit card agreement. Not many creditors cancel your credit card after only one missed payments. Some will suspend simply your charging privileges if you're 60 or 90 days past due and let you start charging again once you bring your account current. However, your credit card will be charged-off and closed completely after 180 days or six months of non-payment.

Your credit score dropped.

A recent change in credit card law banned universal default - the practice where a credit card issuer would increase your interest rate because of a late payment with another credit card issuer. While creditors can't increase your interest rate because of late payments on other accounts (unless the account is with that credit card issuer), they can close your account completely.

If your credit score starts slipping, don't be surprised if your credit card issuers start closing your credit cards.

You rejected a rate increase or other change.

Before a credit card issuer can raise your rate or annual fee, they must give you a 45-day advance notice. During that window you can reject the terms and choose to pay off your account under the old terms. However, many credit card issuers close your account if you decide to reject the new terms.

The credit card issuer is getting rid of the credit card.

Credit card issuers continuously review their credit card portfolio and get rid of credit cards that no longer fit. In this case, your credit card issuer will likely send advance notice before closing your credit card and let you know your options. You may be able to transfer your account to another credit card under the card issuer's offerings.

The bank is closing.

Unfortunately, some credit card issuers are forced to shut down operations when they are no longer profitable. Many credit card issuers sell their credit card accounts to a new credit card issuer. The new card issuer may close the credit card and require you to apply for a new account if you want to do business with them.

What It Means to Have Your Credit Card Cancelled

A cancelled credit card seldom has a good outcome. Your credit score may drop, especially if the credit card still has a balance because it raises your credit utilization. The good news is that your credit score can improve over time as you reduce your credit card balances.