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Frequently Asked Questions

Miles and points are similar, but they are not the same. They can be used to book airline tickets, tours, and even cash back. The big difference is that airline miles are tied to airlines, and points are tied to a credit card company. This means points can be a bit more flexible on how or for what you redeem them, but miles are not lost if you cancel a credit card.

This will greatly depend on your spending habits. Most cards have a minimum spending requirement for the bonus, so as long as your normal spending habits match the spending requirements, you should be fine. Just remember to cancel any cards you don’t plan to use in a responsible way (more on that below).

This will depend on the credit card you have in mind, but in most cases you are not eligible to apply for the same card within 18-24 months of account cancellation. In other words, if you really like a card, you can keep it, or cancel it and wait 2 years to apply again.

Managing your credit is very important and credit cards certainly play a role. They can improve your score when used responsibly, or bring it down if you’re not careful. The best advice is to keep your debt low, pay it off in full every month, and find a couple cards that you want to keep forever (I like cash back cards with no annual fee). This way, you can build up your credit.

For more information on what affects your credit score, check out this article. If you want to check your credit and FICO scores right now, you can use AnnualCreditReport and myFICO respectively. I also recommend signing up with CreditKarma and/or CreditSesame to monitor your credit.

If you have a card you no longer want (or one you want to apply for again), you’ll want to cancel the card so it doesn’t hurt your credit.

  1. First off, make sure you want to cancel it. If it’s your oldest card and it’s not costing you anything, your credit will benefit from the length of history.
  2. Make sure you have used up all your reward points if the card has any tied to it. They won’t be available after you cancel.
  3. You’ll make sure there is a $0 balance on ALL your cards when you cancel one. Once you know all your charges have posted, make sure you pay off ALL your balances off in full. Once you know all your payments have posted, you’re ready to cancel your card. It’s important that ALL cards are paid off to maintain the same credit utilization. Keep in mind that it can take a couple days for charges and payments to post, so plan on not using a credit card for a few days.
  4. To actually cancel the card, locate the customer service number on the back of the card. Call the number and verify that your balance is $0. Then go through the prompts to cancel. You can often skip to speak with a person by pressing 0.
  5. To be extra sure, you can call back in a couple days and confirm that the card has been canceled and there is no remaining balance.

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