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Close old AMEX account

Established Contributor

Re: Close old AMEX account

Conventional wisdom in normal times would say you don't need the AMEX card.  But we aren't living in normal times.  I take the view that ANY action in our credit profiles may have ramifications and unintended consequences, whether it is applying for new or canceling existing credit lines.  $50 a year to keep the card is nothing compared to the history it gives you.  Why chance having a light suddenly shine on you by asking AMEX to cancel it?  I'm in a similar boat with a 1980 AMEX Gold card.  I really don't need the Gold card any longer as I have a Platinum Optima card with a $33,400 CL, and a Starwood card with $25,000 limit which I use rather than the Gold card.  Both of these carry the 1980 history date.  I could cancel the Gold and save the AF, but amortized over the year the fee is piddling.  Even taking the facts out of the equation, I still have some affinity for the Gold card as it was a very high end card when I got it back in 1980.  It was advertised back then as only available to the top 5% of applicants, and was pretty rare.  And it meant something.  Now, Gold cards can be had from all sources and they don't mean anything.  In your case an original AMEX account dating back that far is something worth keeping.  Give up a Starbucks once a month and keep it. 
Message Edited by Watchmann on 03-29-2009 10:32 AM
Message 11 of 16
Established Contributor

Re: Close old AMEX account

Phoenix-rising wrote:
Why not ask them to waive the annual fee since you're such a loyal customer?  Or better yet, ask for a product change to Blue Cash or Clear with no annual fee to replace the card you have?  Keep your $50 AND your history.

I agree. Call them when the annual fee is due and ask them to waive it.  Or call them and convert it to one of their cards that does not have an annual fee.  Or if they will not let you convert, login to their website so they know who you are, go to apply for cards,  select one that appeals to you that does not have an annual fee, apply for it.  It will arrive with the opening date of the old card.  I think throwing away the age would be foolish when you can keep it for free.  Keep your $50 and your history.

Message 12 of 16
Established Contributor

Re: Close old AMEX account

apllied for a card with no AF they are that back dates new accounts to the opening date of their first orignal account, might have to request it .
People say "Only apply for credit you NEED"

I say "apply for credit you have PRATICAL use of"

I don't have AMEX card because I don't want a card that suffers from PMS
Message 13 of 16
Senior Contributor

Re: Close old AMEX account

If you close the account, you won't give up the history for 10 years.  Upon close, it will remain on CR and be calculated in your AAoA for 10 years, then it will drop.  By that time all of your existing accounts will be 10 years older (meaning your average 16 year accounts will be 26). "hints" shows that the "average FICO high achiever" has an oldest account of 19 years and AAoA of 6 to 12 years. 


If Amex has continued to charge you an AF and you have paid it, then the account should be open and available and they should not deny use, unless you try something big, but a tank of gas or lunch shouldn't be a problem.


As others said, you could ask to convert to a no AF account.  You could ask for a waiver of AF, but I doubt they will do this every year and you would have to call in each time. 

In the end, if your AAoA is 16 years, you probably have some 20 plus year accounts too.  I HIGHLY doubt that if you cancel the account your FICO will be affected, or at least not much and not for long. 


My advice is always to act with an end result in mind.  If you don't like paying the $50 and your desire is to stop paying, then cancelling or converting achieve the same result.  Converting, though maintains your oldest credit reference which can never be a bad thing to have.

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Message 14 of 16

Re: Close old AMEX account

Went ahead and applied online for Blue Sky and just received notification by phone that it was approved.  And it will carry the 1967 date.  Will having 2 cards with 41 year history improve FICO (currently 787,807,800)?
Message 15 of 16
Moderator Emerita

Re: Close old AMEX account

JudyF wrote:
Went ahead and applied online for Blue Sky and just received notification by phone that it was approved.  And it will carry the 1967 date.  Will having 2 cards with 41 year history improve FICO (currently 787,807,800)?

Congrats on the card, but probably not. You already have an oldest history of 41 years (now matched), and I would guess that your AAoA is really high as well.

There's only so high you can improve (only so many points you can gain) in the age department. I would think that you were already there, and now you're just more so.
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Message 16 of 16