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How often to charge to keep CC open?

Senior Contributor

Re: How often to charge to keep CC open?


jsucool76 wrote:
The general consensus is usually one use every 6-12 months, 6 to be on the safe side. It varies by lender but I've never seen anything less than a year really.

I'm pretty sure there are reports of less than a year, but they were likely during the credit meltdown.  I feel like I used to see posts recommending 3 months if you wanted to be sure you wouldn't see a problem.  I would agree that in the current market, 6 months is probably fine.


Starting Score: ~500 (12/01/2008)
Current Score: EQ 681 (04/05/13); TU 98 728 (01/06/12), TU 08? 760 (provided by Barclay 1/2/14), TU 04 728 (lender pull 01/12/12); EX 742 (lender pull 01/12/12)
Goal Score: 720


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Message 11 of 21
Senior Contributor

Re: How often to charge to keep CC open?

I think there is a lot more leeway in a store card (which op has) rather than a bank card or cobranded card.   I would say 3 to 6 months for a VISA/MC/DISCOVER.

Message 12 of 21
Valued Contributor

Re: How often to charge to keep CC open?

Thanks all. It is a store card, so I think I can only use it for things in that store so I don't think I can setup recurring charges on this one...unfortunately. Correct?
Cards: Orchard Bank ($1100) | Cap1 Cash Rewards ($2500) | Chase Freedom ($1000) | Best Buy ($2500) | Discover It ($1000) | Barclay Rewards ($2500) | Current scores: EX FAKO: 684, CK TU: 649, FICO EQ: 680, FICO TU: 698, FICO EX: 658 Happy Homeowner Since 2/6/13! Smiley Happy Last App: 4/5/13 Gardening until July 2014
Message 13 of 21
Senior Contributor

Re: How often to charge to keep CC open?


MovingForward_2012 wrote:
Thanks all. It is a store card, so I think I can only use it for things in that store so I don't think I can setup recurring charges on this one...unfortunately. Correct?

Correct!

Message 14 of 21
Contributor

Re: How often to charge to keep CC open?

I have many store cards I haven't used in 3-4 years and all are still open. 

My BoA Visa, Barclay Card, and Citi Forward card - I haven't used in about 2 years or so. They are still open. I hope they warn me before they close them.




Starting Score: 583 (CreditKarma, 2009)
Current Score: 783 (Walmart Free FICO, March 20, 2012), 774 (Equifax, BoA Pull, 2/20/13)
Goal Score: 800+


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Message 15 of 21
Senior Contributor

Re: How often to charge to keep CC open?


BlueHusky wrote:

I have many store cards I haven't used in 3-4 years and all are still open. 

My BoA Visa, Barclay Card, and Citi Forward card - I haven't used in about 2 years or so. They are still open. I hope they warn me before they close them.


You will not necessarily be warned.  They can just shut them down due to inactivity.


Starting Score: ~500 (12/01/2008)
Current Score: EQ 681 (04/05/13); TU 98 728 (01/06/12), TU 08? 760 (provided by Barclay 1/2/14), TU 04 728 (lender pull 01/12/12); EX 742 (lender pull 01/12/12)
Goal Score: 720


Take the FICO Fitness Challenge
Message 16 of 21
Valued Contributor

Re: How often to charge to keep CC open?

Thanks Wolf! :-)
Cards: Orchard Bank ($1100) | Cap1 Cash Rewards ($2500) | Chase Freedom ($1000) | Best Buy ($2500) | Discover It ($1000) | Barclay Rewards ($2500) | Current scores: EX FAKO: 684, CK TU: 649, FICO EQ: 680, FICO TU: 698, FICO EX: 658 Happy Homeowner Since 2/6/13! Smiley Happy Last App: 4/5/13 Gardening until July 2014
Message 17 of 21
Mega Contributor

Re: How often to charge to keep CC open?


BlueHusky wrote:

I have many store cards I haven't used in 3-4 years and all are still open. 

My BoA Visa, Barclay Card, and Citi Forward card - I haven't used in about 2 years or so. They are still open. I hope they warn me before they close them.


I'd probably set some recurring charges on those bankcards.

 




EQ FICO 548 3/3/16
Message 18 of 21
Valued Contributor

Re: How often to charge to keep CC open?


LS2982 wrote:

BlueHusky wrote:

I have many store cards I haven't used in 3-4 years and all are still open. 

My BoA Visa, Barclay Card, and Citi Forward card - I haven't used in about 2 years or so. They are still open. I hope they warn me before they close them.


I'd probably set some recurring charges on those bankcards.

 



This is where some cost-benefit analysis would come in handy!  I assume in general that people s/d cards that are less valuable than their "wallet" cards, i.e. there are bigger rewards on the wallet cards.

 

So, there is a real cost to putting recurring charges on the "bad" cards rather than the good ones.   It might be small of course, but then people need to compare it to the benefits of keeping these cards open.  I suspect that once you have enough credit to entertain the concept of s/d, the utilization benefit of keeping the old cards open is probably pretty small as well.  (And the AAoA isn't impacted for many years).

Message 19 of 21
Senior Contributor

Re: How often to charge to keep CC open?


bs6054 wrote:

LS2982 wrote:

BlueHusky wrote:

I have many store cards I haven't used in 3-4 years and all are still open. 

My BoA Visa, Barclay Card, and Citi Forward card - I haven't used in about 2 years or so. They are still open. I hope they warn me before they close them.


I'd probably set some recurring charges on those bankcards.

 



This is where some cost-benefit analysis would come in handy!  I assume in general that people s/d cards that are less valuable than their "wallet" cards, i.e. there are bigger rewards on the wallet cards.

 

So, there is a real cost to putting recurring charges on the "bad" cards rather than the good ones.   It might be small of course, but then people need to compare it to the benefits of keeping these cards open.  I suspect that once you have enough credit to entertain the concept of s/d, the utilization benefit of keeping the old cards open is probably pretty small as well.  (And the AAoA isn't impacted for many years).


Once you have excellent credit, there is no benefit to keeping accounts open that you don't use either.  There is more risk to keep it and sock drawer it than to close it.   It could be stolen, or hacked.  Something could screw up on recurring charges and auto payments and you not notice and you end up with a late charge.   . Once you have execellent credit, a few good cards that you use and take care of is all you need.  

Message 20 of 21