It doesn't lower age of accounts. It will keep reporting for up to 10 years
But it will lower your AAOA after 10 years when it drops. The point is to NEVER close any accounts if you can avoid it. I made that mistake several years ago during by rebuild, when a CC lender only gave me $4000 SL and refused a recon. I was P.O'd and threatened to close the account, they still refused to CLI me. So I demanded they close the account, which they gladly obliged. Now I am paying the price because it recently aged off my account and dropped my score about 10 points.
My advice to the OP is to sock drawer the card, use it every 6 months to keep them happy and allow it to age. Ask for a CLI once per year. You will thank me in 10 years and I will ask you to buy me a beer.
Heres one thing im going to disagree with you on.. if your paying a fee just for the privledge of having a card... with no benefits, you ditch it as soon as you have better products... You dont keep paying for a predatory or builder card once youve gotten beyond that point.. esp if theres a fee attached....you dont wait for it to close on its own.. its only a stepping stone, not the final destination.... you dont pay for another year of it.... There are other cards which you do keep and let close on their own but predatory/AF cards with annual and or monthly fees... without providing benifits that offset those fees... go to the shredder.... they are like tissues, you use them and then you throw them away when they are no longer needed.....