you can close it, you are gaining the most AA from the Amex, But it is increasing your general AA.
If you have all the credit you currently need, any FICO damage that could happen 10 years (?) plus the date of closure could be minimal to negilgible.
My similarly dated Direct Merchants Bank MC is still open. It has an even more horrible APR = 27.99%V - but I have a purchase APR promo of 6.99%F. My AF has been permanently rescinded as well. Both of these things happened because I asked. The front line CSR can give the APR promo to you but cannot handle AF waivers. That has to be done by a retention specialist.
If your account does not have an AF these is no reason to close it. If it does get a waiver. Just use the account once per quarter to keep it open. Once the account is closed it may report for ten years. It most likely will on EX, EQ and TU have ways of losing things and once lost a closed TL is gone forever. I have two legacy accounts that I do not need, but do nursemaid along to insure they report as long as possible for age purposes.
I agree with the comment on AF. If it has no AF, why not keep it?
You have to judge by your own experience, however. Have you applied for any credit card and been denied because you already have "enough" open credit? If the card was hurting me in that way...if it was keeping me from getting a reward card that I wanted, for example...then I would close it in a heartbeat.
I doubt that closing it will hurt your scores much, if at all. You're covered on age, and you have enough other credit that AAoA will be impacted little.
Split off keninmiami's question to create its own thread titled "Score effects of closing 40-yr-old cc?" on the Understanding FICO Scoring board.
Due to your long history, my opinion is that you shouldn't close it. Just keep it tucked away in the sock drawer at a $0 balance. Let the APR go to 1000%. It's not going to effect you anyway so it doesn't matter. Just use it once in a while to keep it active.
I have been tempted to close accounts myself but I never actually have. The accounts that are of no use to me simply don't get used.
CLOSE THE ACCOUNT. HSBC & Direct Merchant are rip-offs.
Tell them you want to close the account because they are raising the interest rate. They do not care how long you have been with them. They only care about one thing -- MONEY. If you have good credit --- keep it. Why pay a company 15% to 29% to use their credit card? They are not worth it. Just make sure they report it on you credit report correctly.
If not, you will have legal reason to sue them.