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How Often should i use my cards to Keep Active?

Aim_High
Senior Contributor

Re: How Often should i use my cards to Keep Active?

I would say the maximum time you can go without using a card just depends.

 

I have had cards with banks or credit unions where I keep deposit accounts go for years without a new charge and nothing being done to close it.  It's just there if I need it. 

 

I've had cards I put heavy balance transfers on and then rarely used in other periods stay open for years with little to no use, no questions asked.

 

Retail cards are notorious for closing if you don't use them often.  Electronics stores, department stores, jewelry stores, etc.  Bank cards not so much but it depends on the bank.

 

I tend to close accounts I am not currently using or plan to use. 

 

If I had a card from a lender where i did not maintain deposit accounts or did not ever maintain big balances in the past, I would probably be wondering about possible closure if it was idle for 12 or more months.  So at least every 6-12 months minimum usage would be my suggestion.

 

I like the idea of recurring automatic charges (even if small) just to keep a card "active" and I've used that idea before. 



Length of Credit > 35 years; Total Credit Limits > $500K
AoOA > 28 years (Jun 1993); AoYA (Aug 2020); Gardening since 08/15/20.
* Hover cursor over cards to see name & CL, or press & hold on mobile app.
Message 11 of 18
Guyatthebeach
Valued Contributor

Re: How Often should i use my cards to Keep Active?

I will make a couple of charges every 3 months.  I have reminders set up in Outlook to remind to use the cards in the sock drawer quarterly.

 

Guyatthebeach

Message 12 of 18
kat8mouse30
Established Member

Re: How Often should i use my cards to Keep Active?

I have 4 cards that I only take out twice a year to put spend on - March and September.  They help my AAoA but don't really have any rewards on them.  I usually just use them for fast food/gas/small purchases.

 

BOA Platinum Visa

Amex Clear (I really need to PC this to another card)

BP Gas (had since 1987 - my very first credit card when it was Amoco)

Navy Federal Platinum MC

Message 13 of 18
blindambition
Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: How Often should i use my cards to Keep Active?


@TyRacing wrote:

How often and how much to keep my cards active?

Every 3 months? .99 cents?

 

For the following banks and cards

  • Bofa cash rewards
  • Chase Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, Amazon Prime Visa
  • Amex BCE
  • USB Cash +
  • Cap1 Savor1

and anyone know if In California do issuers notice us before closing cards?

 

Thank you for all the support team! Smiley Wink


I do a $5-10 charge every 3 months. The current climate has made banks more cautious. Barclays for example. In their T/C it states account can be closed without purchase in 3 months.

Message 14 of 18
TyRacing
Frequent Contributor

Re: How Often should i use my cards to Keep Active?

What about cards with a balance (just paying the min) will they cancel them if not in use.

Have the Following:



CashBack Cards Goals: Citi Rewards+

Status: Doing my Homework before I App

Note to Self: Focus on the Abundance of Love and you shall have more!

Message 15 of 18
MetsFan1
New Member

Re: How Often should i use my cards to Keep Active?

Anyone know if there's an app that will keep track of when you last you your credit card? and perhaps the balance of all your cards?

Message 16 of 18
CreditInspired
Super Contributor

Re: How Often should i use my cards to Keep Active?

Hi and welcome to MyFICO

 

I use Checkbook Pro on the iphone app, which I love and have been using for ~4 years. A lot of us, including me, also have created our own Excel spreadsheet to keep track of income, expenses, and CC opening date, APR, and promo expiration.

 

I’m calling @Anonymous because she also uses an app that she loves. 


|| AmX Cash Magnet $40.5K || NFCU CashRewards $30K || Discover IT $24.7K || Macy's $20K || NFCU CLOC $15K || CitiCostco $12.7K || NFCU Platinum $12.5K || Apple Card $6.5K || BOA CashRewards $6K
Message 17 of 18
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: How Often should i use my cards to Keep Active?


@MetsFan1 wrote:

Anyone know if there's an app that will keep track of when you last you your credit card? and perhaps the balance of all your cards?


I actually prefer manual input. I have a budget app called Fudget that I just put each credit card in and then manually add up all of the charges each month. So like if I spend $40 at the grocery store, I put that in the ledger for the month right away. It’s not for everyone but this way you’re actually thinking “okay, I’ve spent x amount this month and I have x left to spend” which gives you more of a kick in the pants than having software do it for you plus you’re not putting your financial information out for everyone to see with a service like Mint or whatever. 

 

As for credit card usage to keep them from going inactive, I have a calendar reminder that pops every three months to go throw some charges on each card and I will usually just take those and run a few $5 Amazon gift card reloads. Takes like 5 minutes. 

Message 18 of 18
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