I have been using travel credit cards to earn miles, and it's been great. I've already taken several trips for "free" and have a couple more booked or planned. However, I am now starting to gather several cards with annual fees and want to know what I should do with them. I know closing an account isn't great for your credit score, so you can ask to have the account changed to a no annual fee card... but wouldn't that make you ineligible for any new bonus mile offers in the future? I really like getting those bonus miles with a new account and hate to have to give that up!! Suggestions? I will list the cards I already have below. Thanks for the help!!
Capital One Venture - miles on account already used
Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite - miles on account already used
Chase Sapphire Preferred - miles on account already used (or remainder has been moved to another account)
Chase Sapphire Reserve - still have miles to use (may keep this card, undecided as of yet)
Wanting to get the United MileagePlus Explorer for increased sign up bonus
I would wait until cancellation time. Call them up and ask if they will wave the fee. If you have used the card enough in the last year, they may well do it. Barclays has done it for me in the past. Citi said they wouldn't, until I called up a week later to cancel, and their cancellation department offered to take off the fee, but I cancelled anyway as I wanted to be able to get the sign-up bonus again after 24 months.
Merge accounts and product change when you can.
I would keep your CSR if you travel a lot. That one is worth keeping.
Some lenders only give 1 welcome bonus ever (lifetime), others can give you another bonus if you no longer have the card (PC or canceled) and it is more than 24 months since your last bonus.
From what I read, you can change your Venture to QS, then app for Venture again, check pre-qual site.
You can PC the CSP to CS (no AF version), or ask for options, most of the time you can PC to Freedom/FUnlimited. No need to pay CSP and CSR AF.
Most cards still report for up to 10 years after you close them, so it doesn't impact your score in the short term.
Getting new cards will hurt your score (HP, age of new account and lower AAoA)
You can absolutely PC the chase cards if you're not getting a benefit from them.
If you travel a lot, keep your CSR. It's a great card. I had it for a while, but once I hit the bonus, I PC'ed it to the CSP because most of my air travel is done on delta (curse Amex and Delta and their entire union), and I use my Delta Amex for that.
I book strictly hotels and dining with the CSP now, and it provides a decent rate of return (but not CSR level) without a huge annual fee.