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  • FIRST POST
    • ah23
    • By ah23 2nd Dec 17, 8:29 PM
    • 44Posts
    • 3Thanks
    ah23
    Is it harmful to cancel a credit card?
    • #1
    • 2nd Dec 17, 8:29 PM
    Is it harmful to cancel a credit card? 2nd Dec 17 at 8:29 PM
    I currently have 3 credit cards (4 if you include my barclaycard balance transfer) with Halifax (Clarity), AMEX (Cashback Platinum Everyday) and M&S Credit Card.

    I want to cancel the M&S one as I rarely shop at M&S so unlikely to take advantage of the points I receive from spending with it. Would canceling a credit card harm or hinder my credit profile?
Page 1
    • zx81
    • By zx81 2nd Dec 17, 8:51 PM
    • 14,331 Posts
    • 15,095 Thanks
    zx81
    • #2
    • 2nd Dec 17, 8:51 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Dec 17, 8:51 PM
    It will show as a closed account. You have others, so lenders are unlikely to think you are short of options.

    If you are carrying balances, consider your debt to limit ratio.
    • ah23
    • By ah23 2nd Dec 17, 8:56 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    ah23
    • #3
    • 2nd Dec 17, 8:56 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Dec 17, 8:56 PM
    Thanks zx81.

    The only outstanding balance I have is £950 circa on the AMEX and £900 on the balance transfer. The others the balance is zero. I only ever use the Clarity for when I'm abroad, and the M&S card, well I initially picked this as my alternative to the AMEX as AMEX isn't accepted everywhere. Just thinking whether 4 credit cards is a bit too much...?

    I suppose once I clear off the balance transfer, I will close that card as they will no longer be any use for it for me. Does the same apply to balance transfer cards if cancelled?

    Thanks again.
    • zx81
    • By zx81 2nd Dec 17, 9:08 PM
    • 14,331 Posts
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    zx81
    • #4
    • 2nd Dec 17, 9:08 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Dec 17, 9:08 PM
    I'd keep at least three. You want to appear trusted, and back ups are always important.
    • ah23
    • By ah23 3rd Dec 17, 4:51 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    ah23
    • #5
    • 3rd Dec 17, 4:51 PM
    • #5
    • 3rd Dec 17, 4:51 PM
    Thanks.

    But what is the use of a 'balance transfer' card once the balance has been paid? As there is no point using it for future balance transfers because there will always be a better deal out there, and you would likely have to pay a fee... Or should I just leave it at zero balance for a rainy day to save getting credit searched again?
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 3rd Dec 17, 5:18 PM
    • 1,349 Posts
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    Fireflyaway
    • #6
    • 3rd Dec 17, 5:18 PM
    • #6
    • 3rd Dec 17, 5:18 PM
    I'd keep at least three. You want to appear trusted, and back ups are always important.
    Originally posted by zx81
    Why would anyone need 3 credit cards? I managed for years with just cash and a debit card.
    Its proven you spend more when handing over a card, not to mention the interest because let's face it, many people don't pay off in full.

    Personally I'd say one card that's managed well is better than 3 all with balances.

    OP what are you trying to achieve? Unless you want a mortgage I wouldn't worry what your score says. I gave up even checking mine.
    • zx81
    • By zx81 3rd Dec 17, 5:35 PM
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    zx81
    • #7
    • 3rd Dec 17, 5:35 PM
    • #7
    • 3rd Dec 17, 5:35 PM
    Three cards ensure you have a back up.

    It also shows other lenders you are trusted. It also maintains a decent debt to limit ratio.

    If you have trouble controlling your spending, obviously you should avoid credit cards.

    And obviously ignore your credit score entirely, whether you are after a mortgage or not.
    • bazzyb
    • By bazzyb 3rd Dec 17, 5:44 PM
    • 1,054 Posts
    • 3,200 Thanks
    bazzyb
    • #8
    • 3rd Dec 17, 5:44 PM
    • #8
    • 3rd Dec 17, 5:44 PM

    Personally I'd say one card that's managed well is better than 3 all with balances.
    Originally posted by Fireflyaway
    As the OP has specifically asked about their credit profile then I think they are more likely to be interested in what lenders would say about it rather than your personal opinion.

    From a lending perspective 3 cards managed well with low balances are - generally speaking - better than 1 of the same, although there are too many variables to give a definitive answer. (And there are some obvious exceptions e.g. if all 3 were opened very recently).
    • eaglesrjh
    • By eaglesrjh 3rd Dec 17, 7:15 PM
    • 373 Posts
    • 260 Thanks
    eaglesrjh
    • #9
    • 3rd Dec 17, 7:15 PM
    • #9
    • 3rd Dec 17, 7:15 PM
    Thanks.

    But what is the use of a 'balance transfer' card once the balance has been paid? As there is no point using it for future balance transfers because there will always be a better deal out there, and you would likely have to pay a fee... Or should I just leave it at zero balance for a rainy day to save getting credit searched again?
    Originally posted by ah23
    Sometimes existing cards have fairly decent offers, you already know your credit limit and could ask for an increase often without a new credit search, you then get a decent offer on a known amount without the hassle of applying for a new card with an unknown credit limit.
    if i had known then what i know now
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