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When a Credit Card Company Can Suddenly Cancel Your Card

Credit card companies are beginning to clean up the profile of their average customer, and they're not doing so by offering lower interest rates that make it easier to pay off debt. Instead, they're just canceling the cards of those customers who are simply bad for business. There are few things more humiliating than discovering that your card is no longer active when you're attempting to make a purchase, but there are certain situations when your credit card issuer can legally cancel your account without warning. Find out what they are when you


According to The Wall Street Journal, an issuer can cancel your credit card without notice if you've defaulted or are delinquent on the account, or if you haven't used the card in more than a year. If you have any cards that have been idle in your wallet for a while but they're important to your credit history, then use them now to make necessary purchases but pay the bills off immediately.

Credit card issuers are allowed to close your account — and send notice within 30 days of cancellation — if they've reassessed your financial situation and concluded that you're too risky to keep as a customer. Even if you've stayed on top of your bills recently, a late bill from your past could give the company reason to close your account.

Have any of your credit cards been suddenly canceled by your credit card company?

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Join The Conversation
mermei mermei 8 years
I had a bank cancel my credit card while I was on vacation in June - they sent notice June 5 that they would close it the 20th unless I called them and told them to switch it over to a different kind of card (they were discontinuing the kind I had). I was hiking in China, oblivious, and came back to the US to discover my card didn't work. I could not believe they were legally allowed to do that on such short notice.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Interesting. Good to know. Personally, I have had no company cancel my card. We only actively use one card, so I doubt that company would cancel on us. If the other companies cancel, I wouldn't care less. We pay off our credit card balances, too. If worse comes to worse, and all our companies cancel our cards, we'll pay cash (or use our debit card). We can afford that. We've always lived within our means.
wolfjinx25 wolfjinx25 8 years
Interesting topic. I have several credit cards/store cards. I have 1 store card that I haven't used in 3 years. I went to that particular store for the first time in 3 years and they told me that my card has been inactive for so long that it was already closed. However, they never sent me a notice or anything about closing my account. So....stores can close your cards without you even knowing!
imariec imariec 8 years
I have the same question as wmoonw... I have many credit cards inactive (literally frozen in the fridge). I wonder what's better/worse for the credit score: 1. leaving them inactive? 2. having the company close them? 3. me closing/cancelling them?
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I only have one card and I use it fairly regularly for buying gas and to pay bills, so I doubt they'd cancel it. We're only bad for business to the CC company because they never get any interest from us...we pay the balance on the card in full every month.
wmoonw wmoonw 8 years
Does having a credit card canceled like that adversely affect your credit score? I have a few store credit cards I haven't used in years, and I was thinking of closing them, but I didn't want to take a hit to my credit score. . . . I was just going to leave them alone, but if the store might do the dirty work for me, then awesome! I haven't been using the credit cards because I don't want them, so I really don't mind.
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