Whether or not you can reopen a closed credit card account depends on three things: 1) the card’s issuer, 2) how long it’s been since the account was closed, and 3) why it was closed. American Express and Chase and are among the major issuers that offer the possibility of reopening a closed account. Others, like Bank of America, Barclaycard, Citi and Discover, will not even consider it, though. For example, Discover's website notes, “You cannot reopen a card account once it has been closed. You will have to reapply for a new Discover Card.” The best way to find out if your card can be reopened is to call the issuer’s customer service line. And you’d better act fast. In the cases where an issuer is willing to reopen an account, it typically can’t have been closed for more than three to six months.
Here’s how to reopen a closed credit card:
Call customer service. If you still have your card, the number is on the back. If not, it should be easily available online.
Provide your personal info. The issuer will need to find your old account in its records, so you’ll need to give them information such as your name, Social Security Number and address.
Explain your situation. Tell the representative why your account closed and why you’d like to reopen it.
Authorize a credit pull, if necessary. The issuer may need to do a hard pull of your credit before it can approve the reopening of your account. This could lead to a temporary dip in your credit score, though. Avoiding that is one of the main reasons people are interested in reopening a closed account rather than applying for a new one.
Calling customer service definitely is a wise move if your account was closed due to inactivity (i.e. you didn’t use your card for a long time). You may have luck if you say you’ll start using it again. And if you voluntarily closed your own account and then changed your mind, you might be able to get it reopened, too.
But if your card was closed because you committed fraud or other illicit activities, you obviously won’t be allowed to reopen it. Basically, anything that violates the card’s terms and conditions results in permanent closing.