Nothing much happens if you don’t use your credit card for a month. You’ll just need to keep up to date with your monthly payment if you have an existing balance. But your credit card issuer isn’t going to close your account for less than three months of inactivity. And on top of that, you’ll still receive a monthly statement if you don’t make any purchases, but there won’t be anything new to pay off.
Interest still will accrue on any balance you had from past months, and you’ll still need to make a monthly payment on that balance. So don’t forget to send that in, if applicable. But if you always pay in full, you don’t need to do anything.
The only other thing to consider is that if your card offers rewards, you’ll miss out on a month’s worth if you don’t use it. You’re going to spend some money on necessities anyway, so it’s probably worth it to put your groceries or gas on your card. And it’s good for your credit score to use your card every month, too.
You should not close unused credit cards, unless they charge expensive annual fees, because good information continues to be reported to credit bureaus as long as the accounts are open, even if you don’t use the cards. Keeping unused credit cards open will also help preserve the length of your credit history, and the unused credit limits on the cards will contribute to your total available credit. These factors are used by credit-scoring models to calculate your credit score, which is why closing an unused credit card - or any credit card in good standing, for that matter – may hurt your credit, especially if it’s one of your oldest credit accounts or if it has a high credit limit.… read full answer
With that being said, you can see exactly how closing an unused credit card is likely to affect your credit score by using WalletHub’s free credit score simulator.
Furthermore, despite the potential for credit-score damage, it’s important to remember that there a few situations in which it might be better to close unused credit cards rather than leave them open. If your unused credit card charges an annual fee, for example, and you don’t need your credit score in its best shape for a while, it’s probably best to save the annual fee and close the account. On the other hand, if you want to cancel your credit card because you are concerned about overspending, try locking it away in a safe place first. If that doesn’t work, it will likely work out better for you - and your financial future - to close the credit card, even if your credit score takes a hit.
The short answer is that nothing is likely to happen if you don’t use your credit card for a few months. Not using your card could actually help your credit score if you have a $0 balance when you stop (contrary to some common myths about keeping a small credit card balance being beneficial).… read full answer
The longer answer is that exactly what happens if you don’t use your credit card depends on which card you have. Some rewards cards will revoke any unredeemed points, miles or cash back you have saved up if you don’t use your credit card at all for a certain period of time – usually around 12 months. And if you don’t use your credit card for 6 months or more, the issuer could close your account. But there’s no standard timeframe for when a credit card issuer will decide to close an account due to inactivity.
Having your account closed due to inactivity could hurt your credit standing and possibly make it seem like your credit history is shorter than it really is. However, you will not be charged any sort of inactivity fee by your credit card company if you don’t use your card to make purchases or other types of transactions for a prolonged period of time. Credit card inactivity fees are banned by law.
As a result, not using your credit card (at least not regularly) can be a great strategy if you want to build credit but are worried about overspending. You just have to make sure your balance is $0 when you stop using your card. A credit card with no balance will get reported to the credit bureaus as being in good standing each month, with an on-time payment and 0% credit utilization. That in turn will lead to credit score improvement if you manage the rest of your finances responsibly.
For your convenience, we’ll summarize the key points to remember below.
Here’s what happens if you don’t use your credit card:
Nothing is likely to happen if you don’t use your credit card for a few months, as long as you make bill payments for any recurring monthly charges.
The credit card’s issuer may decide to close your account after a long period of inactivity. There is no standard timeframe, but they will often send a notice in advance and give you a chance to use your card first.
Some credit card rewards will expire after a certain period of account inactivity. You’ll also lose any rewards you’ve yet to redeem when your account is closed.
If the credit card you’re not using has a $0 balance and is in good standing, positive information will be added to your credit reports each month the account stays open.
Unpaid balances from before you stopped using the card will continue to accrue interest. If your balances have been paid in full, you won’t have to send in any new payments.
If your credit card charges an annual fee, not using the card won’t get you out of having to pay. And if you’re not getting anything out of a card that you’re paying for, you might want to close it.
The bottom line is that not using your card can still be good for your credit. And it’s far better than using your card irresponsibly. So if you don’t trust yourself to limit your spending, it may be wise to set your card aside until you have a necessary expense.
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