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Shift credit lines when you close a card

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I spent some time on the phone this morning with several of my credit card companies. Last fall I did what is often referred to as a “App-O-Rama”. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, an AOR is when you apply for a large number of credit cards (usually anywhere from 8-20) for the purpose of collecting promotional bonuses or taking advantage of promotional balance transfer rates which can be invested in a high-yield savings account at a higher rate.

Anyway, I did an AOR last year, opening several credit cards for the promotional bonuses. The catch on several was that after the first year, there is an annual fee. I don’t want to lose the credit line (unused lines help your credit score), but I don’t want to pay annual fees either. So what you do is call the card company and ask them to move the credit line to an existing no-fee card. Most companies will do it since there is no additional risk they are bearing (ultimately you have the same total credit line, just over fewer cards). Here the results from this morning:

Chase – Closed a United Airlines Signature Visa with a credit line of $10,000. Asked the rep to transfer the line to my Visa Cash Plus Rewards card. No credit report pulled or other issues. The transaction took all of five minutes.

Citi – Closed a American Airlines AAdvantage Mastercard with a credit line of $15,000 and transferred the line to my Citi Dividend card. Again, no credit report pulled and it took all of five minutes.

I also called to cancel my AMEX Business Gold Card. This one is a charge card, not a credit card, so there is no limit associated with the card that can be transferred. However, there is a steep annual fee on the card that I definitely wanted to avoid. I called and got the hard sell as to why I should keep it open after only being offered to have the account downgraded to a Green Card that would only be fee free for the first year. It took a little while of me shooting down each of his arguments, but within 10 minutes that card was closed as well. Unfortunately no bonus reward point retention offers this time around. =(

I still have a couple of more cards I need to do the same thing with, but I thought I would share the experience since most people probably don’t realize this is an option.

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August 17, 2007 - Posted by | Credit Cards

1 Comment »

  1. […] credit cards we have open is mind-boggling. I actually started this process a few weeks ago when I closed and consolidated several credit lines, so the next step is the bank accounts. Here’s the hit list of accounts for closure and the […]

    Pingback by Simplifying Finances: Closing Old Bank Accounts « Close Encounters of the Cheap Kind | October 18, 2007


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