You can reopen a closed credit card account in some cases at some credit card issuers. People may choose to close a credit card for many reasons. Closing your account in good standing gives you a good chance of easily reopening your account. On the other hand, a credit card issuer closing your account for you may come with more complications.
So you want to reopen a closed credit card account. Did you change your mind or find yourself in hard times? Are you thinking of closing a card and want to know if you can reverse it? No matter your reasoning, it’s important to get clear on what it takes to reopen a closed credit card account and the possible effects of doing so.
If you closed a credit card account in good standing, there’s a good chance the card issuer will agree to reopen it. But a good chance isn’t a guarantee. If the issuer closed the account for you, reopening it may be more difficult. Whichever scenario fits your situation, reading this article will help you maximize your chances of success as you seek to reopen your closed credit card account.
Can you reopen a closed credit card?
In some cases, you can reopen a closed credit card. However, some issuers refuse to reopen accounts under any circumstances. If your account was in good standing before closure, and if you initiated the closure yourself, it should be easier to reopen — provided your issuer isn’t part of the “refuse to reopen…under any circumstances” group.
Credit accounts closed by an issuer usually require a bit more effort and documentation, but they can still be reopened in some cases. Minor infractions that lead to closure, such as inactivity, are more likely to be forgiven than major infractions, such as high balances and late payments.
Why issuers close credit cards
If you didn’t close your credit card account on your own, your credit card issuer may have closed it. Credit card companies have the right to close credit card accounts for a variety of reasons. Calling your credit card company is the best way to find out the exact reason behind your closed credit card account. The following are some common reasons for closed credit card accounts:
- Account inactivity: If you don’t use a credit card for several months or years, your credit issuer may cancel your account.
- Default or delinquent account: If you miss payments, your credit account is at risk of closure. A closed credit card account due to delinquency or default does not mean forgiven debt. You will still have to pay money owed to either the original issuer or a debt collector.
- Bankruptcy: If you filed for bankruptcy, your credit card issuer may close your credit card account.
- Decrease in credit score or increase in utilization ratio: These two things indicate increased risk for your card issuer. If they notice that your credit score drops or you begin to use more of your available credit, they could close your account. Don’t worry, it usually takes a significant change in your habits for this to occur. It is good to keep an eye on, though, for your personal financial wellness if for no other reason.
- Noncompliance with terms: If you don’t comply with a credit card company’s terms, or do not accept any newly introduced terms, they could cancel your credit card.
- Mistake: On rare occasions, credit card companies close credit cards by mistake.
How to reopen a closed credit card
If you haven’t had any major issues with your credit card issuer, you will likely be able to reopen your closed credit card. To reopen a closed credit card account and make proper use of it, you just need to follow three steps:
Reopen and use your closed credit card
- Know the reason for your closed account, or find it out.
- Call your credit card issuer and ask to reopen your account.
- Use your reopened account responsibly.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these steps.
1. Know the reason for your closed account
The first thing to do when attempting to reopen a closed credit card is to find out why the account closed. Maybe you manually closed it because you didn’t need it at the time or didn’t want to pay some fees. If you did close your account, take into consideration your reasoning and whether reopening the account is worth it. If your credit card company closed your account and you are unsure why call their customer service line to inquire.
2. Call your credit card issuer
If you didn’t have to call the issuer to find out why your account was closed, you’ll still need to call them. Find your issuer’s customer service number on the back of your credit card, online, or on an old statement.
Pro tip — Make sure you have relevant information on hand before calling. The following information is good to have just in case the issuer asks for it:
- Social Security number
- Account number
- Driver’s license
- Your physical credit card associated with the account
- Your contact information
Give them a call and ask them to reopen your account. If you did not close the account yourself, you will have to address any issues that led to your account closure. In cases where you closed your account with perfect credit card standing, the issuer will let you know the next steps for reopening your account. Credit card companies vary in their terms for reopening closed accounts. Some issue new account numbers or change the terms of your account. Be sure to ask whether any such changes will apply to you.
3. Use your reopened account responsibly
Credit card companies don’t like risk. Once you reopen your credit line, put measures in place to ensure you are a low-risk client. For example, set up automatic payments to avoid missed due dates, and watch your balance carefully to make sure your credit utilization ratio doesn’t exceed 10–30%. Keep in mind the reason for your initial account closure, and proceed with caution.
Opening a new credit card account instead of reopening a closed account?
You may find that opening a new account sounds more appealing than reopening the old one. There are pros and cons to both choices.
Advantages of opening a new card
The clearest case for opening a new account is learning that your original bank does not allow you to reopen your account. Keep in mind that some banks don’t reopen accounts under any circumstances. As well, if your terms when reopening an account will change for the worse, you may be able to find a better deal at another company.
Disadvantages of opening a new card
Opening a new card will most likely require presenting a credit report to the new issuer. If your previous account was closed due to poor credit behavior, this may not go well for you. Advantageous terms and rewards on your original account won’t follow you to a brand new account. Retaining these benefits may be a good reason to stick with reopening your original account.
Effects of a closed account
A closed credit card account can sometimes come with some baggage, as can reopening such an account. Some effects on your credit can last up to 10 years. If you want to know more about closing a credit card, this article can help you. If you’d like to start keeping closer tabs on your credit, the place to look for help could be a credit monitoring service.
How does a closed credit card account affect your credit score?
Effects of a closed credit card account vary when it comes to credit scores. It all depends on the reason behind the closure. Two main factors that affect your credit score are utilization rate and length of credit history. Losing a line of credit will lower your overall credit availability, thus increasing your utilization. If your closed account was opened for a long time, your average length of credit history will decrease.
A charge-off can also cause a drop in your credit score. A credit charge-off is when your credit card is closed due to missed payment after some amount of time. Though you still need to pay off the debt, a charge-off indicates that your card issuer doesn’t believe you ever will. Charged-offed debts usually get sold to debt collectors who hope to make a profit by successfully collecting more from you than they pay to buy your debt.
A charge-off…indicates a creditor, after trying and failing to get you to make good on a debt, has given up hope of getting payment and closed your account. A…serious negative event…it can adversely affect your credit scores and your ability to borrow….” — Experian
Hard credit inquiries
When reopening a credit account, credit card issuers may run a hard credit inquiry to see a credit report. Pulling your credit history via a hard inquiry (aka a hard pull) can cause a drop in your credit score.
How can my account terms change when reopening a closed credit card account?
If you can reopen your account, some things might change for you. Your credit limit may be lower than previously. Once you’ve demonstrated your trustworthiness to the credit card issuer, you can ask for an increase in your credit limit.
Rewards associated with your previous card may change or go away. You shouldn’t expect any incentives for reopening your account, either. Your bank might issue you a new account number even though it is the original account.
Most importantly, keep in mind that your interest rate and fees may change when reopening your account. Speak with your credit card issuer about any changes in terms and make sure it is worth it for you to reopen your account.
How long after a credit card is closed can you reapply?
If you change your mind after closing a credit card, most issuers will allow you to reopen after 30 days.
What happens if a credit card is closed?
When a credit card is closed, the line of credit is no longer available to you. This can affect your credit score. You still owe any unpaid debt on the account.
How do you get your credit card reinstated?
If your credit company allows reopening, call their customer service to get your credit card reinstated. Make sure when you call that you are prepared with the tools discussed in this article.
Is it worth paying off a closed credit card?
Not only is it worth it, but it is required that you pay off any debt associated with your closed credit card.
What if I have a debit card refund coming but the account is closed?
While this question is a little off-topic, we’ll go ahead and answer it. If just the debit card but not the underlying checking account has been closed, your refund should still reach you. If you’ve closed the checking account, you’ll need to make arrangements with your bank to make sure your refund reaches you. Learn more in the article Can a Refund Be Made to a Canceled Debit Card?.
- Can you reopen a closed credit card? Credit card issuers vary in how they handle closed accounts. If you closed your credit card or the bank closed it for you, the best way to figure out how to reopen it is to call the card issuer.
- Credit card issuers close credit card accounts for reasons such as delinquency, inactivity, and bankruptcy. Your issuer’s customer support can help you find out why your account was closed and whether you can reopen it.
- Opening a new card may be the best option for you, depending on your issuer.
- Closing and reopening a credit card can negatively affect your credit score, and you may lose some of the benefits of your original account.
View Article Sources
- Additional background articles from Credit Karma, Experian, and U.S. News & World Report
- CFPB Takes Action Against the Two Largest Debt Buyers…. — Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
If you have a credit card closed due to a charge off, you’ll likely end up dealing with a debt buyer. This article gives you an idea of what sort of businesses this means dealing with.
- Credit cards — Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- Pay Off Credit Cards or Other High Interest Debt — U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Sage advice on credit card debt from the SEC.
- What Is a Charge-Off? — Experian
- 15 Biggest Credit Card Mistakes You’re Still Making — SuperMoney
- Can a Refund Be Made to a Canceled Debit Card? — SuperMoney
- Can Opening or Closing Your Bank Account Hurt Your Credit? — SuperMoney
- How To Cancel A Credit Card The Right Way — SuperMoney
- Is It Okay to Open and Close Bank Accounts? — SuperMoney
- What Happens If You Don’t Use Your Credit Card? — SuperMoney