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I'm looking for a bit of advice as whether or not it is worth canceling my Amex Charge Card. Currently, I am using an Amex Gold Card as my one and only card. I have had a Charge Card account with Amex since 2008, and am now in my late 20s.

Here's a bit of context. As an avid traveler, I am seeking a more efficient rewards system. For a number of reasons, the likely candidate is the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Preferred. However, the challenge is that since my Amex charge card account is the only line of 'credit' I've ever had, I am unsure of whether it is worth the potentially significant hit to my long-term credit score to cancel my oldest account. Unfortunately, it is not possible to downgrade the card to a free counterpart (the least expensive is the Amex Green Card, which has a $95 annual fee, per the numerous Amex representatives I'd spoken to), and maintaining the card is expensive due to the hefty annual fee. Though I do not anticipate taking out substantial loans/needing a mortgage any time soon, I am hesitant to take the hit as I am unsure of how significant it would be/how much of an impact it would really have in the longer term.

From what I see, my options are:

1.) Simply keep my Amex Gold 2.) Upgrade the Amex Gold to Premier Rewards 3.) Cancel the Amex Gold and open up a Chase Sapphire

What do you recommend (if there are other options, I'd be curious to hear)?

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I'm assuming that you have a spotless credit history, and that your credit score is very high.

If that is the case, get yourself a rewards card that you like with no annual fee, and close your current card.

Remember that closing your card does not erase your history of on-time payments. Your payment history with that card will remain on your credit report for as long as 10 years after you close it, if you have no negative information on the account.

Ask yourself how important the credit score truly is. And if your credit score is very high, you can afford a potential drop without any negative effects to your life.

I don't recommend paying unnecessary money to a bank for the sole purpose of attempting to maximize a credit score.

  • Much appreciated! – Ontic May 15 '17 at 4:32
  • I completely agree with the advice not to pay money to a bank just for the sake of attempting to maximize a credit score, though I don't agree that a card with no annual fee is necessarily the right way to go, especially in the particular case of a frequent traveler. Many travel-focused cards have benefits that can exceed their annual fees if you travel a lot. For someone who isn't a frequent traveler, though, then, yeah, a no-fee card is generally the way to go. – reirab Aug 24 '17 at 22:27
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Do you travel enough to make the CSR/CSP worth the annual fee?

Even if you get the Sapphire, or Amex PR, I'd do two things:

  1. Use the Gold occasionally, and
  2. when the annual fee hits, call them back and ask to have it reversed on (polite) threat of cancellation.
  • Per my calculations, the CSR/CSP appears to be worth the annual fee given my average spending. As for the advice on the gold card, that's a great idea. I'll definitely do that if I don't cancel the card. – Ontic May 15 '17 at 3:25

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