At a Glance

Closing a credit card account is a decision many individuals make for various reasons. However, circumstances may change, leading to a desire to re-open a closed credit card. The good news is that, in some cases, it is possible to re-open a closed credit card account.

In this article, you’ll learn:



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5 steps to open a closed credit card account

If you find yourself in a situation where you want to re-open a closed credit card account, follow these five steps:

  1. Contact the credit card issuer: Start by contacting the credit card issuer who closed your account. Contact their customer service department and explain your situation. Inquire about the possibility of reopening your closed credit card account and the necessary steps.
  2. Negotiate: If the representative informs you that reopening the closed account is possible, take the opportunity to negotiate any potential fees or penalties associated with reopening. Depending on your relationship with the issuer and the reason for the closure, they may be willing to waive or reduce any charges.
  3. Provide updated information: If there have been changes to your personal information or financial situation since the closure of the credit card account, be prepared to provide updated information if requested by the issuer. This can include your current income, employment status, and address.
  4. Follow the issuer’s instructions: The credit card issuer will guide you through the steps required to reopen your closed account. This may involve signing new agreements or providing additional documentation. It’s essential to follow their instructions carefully to ensure a smooth process.
  5. Confirm the account’s reactivation: Once you have completed all the necessary steps, verify with the credit card issuer that your closed credit card account has been successfully reopened. Confirm any changes in terms and conditions, such as credit limit or interest rate, and familiarize yourself with any new account details.

Does a closed account hurt your credit?

The closure of a credit card account can impact your credit score, but the extent of the impact depends on various factors. When a credit card account is closed, it may affect two significant components of your credit score: credit utilization and credit history.

Credit utilization refers to the percentage of your available credit that you are currently using. Closing a credit card account reduces your overall available credit limit, which can increase your credit utilization ratio. A higher credit utilization ratio may negatively impact your credit score. Therefore, if you choose to re-open a closed credit card account, it can help improve your credit utilization ratio and potentially positively impact your credit score.

Additionally, a closed credit card account remains on your credit report for a certain period. While it will still contribute to your credit history, it may have less impact over time. Generally, closed accounts with a positive payment history can continue to benefit your credit report for up to 10 years from the closure date.

Learn more: Does Closing a Credit Card Hurt Your Credit?

How to prevent your credit card account from getting closed?

To avoid reopening a closed credit card account, it’s important to take steps to prevent the closure in the first place. Here are a few strategies to consider:

  • Regularly review your credit card statements: Keep a close eye on your credit card statements to ensure there are no missed payments or fraudulent charges. By promptly addressing any issues, you reduce the risk of the credit card issuer closing your account due to irregularities.
  • Maintain good payment history: Make all your credit card payments on time and in full. Consistently demonstrating responsible credit behavior can strengthen your relationship with the credit card issuer and reduce the likelihood of your account being closed.
  • Use the credit card regularly: Some credit card issuers may close an account if it remains inactive for an extended period. To keep your credit card account active, use it for small purchases periodically and promptly pay off the balance.
  • Communicate with the issuer: If you anticipate being unable to use your credit card for an extended period or foresee potential financial difficulties, contact your credit card issuer. Explaining the situation and discussing alternative arrangements can help maintain your account’s active status.

Reopening a closed card vs. getting a new card

When deciding whether to reopen a closed credit card or apply for a new one, consider the following factors:

  • Credit history: Reopening a closed credit card allows you to retain the credit history associated with that account. If the closed account has a long and positive credit history, reopening it can positively impact your credit score. On the other hand, applying for a new card means starting with a fresh credit history.
  • Credit limit: Reopening a closed credit card may retain your previous credit limit, whereas obtaining a new card means going through the approval process again. If the credit limit on your closed account was high, reopening it could provide you with a larger line of credit than a new card.
  • Fees and benefits: Consider any fees for reopening a closed credit card account. Additionally, compare the benefits, rewards, and promotional offers available on the closed card versus what you may receive with a new card. This evaluation will help determine the overall value of reopening the closed account.

Closing and re-applying for cards versus holding a card continuously

There are situations where individuals consider closing a credit card account with the intention of reapplying for the same card or applying for a new card. However, this approach should be considered carefully, as it can affect your credit score.

Closing and re-applying for the same card or multiple cards within a short period may result in:

  • Multiple credit inquiries: Each time you apply for a new credit card, the issuer typically checks your credit report, leading to a hard inquiry. Numerous hard inquiries can temporarily lower your credit score.
  • Shorter credit history: Closing an account and reopening it as a new card means resetting the credit history associated with that card. This can reduce the overall length of your credit history, a factor considered in credit scoring models.
  • Potential impact on credit utilization: Closing a credit card account can affect your credit utilization ratio, as mentioned earlier. Reapplying for new cards may change your overall credit limit, further affecting your credit utilization and potentially your credit score.

Before closing a credit card account and reapplying, consider the potential benefits and drawbacks. If the primary motivation is to access specific card benefits or rewards, it may be worth exploring alternatives with the issuer, such as product changes or upgrades.


If you are unable to get your closed credit card account reopened, consider the following options:

  • Apply for a new credit card: Explore other options from different issuers that meet your needs and preferences.
  • Improve your credit: Focus on improving your credit score by making timely payments, reducing credit utilization, and addressing any negative factors on your credit report. This can increase your chances of approval for new credit cards in the future.
  • Consider secured credit cards: If you are struggling to qualify for a traditional credit card, a secured credit card may be an option. Secured cards require a cash deposit as collateral, making them more accessible for individuals with lower credit scores.

A closed account typically remains on your credit report for up to 10 years from the date of closure. The account’s history and impact on your credit score will gradually diminish during this period.

The availability of card benefits for returning cardholders varies depending on the credit card issuer’s policies. Some issuers may allow returning cardholders to retain their previous benefits, while others may consider them new applicants and subject them to the current terms and conditions. It’s best to contact the credit card issuer directly to inquire about specific benefits for returning cardholders.

Once you have successfully reopened your credit card account, it’s important to manage it responsibly. Follow these tips:

  • Monitor your account: Regularly review your credit card statements and transaction activity to ensure accuracy and identify unauthorized charges.
  • Make timely payments: Pay your credit card bills on time to maintain a positive payment history.
  • Stay within your credit limit: Avoid maxing out your credit card and strive to keep your credit utilization ratio low.
  • Utilize card benefits: Take advantage of any rewards programs, cashback offers, or promotional benefits your credit card offers.
  • Review terms and conditions: Familiarize yourself with any changes in terms and conditions that may have occurred during the closure and reopening process.

By managing your reopened credit card account responsibly, you can continue to build a positive credit history and potentially improve your credit score over time.