Cancel southwest credit card

I Cancelled My Chase Southwest Card, and Chase Couldn’t Care Less

A few weeks ago I decided to cancel my Chase Southwest credit card. I got it almost a year ago because it had a 50K points bonus that was granted on the first purchase, which is almost unheard of these days, and even though I don’t fly Southwest very often I knew the points would come in handy at some point. FYI, the current offer is 50K points after $2K spend.

Cancel southwest credit card No, I’m not Gary Kelly. I don’t know who that is.

Today I have about 40K of those points still in my account. While I admit the one Southwest flight I took was one of the more enjoyable economy class flights I’ve taken in a while, I also knew that Southwest flights aren’t in my future. Besides, Chase cards are valuable and there are plenty that I don’t have yet, so it might be a positive to lighten the Chase side of my wallet. I decided to call and cancel my card, and was curious what they’d offer.

In case you’re not familiar with cancelling cards that have yearly fees, you should know that credit card companies usually try to keep you on as a customer by offering something. Sometimes it’s waiving the annual fee, granting you extra points (that may have a value greater than the annual fee), or some other type of incentive to keep you from cancelling the card. I really had no plans to keep the card but I was still willing to hear an offer, in case it was worth my time.

Cancel southwest credit card The benefits of the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa. Not that great, but a pretty good bonus.

I called in and said “I’d like to cancel my card.” The person, who was a real American and answered almost immediately (which I love about Chase), said “I’m sorry to hear that. May I ask why?” I simply said that I didn’t think I was using it enough to justify the annual fee. She responded “OK, I’ll go ahead and close your account.”

Okay, wait a second. Where was my retention offer? No points, no waived fee, no nothing. That part of the conversation literally happened in 45 seconds of talking. I was a little shocked, but I wasn’t upset since I really did want to cancel the card anyway.

Anyone who’s been reading about points and credit cards knows that a retention offer is very common. There’s an entire FlyerTalk thread on it. Points, Miles, and Martinis recently wrote that their very same Southwest card was being upgraded without them even calling in. Just Googling “Chase retention bonus” comes up with dozens of results from the various points blogs about the different offers available, yet I got nothing.

I found this interesting, but then I read InACents’ post regarding a similar experience (plus a lot more interesting information on referral links). Two cases in which nothing was offered to retain customers of a certain product, both from Chase. It’s hardly enough to say that Chase is cutting back on retention offers, but I did find it interesting.

But all was not lost. My credit limit on the Southwest card was only $3K. I knew losing this amount of available credit wouldn’t impact my credit score very much if at all so I wasn’t worried, but I didn’t want to lose that credit either. Thankfully the Chase representative asked me if I’d like to transfer my $3K credit line over to my Sapphire Preferred card. I said “well, I don’t really need that high of a credit limit on that card.” She responded that I might as well do it because there’s no credit impact, and if I were to ever request a credit limit increase later there would be. That’s a no-brainer, so I agreed to the transfer.

It’s worth noting that at least in my case, I did not put very much spend on this card. I wasn’t really a profitable customer as far as Chase is concerned. I basically took the points and ran, and Chase likely recognized that, so perhaps this was a huge consideration in me not being offered anything. Either way it worked out great for me because I got 50K Southwest points, worth over $800 in Wanna Get Away fares, plus I got to move my credit over to my Sapphire Preferred card, all for no annual fee.

Try not to expect a retention offer/bonus if you plan on canceling a card soon. I find that it’s always better to be pleasantly surprised than disappointed, so prepare accordingly before making that call.

Should I Cancel a Credit Card? Your Questions Answered!

Cancel southwest credit card

It’s a question I get asked more than almost any other:

Should I cancel a credit card?

There are a lot of questions, rumors, and misinformation surrounding when, and if, you should cancel a credit card.

And unfortunately, many people do the wrong thing!

The answer, of course, isn’t cut and dry, and so I’ve broken down the main question in to a few smaller ones to make it easier to figure out whether you should cancel a credit card or not.

When I want to open a new credit card, should I cancel an old one?

No. Most people wrongfully assume that when they are looking to open a new credit card that they should close their old ones.

In fact, closing one or more of your old ones before opening a new might actually hurt your chances at getting a new credit card.

Keeping older credit cards open actually helps your credit score stay high. It keeps your average length of accounts high and it also gives you more available credit.

So unless you have another reason to close your credit card, you should NOT close it when looking to get a new one.

Each person will have a different situation, but there are a few factors everyone should consider to determine whether they should cancel a credit card or not.

I will ALWAYS keep a card open if it meets any of the three criteria:

1. The card has no annual fee.

If a card has no annual fee, then there is absolutely no reason to cancel it. You are not paying to have it, so you might as well keep it open and let it help keep your credit score high.

This is why cards like the Chase Freedom, American Express Hilton Hhonors, and Citi Hilton Hhonors are such great cards. Get them, get the sign up bonus, and keep them open forever.

2. The card offers an anniversary bonus.

An anniversary bonus is when you get a reward each year for paying the annual fee.

Usually, the reward is enough to negate the annual fee, which basically makes it a fee-free card as long as you use the bonus.

And sometimes, the anniversary bonus is worth much more than the annual fee!

For example, the Chase Marriott has a fee of $85 but gives you a free night in a category 1-5 hotel each year. I just used my free night to stay at the JW Marriott Shanghai, which normally would cost me $237!

The card that offers probably the best anniversary bonus is the Chase IHG hotel card. For a $49 annual fee, you get a free night at ANY Intercontinental hotel.

This includes an overwater bungalow at the Intercontinental Bora Bora, which would normally run $860!

Many hotel cards offer an anniversary bonus, and so do some bank cards and/or airline credit cards.

Bottom line: if a card offers an anniversary bonus, it’s best to keep it open.

Some points and miles are better than others (read my breakdown of which ones are best), which means that cards that earn those better points are the cards you should be using for your everyday expenses.

For example, my favorite points are Chase points and SPG points (which transfer to AA miles). Therefore, I’ll use the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Ink Plus, both of which earn Chase points, for my everyday spending.

Then, when I need AA miles, I’ll use my SPG card.

Even though all of these cards have an annual fee and none offer an anniversary bonus, I still keep them all open.

That’s because they allow me to earn the points I want to earn for my everyday spending.

These are the only 3 cards that I keep open as my everyday spend cards.

How many cards should I keep open and how many should I close?

You should always keep at least a 50-50 split between cards you keep open and cards you close. For example, if you’ve applied for 6 credit cards over the last year or two, you should keep at least 3 of them open.

A 50-50 split will help keep your credit score stable.

Of course, the higher the percentage of cards you keep open, the better, but make sure it’s at least 50%.

Should I cancel a credit card after I receive the sign up bonus?

If you sign up for a credit card, make the minimum spend, and get the sign up bonus, you should NEVER cancel it right after that.

If you cancel a credit card only a few months after you get it, you’ll not only be hurting your credit score but you could also potentially get yourself noticed by the banks.

If they notice you doing this, they may blacklist you and not allow you to get any more of the products.

If you’ve asked yourself the questions above and come to the conclusion that you should cancel your credit card, then you have to make sure you get the timing right.

For each card, you’ve either had the annual fee for the first year waived or you’ve paid the annual fee for the first year.

This means that it makes no sense whatsoever to cancel a credit card before the annual fee comes up again 12 months later.

If you are going to cancel a credit card, hold on to it for at least a year. This will help your average age of credit, which means you’ll keep your credit score high.

Then, cancel the credit card when the annual fee comes due, 12 months after you first opened it.

Will I lose my points or miles after I cancel a credit card?

Ah, I knew you’d be asking that!

And that’s why I wrote a separate post on this exact subject.

The answer depends on what type of card it is, so make sure to read this post before you cancel:

What if I don’t want to cancel a credit card but I also don’t want to pay the annual fee?

If you are looking to keep more credit cards open to keep your credit score high (remember, keep at least 50% open), then you can do two things:

1. Ask to downgrade your card to a no-fee card.

Many of the best travel cards have “lower versions” that have no annual fee attached to them.

An example of this is the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Sapphire. If you don’t want to pay the annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can downgrade to the Chase Sapphire.

The good part of this is that it keeps your original account open and helps your credit score.

The one thing to be careful of is that sometimes the lower version of the card has different terms and conditions.

For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred has no foreign transaction fees, gives you 2x on travel, and earns you “premium” Chase points, which can be transferred to partners.

By switching to the Chase Sapphire, you’ll lose those perks (see the side by side comparison here), including the ability to transfer to partners.

Downgrading is a great option, but always make sure you aren’t losing out on a perk that you value over the annual fee.

2. Asking for a retention bonus

Sometimes, when you call in to cancel a credit card, you’ll be transferred to a specialist. The job of that specialist is to get you to not cancel the card.

In order to get you not to cancel the credit card, they may offer you bonuses, such as statement credits or free miles.

If the offer is good enough to negate the annual fee, then I definitely suggest keeping the card open. The more open cards, the better.

If it isn’t, then decide whether you want to keep the card open or not.

But I’d never cancel a credit card without at least asking!

Overall, it’s better to keep as many credit cards open as possible, as this will keep your credit score high. And always make sure to keep at least 50% of your cards open.

If a card has no annual fee or an anniversary bonus, definitely keep it open.

If it’s a great overall card, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the American Express SPG card, then you may also want to keep it open.

If you do decide to cancel a credit card, NEVER do it until the annual fee becomes due a year after you opened it.

By following these simple rules, you should be able to keep your credit score high, stay in good rapport with the banks, and minimize the amount of annual fees you are paying!

What is your best advice for canceling a credit card? How do you determine which cards to keep open?

Keeping older credit cards open actually helps your credit score stay high.

So does it follow if you cancel a credit card less than your average that your average goes up? Is is the average of all open cards or all cards reported?

If all reported, how long do closed cards stay in the calculation.

@Carl P.- Interesting question. I believe the average is for all cards reported, and that the closed cards will stay in the calculation indefinitely. I’m not 100% sure on that, but I’ve seen credit reports of people who have closed credit cards and had them still on their report years later. If someone could weigh in and tell us more definitely, that’d be great!

What you don’t factor in is that the sooner you cancel a card, the sooner you can reapply to get the signup bonus again

@Cogswell- That’s true, but most companies now won’t let you get the sign up bonus again for a card. Amex used to, but they seem to cutting that cord, Chase has never really let you. Barclays lets you, and it doesn’t seem whether you have a card open or not. So you are right, that could be a factor, but I’d consider it a very minor one nowadays since the credit card companies rarely let you get the bonuses again, and if they do, you can get them whether you have a card open or not.

I have consistently received sign up bonuses for the same cards. I do always wait at least a year plus a few months minimum before reapplying for a card I previous canceled. I have received the Chase United bonus at least 3 times, AMEX Delta a few times, and Citi American a few times. Some tips for doing this though: (1) I never, ever, ever tell the credit card company I have done this, (2) try to wait as long as possible by first going after a business card or a card in your spouse’s name before going back to the original card you held in your name, (3) I try to “sprinkle” in new info on the app every time (e.g. using a different email, abbreviating vs spelling out words in my home address, using my first and middle initial vs my first name, etc.), I know it is still my same soch every time, but until this system stops working I’m going to keep doing it the same way. Love the website! Cheers.

@M L R- Some great advice, and interesting that you were able to get some of those cards a few times, especially the Chase United. I’m at the point where I have to go for some cards a second or third time, so I’ll take some of your advice and try to change things around a little bit. Thanks for the heads up!

Nice post, this has always been my question. I have not start my app-o-rama game yet. But would too many closed accounts hurt your credit when applying mortgage when buying a house? Let’s say I have a plan to buy a house in 10 years, I will start app-o-rama now and stop after 7 years, in the meantime may have many closed accounts. At year 10 applying for the mortgage, my score maybe excellent at the time, do you think I can still get a good mortgage interest rate at that time, will the lenders see that I have so many closed accounts and consider me high risk? Appreciate your input!

@Shawn- I don’t think it’d be that much of a factor. After 10 years or so, you’re credit history will be so much different than it is now, and the major factors would be paying off your credit cards and earning good credit that way.

So yes, you’ll have some closed accounts on there, but as long as you keep a 50-50 split, your credit 10 years from now will be much higher than it is now.

I’d add if you’re looking to apply for a mortgage in the next year (vs 10), you may want to wait on the app-o-rama until after you close the loan…

@M L R- Totally agree. I wouldn’t go too crazy if you are looking to get a mortgage soon. 1-2 cards is ok, but I wouldn’t risk going for anything more than 3.

I had heard something about Amex backdating the “open date” on a new card to match the “member since” date.

Is this (still) true (if it was ever)?

@Carl P- Yes, this is true, and still true. That’s a really nice perk of Amex. If you got your first Amex in 2000, let’s say, then every Amex you open has a date of 2000. This will help your average age of accounts a ton. As far as I know, Amex is the only ones to do this, and I have no clue why, but it’s great!

My husband and I were just talking about this yesterday as we have a card we want to close. When you mention the 50/50 ratio, how long does that apply for? For example, we canceled a card 3 years ago, would that still be part of this ratio? How long does it take for the closed cards to no longer have a negative impact, or to no longer show up on your credit at all?

@Katie- To be honest, I’m not sure how long it takes closed cards to drop off your account. I’d love if someone else weighed in with a better answer though! To be safe, I usually look at about 3 years out. After it’s been closed for 3 years, I don’t typically count it in my calculations.

My closed credit cards stayed on my credit reports for 11 years!

@Lidia – That definitely shouldn’t happen. I would call up the bureaus and get that removed.

7 years non bankruptcy (charge offs, delinquent, lawsuit)

10 in bankruptcy..

accounts you close yourself in good standing up to 10 years and accounts with positive feedback can last longer

@Jennifer Logan- Does it take 7 years for a regular closed card to fall off?

I agree with Cogswell. I have cancelled US Airways and British Airways cards, waited months, and got them again. I canceled IHG VISA cards and, at once, got the Master Card versions for each of us to get another 81,000 points.

@Jerry Mandel- When a card switches from Visa to Mastercard or vice versa, you are right, you can get the bonus again. That’s a special circumstance that people should take in to account, for sure.

So, how many open credit cards do you have right now? Between my hubs and I, we are right at 30. :-/

@Toni- Umm, around 20-25. Always fluctuating!

I’ve had a Southwest card for a few years and I didn’t mind paying the fee to get the points but I’m considering closing it and applying for a new one and new bonus. Any reason I shouldn’t do this?

@Steph- You’ll need to apply for the different version. There are 4 versions: Personal Plus, Personal Premier, Business Plus, Business Premier.

You won’t be able to get the bonus again if you apply for the same type. Easiest way to know which one you have is that the Premier is $99 annual fee, Plus is $69.

If I were you, I’d try to open the other one BEFORE closing the one you have. If they ask you why you need two, give them a reason like “well, I want the Premier because I want a card with no foreign exchange fees” or one of the other little differences between the two.

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    Southwest Rapid Rewards® Credit Cards Launch New Offers

    Chase has released new sign-up offers for both the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card and the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. Both cards are currently offering 40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months that your account is open.

    These are great sign-up offers, especially given the value and flexibility of Southwest Rapid Rewards® points. We value Rapid Rewards® points at 1.3 cents per point, making each sign-up bonus alone worth up to $520 in Southwest flights.

    Cancel southwest credit card 40,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points are worth up to $520 in Southwest Airlines flights, making it even easier to get to your next vacation destination. Photo courtsey of

    Both cards offer similar benefits, so let’s take a look at the differences to see which card might work best for you.

    The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card comes with a $69 annual fee that will be charged on your first statement. It awards cardmembers a 3,000-point annual bonus that is credited to your rewards account on your account anniversary date.

    This particular card does charge a foreign transaction fee, which is 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars. It would be best to use this card for domestic purchases only.

    The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card comes with a slightly higher annual fee of $99 that will be charged on the first statement after account opening. It also offers a slightly higher annual bonus of 6,000 points on your credit card account anniversary date.

    Another major difference is that this card does not charge foreign transaction fees, which makes it a better choice for international trips…especially since Southwest Airlines has been branching out into new international markets.

    Cancel southwest credit card Southwest is now serving international destinations in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Photo courtesy of

    Bottom Line: The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card has a $69 annual fee and 3,000-point anniversary bonus, but it charges foreign transaction fees. The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card has a $99 annual fee, 6,000-point anniversary bonus, and no foreign transaction fees.

    Southwest Rapid Rewards® are great points to have since there are no blackout dates or seat restrictions, and your points never expire as long as your credit card account is open.

    One of the greatest perks Southwest Airlines is known for is that your first 2 checked bags fly free with you, saving you up to $120 per round-trip flight.

    Another reason to rack up Southwest Rapid Rewards® points is that all reservations made with either points or cash have absolutely no cancellation or change fees, making them incredibly flexible and valuable for speculative bookings.

    Let’s say you’ve been thinking about making a trip home for the upcoming holiday season. You see a great price for the flight, but you don’t want to commit to booking it until you are certain you can make the trip.

    With Southwest, you could book your ticket with points, cancel later, and get a full refund of any points used to make that booking. This helps you lock in a great price by booking early, but gives you the option to cancel up until your flight departs without having to lose out on that great price.

    Hot Tip: Found the right price and booked your next Southwest Airlines flight? Be sure to check back! If the fare price went down, you can rebook for the cheaper price and get a refund on those extra points!

    Both cards offer 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® and Rapid Rewards® purchases, which include participating hotel and car rental partners booked on You will also earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

    Another great perk about earning a ton of Southwest Rapid Rewards® points is that each point you earn from these credit cards also counts toward qualifying for the Southwest Companion Pass.

    To qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass, you must earn 110,000 qualifying points within a calendar year. Qualifying points include those earned from flying Southwest, spending on a Rapid Rewards credit card (including the sign-up bonus), using the Southwest Dining Program, making purchases through the shopping portal, and taking advantage of partner offers.

    Cancel southwest credit card Use your Southwest credit card to help you qualify for the Companion Pass and make sure your companion travels with you on Southwest flights for free. Photo courtesy of

    Once you’ve qualified for the Companion Pass, you can designate a chosen companion who will be able to travel for free with you on Southwest flights. This benefit is good for the rest of the year that you qualified and the entire next year on both paid and award reservations.

    All you have to do is pay the extra taxes and fees for your companion, making this one of the best deals available across all frequent flyer programs.

    It is important to remember that all Southwest credit cards from Chase fall under the 5/24 rule: if you’ve applied for 5 or more personal credit cards in the past 24 months, it is highly unlikely you will be approved for these cards.

    You are also not eligible for the bonus offer on these cards if you’ve received a bonus for the same product in the past 24 months.

    Hot Tip: The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card and the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card are considered different products, so if you’ve received a bonus on one you are still eligible for the bonus on the other.

    Overall, both the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card and the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card are offering great sign-up bonuses for a low minimum spend requirement, making it easy to earn a ton of Southwest Rapid Rewards® points and giving you a huge boost to qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass.

    The main differences between these cards are the annual fee (a difference of $30), benefits from the anniversary bonus, and foreign transaction fees. Either way, if you are comfortable flying Southwest Airlines, at least 1 of these cards should pique your interest…maybe you’ll be able to fly with them for free, just like your bags!

    Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card Reviews

    Cancel southwest credit card

    Sign up or log in to see your Approval Odds

    From Cardholders in the last year

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    4.5 out of 5 stars

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    • Balance Transfer Intro APR Not Applicable
    • Balance Transfer Regular APR 16.99% - 23.99%* Variable
    • Annual Fee $99
    • Purchase Intro APR Not Applicable
    • Purchase Regular APR 16.99% - 23.99%* Variable

    I applied for this card and was approved instantly for $4,000. My scores are at 667 & 671 according to CK. Very excited about getting airline miles! My best friend has this card and pays for everything from groceries to utility bills on this card, and then pays them off right away. She flies everywhere for free!

    Was this review helpful?

    Watch them carefully. I did the $50K signup. (25K right away and 25K after spending like $3K in 3 months.) I spent the $3K right away and got the 25K miles. Then after the 3 months was up and no extra 25K miles I called them. They said. too bad. you should've called sooner. I asked how I was supposed to know that I didn't have to wait the 3 months for the extra 25K miles and they had no answer. In other words, you need to read all fine print or they screw you out of the promised miles. I cancelled immediately.

    Was this review helpful?

    These reviews were written by current and former cardholders in the last year.

    I have flown SWA frequently to most areas of the country over the past 30 years. We have used the Visa Rapid Rewards card exclusively and have benefitted in many ways. Accumulated points are used by my children to fly from their college town home often. By accumulating 125,000 points, my wife becomes a companion and flies with me being charged only $5.20 each way any time we fly together. Utilizing this program, we have saved significant sums and have freed up our children to visit us often and vise versa. The ease in booking with credit cards or points is phenomenal unmatched by any other airline.

    Was this review helpful?

    I applied with fairly limited credit history and a 650 score and had to wait for approval. CS rep called me to follow up and turned out that the delay was due to the authorized user I had requested in addition to myself. Bulk of reward points are easy to aquire within the given window.

    Was this review helpful?

    Was your Equifax 650?

    6,000 reward miles every anniversary

    This is the greatest rewards card I've ever had. Points are quickly transferred to your Rapid Rewards account, and incredibly easy to redeem. 1 point per dollar, 2 points for every dollar spent on Southwest. If you pay your balance off every month, use this for utilities, groceries, gasoline, everything. and then fly for free at least 2 or 3 times a year!

    I don't understand the person who is complaining about not making it to A-list, which has nothing to do with the credit card itself.

    Was this review helpful?

    You travel a lot with SWA and get within $650 of basic A List. they offer to let you buy the difference $650 but that is more than it cost you all year to buy A Group boarding for all your flights. they SNATCH the points and SLAP your CUSTOMER FACE like a second class citizen vs. a Southwest loyalist. It sticks in the gut like a bad meal.

    Was this review helpful?

    I applied for this card and was approved instantly for $4,000. My scores are at 667 & 671 according to CK. Very excited about getting airline miles! My best friend has this card and pays for everything from groceries to utility bills on this card, and then pays them off right away. She flies everywhere for free!

    Was this review helpful?

    Did you know your fico 8 scores at the time u applied ?

    There is a $99 annual fee but we get so many free flights that it hardly matters.

    Was this review helpful?

    I love the card. I would love it even more if I could get an increase in my credit lmit. It's been a year and I haven't received an increase. But overall, I love the ease of usage.

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    Applied for this card holding a 732 TU and 740 EX. Application was very simple, approved in literally 2 minutes for a $7,500 limit. Great card, use it every day to gain points.

    Was this review helpful?

    Very intrusive, automated online system buggy and quickly defaults to requiring massive amounts of personal data. Fraud department can't even tell you if they sent an email unless you identify it for them. A card that ends up being time consuming . I don't have any other card like this.

    Was this review helpful?

    Had the card over a year and have a current point balance of 70,000, It is a great feeling to have free flights when ever I need them, don't be afraid of the $99 annual fee, every year you receive 6,000 Points which covers the $99 you have to pay. Also, My highest limit to date $44,000!

    Was this review helpful?

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