What to Do with Old Credit Cards

It’s important to properly dispose of old credit cards to prevent identity theft. Here are a few options for what to do with old credit cards.

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When you open a new credit card, you may be excited about the new opportunities for earning rewards or taking advantage of special introductory offers. But what do you do with the old credit card? Here are a few options to consider.

If you have an old credit card that you no longer use, you may be tempted to just throw it away. However, this could be a mistake. First of all, your credit card number is printed on the front of the card, so anyone who finds it could use it to make unauthorized charges. In addition, even if your credit card is no longer active, it still contains important personal information, such as your name and address. So it’s important to make sure that you properly dispose of old credit cards.

One option is to cut up your old credit card with a pair of scissors. This will prevent anyone from being able to use the card, and it will also destroy any magnetic strip that could contain your personal information. Another option is to shred your old credit card with a paper shredder. This is a good option if you have a lot of old credit cards to dispose of, but it’s not necessary if you only have one or two.

Once your old credit cards are properly disposed of, you can decide what to do with the new ones. If you’re not using them, you can keep them in a safe place, such as a locked drawer or safe deposit box. Or you may want to cancel them entirely so that you’re not tempted to use them. You can usually do this by calling the customer service number on the back of the card and asking to close the account.

How to Cancel an Old Credit Card

It’s important to know how to cancel a credit card the right way. Cutting up your card is only the first step — you also need to make sure the account is closed so you’re not liable for any future charges. Depending on your issuer, you may be able to close your account online, but in some cases, you’ll need to call customer service.

Here’s what you need to do to cancel your credit card:

1. Cut up your credit card so you can’t use it anymore.

2. Call your issuer and tell them you want to close the account. You may be asked for your reason for closing the account.

3. Verify that the account has been closed and there is no balance remaining. You may need to get this in writing from your issuer.

4. Cancel any automatic payments that are set up with the account. You don’t want to accidentally keep paying for something with a credit card that you’ve cancelled!

What to Do with the Physical Card

Once you’ve cancelled the card, cut it up into small pieces so that it can’t be used for fraud. You can then throw it away or recycle it. If you’re worried about sensitive information like your account number or signature being compromised, you can also shred the card.

What to Do with the Account Number

Once you have cut up your credit card and canceled the account, you may be wondering what to do with the account number. The best thing to do is to shredded the credit card so that no one can access your account.

How This Affects Your Credit Score

Credit scores can be impacted by a number of things, including the type of credit you have, your payment history, and how much of your credit limit you’re using. So, if you’re thinking about getting rid of an old credit card, it’s important to understand how this could impact your credit score.

Generally speaking, closing an unused credit card is not going to have a significant impact on your credit score. This is because the length of your credit history makes up 15% of your FICO® Score☉ , and having a longer credit history is generally better for your score. That said, if you’re closing a credit card that you’ve had for a long time and you don’t have any other accounts with a similar length of history, this could shorten the average length of your account history, which could have a negative impact on your score.

Additionally, closing an unused credit card will reduce the amount of total available credit you have. This is because one part of your credit score—your “credit utilization rate”—is determined by dividing the total amount of debt you owe by the total amount of available credit you have. So, if you close an unused credit card with a high limit, that will reduce the amount of total available credit you have, which could lead to a higher utilization rate and in turn cause your score to dip.

Of course, every situation is different. If you’re considering closing an unused credit card, it’s always best to check with a financial advisor or reach out to our Credit Concierge team for personalized advice on what might be best for your unique situation.


In conclusion, what you do with your old credit cards is up to you. You can keep them, shred them, or cut them up. There are pros and cons to each option. Ultimately, the decision comes down to what makes you feel most comfortable.

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