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You may be able to reopen a closed credit card account, but it will depend on why your account was closed and your issuer's policies. There's no guarantee the issuer will reopen your account, especially if they closed it due to missed payments or other problems.
Here are steps you can take to try to reopen a closed credit card or decide if you're better off applying for a new card instead.
How to Open a Closed Credit Card Account
If you initiated the account closure, you may be able to contact your issuer to get it reinstated. And if your card issuer closed your account, you may still have the option to reopen it. Here are some steps you can take to potentially reopen a closed credit card account.
1. Know Why Your Account Was Closed
Review the reason for your account closure. If you chose to close the account, consider why you originally closed it and why you'd like to reopen it. If your credit card issuer canceled your account and you don't know why, call them to find out. An issuer may close your credit card account for several reasons:
- You hadn't used the card in many months or years
- You didn't accept the card's terms (if the issuer updated them)
- You didn't comply with the cardmember agreement
- Your account was delinquent or in default due to missed payments
- You filed bankruptcy
- You're in a debt management plan
If there was a mistake on their end, you may be able to appeal their decision. If the card issuer closed your card because of a minor reason, like inactivity, you may have a better chance of reopening it than if you had several late payments and carried high balances.
2. Call Your Card Issuer
Once you know the reason for account closure, call customer service and ask them to reopen the account. You'll likely need to provide the reasons you'd like to reopen the account and address any issues that led the issuer to close the account, if that was the case.
If your card issuer agrees to reopen the account, find out whether you will keep your same account number, pay another annual fee or even retain rewards from your closed account.
In some cases, you may need to authorize a hard credit inquiry, or credit pull, to confirm that you're still qualified for the account according to the card issuer's requirements. A hard credit inquiry could cause your credit score to take a temporary dip, though the effect will lessen over time.
3. Responsibly Use the Card
If you were successful in reopening your credit card, take some steps to make sure your issuer doesn't close the card again or that you don't opt to close it. Keep your card active by using it to pay for a recurring subscription, such as a streaming service. Also, set up autopay so you know your bill will be paid on time and ideally in full each month.
What to Know About Reopening a Closed Credit Card
Before you start the process of reopening a closed credit card, consider that a reinstated account may look quite different from your original account.
Fees and Interest Rates May Change
When you reopen a closed account, the original terms of your account may have changed. For example, your interest rate and annual fee may now be higher. It's best to find out about any rate changes before you reopen the account to determine whether the cost is worth it.
Your Credit Limit May Change
There's also a chance that your card will be reopened with a lower credit limit. If you'd like a higher limit, ask for it ahead of time or wait a few months until you demonstrate to your issuer that you can responsibly manage your card.
You May Lose Out on Rewards
If you're allowed to reopen your account, it's possible that you won't be able to recoup any of the unused rewards you previously earned with the card. While you can ask if the rewards can be reinstated, there's no guarantee your issuer will do it, as it's often in your cardmember agreement that rewards will be forfeited at account closure. Other perks such as an intro bonus may not apply since you were already a cardholder.
Alternatives if You Can't Reopen Your Account
There are times when it's not worthwhile to reopen a closed account or your issuer doesn't allow it. You may have closed your credit card because the terms or rewards weren't a good match for your lifestyle anymore. Or your card issuer may have closed your account due to past-due payments or inactivity. Whatever the reason, make sure you weigh the benefits of trying to reopen a closed account against simply applying for a new card.
Applying for a new credit card allows you to look for a card with rewards and other features that work for you. Depending on your spending habits, you might look for a card that has no annual fee, everyday rewards or intro 0% APR financing.
To make your search easier, you can use Experian CreditMatch™ to find credit offers that match your credit profile. The platform also shows you the cards with the highest approval odds based on your current credit information.
Reopening a Closed Card vs. Getting a New Card
There may be a good reason to consider reopening a card, especially if you've got a favorable track record attached to the account and you know you'll make use of the card's perks.
If the card issuer refuses to reopen your account, you can search for a new credit card. Keep in mind that if the account was closed due to late payments or other problems that affected your credit score, it may be more challenging to find a new card. In that case, you might consider a secured card, which requires a deposit but tends to be easier to qualify for.
The Bottom Line
Whether you choose to close a credit card or your issuer cancels your account, the decision may not be set in stone. In some cases, you may be able to reopen it.
If you want the best chance of reopening a closed credit account, consider signing up with a credit monitoring service, which will help you understand where your credit is at and will alert you of changes like account closures. With these updates, you can contact your issuer right away to try and get your card reinstated.