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We still hold these cards—after all, a large part of your credit score depends on the average age of your accounts as well as your overall credit usage, so sticking with your cards can work in your favor. But some cards are lowered from the top of the wallet to the back of the sock drawer. In other words, like those who forget to calm down, the card is still there, but it’s no longer working hard to help you achieve your reward goals.
Here’s how members of the Forbes Advisor credit card team quietly quit some of their cards:
Robin Sacks Frankel, Deputy Credit Card Editor
Card I Quietly Surrender: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
I upgraded last year to a $450 Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (conditions apply. See rates and fees) from a $95 Marriott Bonvoy American Express annual fee card (no longer accepting applications) for two reasons: First, I was offered a bonus Target 100,000 points to meet minimum spending requirements and upgrade my card. And second, because the card comes with an annual statement balance of up to $300 for qualifying spend at Marriott Bonvoy participating hotels, I felt the card benefits—like a free night award worth up to 50,000 points each year (after the month of your card renewal)—for use at hotels Participation in the Marriott Bonvoy Program, Global Entry Application Fee Statement Credit or TSA Precheck (up to $100) and Priority Pass Select Membership – which made it well worth the price. Registration is required for select benefits.
But now it’s been several months and I haven’t really felt the value in keeping the card long-term, especially since the beginning of September 22, 2022, up to $300 in card balance will be replaced by up to $300 in statement credits per calendar. General (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants around the world. Having to remember to use a restaurant credit every month for $25 seems more complicated than a $300 hotel credit that I could probably use on just one stay. The only Marriott consumer card issued by American Express is currently limited to a Brilliant card only, so once I hit the one-year mark, I’ll call the issuer and see if they let me change the product to a version without an annual fee and tuck it away. If there is nothing I can switch to, this card will be locked.
Caroline Lubini, Director of Credit Cards and Travel Rewards Editor
Card I Quietly Surrender: United Club Card
The United Club Card (no longer available for apps) has been my favorite card for a long time, but it isn’t anymore. I mainly used to travel economy class, so I loved being able to access business class lounges from United Clubs and Star Alliance when I had a flight on Star Alliance. It also earned a base rate of 1.5 miles per dollar spent on non-free purchases. The United Club Card has since been replaced by the United Club℠ Infinite Card which still provides lounge access, but has a different earning structure.
At the time I got the card, there weren’t many options available to earn 2 points or miles for every dollar spent or 2% cash back, so I put a lot of my unused spending on this card. I also traveled domestically in the US a lot before I started traveling full time, mostly traveling in economy class. Now, I’m primarily outside the US (so United Club access isn’t very helpful) and I prefer to exchange my miles for business class when I’m traveling long distances (so I already have lounge access). This means the card is no longer worth the annual fee for me.
However, being a Chase card and therefore subject to the Chase 5/24 rule if I want the card again, I didn’t want to cancel it completely. Instead, I called and downgraded to a United Gateway℠ card with no annual fee. Although I don’t plan on using the card very often, it will give me the ability to upgrade to another United card if I need to one day.
Dia Adams, Credit Cards and Travel Rewards Editor
Card I Quietly Surrender: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase Sapphire Reserve® has long held prime real estate in my portfolio, but has recently migrated to the sock drawer. I’m going to have a hard time finding a justification to pay the $550 annual fee this year because the combined power of two newly acquired cards has shifted my spending away from Sapphire Reserve.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards credit card covers my desires for luxury travel for a lower annual fee of $395. Arguably the fee was lower with the free authorized user cards, which meant that not only was I able to get a Priority Pass membership myself, but I was able to get a separate membership for my husband and son. All-important travel protections are also included with the endless series of air travel disruptions. The main feature that previously took Sapphire Reserve to take precedence over my Venture X was the Venture X’s lack of local travel partners.
Enter the Bilt World Elite Mastercard®*. For $0 per year, a Bilt World Elite Mastercard®* You earn 1 point per dollar on no-fee rental payments (on rental installments up to $50,000 each year), 2 points per dollar on travel (when booking through the Bilt travel portal or directly with an airline, hotel, car rental or cruise company) 3 points per dollar on dinner and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. It should be noted that 3 points per dollar when eating is the same earning rate as the ruby reserve. And the Belt Card Hyatt, United Airlines and American Airlines are among its transportation partners, which even top the Chase Partner Portfolio. The ability to earn points from rent is the cherry on top of a delicious two scoop sundae.
Pekki Pokora, Credit Cards and Travel Rewards Clerk
Card I Quietly Surrender: Citi® Cash Double Card
I’ve been a fan of Double Cash for years – its simplicity and flexible redemption options make it a great option for many customers, especially since it has a $0 annual fee. But even though it earns a competitive 2% cash back on all purchases – 1% when purchases are made and another 1% when paid, I no longer use it.
When the Capital One Venture X Rewards credit card came out, it quickly became my go-to card for all non-category spends. It earns essentially the same rate as Double Cash: 2 miles per dollar on all eligible purchases, 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel and 10 miles per dollar on hotels and car rentals when booked through Capital One Travel. But along with those earnings, it also packs benefits like Priority Pass lounge access, flight protection and a greater range of potential transportation partners.
Admittedly, Venture X comes with a much higher annual fee of $395. As a traveler, I don’t mind it because it also includes up to $300 in annual statement credits for reservations made through Capital One Travel and an anniversary bonus of 10,000 miles—making the cost of these additional benefits easy to justify. For someone who doesn’t travel, Double Cash is a great option, but for me, it just can’t compare to the superior Venture X.
Tony Perkins Southam, Deputy Editor, Credit Cards & Travel Rewards
Card I Quietly Surrender: Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®
I have had a long lasting love for American Airlines AAdvantage Miles. These miles took my family of six around the world, and then each other. That’s why I always jump on any card that offers AAdvantage miles like the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®. But, unfortunately, the welcome offer is where the usefulness of this card for me ends.
For one thing, Citi has done away with its AA card perks over the years—like ditching the 10% cashback feature on miles each year or the Discount Miles Rewards (RIP) that offered discount reward tickets for select destinations.
Additionally, the earning rates are lackluster at best. The card earns 2 AAdvantage Miles for every dollar spent on American Airlines purchases, restaurants and gas stations and 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other purchases.
Earning 2 AA miles at gas stations may seem attractive at first glance, but keep in mind that the Citi Premier® Card earns 3 ThankYou points per dollar at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel, and hotels and 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases. In addition, Citi Premier earns ThankYou Points, which are flexible and can be transferred to different travel partners, including other Oneworld alliance airlines – this is important because you can use AA partners to book actual flights on American Airlines, sometimes for a better price than you’ll get It is booked directly with AA.
Elizabeth Aldrich, Deputy Credit Cards Editor
Card I Quietly Surrender: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
For a long time, maximizing Chase Ultimate Rewards® points balance has been my primary motivation when it comes to credit cards. I’ve always loved how flexible Ultimate Rewards points are, especially since Chase introduced Pay Yourself Back. Pursuing an Ink Business Preferred® credit card seems like a no-brainer – not only did I incur monthly small business expenses eligible for a profit rate of 3 points per dollar (up to $150,000 per account annually), but the card came with 100,000 welcome points. It has a very reasonable minimum spending requirement at the time.
Over time, I realized that I had little use for this card. I own a Chase Sapphire Reserve®, so I’ve already earned 3 points for every dollar on travel and a host of benefits beyond what Ink Preferred has to offer. The only thing left is 3 points per dollar on shipping, advertising, internet, cable and phone, but I don’t have much of a spend in these categories anymore. Because this card charges an annual fee of $550, I will end up downgrading or closing before the annual fee is posted.
Find the best credit cards of 2022
No single credit card is the best option for every family, every purchase, or every budget. We have selected the best credit cards in a way that is designed to be the most beneficial to the largest variety of readers.
Even if the card was once the workhorse of your wallet, spending habits and attitudes are changing. If the credit card you own no longer serves you, it’s okay to downgrade it or not use it at all. Just as quietly quitting smoking can be good for your mental health, changing your credit card strategy can be good for your financial health, too. Check out Forbes Advisor’s list of the best credit cards to find inspiration that might lead you to quietly finish one of your own cards.
To view rates and fees for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, please visit this page.