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What happens if you don’t use your credit card? If you don’t use your credit cards for a long time, the credit card issuers may cancel your cards and close your accounts as well. Besides, you also can miss a fraudulent charge and your credit score may get lower. You can see more detailed information on this topic below. Hanfincal to accompany you to find the full answer. Let’s discover our review now.

1. What happens if you don’t use your credit card?

Not using your credit card regularly can be a smart technique. When you discontinue using your card, ensure sure your balance is zero. A credit card with no debt, an on-time payment, and 0% credit utilization will be reported to the credit bureaus as being in excellent standing. If you manage the rest of your expenses appropriately, this will increase your credit score.

However, if you don’t use your credit card in the long term, it can have negative effects on your finances as well.

1.1. Your credit score will be lower

If you need your credit card, you no longer have an offer to access it (and you may not realize it until it’s too late if you weren’t notified of the closure). Furthermore, your credit score will suffer. It can hurt your several aspects:

  • Credit score ranges and quality:

Your credit score may become stagnant due to a lack of usage. While not using your credit card is unlikely to hurt your credit score unless the card is canceled or closed, it is unlikely to move the meter positively.

It is critical to use your credit cards monthly, even if you only make small purchases. Credit bureaus want you to use your credit card, carry a balance for a short period, and then pay it off on time. Using your revolving credit is essential in maintaining and raising your credit score.

We also have a great idea to help you improve your scores in seconds. That is to obtain free credit scores online from various online sources. If you’re interested, do not wait to get your results. It’s effortless.


  • Credit history length:

Because credit history length accounts for 15% of your credit score, closing a credit card will shorten your credit history, lowering your credit score. Although this will not significantly hurt your score, it is important to be aware that it may have a minor impact.

While a canceled credit account does not immediately disappear from your credit statement, it does stop aging. This may cause your average account age, mainly if the canceled card is one of your older accounts.

1.2. Your card could be canceled

Credit card companies make money in various ways, including annual fees, interest fees, and late fees. However, the processing fees that card issuers charge merchants every time you swipe are their primary source of revenue. If your account is dormant for a long period of time, the issuer will lose money on it.

Therefore, the most common result of not using your card for an extended time is that the card issuer cancels your unused credit card and closes the account. 

Should You Cancel Unused Credit Cards? Potential consequences of having your credit card closed are that its closure due to inactivity may drop your credit score. Furthermore, having your credit card canceled eliminates the ability to use it in an emergency or for purchases that frequently necessitate a credit card. 

1.3. Overlook your credit card activity

When you’re wondering, “What happens if I don’t use my credit card?” consider that your shortage of logging into your account might leave you in the dark about fraudulent activity. In 2019, more than 600.000 identity theft cases were recorded in the United States, with 41.8 per cent of those cases including credit card fraud. 

Besides, It’s also easy to overlook additional expenses and miss a payment. This may result in late fines and damage to your credit score. So, even if you don’t use your cards frequently, keep an eye on your statements to be sure. 

2. Do the credit issuers charge unused credit cards?

From 2010, according to the Federal Reserve, credit card issuers could not charge unused credit card inactivity fees anymore. However, If your card includes an annual fee, you must pay it regardless of whether you use it or not.

3. How do unused credit cards affect your credit utilization ratio?

If you do not use your credit card, you’ll increase your credit utilization ratio. This is one of the most critical factors in calculating your score, and it compares the amount you owe to the amount of credit you have available. 

For example, if you have two credit cards, each with a $5,000 credit limit line, you have a total available credit of $10,000. You owe $1,000 on two cards; you use $2,000, or 20%, of the available $10,000. If one is closed, your credit utilization suddenly rises to 40%. This is a red flag because financial experts advise maintaining a 30% or less credit utilization rate. The goal is to keep your usage as low as possible, and a canceled card works against that goal.

You should also consider how a new credit card will affect your credit utilization rate. A new card comes with a new credit limit, and even if you never use it, the increased credit limit can help lower your credit utilization rate.

A balance transfer is also one of the best options you can do before closing your old ones, which you no longer use. It is one of the personal loans or student loans, a refinancing version. Transferring the remaining balance of your old card to the new one with better interest rates and an annual fee is how a balance transfer works. Moreover, it is like a secured credit card, and you also build your payment history if you are paying all payments on time.

How does not using your cards affect credit utilization?

How does not using your cards affect credit utilization?

4. How long have you gone without using credit cards?

If your credit accounts are closed, it is not the end. If you leave it unused for a longer time, you should contact your credit card issuer to inquire about its policy to avoid a surprise account closure.

There are no rules or standards on when – or even whether – a lender will close your account after an inactivity period. They can be a certain number of months. The specifics vary depending on the credit card issuer, but the average is between 12 and 24 months.

5. How can you keep credit cards active?

To prevent what happens if you don’t use your credit card, you can keep your card account active by understanding and considering one or more of these options:

  • Keep credit cards in your wallet and use them frequently for sundry purchases. The minimum time you should swipe the card at least once every few months or one bill a month.
  • Put a small recurring charge on your cards. You may be able to set up a service with an automatic be charged from your checking account to the card so that you do not forget to pay off the card each month.
  • If you shop online frequently, you can set up one or more credit cards for each retailer account. This ensures that you use the card frequently enough to avoid its closure due to inactivity.

Using your credit cards frequently contributes a part to investing in your retirement. The percentage of this success is higher if you focus on building your managing budget and banking activity. Ensure you have a good plan for everything.

Moreover, start finding your auto insurance to be reviewed and approved which can help you in the security of your asset from any outside trouble. These types of products are also based on bank support you in your career of building your wealth.

If you don’t need to use your credit card anymore, you can check out how to cancel a credit card without hurting your credit score on Hanfincal.com.

Keep credit cards active to prevent what happens if you don’t use your credit card

How can you keep credit cards active?

What happens if you don’t use your credit card? Many disadvantages impact your credit if you no longer use your cards. The points mentioned above can help you get a good overall picture. Credit cards can be beneficial or detrimental to your financial success. So, the bottom line Hanfincal hopes you’ll follow our advice and use your credit cards wisely and frequently to improve your financial situation. If this topic still keeps you interesting, here are some related articles.

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