Here’s why I canceled a credit card that I really liked
Sometimes it pays to let go of a decent credit card.
I’ve had my share of credit cards over the years, and generally I try not to close an account unless there’s a very good reason for it. I know that having long standing accounts can actually improve my credit score, so in general that’s enough reason to hold onto a card, even though I rarely use it.
But years ago I ended up canceling a credit card that I did use quite frequently. Here’s why.
The importance of good customer service
I’m the type of person who prides himself on being financially responsible. In fact, I never had a credit card balance in all the years that I held my cards. I have always managed to charge expenses responsibly and pay my bills in full to avoid accruing interest charges.
I also have a strong history of meeting deadlines with my invoices. But a month, I encountered a problem.
Normally, I receive an email notification from each of my credit cards letting me know when my bill is due. This, in turn, prompts me to log into my account and schedule each payment.
One month, I never received this email for the card in question. To this day, I don’t know why this has never happened. The credit card company insists it was sent, but it never got to my inbox (I even checked my spam folder, just in case).
Now you can probably see where this is going. Without receiving this email, I forgot to schedule my payment. So I was hit with late fees, and only once did I this notification and an overdue invoice did I realize what had happened.
By that time, I had been the card holder for several years and had never been late on a payment, so I figured I should just call customer service, explain the situation and get this exemption. Well, that didn’t happen. The rep I spoke to insisted that I should have received this email and that she could not waive the late charge. I then asked to speak to his supervisor, who didn’t help me either.
Even though I had never made a late payment and it was my first offense, and the account wasn’t horribly past due (it was somewhere between 30-60 days), my credit card company credit refused to budge. So from that point on I refused to remain the card holder.
Most of us don’t think of customer service when looking for new cards. Instead, we tend to focus on credit cards with the best cash back opportunities and the best rewards programs. But good customer service is also an important thing to look for.
The card I canceled after my frustrating customer service experience was a good card otherwise. I liked the rewards program and used the card regularly. But I wasn’t willing to stay as a cardholder with a company that valued my business so little that they wouldn’t waive a single late fee. If you’ve had a bad experience with your credit card company’s customer service team, you may also want to consider closing your account. And this is especially true if the cancellation won’t seriously damage your credit score and you can find a replacement credit card that offers great rewards.