Travel Hackers - What Do You Do About Cards With Annual Fees?


Fun fact to tag along with your reminder on your calendar, Lindsay is that the expiration date printed on the card lets you know what mouth the annual fee will come due[details=`][/details]


I currently have 3 Chase Cards:

Sapphire Reserve - $16k Credit Limit - Opened 9/16

Chase Freedom - $5k Credit Limit - Opened 5/15

Chase Freedom Unlimited (Downgraded CSP) - $5k Credit Limit - Opened 5/15

I plan to cancel the CSR before the annual fee hits in Sept. Would it be a good idea to call chase to transfer some of the credit limit to my other Chase cards to minimize the credit score hit when I cancel CSR?

Im planning on opening Chase Ink Plus sometime in May or June.



If you have a chase branch near you the rumor is the sapphire preferred is doing 75k points if you ask them to match the private client promo.

I’m in a holding pattern for a month. Normally I’d pick up a new card the minute the last bonus posts , but I requalify for chase cards on April 24. As such I’m hanging out for a month. Not sure yet if that gambile will pay off.


You don’t need to call. You can request transferring hte limits around via secure message.


So if I plan to apply for a mortgage in the next 5 years or so, should I still be opening up so many cards per year and then canceling them before the fee comes due? At what point do I need to stop?


Five years? Don’t worry about it until Year 4.


Just keep an eye on your score. If it starts to drop slow down. If your scores above about 780 I wouldn’t think twice about it.


I usually cancel my card after the next year fee posts. You usually have 30-60 days to cancel and if you haven’t used the card they will usually wave the fee after that.
There are two categories for me: one sign up bonuses. Two: everyday category cards and that have good points on categories.


I don’t really churn that much, but I just got the Southwest 50k points for the second time. I got the signing bonus a few years ago the first go around.


Timely article in today’s WSJ. I’ve used the “late fee” waiver on occasion, but never considered to ask about waiving a card’s annual fee.

We’re writing an article on this now, so if anyone has experienced a positive or negative outcome with either scenario, I’d love to hear about it. Email me at


Good grief are you for real?
Do you enjoy your holidays or are you too busy measuring how to maximize your points.
Just remember there’s holidays and there’s holidays! My friend.
Living the Dream!


I keep cards with annual fees. I just make sure I’m getting more points/rewards/cash back than the fee. Basically it’s a value call.