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Million Mile Secrets reader, Mary Beth commented:
We have a lot of credit cards and I have not kept track of when I opened, closed, etc. Is there a way to find this out?
Great question, Mary Beth!
Tracking credit card open and close dates can help you decide if you are eligible for a sign-up bonus again. It’s also important to know because Chase is limiting credit card approvals if you have ~5 or more new accounts on your credit report within the previous 24 months.
Your credit card open dates will also give you an idea of when you will be charged your annual fee (if any).
I’ll explain the best ways to find the information you’re looking for!
View Your Credit Report
Banks access your credit report whenever you apply for credit. You can view the information on your credit report as well!
Your credit report contains information for each credit card you’ve opened, including:
- Date of account opening (and closing, if applicable)
- Credit limit
- Monthly balance as of each statement date
- Monthly payment history
In addition, you can (and should) get a free copy of your credit report every time you are denied credit. Why? Because it is free, and it doesn’t hurt to review your credit report for accuracy.
You are also entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each bureau every 12 months.
Here are links to the free or discounted request pages of the 3 credit bureaus:
A free copy of your Equifax report is also available through Credit Karma.
If you closed or have inactive accounts, these may be shown on your credit report indefinitely, but in most cases will be removed 10 years after the date of last activity.
Keep in mind each bank reports a new card opening to the credit bureaus at different times. Generally, new cards are shown on your credit report within 30 to 60 days.
Contact Your Credit Card Customer Service
One easy way to find out when you opened a credit card is to contact your credit card company. Call the phone number on the back of your card, or send a secure message through your online account.
Also, you can ask the customer service representative when your annual fee (if any) will appear on your billing statement. If you are considering cancelling your card because of the annual fee, you might be able to have it waived.
Remember that banks use your approval date as your credit card open date and NOT the date you receive or activate your card.
Keep Your Own Records
When you have a lot of credit cards, staying organized is the most important thing you can do to make sure you get the most value out of your miles and points.
I like to keep a spreadsheet that tracks certain information, such as:
- Approval date
- Minimum spending requirement
- Sign-up bonus
- Credit limit
- Annual fee amount (if any)
- Close date
You can use your records to compare against your credit reports to confirm accuracy.
Credit card open dates are determined based on the date you were approved for the card.
Contacting your credit card customer service over the phone or by writing a secure message can be an easy way to get information about your credit card open dates and annual fees (if any).
It’s best to keep your own records on a spreadsheet or whatever method you’re comfortable with. That way, you can double-check the information on your credit report!