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How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

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What to Do When Your Credit Card is Discontinued

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Citi is an advertising partner.

When you open a new credit card, the last thing you think about is what could happen if it is discontinued — but it’s a reality you may face. Credit card issuers frequently make changes to their inventory, whether it’s offering new cards or removing old ones.

The reasons for an issuer to discontinue a card can vary. There may be a change of partnerships between a bank and airline or hotel group, like Hilton severing its ties with Citi so they could issue cards with American Express exclusively. Mergers can also cause a shake up, such as when Marriott and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) merged in April 2016.

However, these changes can take a while to sort out. For example, Marriott and SPG didn’t officially rebrand to Marriott Bonvoy until February 2019, nearly three years after the merger was approved. Old SPG cards were discontinued and Chase and Amex began issuing new Marriott Bonvoy cards — Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card and Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, respectively.

If you’ve been notified your card will be discontinued, you’re probably wondering if that means it’s going to be canceled, converted to a new card, or if your account will still be active. Cancellation is rare, especially among cards from major issuers, since they’ll often convert you to a new card or allow you to keep using your current card.

We’ll provide some guidelines to help you decide what to do after the news breaks that your card is no longer accepting new applicants.

| Disclosures
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
N/A
17.99%-26.99% Variable
$450
Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at
  • Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.
  • Each Card renewal year, get up to $300 in statement credits for purchases on the Card at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™. Effective 9/22/22, the $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit benefit will no longer be available. It will be replaced with a NEW benefit of up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide.
  • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $450 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
640 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

What happens when your credit card is discontinued

If your card has been discontinued, you may receive notice from your card issuer — via email or mail — explaining what will happen next, but this doesn’t happen in every case. Either way, make sure your email and mailing address are up-to-date so you can receive any communications the card issuer sends.

The card issuer may send notice of the date your card is going to be discontinued and inform you of any changes that may occur. The message may state that your card is going to be converted to a new card or that you can continue to use your current card. We’ll review what those two options mean for you.

You’re being converted to a new card

A common action issuers take when a card is discontinued is to convert your card to a new card. This often happens with mergers. For example, the Marriott and SPG merger converted the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express to the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card, keeping many of the same perks and even adding new ones. Soon after the conversion, Amex stopped accepting new applicants for both cards; however, existing cardholders can still use the card.

Other times, a card is no longer available to new applicants and current cardholders can no longer use it. In these cases, your old card will be converted to a new card offered by the issuer. This happened back in 2017 when Chase discontinued the Fairmont Visa Signature® Credit Card and converted existing cardholders to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

| Disclosures
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
on Chase's secure site
N/A
17.49% - 24.49% Variable
$95
5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
750 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Questions to ask if your card will be converted

Does the new card you’re converting to fit your spending habits?

The new card may not be a good lifestyle fit. In that case, you may want to reach out to the card issuer to request a different card. Check out the other cards your issuer offers to see if there’s an alternative that may be a better fit. While there’s no guarantee your card issuer will approve the move, it’s worth a try.

If there’s a new annual fee, is it worth it?

If the card you’ll be converted to has a new or higher annual fee, make sure it’s worthwhile. Consider any rewards and added perks of the new card that can offset the fee. If the benefits don’t outweigh the fee, consider switching to a no annual fee card with the same issuer.

You can continue using your current card

In some cases, card issuers will stop accepting new applicants for a card, but still allow current cardholders to keep their cards active. This can be referred to as being “grandfathered in” to any existing rewards and perks previously associated with that card. If you are fond of your existing card’s rewards program, then being able to keep using the card can be a good thing.

Some prominent cards that stopped accepting new applicants but remained in use for existing cardholders include the United MileagePlus® Presidential PlusSM Card and the United MileagePlus® Select Card. Chase now offers new United-branded cards, such as the United℠ Explorer Card and the United Club℠ Card, but old MileagePlus cardholders may not want to let go of their cards — and don’t have to.

While continuing to use your card may be an option, you also have the chance to request conversion to a new card. For example, Citi discontinued the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card and the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students in 2018, but existing cardholders were still able to use their cards. Shortly after, Citi released two new cards, the Citi Rewards+® Card and the Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card.

| Disclosures
Citi Rewards+® Card
Citi Rewards+® Card
on Citibank's secure site
0% for 15 months
15.74% - 25.74% (Variable)
$0
For a limited time, earn 5 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent at
  • Earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com
  • For a limited time, earn 5 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent at restaurants up to $6,000 in the first 12 months and 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent thereafter.
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 15.74% - 25.74%, based on your creditworthiness. There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
  • The Citi Rewards+® Card - the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap.
  • Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases.
660 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

If an existing cardholder preferred one of the new cards over their current, discontinued card, they could request a card conversion instead of submitting a new application and having two cards. Just know, there’s no guarantee your request will be approved, since various factors are considered in the decision process. Also, be aware your credit report may be pulled, but you can check with the bank prior to requesting a conversion.

What to consider if you can still use your card

Does the new card offer better rewards or benefits?

The new card offerings may have more enhanced rewards programs that your existing card. Do a side-by-side comparison to see if your old card stacks up. Just know, while you may convert to a new card, you’ll often miss out on any sign-up offers, so you may be better off applying for the card instead and then canceling the old one after you’re approved.

If there’s an annual fee, are you still able to offset it with rewards and perks?

Reevaluate the annual fee on your current card (if there is one) to make sure the perks provided help offset it. If you no longer use all the benefits provided by your card, it may be time to consider switching to a no annual fee card.

Bottom line

The last thing a card issuer wants is to lose valuable customers. So, if your credit card is going to be discontinued, know that your issuer probably has you covered. You may be able to keep using your card or be converted to a new card with bigger and better perks. If not, you may prefer a different card offered by your issuer. You always have the option to close your credit card, but make that decision carefully, as closing a longstanding card with a good payment history can do more harm than good to your credit score.

The information related to the United MileagePlus® Presidential PlusSM Card, United MileagePlus® Select Card, United Club℠ Card, Fairmont Visa Signature® Credit Card, Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card, Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card, and Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students has been independently collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.