Yesterday, I called to cancel my Chase British Airways card. This was my fourth time calling Chase about my British Airways Card. The previous three times I had been hoping for a retention offer. I would have been fine if they waived the annual fee or provided me with a spending bonus (i.e. spend $2k earn X amount of British Airways Avios). However, these retention offers are tied to the card. Unfortunately, there were no available offers linked to my card so yesterday I called for the fourth and final time to cancel the card.
This card was one of my first travel hacking adventures. My co-worker had suggested it and I knew we needed flights from Seattle to New York so I went ahead and signed up for it. Looking back I didn’t really do my research, but it all worked out in the end. I used the card to pay for wedding expenses, which made it easy to meet the minimum spend and more. In hindsight, there were other cards I could have gotten round-trip honeymoon flights with. You live and you learn. Unlike other credit cards, there was no downgrade option for my British Airways card so my options were: pay the annual fee or cancel.
The annual fee on the British Airways card was waived for the first year, which brings us to now. The annual fee of $95 posted in February, which is when I started calling Chase to see if I could get a retention offer. I originally liked the card because I was grandfathered into the 1.25 Avios per $1 spent, but I found that I was better off putting non-category bonused spending on my SPG card or my new Arrival Plus card. I could also earn Avios by transferring Chase UR, which were are easier to accumulate by using my Freedom, CSP, or Ink+. Chase UR also gave me more flexibility in case I decided not to use British Airways Avios. Therefore, as you can see I didn’t really have any use for this Chase British Airways card.
Now I know you might be thinking… won’t cancelling a card negatively affect your credit score? Yes and no. I’ve provided some analysis in my thought process in a previous post discussing AAoA. Since I don’t have any plans of applying for any Chase cards in the near future, I decided that it would be worth while to move the credit line from my British Airways card to my Chase Freedom card. They would only let me move $2,000 of the $3,000 credit line, but an extra $2,000 of space is nice. This will also help keep my utilization rate low. So in closing the card, I lost roughly $1,000 of credit line space, which shouldn’t have that big of an impact on my credit score. This is chump change when you look at my overall credit lines with Chase and other banks. The card will continue to age on my credit report and will ultimately have an effect on my score in February 2026 when it falls off my report and I lose its affect on my AAoA. 2026 is a long way off, but it is something that I have to consider. This is why it is important to keep no annual fee cards to lengthen this credit history and offset some of these closed accounts. In my master spreadsheet of credit cards, I’ve added a column that documents my plan when the annual fee hits. There are three options: Keep, Cancel, Downgrade. Most of my other cards have downgrade options. Right now the only ones I plan on keeping that have annual fees are: Ink Plus, SPG Business, and