Credit Cards We Are Quietly Quitting (And Why)

Credit Cards We Are Quietly Quitting (and Why)

Quiet quitting—a relatively new term meant to describe when people start to tune out at their jobs—may be the latest workplace trend, but among points and miles enthusiasts, we’ve been quietly quitting various credit cards for years. When a credit card offers a juicy welcome bonus along with a slew of other perks and benefits, it can be love at first approval. But spending habits change, as do hotel, airline and brand loyalties and a card that saw frequent use may not be the right fit anymore.

We’re still keeping these cards—after all, a large part of your credit score is based on the average age of your accounts as well as your overall credit utilization, so hanging on to your cards can work in your favor. But some cards are getting demoted from top-of-wallet to back of the sock drawer. In other words, like those quiet quitters, the card is still present, but no longer working hard to help you achieve your rewards goals.

Here are how members of Forbes Advisor’s Credit Cards Team are quietly quitting some of their cards:

Robin Saks Frankel, Deputy Editor Credit Cards

Card I’m Quietly Quitting: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

I upgraded last year to the $450 Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (Terms apply. See rates & fees) from the $95-annual-fee Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card (no longer accepting applications) for two reasons: First, I was offered a targeted 100,000-point bonus for meeting a minimum spending requirement and upgrading my card. And second, since the card comes with an annual up to $300 statement credit for eligible spending at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program, I felt that the benefits of the card—like a free night award worth up to 50,000 points every year (after your card renewal month) for use at participating hotels in the Marriott Bonvoy program, an application fee statement credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck (up to $100) and a Priority Pass Select membership—made it worth the price. Enrollment is required for select benefits.

But now it’s several months later and I haven’t really felt the value in holding the card longer-term, especially since starting Sept. 22, 2022 the card’s up to $300 property credit will be replaced with up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide. Having to remember to use a restaurant credit every month for $25 feels a lot more cumbersome than an up to $300 hotel credit that I can likely use up in just one stay. The only Marriott consumer card issued by American Express is currently limited to just the Brilliant card, so I once I hit the one-year mark, I’ll call the issuer and see if they let me product change to a version with no annual fee and tuck it away. If there isn’t anything that I can switch to, this card is getting closed.

Caroline Lupini, Managing Editor Credit Cards and Travel Rewards

Card I’m Quietly Quitting: United Club Card

The United Club Card (no longer available for applications) had been a favorite card of mine for a long time, but it’s just not anymore. I used to primarily fly in economy, so I loved that I could get access to United Clubs and Star Alliance business class lounges when I had a flight on a Star Alliance airline. It also earned a base rate of 1.5 miles per dollar spent on non-bonused purchases. The United Club Card has since been replaced by the United Club℠ Infinite Card which still offers lounge access, but has a different earning structure.

At the time I got the card, there weren’t as many options available for earning 2 points or miles per dollar spent or 2% cash back, so I put a lot of my unbonused spend on this card. I also flew domestically in the U.S. a lot more often before I started traveling full-time, and mostly flew in economy. Now, I’m primarily outside of the U.S. (so United Club access isn’t very helpful) and I prefer to redeem my miles for business class when I’m flying long-haul (so I already have lounge access). This means the card wasn’t worth the annual fee to me anymore.

However, being a Chase card and therefore subject to the Chase 5/24 rule if I want the card again, I didn’t want to flat-out cancel it. Instead, I called and downgraded to the no-annual-fee United Gateway℠ Card. While I don’t plan to use the card often, it will give me the ability to upgrade to another United card if I need to someday.

Dia Adams, Lead Editor Credit Cards and Travel Rewards

Card I’m Quietly Quitting: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® long held prime real estate in my wallet, but lately it’s been relegated to the sock drawer. I will struggle to find a justification for paying the $550 annual fee this year as the combined power of two newly acquired cards have turned my spending away from the Sapphire Reserve.

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card covers my luxury travel desires for a lower $395 annual fee. The fee is arguably made even lower with free authorized user cards, meaning I was able to not only get a Priority Pass membership for myself, I was able to get separate memberships for my husband and son. Also included are the travel protections so important with air travel’s endless series of disruptions. The main feature that formerly had my Sapphire Reserve taking precedence over my Venture X was the Venture X’s lack of domestic travel partners.

Enter the Bilt World Elite Mastercard®*. For a $0 annual fee, the Bilt World Elite Mastercard®* earns . Notably that 3 points per dollar on dining is the same earning rate as the Sapphire Reserve. And the Bilt Card counts Hyatt, United Airlines and American Airlines among its transfer partners, which tops even the Chase partner portfolio. The ability to earn points on rent is the cherry on top of a tasty two-scoop sundae.

Becky Pokora, Staff Writer Credit Cards and Travel Rewards

Card I’m Quietly Quitting: Citi® Double Cash Card

I’ve been a cheerleader for the Double Cash for years—its simplicity and flexible redemption options makes it a fantastic choice for many customers, especially since it has a $0 annual fee. But even though it earns a competitive , I’m not using it anymore.

When the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card came out, it quickly became my go-to card for all non-category spend. It earns at essentially the same rate as the Double Cash: . But along with those earnings, it also packs in benefits like Priority Pass lounge access, trip protections and a larger set of potential transfer partners.

Admittedly, the Venture X comes with a much higher annual fee of $395. As a traveler, I don’t mind since it also includes up to $300 in annual statement credits for bookings made through Capital One Travel and a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus—making the cost of those extra benefits easy to justify. For someone who doesn’t travel, the Double Cash is a great choice, but for me, it can’t compare to the superior Venture X.

Toni Perkins-Southam, Deputy Editor Credit Cards and Travel Rewards

Card I’m Quietly Quitting: Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

I’ve had a long-lasting love for American Airlines AAdvantage miles. These miles have taken my family of six all around the world and then some. That’s why I always jump on any card offering AAdvantage miles like the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®. But, unfortunately, the welcome offer is where this card’s utility ends for me.

For one thing, Citi has chipped away at the perks of its AA cards over the years—like getting rid of the 10% back on miles each year perk or the reduced mileage awards (RIP) which offered discounted award tickets to select destinations.

Additionally, the earning rates are lackluster at best. The card earns .

Earning 2 AA miles at gas stations may seem appealing at first glance, but consider that the Citi Premier® Card earns . Plus, the Citi Premier earns ThankYou Points, which are flexible and can be converted to various travel partners, including other Oneworld alliance airlines—this is significant because you can use AA’s partners to actually book flights on American Airlines, and sometimes at a better rate than you would get booking directly with AA.

Elizabeth Aldrich, Deputy Editor Credit Cards

Card I’m Quietly Quitting: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

For a long time, maxing out my Chase Ultimate Rewards® points balance was my primary motivation when it came to credit cards. I’ve always loved how flexible Ultimate Rewards points are, especially since Chase introduced the Pay Yourself Back feature. Going after the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card seemed like a no-brainer—not only did I have monthly small business expenses that qualified for the 3 points per dollar earn rate (up to $150,000 per account year), but the card came with a 100,000-point welcome bonus that had a very reasonable minimum spend requirement at the time.

Over time, I realized that I don’t have much use for this card. I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, so I already get 3 points per dollar on travel and a slew of benefits that outshine what the Ink Preferred offers. The only thing that’s left is the 3 points per dollar on shipping, advertising, internet, cable and phone, but I don’t have many expenses in those categories anymore. And because this card charges a $550 annual fee, I’ll end up downgrading or closing it before the annual fee posts.

Bottom Line

Even if a card was once a workhorse in your wallet, spending habits and attitudes change. If a credit card you own no longer serves you, it’s OK to demote it or just never use it. Just like quiet quitting can be good for your mental health, changing your credit card strategy can be good for your financial health too. See Forbes Advisor’s list of best credit cards to find inspiration that might lead you to quietly quit one of your own cards.

To view rates and fees for Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card please visit this page.

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