Credit Always Wants Something From You, Even When You’re Paid Up

Photo credit: PT Money, CC BY 2.0.

As regular Billfold readers know, I’ve been putting 20 percent of each paycheck towards debt repayment for over a year now, and if nothing unexpected happens to my income I will be debt-free this year.

But I just got this letter from one of my credit card issuers:

We notice you haven’t used your [CREDIT CARD] in 15+ months. We appreciate your choosing us to provide you with credit purchasing services and want to continue our relationship with you. However, we do have a requirement that you use your account to purchase periodically to keep your account open.

I have 90 days to make a purchase on this account, or they’re closing it out.

This makes sense, and I should just go to the grocery store and swipe a small purchase (maybe that bottle of Kaboom Shower Guard) and pay the card off the next day.

That keeps the line of credit (that I’m not planning to use) open, which is good for my credit score since it keeps my available credit high. It also helps the credit card issue keep accurate records, close out non-responsive accounts, and so on.

But it just feels exhausting, to have to make a purchase and then a payment on a card that I never wanted to touch again. Our credit system always wants something from us, even if we’re paid up.

Have any of you gotten letters like these? Should I get in the habit of occasionally making purchases on my paid-off cards?

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