I recently cancelled my CIBC Visa credit card. It had been sitting in a drawer at home since last May. I stopped carrying it in my wallet and the balance sat at zero for more than half a year. Even unused I kept it that long because I wanted to see if there was any reason to keep it. After six months, I found no such reason.
The cancellation itself required just a single phone call. They didn’t try very hard to keep my business which I appreciated. Interestingly though, since the card was due to be expired at the end of this month, just yesterday, a new card arrived in the mail. I suppose the cancellation occurred too close to the date where the new card was scheduled to be mailed out and couldn’t be stopped. I immediately cut the card into pieces and threw it out.
The interesting question is what cancelling a credit card does to your credit rating. If you carry a lot of credit card debt, I think having fewer cards makes your credit rating worse. That’s because your ratio of available credit to credit debt becomes smaller. I don’t carry credit card debt so I believe my rating remains somewhat the same.