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Don’t Cancel Old 0% Balance Transfer Cards

If you’re a 0% balance transfer arbitrager [3], you probably have a couple credit cards siting in your desk drawer collecting dust because you weren’t sure whether you should cancel them after the balance transfer promotion period. Not canceling them certainly helps your credit score (lower credit utilization, longer credit history) but the downside of that was that you couldn’t reapply for those cards a few months later and take advantage of another balance transfer – or so I thought.

I was poking around the balance transfer offers of my Citi cards when I discovered that my Citi Platinum Select Mastercard [4]. I had kept the card, using it only when shopping for groceries, and I’m glad that I did because this means I can get a free 0% balance transfer (i.e. no credit check). Does this mean that you should keep old cards around in the event they decide to offer you a fat balance transfer? My only expired balance transfer arbitrage play was on my Citi mtvU card [5] which I’ve kept because it offers a nice 5% at restaurants and bookstores, but I’ve looked a couple times and haven’t seen any nice offers in there. Anyone else find a resurrected offer?