Churning credit cards is almost an art at times. Knowing when to get what card and when to drop cards and in what situation can be a difficult thing to keep track of. None the less, knowing when to drop a credit card very important.
Right now I'm coming up on a credit card renewal with Amex that will trigger a cancellation and I'd also like to remove a card from Citi as well. In both these cases, I've grabbed other cards that do exactly the same thing with better perks. When you have cards that have duplicate features, my view is that they are completely superfluous, so why keep it around and continue to see yearly fee charges.
How to go about a cancellation.
Before you outright cancel the card, ask if the agent can move your credit allocation to another card you're going to keep active. Unfortunately this doesn't always work, in my case Amex says my account has not been open long enough with them to justify a credit move. While this case isn't ideal, I can't pay $95 for a card that will never get used, so I will have to take a credit hit on this one. Amex is an card company since they do not allow you to have more than 4 credit cards open with them at any one time. If I want to take advantage of other credit card offers from Amex, I need to drop at least one. This duplicate card seems the best option since my Delta Reserve card will cover the same benefits as the Delta Gold card.
In Citi's case, I want to cancel my AAdvantage Platinum card since I now have the Executive card. Citi is a little more flexible in the total cards you can have open with them, again I'd rather just move the credit off of the card and close it, but there is also the option of downgrading the card to a no fee card. I'm a Costco member right now, so that might be one option... honestly Costco isn't a huge go to store for us, but the gas prices are well worth the membership. So that's an option if the credit is not able to be moved.
The key here with cancellations is to try to keep as much total credit as possible. Don't give up credit unless you have to, and if you have to, don't hesitate to let it go if it'll be in your best interest in the end.