Ditch that surplus credit card

DEAR BRUCE: I have a credit card that I've never used and don't intend to. Many friends say that I should just keep it, but I don't want to have an unused credit card. What procedures should I take to cancel this card and have it removed from my credit report? — P.R., via e-mail

DEAR P.R.: It's amazing how many of these letters I get. Write a note to the credit-card company, indicating that you are canceling your account, and cut your card in half. Of course, I am assuming that you have other credit cards. If this is your only card, I would keep it for emergencies; otherwise, proceed as I have outlined.

DEAR BRUCE: I opened my credit-card bill and found that the company credited me with more money than I had paid. I have written to them, explaining they should check into my balance, but they have yet to take it out and it is a sizable amount. I'm afraid I might spend the money. When the mistake is finally fixed, can they charge back interest if I offer to pay the money as soon as they ask for it? — Reader, via e-mail

DEAR READER: If the money's not yours, why would you spend it? It may not happen immediately, but it will eventually catch up to you. I would just let the balance stay there and, sooner or later, it will be rectified as a paper transaction.

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