When you apply for a credit card, you don't always know the terms and rate of the card until you get an acceptance offer from the bank or lender. You have every right to cancel a credit card before activation if you don't like the contract terms. Your FICO credit score takes a bit of a hit when you apply and the lender does a hard inquiry on your credit history.
More Cancellation Factors
You only lose a few points typically from the lender's credit check. Your credit score typically takes this hit whether you are approved or denied. Accepting the card and activating it -- or not -- isn't a factor. To avoid future lenders thinking you are desperately seeking credit, you should wait a couple of months after cancelling a card before applying for a new one. This approach makes it possible for the next lender to see that you closed that card.
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.