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How long do credit issuers typically let an account ride before closing it due to (zero balance) inactivity?

Let's say you want to avoid this by using the card for a tank of gas or other normal expense. Would it be better to pay it off the following day, or to let the statement cycle close and then pay it immediately?

Is one way better or worse for a credit score or is the difference negligible?

I'm just looking to maintain favorable standing with the very old accounts now that we have moved all debt to two new cards. We are NOT (!!!) looking to "start using the cards" or add to the debt in any way.

Thank you all for your insight!
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