How to Upgrade Your Credit Card

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Upgrading your bank card might be a straightforward approach to earn rewards factors and money again with out making use of for a brand new card.

In case your present card doesn’t provide spending rewards, you’re basically lacking out on free cash and different perks. The best improve can convey you points and miles for flights and inns, cash back on groceries, and rewards on dining and entertainment, which could not be out there together with your present card. Credit-building playing cards, for instance, typically begin out with low credit score limits and minimal rewards, since they’re designed for newcomers and college students. 

An alternative choice to upgrading is to use for higher playing cards as soon as your credit score rating is excessive sufficient, however that might contain a brand new credit score test, which might quickly decrease your credit score rating. Plus, a brand new bank card will increase the trouble in the event you use your bank card for auto-payments — one thing an improve might make it easier to keep away from.

That can assist you resolve what’s finest for you, right here are some things to contemplate when upgrading your present bank card.

Advantages of Upgrading Your Credit score Card

The most important advantage of upgrading your bank card is that you would be able to entry higher rewards with out, typically, present process an entire new bank card utility and credit score test. This fashion, you continue to grow your credit score historical past together with your present card issuer whereas having fun with extra perks and financial savings. 

“In lots of circumstances you received’t even want a brand new card quantity, so that you don’t want to return and reset your entire autopays,” says Ted Rossman, senior trade analyst at, which like NextAdvisor is owned by Crimson Ventures. “So I might say ease of use is certainly a motive to do that.” 

Upgrading a bank card generally is a good choice for people who find themselves nonetheless utilizing a secured credit card, and have sufficient credit score historical past to change to a card with extra rewards. As an example, somebody who opened a Capital One Platinum Secured Credit score Card in faculty might try among the finest Capital One rewards cards after spending just a few years constructing their credit score rating. They may then name the issuer to ask for an improve.

Upgrading Your Credit score Card with the Similar Issuer

Credit score checks are required for brand new card purposes any time you open a second credit card. However once you improve, it’s a little bit completely different.

“Whenever you improve a card, you’re not canceling a card in favor of one other,” says Adam Vega, a CFP® and president of Avance Personal Wealth in Delray Seaside, Florida. “Most issuers will honor the time you had the unique card and roll it into the subsequent one. This may be useful in your credit score rating, and it might make it easier to earn different perks with the corporate.”

An enormous benefit of upgrading your card with the identical supplier is that you just most likely received’t see a tough credit score pull in your credit score report. “Because you’re upgrading with the identical firm, they hardly ever require a full credit score utility. Generally, as your data with the corporate is already on file, just a few extra questions are wanted to improve your card,” provides Vega.

These questions may embrace the issuer asking in your present lease/mortgage fee, your up to date revenue data, together with different questions simply to get an thought about your monetary scenario on the time of making use of. 

Professional Tip

Upgrading your bank card will help you earn factors and money again, and also you won’t even should replace your autopay settings. Be sure to ask your card issuer for particulars.

For those who’re questioning the way to improve a bank card, it’s often fairly straightforward: Name the 1-800 quantity on the again of your card and converse to a customer support rep. You may additionally be capable to submit an utility by means of your bank card account’s on-line portal. The cardboard firm will evaluation your accounts and credit score rating, seemingly taking a look at elements like your credit utilization and on-time fee historical past. Based mostly on that data, they are going to resolve in the event you’re authorised, then set your credit score restrict and APR.

Potential Drawbacks and Issues

Upgrading your bank card might be helpful, however there are additionally some drawbacks to contemplate.

Proper off the bat, ask your bank card firm if you will have to get a brand new account once you improve your card. If the reply is sure, it’s seemingly the issuer might want to pull a tough credit score inquiry, which might trigger your credit score to drop by 5 to 10 factors (and keep that manner for just a few months).

Your credit score utilization ratio, the second most essential issue in your credit score rating, could also be impacted if the brand new card comes with a decrease restrict. Whereas this seemingly received’t occur, you possibly can forestall this transformation from affecting your rating. “You at all times do have the power to make an additional fee midmonth and knock that stability down earlier than the assertion even comes out, or ask for the next credit score restrict,” says Rossman.

One other draw back price mentioning is that bank cards with wonderful rewards are usually not at all times free. You may need to pay an annual payment to open a rewards bank card. Ask your card issuer about any charges related to a brand new card earlier than you make the change.

Some playing cards may additionally have minimum redemption necessities, comparable to $25 for money again or 2,500 factors, so that you’ll wish to discover out when you can begin utilizing your up to date card’s advantages. 

Professionals and Cons of Upgrading Your Credit score Card


  • Normally no laborious credit score test required

  • Can roll present credit score restrict into a brand new, higher card

  • Alternative to earn extra rewards and perks

  • Oftentimes can hold your age of credit score historical past (no have to cancel the primary credit score line)


  • New card may need an annual payment and/or increased APR

  • Your credit score restrict may go up or down, thereby impacting your credit score rating

  • If there’s a tough credit score test, it’d ding your credit score rating (at all times ask)

Options to Upgrading Your Credit score Card

For those who don’t really feel like a bank card improve is best for you, otherwise you don’t but qualify for a greater card together with your issuer, there are some options you may think about.

First, take into consideration asking your bank card firm for a decrease rate of interest. That is particularly helpful in the event you’re paying off debt. Getting a greater bank card rate of interest will help you decrease your month-to-month funds and repay your debt extra shortly. Plus, it should put some a reimbursement into your pocket.

Equally, you may ask your card issuer for the next credit score restrict. This provides you extra spending energy, and assuming you’re capable of repay your stability every billing cycle, it might probably have a constructive impression in your credit score rating. Discover out if this can end in a tough inquiry, so you possibly can put together for a brief drop in your credit score rating.

Downgrading Your Credit score Card

Potential causes to downgrade may embrace wanting a decrease APR or annual payment (or ditching an annual payment altogether), and/otherwise you not use the rewards or perks. 

Needless to say you could possibly lose among the rewards you beforehand obtained — so try to use them earlier than you downgrade. “When you’ve got a card from an issuer that basically is extra of a journey card and then you definitely change to extra of a money again card, generally these reward constructions don’t actually play properly collectively,” says Rossman. “So undoubtedly examine, ask, perhaps even think about using your rewards earlier than you make a change. For those who’re downgrading your card when you repay debt, keep in mind that you would be able to at all times attempt to improve once more as soon as your monetary scenario improves.”

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How to Upgrade Your Credit Card

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