What is a product change?

A credit card product change is when you switch to a different credit card for another from the same issuer's card family without opening a new account.

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A product change can help you save on a travel credit card's annual fee, or upgrade for more benefits, but the tradeoff is often no new signup bonus.

When should I consider requesting a product change?

You could consider requesting a product change from the card issuer if you find that you don't use the card's benefits or don't want to pay its annual fee.

Can I request a product change to downgrade my travel card to an alternative card with a lower annual fee?

Usually, yes. The exact answer will depend on which card you are looking to downgrade, but it can be a way to pay a lower annual fee or no annual fee.

Just be aware that you’ll only be able to request a product change to a card within the same “card family” that earns a similar type of points or miles.

This means that if you have a card that earns transferrable points and charges an annual fee, you can request a product change to another card within that issuer's same rewards portfolio.

Can I request a product change to upgrade my credit card?

Again, it depends on the specific credit card, but the answer is likely yes. You'll likely have to pay a higher annual fee with a card upgrade, but the upgraded card's benefits may offset that.

Like downgrading a card, be aware that you can only upgrade cards within the same issuer's portfolio. You can upgrade an entry-level co-branded airline card to a premium co-branded airline card with more perks, like lounge access, perhaps.

However, you cannot do a product change from an airline card to a card that earns transferrable points. This is because they are two different types of rewards.

Is a product change a hard inquiry?

A product change isn’t considered opening a new credit account, which means that it preserves your credit history. This could be a good option if you’ve had the card for a long time and want to preserve your stellar track record of on-time payments.

Does a product change affect my credit score?

Usually, no. This is because the card issuer doesn't do a hard pull and simply transfers your existing account to a new credit card product. If you're concerned, ask your card issuer if a hard pull will be involved with a product change.

Last updated Jun 20, 2024