How often can you change credit cards?

Changing credit cards can help you get a better deal, but switching too soon could hurt your credit score. Here's what you need to know.

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There's no hard and fast rule on how often you can change credit cards. Technically, you can apply and switch to a new card at any time. But if you apply for a few cards in a short amount of time, it can hurt your credit score and make it harder to get approved.

You can use this guide to learn more about how changing credit cards can affect your credit score, the potential benefits and how to decide on the right time to get your next card.

What happens when you change credit cards?

Before you can change credit cards, you need to find and apply for a new card. This step has an impact on your credit history because all credit applications (whether approved or not) are recorded on your credit report. When lenders are reviewing your credit report, multiple applications for credit in a short amount of time may be considered a red flag.

Instead, you may only want to apply for a new credit card once a year or every couple of months. How often you should apply for a credit card also depends on your current financial situation and credit score. If you have multiple credit cards and debt, you may want to consider consolidating them under one new card with a balance transfer.

Before you apply for a credit card, you should also check your credit score. Australian lenders will only approve applicants who meet the eligibility criteria and have a good or excellent credit score. You can check your credit score for free online through Finder.

As long as you keep your accounts in good standing, make timely repayments and check your credit score regularly, applying for a new credit card every year isn't necessarily a bad thing. If you're no longer using your old card, you may want to consider closing the account once you've activated your new card.

Check out our guide to applying for a credit card for some tips and the eligibility criteria to check.

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Benefits of changing credit cards

A key reason for changing credit cards is to get more benefits that what's offered on your current card. This could include:

  • Bonus points offers. Some rewards cards and frequent flyer cards offer up to 120,000 bonus points on sign-up when you meet the spend requirements. As long as the requirements align with your budget, a bonus points offer can be an easy way to boost your points balance.
  • 0% balance transfer offers. If you’re struggling to repay an existing debt that is attracting interest, you may want to transfer your debt to a card that charges 0% interest rate on balance transfers. These cards usually offer interest-free periods for introductory periods between 6 to 26 months. At the end of the promotional period, any remaining debt from the balance transfer will attract the revert rate.
  • 0% purchase rate offers. If you're using your card to make purchases, you can save by switching to a card that charges a low interest rate or 0% interest for promotional period. If the card charges 0% for an introductory period, the standard purchase interest rate will apply once the promotion ends.
  • Competitive fees. If you're paying a high annual fee, maybe you'll want to switch to a card that charges $0 annual fee for life or for the first year.
  • Lower interest rates. If you're paying interest on your credit card balance, changing to a card that offers a lower interest rate can help you save on these charges. Finder analysis of credit card balances and rates has found the average Australian could save around $100 per year by switching to a low rate card.

Rather than applying for multiple credit cards at once, you should take the time to compare your options, understand the features and ensure you meet the eligibility requirements before you apply.

If you’ve applied for a credit card and have been rejected, you should wait at least a few months before applying for another. During this time, you should repay existing debts, improve your credit score and research credit card that you're eligible for.

See our guide for more information on why your credit card application might’ve been declined and what you can do to improve your likelihood of approval.

Compare current credit card offers

Name Product Purchase rate Interest-free period Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Kogan Money Black Card - Exclusive Offer
20.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 30 months
$0
0% Balance Transfer Offer & $50 Kogan.com Credit
Save with a $0 annual fee and a 0% introductory rate on balance transfers. Plus, earn $50 Kogan.com Credit and uncapped rewards points.
Citi Clear Card - Balance Transfer Offer
14.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 36 months
$99
Long-Term 0% Balance Transfer Offer
Offers 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 36 months with no balance transfer fee. Plus, complimentary insurance covers.
St.George Vertigo Card
0% p.a. for 6 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 32 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Long-Term 0% Balance Transfer Offer & $0 First-Year Annual Fee
Get a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 32 months (with no balance transfer fee) and a $0 annual fee for the first year.
Citi Premier Qantas Card
21.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 6 months
$175 annual fee for the first year ($350 p.a. thereafter)
100,000 Bonus Qantas Points & First-Year Annual Fee Discount
Get 100,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 in the first 90 days and a first-year annual fee discount.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
20.74% p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
$450
110,000 bonus Qantas Points & $200 Statement Credit
Receive 110,000 bonus Qantas Points and $200 back on your card when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, a yearly $450 Travel Credit. Ends 27 Oct 2021.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 36 months
$29 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
0% Balance Transfer Offer & $29 First-Year Annual Fee
Save money with a 0% balance transfer rate for 36 months (with no BT fee), a first-year annual fee discount and free travel insurance.
CommBank Ultimate Awards Credit Card with Qantas Points
20.24% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
5.99% p.a. for 5 months
$450
70,000 Bonus Points & No foreign fees
Receive 70,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply and spend $5,000 in the first 90 days from card approval. Plus, 0% foreign fees.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
19.99% p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$295 annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 110,000 bonus Qantas Points & First-Year Annual Fee Discount
Earn up to 110,000 bonus Qantas Points (90,000 when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days and 20k after 12 months).
Kogan Money Black Card
20.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0
No Annual Fee Offer & up to $400 Kogan.com Credit
Up to $400 Kogan.com Credit: $100 on your first eligible spend in 30 days and $300 when you spend $1,500 in 90 days.
Citi Rewards Card - Points & Gift Card Offer
21.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 15 months
$49 annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
90,000 Citi Rewards Points and $100 Coles eGift Card
Receive 90,000 bonus Citi reward Points (worth $400 in gift cards) and a $100 Coles eGift Card when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Ends 31 October 2021.
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
0% p.a. for 15 months, reverts to 9.9% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 15 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
0% Purchase Rate & Balance Transfer Offers
Save with 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (with no BT fee). Plus, a $0 first-year annual fee.
Westpac Low Rate Card - Cashback Offer
13.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
6.99% p.a. for 12 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
$400 Cashback & $0 First-Year Annual Fee
Get $400 cashback when you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 120 days. Plus, a $0 first-year annual fee.
Citi Clear Card - Cashback Offer
14.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 15 months
$49 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
$250 Cashback & 0% Balance Transfer Offers
Get $250 cashback when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, free wine when you dine and purchase insurance cover.
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
12.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 32 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
0% Balance Transfer Offer & $0 First-Year Annual Fee
Get a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 32 months (with no BT fee). Plus, save with a $0 first-year annual fee.
St.George Amplify Platinum - Qantas
19.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$99
Balance Transfer Offer & 60,000 Bonus Points
Earn 60,000 bonus Qantas Points, plus enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 15 months with a 1% BT fee.
Citi Premier Card
21.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 6 months
$150 annual fee for the first year ($300 p.a. thereafter)
130,000 bonus Citi Reward Points & First-Year Annual Fee Discount
Enjoy 130,000 bonus points (worth $450 in eGift cards) when you spend $4,000 within the first 90 days. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount.
ANZ Low Rate
12.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 30 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
0% Balance Transfer Offer & $0 First-Year Annual Fee
Now eligible for Cashrewards Max. Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 30 months (with no BT fee) and $0 first-year annual fee. Plus a 12.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.
Citi Rewards Card - Purchase and Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 14 months, reverts to 21.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 14 months
$49 annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Long-Term 0% Purchase and Balance Transfer Offer
Save with 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months with no balance transfer fee. Plus, $49 first-year annual fee.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
20.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 28 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
$0 First-Year Annual Fee & Balance Transfer Offer
Get 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 28 months (with no BT fee). Plus, $0 annual fee in the first year. Ends 31 October 2021.
Latitude Gem Visa
19.95% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0
0% Purchase Rate Offer
Offers 0% p.a. for the first 6 months on purchases of $250 or more and long-term interest-free payment plans for up to 60 months.
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*The credit card offers on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards available to us and are not representative of all the products available in the market. The use of the terms "best" and "top" are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. There is no perfect order or perfect ranking system for the products we list on our Site, so we provide you with the functionality to self-select, re-order and compare products. The initial display order is influenced by a range of factors including conversion rates, product costs and commercial arrangements, so please don't interpret the listing order as an endorsement or recommendation from us. We're happy to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions, but we'd like you to make your own decisions and compare and assess products based on your own preferences, circumstances and needs.

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