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Is it ok to change credit cards frequently?

You shouldn't apply for multiple credit cards at once but there are benefits to switching.

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Lady sitting at desk with credit card in front of laptop.

When you apply for a credit card, it's noted on your credit report as an enquiry. If you apply for several credit cards in a short time period, this can be a red flag for lenders and can hurt your credit score. However, switching credit cards each year can be a good way to take advantage of competitive deals. This is especially true with credit cards that offer bonus frequent flyer points, 0% balance transfers and promotional purchase rates. So, how often can you change for credit cards?

You can use this guide to learn how multiple credit card applications can impact your credit score and how often you should be applying for a new credit card.

How often can you change credit cards?

There's no hard and fast rule to how many credit cards you can apply for in a set period of time. However, you should only apply for one credit card at a time. 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 time period 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 switching credit cards

  • Bonus points. 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. 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. 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.

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 low rate credit cards

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate Interest-free period Annual fee Balance transfer rate Balance transfer rate
Skye Mastercard - Exclusive Offer
23.99% p.a.
Up to 110 days on purchases
$99
0% p.a. for 25 months
0% p.a. for 25 months
Long-Term 0% Balance Transfer Offer
Finder Exclusive
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 25 months, up to 110 days interest-free on purchases and flexible instalment plan options.
ANZ Low Rate - Exclusive Offer
12.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 25 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 25 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% Balance Transfer Offer
Finder Exclusive
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 25 months (with a 1.5% BT fee) and $0 first year annual fee.
St.George Vertigo Classic
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% Purchase Rate & 0% Balance Transfer Offers
Get 0% p.a. promotional purchase and balance transfer rates and save with a first-year annual fee waiver. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Citi Rewards Card - Balance Transfer Offer
21.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 30 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 30 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% Balance Transfer Offer & $0 First Year Annual Fee
Save with 0% interest on balance transfers for the first 30 months (with a 1.5% BT fee) and a $0 annual fee for the first year.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
0% for 17 months, reverts to 20.24% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
20.24% p.a.
20.24% p.a.
0% Purchase Offer & $0 First Year Annual Fee
Receive a 0% purchase rate offer for 17 months and a $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$129
0% p.a. for 22 months
0% p.a. for 22 months
0% Balance Transfer Offer & Annual Fee Refund
Enjoy a 22-month balance transfer offer, travel insurance and an annual fee refund when you spend an eligible $6k/year. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Citi Rewards Card - $500 Voucher Offer
21.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$99 annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 12 months
0% p.a. for 12 months
$500 e-voucher and Discounted First Year Annual Fee Offer
Get a $500 e-voucher to spend at Myer, JB Hi-Fi or Coles when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, earn points with the Citi Rewards Program.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
20.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$64 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 22 months
0% p.a. for 22 months
Long-Term Balance Transfer Offer
Get 0% p.a. for 22 months on balance transfers and a reduced first-year annual fee. Plus, earn up to 30,000 bonus Velocity Points. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
19.99% p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
$295 annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Bonus Qantas Points Offer
Collect up to 130,000 bonus Qantas Points. Get 100k when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 60 days and 30k after 12 months.
Westpac Low Rate Card
13.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$59
0% p.a. for 20 months with 1% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 20 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Long-Term Balance Transfer Offer & $200 Cashback
A low rate card offering 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 20 months and a $200 cashback offer.
Citi Clear Card
0.9% for 15 months, reverts to 14.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$99
0.9% p.a. for 15 months
0.9% p.a. for 15 months
0.9% Purchase & Balance Transfer Offers
Save with 0.9% p.a. for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. Plus, complimentary purchase insurance cover.
St.George Amplify Platinum - Qantas
19.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$99
0% p.a. for 6 months
0% p.a. for 6 months
Balance Transfer Offer & 60,000 Bonus Points
Earn 60,000 bonus Qantas Points, plus enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 6 months and complimentary insurance covers. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Mastercard
11.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($45 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 6 months
0% p.a. for 6 months
$0 First Year Annual Fee & $150 Woolworths Gift Card Offer
Save with a $0 first-year annual fee and get a $150 Woolworths Supermarket gift card when you spend $1,000 in the first 60 days. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Qantas Premier Platinum
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$199 annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 18 months
0% p.a. for 18 months
Balance Transfer Offer & Up to 80,000 Bonus Points
Get up to 80,000 bonus Qantas Points, 75 bonus Status Credits and a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 18 months. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
20.24% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$425
20.24% p.a.
20.24% p.a.
100,000 Bonus Points & $150 back
Earn 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 75 bonus Status Credits and $150 back when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months with this premium card.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
No Annual Fee & 0% Balance Transfer Offer
Earn flybuys points for your spending and save with an ongoing $0 annual fee and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months.
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
12.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$59
0% p.a. for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee
0% Balance Transfer Offer
Receive an introductory 0% p.a. interest rate for 20 months on balance transfers, Visa Entertainment offers and a competitive $59 ongoing annual fee.
Coles Rewards Mastercard
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$99
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% Balance Transfer Offer
Earn 2 flybuys points / $1 spent and save with a 0% balance transfer offer. Plus, 0% international transaction fees on purchases.
Virgin Money No Annual Fee Credit Card
18.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0
0% p.a. for 12 months
0% p.a. for 12 months
No Annual Fee & 0% Balance Transfer Offer
Offers 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers and up to 55 days interest-free on purchases, all for a $0 annual fee. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$99
0% p.a. for 12 months
0% p.a. for 12 months
0% Balance Transfer Offer
Receive 20,000 bonus Qantas Points and a long-term balance transfer offer. Plus, complimentary travel insurance. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
N/A
Up to 51 days on purchases
$450
150,000 Bonus Points Offer
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 150,000 bonus points, 3x points on eligible Qantas flights & 2 lounge passes per year.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Qantas
20.49% p.a.
Up to 45 days on purchases
$99 annual fee for the first year ($200 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Balance Transfer Offer & 60,000 Bonus Points
Get 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount and a long-term balance transfer offer.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Classic
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% Purchase Rate & 0% Balance Transfer Offers
Save with 0% p.a. for 7 months on purchases, 0% p.a. interest for 22 months on balance transfers and a $0 first-year annual fee. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
St.George Vertigo Platinum
0% for 15 months, reverts to 12.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$49 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
6.99% p.a. for 12 months
6.99% p.a. for 12 months
0% Purchase Rate Offer & First Year Annual Fee Discount
Features an introductory 0% p.a. purchase rate, $49 first year annual fee and complimentary travel insurance covers. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
0% for 14 months, reverts to 20.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$64 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 6 months
0% p.a. for 6 months
0% for 14 months Purchase Offer with Virgin Australia Gift Voucher
Enjoy 0% p.a. interest on purchases for 14 months, a reduced first-year annual fee and Velocity Points per $1 spent. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
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Credit Cards Comparison

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Skye Mastercard - Exclusive Offer
23.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 25 months
$99
Finder Exclusive
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 25 months, up to 110 days interest-free on purchases and flexible instalment plan options.
ANZ Low Rate - Exclusive Offer
12.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 25 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
Finder Exclusive
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 25 months (with a 1.5% BT fee) and $0 first year annual fee.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$295 annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Collect up to 130,000 bonus Qantas Points. Get 100k when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 60 days and 30k after 12 months.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
0% for 17 months, reverts to 20.24% p.a.
20.24% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
Receive a 0% purchase rate offer for 17 months and a $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.
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* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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