Ask Finder: Will getting a new credit card affect my other cards?

Amy Bradney-George 6 February 2019 NEWS

A new credit card won’t lead to changes on your existing accounts, unless you’ve requested a balance transfer.

Hi Finder,
I have just got a new credit card, which is yet to be activated. I was reading through the information and part of it says “You need to activate the card and set your PIN before the card can be used or any balance transfers are processed”. I didn’t request a balance transfer and I don’t want to have my current card disturbed by this new one. So I just wanted to check whether this would impact on my current card?
Thanks,
Confused cardholder

Although you're confused right now, reading through the fine print and asking questions before you've activated the card will actually help you get more out of it in the long run. This is because you'll get a clearer idea of the terms and conditions and how you can use the card in a way that works for you.

As far as balance transfers go, your current card won't be affected when you activate the new one because you haven't requested a balance transfer.

The information you've read is only relevant to people who have submitted a request for a balance transfer and also provided account details for the card/s and debts that they want to transfer.

You haven't taken these steps, which means activating your new card will simply allow you to start using it alongside your other card.

A related issue to think about is how you will manage the two cards. Does using both of them mean you'll be paying two annual fees? What about the interest charges on them or the temptation to spend?

Having two or more credit cards could also impact on your credit score and your ability to get other loans, particularly with the recent focus on responsible lending.

While some people do find having two cards convenient, others discover the costs outweigh any potential benefits. It's worth thinking about this now so that you can make a decision that works for you, whether that means choosing not to activate your new card, cancelling the old one or keeping them both for a while.

Ask Finder is a regular column where Finder's expert writers answer your questions. All rates and fees are correct at time of publication and we only give general advice.

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