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Upgrading your credit card

Looking for a better credit card offer? From upgrading with the same bank to applying with a new offer, here’s everything you need to know before you upgrade your credit card.

If you’re upgrading your credit card, you have two main choices to choose from. You can either upgrade to a different product from your current issuer or you can consider moving to a different provider. So whether you’re looking to balance transfer to a card with a different bank or upgrade to a higher tier product with the same provider, you can use this guide to compare your options and find out all you need to know to upgrade your credit card.

Upgrading your credit card with the same bank

If you want to upgrade your card but would like to stay with the same provider, you could either request a credit limit increase on your existing card or request to upgrade to a different product.

From time to time, you might get invitations to upgrade your credit card or increase your credit limit from your bank. Usually, these offers appear if you’ve shown healthy lending habits and your financial institution is willing to lend you more money. Otherwise, if you haven’t received an enquiry but would like to upgrade your card anyway, you can get in touch with your provider to request an upgrade.

What to consider before you make an upgrade with your bank

  • If you’ve been offered a new card, you might find the upgrade comes with a higher annual fee, interest rates, credit limit and more value-adding features such as rewards programs. While this might sound appealing, you should only upgrade your card if you know you can afford the new card. If the value of the extra features (such as rewards, the concierge service and complimentary insurance) doesn’t outweigh the cost of the annual fee and interest rates, you might want to reconsider. Plus, while a higher credit limit might offer more spending power, it could also tempt you to make unnecessary purchases that you can’t afford to repay without collecting interest.
  • Also, if your bank is offering a special introductory deal such as 0% on purchases, an interest-free balance transfer period or bonus rewards points, remember that these features are usually only available to new customers, not existing ones.
  • If you do decide that you’d like to upgrade under the existing bank, you can get in touch with your provider directly to discuss your options.

Getting a credit card with a new bank

If you want to take advantage of a promotional offer, such as a 0% balance transfer deal, interest-free purchases or bonus frequent flyer points, you’ll need to upgrade your card with another bank. If you’re still carrying a balance, you’ll need to conduct a balance transfer to move your debt from your existing account.

What to consider before getting a credit card with a new bank

If you do need to conduct a balance transfer to a credit card with a different bank, you would benefit from taking advantage of a 0% balance transfer offer. Balance transfer promotions can last from 6 to 20 months, so you’ll need to compare the length of the offer to make sure you can pay off your entire debt before the offer ends and the standard balance transfer rate applies. You’ll also need to make sure you’re eligible to transfer your existing debt to the new card as you can’t balance transfer between some banks and some balance transfer limits may apply. If there is a low or 0% purchase rate offer in place, you’ll also need to check what the promotional rate is, how long it’s in place for and what the revert rate is before you apply.

If you’re looking to upgrade to a different card because of a bonus points offer, you might need to make an eligible purchase within a specific time period to receive the points, so make sure this complements your spending plans before you sign up.

As well as promotional offers and special deals, make sure you compare the standard costs and features of the card before you apply for a card with a new bank. Features such as minimum income requirements and eligibility criteria, interest rates, annual fees and extras such as rewards programs, complimentary insurances and contactless payment capability should all be considered before you apply. There are plenty of competitive offers on the market, but comparing your options beforehand will ensure that you’re moving to a card that offers more value than your previous account.

How to apply for a credit card with a new issuer

businesswoman-with-creditcard

  1. After you’ve compared your options and ensured you met the eligibility requirements (including age, minimum income, good credit history and residential status), you’ll need to organise the necessary documents to improve your chances of approval. You can either apply in a branch, online or over the phone.
  2. If you’re applying for a balance transfer, you’ll need to provide the details of the account you’re transferring, including the debt amount, before you apply. If you apply online, you should receive a response within 60 seconds of submitting your application. If approved, you’ll receive your card within a couple of weeks.
    If you do conduct a balance transfer or switch to a credit card with a new provider, remember that it’s your responsibility to close your old account if you wish.
  3. You can compare credit cards by features such as the minimum income requirement, rates of interest, fees and credit card extras. Value-adding features like rewards come at the cost of the credit card annual fee.
  4. After you compare credit cards, read our review and application pages for an analysis of the product you have in mind. You can start an online application by clicking through to the credit card issuer’s website. If you’re transferring a balance, you can enter your credit card details when prompted during the online application. You will receive a response from the financial institution right after submitting your application. If approved, you will have your card within a couple of weeks.

Things to be aware of before changing your credit card

Think about features, price, access to promotional offers and eligibility before you upgrade your credit card.

    • Are you eligible? Before you apply for a new card, whether it’s with your bank or another provider, make sure you meet the eligibility requirements including the minimum annual income, the age restriction and the residential status requirement. You’ll also need to have a healthy credit history to apply for a new product.
    • Do you have debt? Unless you want to move the debt to a different credit card with a different financial institution using a balance transfer, you should pay down as much of your credit card debt as possible before applying for a new card. If you have a high level of debt, this might reduce your chances of approval when the bank is assessing your ability to repay.
    • How will this impact your credit score? Every application for credit is recorded on your credit file. You need to have a history of managing credit to maintain a healthy credit file; however, too many applications for credit in a short space of time is a red flag for creditors.
    • What are the costs? If you’re upgrading to a rewards credit card from a low rate credit card, or something similar, make sure the value-adding features are worth the extra cost. The price of complimentary travel and purchase insurance is included in the product’s annual fee. Be sure you’re going to use the features on offer to get the most value from your new credit card.
    • Will you close your old account? If you’re upgrading to a credit card with a different issuer, make sure you decide whether you want to close the account after you’ve made the switch. If you have debt remaining on the card, you’ll have no choice but to keep it open until you’ve paid it off. If you’ve conducted a balance transfer or paid your debt off, you’ll need to close your account if you wish to avoid the maintenance costs of keeping it open.

There is a lot you need to think about before upgrading your credit card. Doing your research and comparing your options beforehand will help you make the right choice and ensure that you’re getting more value from your new card.

Compare New Credit Card Offers and Deals

Rates last updated July 25th, 2017
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
St.George Vertigo Visa
13.24% p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
$0 First Year Annual Fee with Balance Transfer Offer*
Consolidate your debt and save with a competitive variable purchase rate and up to 55 interest-free days on purchases.
St.George Vertigo Platinum
12.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 20 months
$99 p.a.
Low Rate Platinum Credit Card Offer
A low rate Platinum card with a long-term balance transfer offer, up to 55 interest-free days on purchases and complimentary insurance covers.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
20.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 24 months Balance Transfer Offer*
Pay no interest on balance transfers for 2 years, earn Citi Reward Points on purchases and receive complimentary travel insurance.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
Platinum Card with 0% interest rates on purchases and balance transfers
An exclusive credit card offer through finder.com.au that features 0% interest on both purchases and balance transfers.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
0% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 20.74% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 6 months
$129 p.a.
Platinum Card with Purchase Offer
Save with 0% p.a. on purchases for 12 months and rack up Velocity Points by earning up to 0.66 points per $1 spent.
NAB Premium Card - Exclusive Offer
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months
$90 p.a.
Platinum Card with an Exclusive Balance Transfer Offer
Exclusive to finder.com.au, enjoy a long-term balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 24 months (with no BT fee), travel insurance and a 24/7 concierge.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card - Online Offer
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$450 p.a.
Frequent Flyer Card with a Bonus Points Offer
Apply by 31 July 2017 to earn 100,000 bonus Qantas Points and receive 2 American Express Airport Lounge entries each calendar year.
Bendigo Bank Basic Black Credit Card
12.24% p.a.
$45 p.a.
Long-Term Low Purchase Rate
A no-frills card that allows you to receive up to 44 interest-free days on purchases and add an additional cardholder for $0.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$99 p.a.
Platinum Credit Card with a Balance Transfer Offer*
A long-term balance transfer card that earns uncapped HSBC Rewards Plus points per $1 spent, plus, complimentary insurance covers.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Exclusive Offer
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Velocity Rewards Credit Card with a Balance Transfer Offer*
Apply by 31 July 2017 to earn bonus Velocity Points for the first 3 months, plus receive a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
12.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 20 months
$99 p.a.
Low Rate Platinum with a Long-term Balance Transfer Offer
Platinum credit card with a 20-month balance transfer offer, complimentary insurances, a 24/7 concierge and price guarantee cover.
NAB Low Fee Card
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$30 p.a.
Low Annual Fee & Balance Transfer Offer
Receive up to 44 interest-free days on purchases and complimentary Purchase Protection Insurance.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$375 p.a.
100,000 Velocity Points Credit Card*
Earn up to 100,000 bonus Velocity Points on signup when you apply and spend $1,500 on your new card within the first 3 months.
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
13.25% p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$55 p.a.
Long-term Balance Transfer Offer*
Enjoy the benefits of the home&Away Privilege Program, the ability to pay using Apple Pay and a low annual fee for the life of the card.
Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$99 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($169 p.a. thereafter)
Exclusive Balance Transfer Card Offer*
Receive a discounted annual fee in the first year, a long-term balance transfer offer and earn 1.25 Suncorp Rewards Points per $1 spent.
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
$199 p.a.
International Frequent Flyer Credit Card*
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend within 3 months, plus, earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on purchases.
American Express Essential®  Credit Card
14.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
$0 Fee Card with Balance Transfer Offer
Earn 1.00 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent on eligible purchases and pay no annual fee for the life of the card.
NAB Low Rate Platinum Card
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$100 p.a.
Platinum Credit Card with an introductory Balance Transfer Rate*
Receive complimentary purchase and travel insurance, a 24/7 concierge service and Visa Front Line access.
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
Supermarket Platinum Credit Card Offer
Receive a $100 Woolworths eGift Card when you apply by 30 September 2017. Earn up to 3 points per $1 spent at Woolworths stores.

Compare up to 4 providers

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American Express Velocity Platinum Card
American Express Velocity Platinum Card

Interest rate

20.74

Annual fee

375
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer

Interest rate

19.74

Annual fee

87
St.George Vertigo Platinum
St.George Vertigo Platinum

Interest rate

12.74

Annual fee

99

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    DonOctober 24, 2014

    I got an offer to upgrade my credit card to platinum one , does this affect my credit scores?

    • Staff
      ElizabethOctober 24, 2014Staff

      Hi Don,

      Thanks for your question.

      Every time you open a new credit account it will appear on your credit file, as will any changes to your credit limit, but it shouldn’t negatively impact your credit score.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

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