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.

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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

girl friends with black credit card

  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

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Citi Rewards Card
21.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 30 months
$49 annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
30-Month Balance Transfer & Annual Fee Discount
Save on interest with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 30 months with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a $49 first-year annual fee.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
0% p.a. for 12 months, reverts to 19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0
0% Purchase & Balance Transfer Offers
Save on new and existing interest charges with 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months. Ends 31 January 2021.
Qantas Premier Platinum
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$199 annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Balance Transfer Offer & 100,000 Bonus Points
Get 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 75 bonus Status Credits and a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 18 months (with a one-time 1% BT fee).
St.George Vertigo Classic
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
0% Balance Transfer Offer & $0 First-Year Annual Fee
Get 0% p.a. promotional balance transfer rate, with no balance transfer fee. Plus, save with a first-year annual fee waiver.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
20.74% p.a.
$450
100,000 bonus Qantas Points & $200 Statement Credit
Receive 100,000 bonus Qantas Points and $200 back on your card when you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months. Plus, a yearly $450 Travel Credit.
ANZ Low Rate
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)
0% Balance Transfer Offer & $0 First Year Annual Fee
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 25 months (with a 1.5% BT fee) and $0 first-year annual fee. Plus a 12.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.
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)
Up to 130,000 bonus Qantas Points & First-Year Annual Fee Discount
Up to 130,000 bonus Qantas Points (100k when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days and 30k after 12 months). Plus, a reduced first year annual fee.
Westpac Low Rate Card
13.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$59
Long-Term Balance Transfer Offer & $200 Cashback
A low rate card offering 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 24 months and a $200 cashback offer.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 15 months, reverts to 11.99% p.a.
13.99% p.a.
$45
0% Interest Rate & $150 Woolworths Gift Card Offer
Get 0% p.a. on purchases for 15 months and a $150 Woolworths Supermarket gift card when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. Ends 31 Jan 2021.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
20.24% p.a.
20.24% p.a.
$425
120,000 Bonus Points & $200 back
Collect 120,000 bonus Qantas Points and $200 back when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, complimentary lounge passes.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 26 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
0% Balance Transfer Offer & $0 First-Year Annual Fee
Enjoy a 26-month balance transfer offer, a first-year annual fee waiver and complimentary travel insurance.
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
10.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 26 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
0% Balance Transfer Offer & $0 First-Year Annual Fee
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 26 months (with a 2% BT fee) and $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, a 10.99% p.a. purchase interest rate.
Citi Simplicity Card
0% p.a. for 6 months, reverts to 21.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$0
No Annual Fee & 0% Balance Transfer Offer
Get 0% p.a. interest for up to 6 months on purchases and balance transfers. Plus, a $0 annual fee for life.
Coles Rewards Mastercard
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
$100 off a Coles Supermarket Shop & $0 First-Year Annual Fee
Enjoy $100 off a Coles Supermarket, a $0 first-year annual fee and a 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months (1.5% fee applies). Ends 31 Jan 2021.
Latitude Gem Visa
24.99% p.a.
$99
0% Purchase Rate Offer
Enjoy 0% p.a. interest on purchases over $250 for 6 months, optional shopper's protection insurance and the convenience of Samsung Pay.
Citi Clear Card
0.9% p.a. for 15 months, reverts to 14.99% p.a.
0.9% p.a. for 15 months
$99
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.
Defence Bank Foundation Credit Card
3.99% p.a. for 6 months, reverts to 8.99% p.a.
3.99% p.a. for 6 months
$45
3.99% Balance Transfer Offer
Offers 3.99% interest for 6 months on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
20.74% p.a.
$249
80,000 Bonus Points and $200 Statement Credit
Enjoy 80,000 bonus Qantas Points, $200 back and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Qantas
20.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$99 annual fee for the first year ($200 p.a. thereafter)
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.
American Express Business Explorer Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
3.99% p.a. for 6 months, reverts to 19.99% p.a.
$149
120,000 Bonus Points Offer
Finder Exclusive. Ends 01 February 2021.
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 120,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, 2 airport lounge passes.
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
N/A
$450
150,000 Bonus Points Offer
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 150,000 bonus Qantas Points, 2 yearly Qantas Club lounge passes and 3x points on eligible Qantas flights.
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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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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    DonOctober 24, 2014

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

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      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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