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Upgrading your credit card

Information verified correct on December 6th, 2016

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 December 6th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
American Express Essential Credit Card
$0 Fee Card with Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers combined with no annual fee, reward points and insurances.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Platinum Credit Card with a Balance Transfer Offer*
HSBC Platinum Credit Card offers an annual fee refund when you spend a minimum of $6,000 per year. You can also enjoy an introductory balance transfer rate of 0% for 15 months.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
Up to 75,000 Qantas Points*
Get up to 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card approval and $0 annual fee for the first year. Also enjoy Black cardholder benefits including overseas travel insurance and complimentary Qantas Club Lounge invitations.
19.99% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($425 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
No Annual Fee Low Rate Credit Card*
A low interest rate credit card that charges no annual fees.
11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Explorer Credit Card
100,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points and $400 travel voucher*
Receive 100,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points on eligible spend within the first 2 months of Card Membership. Also enjoy a $400 travel voucher and two complimentary airline passes per year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $395 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card - Exclusive Offer
Qantas Points Bonus Offer*
Apply online for this bonus points offer and receive 75,000 Qantas Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement.
19.99% p.a. 4.99% p.a. for 6 months $250 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Velocity Rewards Credit Card with a Balance Transfer Offer*
Earn bonus Velocity Points in your first 3 months and receive a balance transfer offer of 0% for 18 months. Receive a free Virgin Australia $129 Gift Voucher each year. Available from mid-2016.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
International Frequent Flyer Credit Card*
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend within 3 months, 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent and complimentary international travel insurance.
19.99% p.a. $199 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Low Rate Credit Card & Long Term Balance Transfer Offer*
Enjoy a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months with a low annual fee from St.George
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
Low Interest Credit Card Offer *
Enjoy a long term offer 0% p.a. for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers combined with a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin No Annual Fee Credit Card
No Annual Fee with Balance Transfer Plus Cashback Offer
A no annual fee card with an introductory balance transfer offer and $100 cashback.
18.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Fee Card
Low Annual Fee Purchase & Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 15 months on balance transfers and purchases combined with a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee $30 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Platinum
Low Rate Platinum Credit Card Offer
0% for 18 months on balance transfers with complimentary insurances and domestic flight inconvenience insurance.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Westpac Low Rate Card
Low Interest Rate & Low Annual Fee Credit Card*
Westpac Low Rate credit card offers a low purchase and long term balance transfer rate, with a low annual fee.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.49% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 16 months $59 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Platinum Card with 0% interest rates
Pay no annual fee for the first year and you will also receive 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers and 0% p.a. for 3 months on purchases.
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) Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa Credit Card
Low Purchase Rate*
Enjoy 1% for 12% months on everyday purchases and 0% for 18% months on balance transfers.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
Long Term Low Rate Platinum Credit Card
Platinum credit card with on purchases for 12 months and 0% p.a. for 18 on balance transfers, complimentary insurances and 24/7 concierge.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Platinum Credit Card Offer with Frequent Flyer Benefits**

Receive 10,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points and a $200 travel credit every year when you meet the minimum spend requirement, plus earn 3 Membership Reward points per $1 spent.

20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $195 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Low Rate Platinum Credit Card
$250 Back on ANZ Low Rate Platinum Credit Card
$250 Back plus 0% p.a. for the first 6 months on purchases from approval.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.49% p.a.) $99 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Low Rate
$100 Back plus 0% p.a. for the first 6 months on purchases from approval.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.49% p.a.) $58 p.a. Go to site More info
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Related Posts

American Express Essential Credit Card
American Express Essential Credit Card

Interest rate

14.99

Annual fee

0
ME Bank frank Credit Card
ME Bank frank Credit Card

Interest rate

11.99

Annual fee

0
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
HSBC Platinum Credit Card

Interest rate

19.99

Annual fee

149

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2 Responses to Upgrading your credit card

  1. Default Gravatar
    Don | October 24, 2014

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

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | October 24, 2014

      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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