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If your spending habits change, you don't always have to cancel your credit card. You can often upgrade or downgrade the card instead. We outline essential steps and when to switch Capital One products or cancel your card.
You might consider swapping your Capital One credit card if you aren’t maximizing perks or if the annual fee no longer matches your financial situation.
Contact a Capital One representative if you wish to upgrade, downgrade or change products. You’ll find out if you’re eligible and what cards you can apply for. In some cases, you may receive an offer to upgrade your Capital One credit card. The company also provides a customer service hotline at 1-800-227-4825.
Rules When Upgrading or Downgrading Credit Cards With Capital One
If you’re interested in switching to a different Capital One credit card, it is typically a relatively straightforward process. But there are a few rules that can impact the Capital One card you can get and what perks come with it.
You can usually upgrade or downgrade a Capital One personal or business credit card by calling the Capital One hotline at 1-800-227-4825 or using the live chat option. Capital One also provides an online pre-approval tool that you can use to check if you’re eligible to apply for a credit card.
It’s also worth noting that the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act doesn’t allow issuers to increase interest rates or fees for the first 12 months after you open an account. In practice, that means that often, credit card issuers do not allow you to switch cards until after a year.
Acquiring another credit card might be beneficial if you can harness a new card’s perks, like an introductory APR and early spend bonus. However, you will typically encounter a hard credit inquiry when you apply for a new card, which can temporarily hurt your credit score.
Switching to a new card — instead of applying for a new one — can be a great alternative. Consider doing so if your current card is no longer aligned with your spending habits, you want different perks or you wish to explore other rewards and think another card from your card issuer will suit you better.
What Will Happen to My Reward Points/Miles?
Capital One rewards stay with your account as long as it's open, so generally, points, miles or your accrued cash back will get transferred or converted even if you switch credit cards. Asking the card issuer for the rewards conversion rate may help you determine whether swapping cards is advantageous.
When Should You Upgrade Your Capital One Credit Card?
Consider upgrading your Capital One credit card if you’re seeking bigger cash back rewards or if you’ve improved your credit score and are looking to move from a secured card to an unsecured card.
Pros & Cons of Upgrading
- You may be able to snag a higher cash back rate. For instance, you can earn up to 3% on eligible purchases with a Capital One SavorOne Rewards card.
- Frequent travelers can maximize bonuses with a travel rewards card — some cards offer up to 10X miles on qualifying expenses.
- Those who have improved their credit score might find a more rewarding card.
- Generally, there isn’t an early spend bonus when you upgrade.
- You may pay an increased annual fee.
- Upgrading your card usually means you aren’t eligible for a 0% intro APR offer.
Capital One Upgrade Options
We highlight excellent Capital One credit cards to consider if you wish to upgrade. It might be the best move forward if you value bigger rewards and benefits.
Travelers who have the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card yet would prefer a higher rewards rate might benefit from upgrading to the Capital One Venture Rewards Card. While cardholders would be switching from a $0 annual fee card to a card that charges $95 per year, they would, in turn, receive almost double the rewards with 2X miles per dollar spent compared to the rate of VentureOne Rewards at 1.25X miles per dollar spent.
The Capital One QuicksilverOne card is a solid choice for those with fair credit. But those who have improved their credit may want to consider moving to the Capital One Quicksilver Rewards card. While both cards offer a flat cash back rate of 1.5% on all purchases, upgrading would eliminate the $39 annual fee of the QuicksilverOne card. The Quicksilver Rewards card doesn't charge an annual fee.
Other Upgrade Options
Capital One Card
Capital One Spark 1.5% Cash Select for
SavorOne Rewards for Good Credit
Spark 1.5X Miles Select
Spark Cash Select
Capital One typically limits cardholders to two personal cards at a time. Upgrading or downgrading your existing cards helps you take advantage of different rewards and benefits without closing an account or having a new credit inquiry.
— Lee Huffman, credit card expert at BaldThoughts.com
When Should You Downgrade Your Capital One Credit Card?
Consider downgrading your Capital One credit card if you are no longer utilizing your rewards card to its fullest. You may also want to consider a product change if you wish to lower or eliminate the annual fee.
Pros & Cons of Downgrading
- You may be able to pay less in annual fees or eliminate the fee entirely.
- You typically can keep your current rewards balance.
- Your account stays open, preserving your account history and the age of the account.
- You will typically only be subject to a soft credit inquiry.
- You may encounter higher APR rates.
- There is the possibility of reduced cash back or rewards points.
- You will typically not qualify for an early spend bonus.
Capital One Downgrade Options
We provide an in-depth analysis of Capital One cards that are ideal for those who want to downgrade. If you prefer a card with a lower annual fee and smaller rewards rate, swapping cards might be beneficial for you.
The Capital One Savor Rewards Credit Card to the Capital One SavorOne Rewards Credit Card
Switching to the Capital One SavorOne Rewards Card brings your annual fee to $0 (as opposed to the $95 annual fee the Savor Rewards Card from Capital One charges). In turn, cardholders will enjoy a slightly lower cash back rate of 3% (compared to 4%) on eligible dining and entertainment purchases and purchases with select streaming services.
If you are looking to lower your annual fee, consider swapping your Capital One Venture X Rewards Card for Capital One’s Venture Rewards Card. Cardholders who switch would go from paying a $395 annual fee to a $95 annual fee. While your reward-earning rate, spending categories and added perks will certainly change, it may be worth it — particularly if you find that you’re not taking full advantage of the benefits the Venture X Rewards Card has to offer.
Other Downgrade Options
Capital One Card
Savor Rewards (Cash back): $95 annual fee
Venture X (Travel): $395 annual fee
When to Cancel Your Capital One Card
Canceling your credit card can impact your credit profile since it can significantly increase your credit utilization and decrease the age of your credit history. Thus, closing an account usually leaves a short but damaging effect on your credit score.
Alternatives to Canceling Your Credit Card
Before canceling your credit card, consider the following methods:
- Increase your credit limit: Cardholders who have improved their record by either paying on time or maintaining a low credit utilization can request a greater credit limit.
- Negotiate with your card issuer: You might be using a card that doesn’t fit your lifestyle. Try asking your credit card provider if it’s possible to get a lower interest or waive certain fees. A decreased interest rate may help you pay off your debt quickly.
- Check your statement credits: Some card issuers might be able to convert rewards into statement credits to reduce your balance.
You should only cancel your credit card if you’ve exhausted all options and reduced your balance to $0. It’s also worth getting expert advice by consulting your card issuer.
Other Helpful Decision-Making Q&As
The process to upgrade or downgrade your Capital One credit card can seem overwhelming. MoneyGeek answers the most commonly asked questions to guide you if you wish to swap cards.
If you’re still unsure if swapping your current Capital One card with a new card is right for you, you may want to consider applying for a new card instead — with Capital One or with a different card issuer. In that case, looking at what the best credit cards with no annual fees and the best low-interest rate credit cards have to offer may be helpful.
Learn more about credit cards in general
- Capital One. "Upgrade, Swap or Apply for a New Credit Card." Accessed December 30, 2022.
- Federal Trade Commission. "Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (Credit CARD Act)." Accessed January 2, 2023.
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