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If you feel that your Chase credit card no longer suits your spending habits, consider upgrading to a card with more benefits or downgrading to a card with no annual fees. This process is known as a product change, which can be done by calling the number on the back of your credit card or Chase’s customer service hotline at 1-800-432-3117.
Chase also has the Catchall program, allowing you to switch between credit cards by making a request online. Simply enter your account information to get started.
Unlike when you apply for a new card or close your account, a hard credit pull isn’t usually required for a product change. So generally, upgrading or downgrading your Chase credit card won’t bring down your credit score as long as you maintain responsible credit habits.
Rules When Upgrading or Downgrading Credit Cards With Chase
It’s possible to upgrade or downgrade your Chase credit card. But there are some rules you need to keep in mind before requesting a product change.
- Under the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, card providers can’t charge cardholders a higher annual fee on the same account in the first year the account is open. Thus, you must keep your current card for at least a year before requesting an upgrade or downgrade.
- You can only request a product change within the same card category. That means you can’t change from a personal credit card to a business credit card. You also can’t switch between Chase’s co-branded cards. If you have a Marriott Bonvoy card, you can’t switch to a Southwest Rapid Rewards card.
- You need to meet the requirements of the card you’re upgrading to. For instance, if you want to upgrade to Chase Sapphire Reserve, you need an excellent credit score.
If you have further questions about product changes, you may contact the number on the back of your Chase credit card.
A product change may be the way to go if you’re looking to downgrade to avoid a hefty annual fee or upgrade to get more benefits and perks without a hard credit inquiry. That said, if your Chase card is linked to the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, consider applying for a new card instead. Many cardholders opt to get the Chase card trifecta to maximize their reward-earning potential.
What Will Happen to My Reward Points/Miles?
When you upgrade or downgrade your Chase credit card, your rewards balance will be transferred to your new card. However, it's worth noting that their value may not be the same if you plan to redeem them through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal. With this redemption method, the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, for example, offers a value of up to 1.5 cents per point when booking travel through Ultimate Rewards or using the Pay Yourself Back feature, whereas the Chase Freedom Flex Card offers a value of 1 cent per point.
When Should You Upgrade Your Chase Credit Card?
Whether or not you should upgrade your Chase credit card will depend on your spending habits and how often you’ll use the added perks.
For example, if you’re a frequent traveler who wants to earn higher rewards on your travel purchases, consider upgrading your Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card to the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. Or if you want to rack up more points from staying at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy, you may switch from Marriott Bonvoy Bold to Marriott Bonvoy Boundless.
Pros and Cons of Upgrading
- Depending on your Chase credit card, upgrading can get you additional rewards and benefits.
- You may be able to increase your rewards rate on certain spending categories.
- You can avoid Chase’s 5/24 rule, which prevents you from being approved for a new Chase card after opening five accounts in the last 24 months.
- You don’t have to apply from scratch.
- Your credit score typically won’t be affected.
- Depending on the card, you may end up paying a hefty annual fee to keep your new Chase card.
- You won't be able to take advantage of Chase’s introductory APR offers for purchases or balance transfers.
- You won’t be eligible to earn the new card’s welcome bonus.
- Your rewards may have a lower value.
Chase Upgrade Options
Upgrading your Chase credit card can help you get a new card that is more aligned with your needs and preferences without going through a new card application. And because Chase offers a wide range of credit cards in its portfolio, we provided some upgrade options to narrow down your search.
Chase Sapphire Preferred to Chase Sapphire Reserve
When you upgrade from the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, your annual fee jumps from $95 to $550. But the perks can be worth it for frequent travelers. For example, Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders receive a complimentary Priority Pass membership and can get up to $300 back on travel purchases per year (as statement credits). Plus, their reward-earning rates are higher, and they get more value when they redeem their points for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards (50% vs. 25%).
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card
An outstanding travel card with flexible redemption points
We recommend the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card to travelers who are willing to pay a high annual fee to earn rewards faster and enjoy premium benefits. While this card charges a $550 annual fee, it offers up to $300 in statement credits as reimbursement for travel purchases each year. It also comes with a sizable spend-based welcome bonus.
Once you spend $300 in a year on travel purchases, you earn 10X points on hotels and car rentals and 5X points on flights for purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Other travel purchases earn 3X points. Dining purchases made through Ultimate Rewards earn 10X points. Other dining purchases at restaurants (including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out) come with 3X points. All other purchases let you earn 1X points.
You stand to get 50% more redemption value when you redeem your points through Chase Ultimate Rewards. This is also the case if you redeem them through the Pay Yourself Back alternative.
International travelers stand to benefit by paying no foreign transaction fees. You also get Global Entry/TSA PreCheck/NEXUS fee credit and access to VIP airport lounges through one-time enrollment in Priority Pass Select.
Additional benefits include purchase protection, return protection, extended warranty protection, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement and emergency evacuation and transportation.
Information on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card
United Explorer Card to United Quest Card
The United Explorer Card charges a $95 annual fee (waived for the first year), while the United Quest Card's annual fee is $250. But for frequent United flyers, switching to the United Quest Card may be worthwhile. Among other perks, cardholders can receive up to $125 each year in statement credits for United purchases, and they get their first and second bag checked for free (as opposed to just the first bag with the United Explorer Card). Plus, they can increase their reward-earning rate on United purchases from 2X miles per dollar to 3X miles per dollar.
United Quest℠ Card
A good choice for United Airlines flyers looking to earn more miles and enjoy some travel perks
The Chase United Quest℠ Card is best suited for frequent United flyers. While you need to pay a $250 annual fee toward this card, it comes with several benefits that include a spend-based welcome bonus offer.
This card offers three miles per dollar on United Airlines purchases and two miles per dollar on a few bonus categories such as travel and dining. All cardholders get priority boarding when flying United, and they get to check two bags for free. Further, you stand to earn a $125 United purchase credit and two 5,000-mile anniversary award flight credits every year.
In-flight purchases come with 25% back. You get a statement credit toward Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fees. This card also comes with purchase protection and travel insurance coverage.
Information on the United Quest℠ Card
Other Upgrade Options
Chase Freedom Student Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card
Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
Downgrading your Chase credit card to a no-fee version is an excellent way to save money on annual fees without losing your rewards. Additionally, this maintains your card's credit history and credit limit instead of closing it to eliminate the fee.
— Lee Huffman, credit card expert at BaldThoughts.com
When Should You Downgrade Your Chase Credit Card?
If you find your Chase card is no longer serving you as well as it once did, consider downgrading your Chase credit card instead of outright canceling it. For instance, if you no longer make frequent travel purchases to offset the hefty annual fee, you may downgrade your Chase Sapphire Reserve Card to a Chase Freedom Unlimited Card. Or, business owners who want to continue participating in the Chase Ultimate Rewards program but no longer wish to pay an annual fee might consider switching from the Ink Business Preferred Card to the Ink Business Unlimited Card.
Pros and Cons of Downgrading
- You can lower your annual fee by downgrading to a Chase credit card with a lower or no annual fee.
- You can keep your existing credit limit, which helps to keep your utilization ratio lower and credit score higher.
- You won't lose your rewards by downgrading your card.
- You lose the benefits and perks that come with a higher-tier card, like your Priority Pass membership.
- Depending on the Chase card you’re downgrading to, you may be charged a foreign transaction fee for international purchases.
- Lower-tier cards may earn fewer rewards on purchases or have lower values when redeeming points.
Chase Downgrade Options
Downgrading your credit card may be ideal if you want to cut down on expenses. Browse through our Chase downgrade options to determine which card better reflects your current spending habits.
Chase Sapphire Reserve to Chase Sapphire Preferred
Downgrading your Chase Sapphire Reserve Card to a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card can lower your $550 annual fee to $95 — which can make a significant impact on your budget, especially if you find you aren't using your perks to the maximum. However, it's worth noting that your reward-earning rate will drop in certain bonus categories, and when redeeming for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you'll go from getting 50% more value to getting 25% more value.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
A very good rewards card with no foreign transaction fees and comprehensive travel cover
We're stoked about the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card because it comes with a healthy welcome bonus offer of 60,000 bonus points, provided you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
You may earn up to 5X points per dollar through its bonus categories. If you redeem your points via Chase Ultimate Rewards, you get 25% more value for money. You may also redeem your points in the form of cash, gift cards and travel, as well as to pay for purchases.
Using this card when overseas is perfect because it comes with no international transaction fees. Extensive travel coverage provides just the protection you need when traveling.
Information on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
United Quest Card to United Gateway Card
If you need to cut down on expenses but still want to earn miles and enjoy a few United-specific perks, you can reduce your $250 annual fee to $0 by downgrading from the United Quest Card to the United Gateway Card. Your reward-earning rate on United purchases will dip, and the spending categories on which you earn bonus miles will shift slightly. But you'll still be able to earn miles on everyday purchases and enjoy 25% back as a statement credit on United inflight and Club premium drink purchases, among other perks.
United Gateway℠ Card
A great no-annual-fee rewards card for people who fly United
This rewards card is great because it lets you earn one mile per $1 across all categories. Besides, spending across different categories gives you the ability to double the miles you earn.
When you use this card to pay for in-flight purchases on board a United flight, you earn 25% back, which amounts to a 25% discount.
It makes sense to use this card outside of the U.S. because it does not charge international transaction fees. Complimentary travel covers provide additional safety.
Information on the United Gateway℠ Card
Other Downgrade Options
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card
Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful Card
United Club Infinite Card
IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
When to Cancel Your Chase Card
If you can no longer justify paying an expensive annual fee or find that the card no longer aligns with your spending habits, you may be tempted to cancel your card. But doing so can cause unintended consequences on your credit report, including:
- Higher credit utilization ratio: Closing your account means losing some (or all) of the credit available to you. As a result, if you keep your spending habits the same, your credit utilization ratio may increase and impact your credit score.
- Lower credit age: The length of time a credit card remains active — that is, its age — affects your credit score. So when you cancel your credit card, it may ultimately bring down the average age of your accounts and hurt your credit score.
It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of canceling your credit card before finalizing your decision. In most cases, this move should only be considered as a last resort.
Alternatives to Canceling Your Credit Card
Before contacting your card issuer to cancel your card, you may benefit from exploring these alternatives to avoid damaging your established credit.
- Request a product change: If your card’s annual fee is the main problem, you may ask your card provider to downgrade your credit card to a card with a $0 annual fee.
- Negotiate a lower interest rate: You may reach out to your card issuer and ask for a lower interest rate if you tend to carry a balance.
- Use the card for small payments: If your credit card has a $0 annual fee, you can always just keep the card without using it. However, inactive cards may be canceled by card issuers. You can avoid this by using the card once in a while for minor purchases.
Other Helpful Decision-Making Q&As
Upgrading or downgrading your Chase credit card may resolve a mismatch between the card you have and your current spending habits. But is it the right option for you? We addressed some frequently asked questions to help you make a wise financial decision.
Upgrading or downgrading your Chase credit card may be ideal if you want card benefits that suit your spending needs and lifestyle. But if the Chase card you’re eyeing isn’t within the same category as your existing card, it may be better to get a new credit card.
Learn more about credit cards in general
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