What Happens to Your Length of Credit History When You Downgrade a Card?
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Million Mile Secrets reader, CJ, commented:
When you downgrade the Chase Sapphire Preferred, do you lose the length of time the account was open? Or does that transfer to the Freedom Unlimited?
Great question, CJ!When you downgrade the Chase Sapphire Preferred, everything transfers over to the new card, including the account number, credit line, payment history, and length of time you had the card open.
That’s why instead of canceling, folks choose to downgrade when possible. Because it can help you keep an excellent credit score with lots of cards.
The major drawback to downgrading is you give up the opportunity to earn a sign-up bonus on the new card.
I’ll share more details about downgrading a credit card. And what you should consider before making a change!
Downgrade Credit Card Impact on Credit History
Because you’ll keep your length of credit history, which is good for your credit score. And the new card will NOT show up as a new account on your credit report. This is great news if you’re concerned about Chase’s tougher application rules.
Just remember when you downgrade, you will NOT be eligible to receive the new card sign-up bonus. But these things will stay the same:
- Account history
- Credit card number
- Credit line
What to Know If You Decide to Downgrade a Card
But not all cards are eligible to downgrade. For example, you can downgrade a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points. But most co-branded airline and hotel cards can NOT be downgraded.
And keep in mind, downgrading your card is not automatic. The bank will review your account for eligibility. And you’re typically required to have the card open for 1 year before making a change.
To check if you’re eligible to downgrade, you can call the bank at the number on the back of your credit card. Or send a secure message after you log into your online account.
What About Upgrading?
When you upgrade a card, you will also keep the same account history and credit card number.
Team member Harlan decided to upgrade to take advantage of the card’s amazing perks, like $300 annual travel credit and 3X bonus for travel & dining purchases.
Again, you must have an eligible Chase Ultimate Rewards card open for 1 year to upgrade.
And you must qualify for a $10,000 credit limit with Chase because the Sapphire Reserve is a Visa Infinite card. For example, if your Chase Freedom Unlimited has a $5,000 credit limit, Chase will need to review your information to make sure you’re creditworthy to get a higher limit.
When you downgrade a credit card, you will keep your length of credit history, which is good for your credit score. And the new card will NOT show up as a new account on your credit report.
To check if you’re eligible to downgrade, call the bank or send an online message when you log into your account.Downgrading the Sapphire Preferred to the no annual fee Freedom Unlimited is a better option than canceling for folks who now have the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Just remember, when you downgrade, you will NOT earn a sign-up bonus on the new card.
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