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How to upgrade a Bank of America card

Tips on upgrading or downgrading your Bank of America credit card and eligibility requirements

Summary

If you find your Bank of America card no longer works for you, you can request an upgrade or downgrade to a different product with the bank.

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Bank of America offers some great rewards cards, with options for many kinds of cardholders. Whether you want to earn travel points or cash back, spend a bit on an annual fee to unlock perks or avoid an annual fee, there is likely a Bank of America card for you.

But what do you do if you find that your Bank of America credit card no longer suits your spending patterns? Cancelling your current card and applying for a new one can result in a ding to your credit score. Luckily, you have another option. If there is another Bank of America rewards card that better lines up with your needs, you can request a product change to a different card.

When you elect for this option, you won’t have to fill out a new application, and you won’t have a hard pull to your credit score. That means you can keep your score intact while also getting more out of your credit card.

Read on to learn how to request an upgrade or downgrade with Bank of America, as well as the issuer’s eligibility requirements.

Upgrade process

To request a product change with Bank of America, you’ll need to call the customer service number listed on the back of your card. You should have any identifying information about your current card ready to go and ask for the specific card you’d like to switch to. The entire process can be completed over the phone.

To ensure you qualify for a new Bank of America card, your account will be reviewed. However, there is no credit check with a Bank of America product change, so you won’t have to worry about a hard pull showing up on your credit report.

Eligibility requirements

When you switch to a new product with the same bank, you typically have to meet a series of requirements to ensure you are eligible – especially since the issuer is not pulling your credit score to check your creditworthiness. For the most part, as long as you have demonstrated a history of on-time payments, your likelihood of being approved for a card upgrade or downgrade is pretty good. However, you should always consider the following requirements before filing a request:

The type of card you want

Bank of America doesn’t place any restrictions on the kinds of cards you can switch between, so it is possible you can change from a card that offers points to one that offers cash back. Additionally, you can move from a plain credit card with no rewards rate up to one that does offer rewards of some kind.

How long you’ve had your current card

Unlike many other issuers, Bank of America doesn’t place specific requirements on how long you must have your current account open before requesting a product change. Just keep in mind that protections in place from the CARD Act ensure that cardholders are not charged a higher annual fee on the same account in the first year of card opening. This means that you won’t be able to upgrade to a Bank of America card with a higher annual fee than your original until your account is open for at least a year.

Account standing

To qualify for a product change, your account should be in good standing. That means that you have a history of on-time payments and responsible credit use. Bank of America does not have particular rules on eligibility when it comes to late payments or spending over your credit line, but you boost your chances of being approved for a product change by using your current card responsibly.

Changes to your credit card

When you switch to a new product with Bank of America, you will get a new card with a new rewards rate. However, several features of your account will remain the same, including the following:

  • Your credit limit and APR will be the same on the new card as the old one.
  • Your rewards balance will carry over to the new card, though Bank of America encourages cardholders to use up their rewards before upgrading or downgrading.

Despite many features remaining unchanged, your new card will come with the following updates:

  • You’ll receive a new physical card, so don’t forget to update any automatic payments with the new information.
  • Your rewards rate will be updated according to the new card’s terms and conditions.
  • The annual fee might increase or decrease, according to the card’s terms.

Bank of America does not have a public rule about whether or not you can receive a prorated refund for an annual fee if you downgrade a credit card, so we recommend conducting any product changes before the fee is due. Bank of America sends customers a reminder before their annual fee posts, so you should be able to request a downgrade before it is due.

Benefits of upgrading or downgrading your card with Bank of America

Bank of America offers many great credit cards, including plain cards with no rewards rate all the way up to a premium travel card. If your spending habits have changed, it is likely that Bank of America has another card that better suits your needs.

The biggest benefit of requesting a product change with Bank of America – rather than canceling your card or applying for a new card with another issuer – is that you can preserve your account history and avoid a hard pull to your credit. Both of these things benefit your credit score, and you’ll preserve it while finding a card that is better for you.

For example, consider you applied for the BankAmericard® credit card for its relatively low interest rate and generous balance transfer offer. Two years down the line, your introductory APR has ended and since the card does not include a rewards program, it is now just sitting in your wallet. Rather than close the card, you could request a product change to the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card, which offers a competitive rate of cash back in a category of your choice as well as on groceries and wholesale club purchases.

By opting for a product change, you ensure that all of the cards in your wallet are working to your best advantage without suffering a ding to your credit score.

Tips for making the most of your upgrade or downgrade

  • Request a downgrade before your annual fee posts, to avoid paying for a card you won’t be using.
  • Be sure to carefully read the terms and conditions for the card you’d like to switch to before requesting an upgrade or downgrade.
  • Before applying for a new credit card, make sure there isn’t a Bank of America card available that suits your needs. You might be able to avoid a new account and hard pull on your credit by opting for a product change instead.

Popular Bank of America credit cards

CardRewards rateAnnual fee
BankAmericard® credit cardNone$0
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card
  • 3% cash back on a category of choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvements and furnishings)
  • 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • $2,500 combined limit on 2% and 3% categories each quarter
  • 1% cash back on other purchases
$0
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card1.5 points per dollar on every purchase$0
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
  • 2 points per dollar on travel and dining purchases
  • 1.5 points per dollar on other purchases
$95

Final thoughts

If you are considering cancelling your Bank of America card, you might want to think twice. Doing so can harm your credit score, and the issuer might offer another product that better suits your needs. By requesting a product change, you can switch to a card that better aligns with your spending habits while avoiding a pull to your credit.

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Published: September 16, 2019

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Credit Card Rate Report Updated: October 16th, 2019
Business
15.18%
Airline
17.11%
Cash Back
17.25%
Reward
17.13%
Student
17.29%

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