BACK

Kite_rin / Shutterstock.com

Products

How to upgrade a Chase card

Tips on upgrading or downgrading and eligibility requirements

Summary

Though Chase has specific requirements you must meet to upgrade or downgrade your rewards card, the process is very straightforward, and you’ll have plenty of great cards to choose from.

The editorial content below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Please see the bank’s website for the most current version of card offers; and please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

Chase is well-known for its extensive portfolio of rewards cards, including co-branded offerings from popular hotel and airline loyalty programs. But what happens if you signed up for one of these cards, and it no longer suits your needs?

Whether you are paying too high of an annual fee for your budget, not earning enough in rewards from your kind of spending or wishing for a more comprehensive list of benefits, there are plenty of reasons why your Chase card might no longer be working for you. But before you apply for a new card or cancel your current one – causing a hit to your credit score – consider another option. Instead, you can upgrade or downgrade your Chase card to another product with the bank.

This option, known as a product change, allows cardholders to find another card with the same issuer that better suits their needs and keep the same account information. That means you won’t have to suffer a hard pull to your credit score, and you can swap a card that doesn’t match your spending for one that does.

Considering an upgrade or downgrade with Chase? Read on to learn more about how to start the process with the issuer and what eligibility requirements you’ll need to meet.

Upgrade process

To ask for a product change to another Chase card, you’ll need to call the customer service number on listed on the back of your current card and inquire about your eligibility for whatever card you are interested in. Then, you’ll be able to complete the entire process over the phone.

The Chase representative will review your account to make sure you qualify, but you won’t have to worry about a hard pull to your credit. If you do make a product change, your account history will simply transfer to the new card – rather than opening a new account.

Eligibility requirements

Before you can switch to a new Chase card, you’ll have to meet a few qualifications. Chase has strict rules in place when it comes to what cards are eligible for an upgrade or downgrade and how long you’ve had your current account. Before calling, keep the following requirements in mind:

The type of card you want

Chase requires that cardholders requesting a product change stay within the same card family. For example, you can upgrade or downgrade an Ultimate Rewards card to another Ultimate Rewards card, but you cannot switch to a card that earns airline or hotel points. Similarly, you can switch between various Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards, but not from a Southwest card to a Marriott Bonvoy card. Additionally, you cannot upgrade or downgrade from a personal card to a business card (or vice versa), even if both earn the same kind of rewards.

How long you’ve had your current card

Because of protections in place from the CARD Act, credit cardholders cannot be charged a higher annual fee on the same account in the first year of account opening. Due to this regulation, you won’t be able to upgrade a Chase card to one with a higher fee until your account has been open at least a year.

While this rule does not affect your ability to switch to a card with a lower annual fee, Chase typically still requires cardholders to have an account open for at least a year before downgrading. You might be able to have success downgrading sooner, but your best shot at a product change happens after the one-year mark.

Account standing

Chase has a positive reputation when it comes to approving product changes, so your likelihood of being allowed to upgrade or downgrade are pretty good. Nevertheless, before you request a product change with any card issuer you should ensure your account is in good standing. If the bank can see a history of on-time payments and responsible card usage, you are more likely to be approved for a new card.

5/24 rule

Since upgrading or downgrading a card with Chase is a product change and you’ll keep your original account history, you won’t have to worry about it adding to your 5/24 rule count. Additionally, you don’t have to be within 5/24 to qualify for a product change.

Changes to your credit card

So what changes when you upgrade or downgrade a card instead of applying for a new one? Several things will stay the same, as you have the same account – just with a new card. The following things will not change after your product change:

  • Your card number does not change, but you’ll receive a new card with an updated CVV and expiration date – so don’t forget to update any automatic payments.
  • Your current rewards balance will transfer over to the new card.
  • Your credit limit and APR will be the same on the new card as the old one.

Since you keep the same card number and account history, managing a new Chase card is simple. Just keep in mind that several features might change:

  • Your rewards value might shift, as some Chase cards offer a higher point value than others when you redeem your rewards for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • You won’t receive a new introductory offer unless you receive a targeted offer directly from Chase. This includes both points-based sign-up bonuses and intro APRs.
  • If you downgrade from a card with a higher annual fee to one with a lower fee, you can be refunded the cost as long as you switch within 40 days of the fee posting. If you miss this grace period, you can still receive a pro-rated refund.
  • If you upgrade to a card with a higher annual fee, you’ll be charged your new annual fee immediately.

Benefits of upgrading or downgrading your card with Chase

If your Chase credit card is no longer suited to your spending habits, requesting a product change to another Chase card can help you ensure you still earn rewards that make sense for you – all without a ding to your credit score.

For example, the Chase Freedom® offers cash back in rotating bonus categories that you must enroll in each quarter, but some cardholders might be able to get more value out of a flat-rate cash back card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited®  — especially if they don’t tailor their card spending toward particular categories.

See Related: Chase Freedom vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited

You can also ensure that you aren’t spending more than you can afford on an annual fee. If you signed up for the Sapphire Preferred but now can’t swing the $95 annual fee, you could downgrade to a no-annual-fee Ultimate Rewards card – like the Freedom Unlimited.

Alternatively, if you find yourself with more room in your budget to pay a high annual fee, you can upgrade to take advantage of more extensive rewards and benefits. For example, the Sapphire Reserve offers cardholders a $300 travel credit every year and up to $100 in credit for a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application. These perks have a lot of potential value for frequent travelers, if you can handle the card’s $450 price tag.

Tips for making the most of your upgrade or downgrade

  • Carefully read your desired card’s terms and conditions before requesting an upgrade or downgrade.
  • Regularly reevaluate if your Chase credit card aligns with your needs. You might be able to request a product change to a better fit.
  • Request a downgrade within 30 days of your annual fee posting to be eligible for a full refund.
  • When you downgrade from the Sapphire Reserve, use as much of the $300 travel credit as possible in the 30-day grace period to have your annual fee refunded.
  • If you are downgrading from the Sapphire Reserve or Preferred card, redeem as many points as possible for travel in the Ultimate Rewards portal to take advantage of a higher point value before you switch.

Popular Chase credit cards

CardRewards rateAnnual fee
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  • 3 points per dollar on travel and restaurant purchases (excluding purchases covered by $300 travel credit)
  • 1 point per dollar on general purchases
$450
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • 2 points per dollar on travel and restaurant purchases
  • 1 point per dollar on general purchases
$95
Chase Freedom®
  • 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories that you must activate each quarter (up to $1,500 per quarter)
  • 1% cash back on general purchases
$0
Chase Freedom Unlimited®1.5% cash back on all purchases$0
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
  • 6 points per dollar at Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 2 points per dollar on other purchases
$95
Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card
  • 3 points per dollar spent at Marriott Bonvoy properties
  • 2 points per dollar on other travel purchases
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
$0
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
  • 2 points per dollar on Southwest purchases, hotel and car rental partners
  • 1 point per dollar on general purchases
$69
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
  • 2 points per dollar on Southwest purchases, hotel and car rental partners
  • 1 point per dollar on general purchases
$99
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
  • 2 points per dollar on Southwest Rapid Rewards, hotel and car rental partner purchases
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases
$149

Final thoughts

Chase has a wide range of great cards for all kinds of spenders. If you find that your card no longer suits your needs, you can likely switch to a different Chase product. That way, you’ll earn rewards matched to your lifestyle without suffering a hit to your credit score.

Just keep in mind that Chase has some eligibility requirements before you can take advantage of this option, such as how long you’ve had your account open and which products you can switch between. You also won’t be able to snag an introductory offer.

Nevertheless, choosing to upgrade or downgrade your Chase card is a great option for many types of cardholders, and the process is very straightforward.

What’s up next?

In Products

How to buy TSA Precheck with miles and points

Several rewards credit cards offer credits for TSA Precheck, which allows you to bypass long security lines at the airport. But did you know you can also get TSA Precheck using miles and points you’ve collected instead of paying the fee? Here’s how you can purchase it with your rewards.

Published: July 10, 2019

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: November 13th, 2019
Business
15.14%
Airline
16.97%
Cash Back
17.16%
Reward
17.01%
Student
17.23%

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on CreditCards.com is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company’s business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.