Credit card upgrade -- effect on credit history?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
ruud
Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 1:28 pm
Location: san francisco bay area

Credit card upgrade -- effect on credit history?

Post by ruud » Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:18 pm

Hello,

I received an offer to upgrade one of my current credit cards to a Visa Signature card. As part of the upgrade, the account number would change.

My question is this: this card is currently my oldest open account. If the upgrade would be considered closing the old account and opening a new one in its place, my oldest and average account age would be impacted significantly, probably causing a drop in my credit score.

Does anyone know how these kinds of upgrades are generally reflected on one's credit report? For what it's worth, the card is issued by FIA (formerly MBNA).

Thank you,

Ruud
"A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week."

mhalley
Posts: 6327
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:02 am

Post by mhalley » Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:43 pm

My understanding is that the longevity of your accounts has a large effect on your fico score. I always hate it when the credit cards "upgrade" the account, only to close the old one. If you have many credit cards, this probably shouldn't matter, but if it is your only one, or you only have a couple, then it would have an impact. If you are not getting a mortgage or buying a car in the next six months, it probably won't matter. I have never tried this, but could you call the CC company and say, hey, I would like to upgrade, but can I keep the same CC Number?
As far as the upgrade being put on your credit report, I think the only three things they look at are: 1. Time since issue 2. Payment History 3. Credit Limit
Mike

Startled Cat
Posts: 372
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:54 pm

Post by Startled Cat » Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:58 pm

Since you're getting a new account number, this will probably show up as a new account on your credit reports, and the old account will appear closed. If I'm not mistaken, it takes something like 7 years for a closed account to drop off your credit files. Until then, the length of your credit history will be unaffected. In 7 years, will it make any difference?

I would accept the upgrade if the Visa Signature card had any benefits I would take advantage of; otherwise I would decline the upgrade.

User avatar
Duckie
Posts: 6073
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 2:55 pm

Post by Duckie » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:57 pm

I've been upgraded several times on different cards. The old account numbers dropped off my credit reports in a few months but it didn't matter, because in each case the new account numbers kept the same old "Member since 19XX" date (shown both on the cards and on the credit reports).

Gekko
Posts: 3779
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: USA

Post by Gekko » Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:53 pm

don't sweat the small stuff.

User avatar
grabiner
Advisory Board
Posts: 23132
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:58 pm
Location: Columbia, MD

Post by grabiner » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:20 pm

aaronl wrote:Since you're getting a new account number, this will probably show up as a new account on your credit reports, and the old account will appear closed.
Check with the bank; it may report the new account as inheriting the age of the old account.

I have one such account; the bank closed my card in 2004 and opened a new one because of possible compromise of the number. The old card still shows up in my report as closed, while the new card shows up as having been opened in 2002.
Wiki David Grabiner

Post Reply