Credit Cards Guides

Beginner’s Guide: What is a credit card Product Change?

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What is a credit card Product Change?

Every year I do an assessment of my wallet, and I recommend you do that same. Some of the best cards have changed benefits, and they just aren’t as attractive as they once were, and maybe you’re considering cancelling it.

One option that can help insulate your credit and keep it healthy, is to keep the credit line, but change the actual credit card product.

What does that mean?

It means changing the actual card with the bank, but keeping the credit line in tact. This is a great way to reduce annual fees, align your wallet better, but keep your credit age going, credit depth in tact, and reduce your utilization. Let’s take a look at a credit card product change.

Miles Credit Cards

What is a credit card product change?

A credit card product change gives consumers the power to upgrade or downgrade their credit card within the family of that credit card brand, or within the rules that the card issuer lays out.

A few examples

Why would I want to product change?

  • Avoid the annual fee
    • downgrade a premium fee card to a no annual fee card
  • Keep the line open
  • Reapply for the card you’re downgrading from
    • Chase allows you to acquire a new cardmember sign up bonus every 24 months. So if you’re carrying a Chase Sapphire Preferred for 25 months, you could downgrade to a Freedom Flex and then signup for the Sapphire Preferred again. Not only do you get another bonus, you’ll keep your credit score healthy by keeping the line open.
  • Earn Elite status
    • Different credit cards can give you elite nights, or elite mileage for spend. Upgrading or downgrading between those cards can create opportunities to generate status through spend.
  • Keep Points alive
    • Citi will cancel your Thank You points after 60 days. EVEN IF YOU TRANSFER THEM into another Citi account. The life of those points isn’t tied to the type of credit card, but rather the account they were originally earned from.
  • Avoid account cancellation
    • Citi starts the clock on their sign up bonus rules whenever you open or close an account within a family of cards. If you downgrade that account it isn’t close and therefore you can sign up for that card again sooner.

Do I do this?

All the time. I intend to product change at least one of my The Business Platinum Card® from American Express cards to either a American Express® Business Gold Card or a Business Green Rewards Card from American Express. I’ve changed platinum and gold cards multiple times, as well as Sapphire Preferreds down to Freedoms. I’ve been product changing for nearly a decade now and it’s kept my credit history going, my lines deep, and improves my ability to continue to accumulate points at a consistent pace.

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card


4.8
4.8/5
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based including Hyatt, Southwest, United, IHG, and Marriott.

Welcome Offer

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

*you may find an elevated offer walking into a branch – see below

Annual Fee

$95

Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
    • Some people have seen Chase branches offering the following:
      • 75k Ultimate Rewards After $4k spend in 3 months + 10k Ultimate Rewards after $6k in 6 months 
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 3x on dining, including eligible delivery services for takeout & dining out
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit via Chase Travel℠
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 2x on all other travel
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel℠ and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver ( primary ), purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 14 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in Chase Travel℠ for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver is my favorite
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024
  • $95 Annual Fee

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

5 Comments

  • Sofia January 10, 2024

    I tried to product change my cap1 venture, called twice, and was denied both times.

    • Miles January 11, 2024

      Hey Sofia – this seems to the be the case with most Capital one cards. One thing to keep in mind is cap1 is usually very generous with approvals concurrent with other cards, potentially combining lines, etc which would allow you to close your card should you want to.

  • Bill Mulligan January 17, 2022

    Do you happen to know if CapitalOne will give rewards points for a product change?

    • Dave Harding January 19, 2022

      Great question! I’m also looking to upgrade my Quicksilver to the Venture X and wanted to know if that would qualify for the 100k bonus points after 6 months.

      Inquiring minds want to know! If anyone has experience with this, let us know!

    • Bill January 19, 2022

      I can answer for myself (having called today). Despite CAP1’s website saying “The bonus may not be available for existing or previous accountholders” the answer is definitively that it is only available for new cardholders.

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