First, what is a product change? Most credit card companies allow you to swap one card out for another without having to apply and take a hard pull on your credit. Not all cards can be swapped, so it’s best to call your credit card company with a couple of card options and see what’s available. For instance, I have the Barclaycard Arrival Plus and if I wanted to downgrade to just the Barclaycard Arrival with no annual fee, I could do this.
American Express will allow you to swap a charge card for a charge card. Meaning you could go from the Platinum down to the Gold, but you can’t go from the Platinum to a credit card like the Delta SkyMiles Gold card. Again, the best way to determine which cards are eligible for a product change is to call your credit card company.
When doing a product change, will I receive the signup bonus?
Short answer, no. In my experience, doing a product change does NOT qualify you for the signup bonus. This would allow customers to only take 1 pull on their credit report and receive 2 signup bonuses.
If I wanted to downgrade from the Barclaycard Arrival Plus to just the Barclaycard Arrival and still receive the 20,000 bonus miles, I would have to reapply, take a hard pull on my credit and meet the minimum spending requirement to earn the bonus miles.
What about upgrading a card?
After you’ve had a credit card with American Express for at least 12 months, you may begin to see offers in your AmericanExpress.com account that give you the option to upgrade to a new product. For instance, if you have the Green charge card, American Express may offer you the option to upgrade to their Gold charge card with a 15,000 Membership Rewards bonus. In this case you WOULD receive the signup bonus designated in their offer.
Be cautious of any upgrade options being offered by American Express. Sometimes the bonus being offered to the general public will be larger than your upgrade bonus. I would much rather re-apply and take a hard pull on my credit to receive a better signup bonus. Also, don’t forget to check out any offers being targeted to you at CreditCards.com. Just click the link “Offers Matched to You” in the top left-hand corner.
One more thing worth noting about American Express cards, is that you only receive the signup bonus ONCE now on all personal cards. Meaning if you do a product change to a lower card, then eventually cancel that card, you will forfeit any signup bonus in the future for that card. Pick your Amex cards wisely!
What credit cards have you done a product change on? I’d be curious to know if you did receive a signup bonus. Please let me know in the comments below!