What Does It Mean to Switch a Credit Card? What's the Benefit?

If you are thinking of "changing" a credit card you have, you will have to contact your card issuer and request for a credit card switch. But what is the benefit of switching a credit card and how is it different from applying for a new one? Will it affect your credit score?

Here are 3 things you should know when switching a credit card.

What Does It Mean to Switch a Credit Card? What's the Benefit?

1. What it means to switch a credit card

Switching a credit card means that you are changing a credit card into another in the same financial institution. For instance, if you have an RBC Cash Back Mastercard and you would like an RBC Avion Visa Platinum instead because of the perks offered by the card, you can reach out to RBC and tell them that you would like to do a credit card switch. Emphasize that you do not want to apply for new credit card, but rather switch an existing card into a different one.

2. Two main benefits of switching a credit card

There are two main benefits of switching a credit card. The first benefit is that unlike applying for a new credit card, switching a credit card does not affect your credit score. This is because you are not opening a new credit account, since you are only changing the card associated with it.

The second benefit is that if you have maintained a good payment history for your existing card, your bank may be more likely to approve you to switch into a more higher-tier card without requiring any proof of income at all.

This is useful especially if you are a student or a small business owner without a regular salary, but you would like to obtain a credit card that would otherwise require a proof of income. Although it varies by financial institution, getting a credit card switch approved is usually easier compared to applying for a new card.

3. Your old card will still be usable for ±30–60 days after switching

After you have started the process of switching your old card into a new one, your old card would usually still work for the next 30–60 days. This serves as a transition period for you to receive and start using your new card. When switching your credit card, you can always ask for clarification regarding the timeframe before your old card becomes unusable.

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