Changing Credit Cards: How to switch credit cards

Information verified correct on September 27th, 2016
Man's hand pulls out a credit card from a black purse

Changing credit cards is not that complicated. It’s a simple as switching credit cards from one issuer to the next. Having said that there are certain terms you have to abide by in order to do this lawfully.

The following guide will help you look for the right features when you decide to change credit cards. The hardest part of your switch will be to sort through the fees and charges of each offer. The most important tip is not to rush your change of card because rushing means you make costly mistakes. Take your time in analysing the card you intend to switch to make sure it is right for you.

Consider your lifestyle needs before changing credit cards:

What are the offers of the new card issuer? Are there any particular features to help you save more money? How much will the card end up costing you on the bottom line?

All the above and more are questions to ask yourself before you make the move. By using a systematic approach you’ll eliminate each important step in the process. Below are some of the features and fees you need to evaluate to find the right credit card in the end.

Knowing you can make the right switch will be very satisfying in the end:

  • What is the annual card fee - Each card comes with an annual fee. Some issuers offer a fee-free card but probably have higher interest rates on purchases.
  • Is there an interest-free period - If so, how long will it last? Will the time frame be sufficient for you to pay off your existing credit card debt? What are the interest rates AFTER the initial fee-free period runs out?
  • How high is the card’s interest rate - This is important because a difference of a couple of percentage points can make a huge difference in cost. The lower the rate, the less money you’ll owe if you don’t pay off your card in full each month. If you do, then this feature isn’t as important.
  • Is there a balance transfer option - If so, how much will it cost and how long is the intro-deal going to last? You want to pay particular attention to the interest rate offered and the balance transfer fee.
  • Are there late payment charges - Most card issuers charge a penalty fee on late payments. Make sure you know if you need to pay these in the event of failing to pay on time.
  • Are there any reward schemes on offer - A wide range of reward schemes are offered in conjunction with credit cards. You can choose between gifts, money back options, Frequent Flyer cards, bonuses, vouchers and a lot more. Choose according to your preferences.
  • Does the issuer offer insurance - Some cards offer you travel insurance while most offer a purchase protection insurance. It is always good to have insurance of some kind because most often you’ll need it when you don’t pay for it. It’s the nature of life.

By analysing offers before changing credit cards you avoid the traps and mistakes commonly overseen by consumers.

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4 Responses to Changing Credit Cards: How to switch credit cards

  1. Default Gravatar
    Sarah | April 6, 2015

    Can providers charge you when you leave their services? For example, if I take out a card for the sign up points offer then cancel it 364 days later (with balance at $0) is there anything the provider can charge me for leaving them? I want to be able to switch cards often (yearly) to take advantage of the frequent flyer bonus points. Thanks

    • Staff
      Jonathan | April 8, 2015

      Hi Sarah, thanks for your inquiry!

      If no balance is left owing there should be no cancellation costs. For more information on cancelling a credit card please see this page.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  2. Default Gravatar
    patricia | August 16, 2013

    I now have a new visa credit card and I want to know how to change the number from my old card.
    sincerely. P.

    • Staff
      Jacob | August 16, 2013

      Hi Patricia.

      Are you referring to the PIN?

      Jacob.

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated September 27th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and also earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on everyday spend.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
Enjoy a low and consistent interest rate on purchases and cash advances, combined with no annual fee.
11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards CreditCardFinder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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