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Author: mekong22 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Global Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308881  
Subject: Switching Credit Cards Date: 9/20/2012 10:38 AM
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I've had a Chase Visa card for several years. I do not carry a balance as I pay in full each month. It used to be partnered with Phillips so I got discounts on electronics, but they are no longer partners so they switched me to a Chase Visa that doesn't have great rewards.

Chase also has an Amazon.com Visa which I think I would get a lot more bang from my buck if I used, as I shop a lot on Amazon.

I know enough not to cancel my old card and apply for the new one because then I would lose my credit history from the old card. My question is, can I request that Chase switch me over to the Amazon card without losing my credit history?
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Author: aj485 Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 305978 of 308881
Subject: Re: Switching Credit Cards Date: 9/20/2012 10:49 AM
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I know enough not to cancel my old card and apply for the new one because then I would lose my credit history from the old card.

You don't 'lose' the history. The history for a closed account will stay on your report for another 7 - 10 years. What you would lose is the boost to the average age of active accounts that this account provides, plus you would be adding a new account into that calculation. You will probably also end up with another credit inquiry on your history.

My question is, can I request that Chase switch me over to the Amazon card without losing my credit history?

You can ask, but you may not get. Sometimes accounts can be moved into a different reward structure without opening a new account, sometimes they can't. It depends on the rules Chase and Amazon have in place for the Amazon account. You might be better off seeing if there is another reward structure that you can be moved to, anyway, or if there is something that you can do (like open a Chase checking account) that will improve your current reward structure. Reward structures tied to a specific merchant are a lot less flexible in maxing out the rewards.

AJ

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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 305979 of 308881
Subject: Re: Switching Credit Cards Date: 9/20/2012 12:27 PM
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I know enough not to cancel my old card and apply for the new one because then I would lose my credit history from the old card.

I favor keeping at least two credit cards. Given enough time, something will go wrong with an account. The account could be compromised, card lost or stolen, or just locked because of false fraud detection. Having a second account as backup is useful.

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Author: mekong22 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Global Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 305980 of 308881
Subject: Re: Switching Credit Cards Date: 9/20/2012 1:02 PM
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Thanks for the replies, very helpful

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Author: progmtl Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 305981 of 308881
Subject: Re: Switching Credit Cards Date: 9/20/2012 2:13 PM
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One other point:

I believe if you apply for the Amazon Visa online while making a purchase at Amazon you will get $50 off that purchase. That's strong incentive to sign up that way!

-progmtl.

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Author: mekong22 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Global Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 305982 of 308881
Subject: Re: Switching Credit Cards Date: 9/20/2012 3:23 PM
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I checked with Chase and they tell me I cannot switch the rewards program onto the account that I already have open. I already have multiple credit cards so I don't plan to open a new account.

Again, thanks for the feedback

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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 305983 of 308881
Subject: Re: Switching Credit Cards Date: 9/20/2012 4:22 PM
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I already have multiple credit cards so I don't plan to open a new account.

Is the card you would switch to Amazon your oldest card? If it isn't, closing may not have any effect on your credit rating.

A new account is "new" credit for a year, and that could lower your credit rating.

Both of these concerns are minor if in the next year or so you aren't planning on obtaining a mortgage or other significant loans.

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Author: aj485 Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 305984 of 308881
Subject: Re: Switching Credit Cards Date: 9/20/2012 4:22 PM
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I checked with Chase and they tell me I cannot switch the rewards program onto the account that I already have open.

Did you also ask them if there is any way to improve on the program you have?

Similar to you, I previously had a First USA (became Chase) rewards card branded with a company that got taken over, so the company ended the rewards program. Chase switched me over to their Chase Freedom program. My rewards improved if I opened a Chase checking account (plus Chase was running a promotion where they gave me $150 to open an account).

To keep the checking account fee-free, I do have to have direct deposit on the checking account, so every paycheck, I have money that otherwise would have gone into savings put into the checking account. The same day, or within the next couple of days (depending on exactly how the days of the month fall), my savings account does a pull transaction from the checking account to get that money, so, at most, the savings deposit is delayed by a couple of days. No muss, no fuss, and I get extra rewards.

AJ

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Author: mekong22 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Global Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 305985 of 308881
Subject: Re: Switching Credit Cards Date: 9/20/2012 9:01 PM
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Is the card you would switch to Amazon your oldest card? If it isn't, closing may not have any effect on your credit rating.

Just barely...Thanks for this comment. I've spent a bit of time researching some more online and realize that I had more than a few misconceptions.

I have three credit cards, none of which have ever kept a balance, I always pay them all in full when due. I really only use card #3 which has the best rewards. #1 and #2 I usually just make one small purchase each month to keep them active.

#1 Visa Opened Jan 2000 - This is the one I was hoping to switch to Amazon
#2 Discover Opened May 2000
#3 Visa Opened Dec 2003 - this is the one I use for most monthly purchases

So they've all been open for about a decade or more. Living in manhattan, I take the subway, so never had a car or auto loan. I'm at least 3-5 years away from purchasing a home and don't anticipate any other loans in the next couple of years. My credit score is good, in the high 700's.

The Amazon Visa card gives you 3% back on purchases on their website and 1-2% back on other charges, and I buy a lot directly from them (today found a 6 pack of Gillette shaving gel for $16 with free shipping...I'm not sure I could buy three bottles for that price here in nyc) so I anticipate continuing to buy a lot from Amazon, 3% back would be nice, not to mention the $50 sign on credit progmtl mentioned above.

Is this a no-brainer that I don't have much to lose by getting the Amazon card? If so, given the average age component AJ mentioned, it would probably be a bad idea to close the Card #1. I'm pretty financially responsible so I'm not worried about running up any balances just because I have more credit available. I would just got one more card to manage and make sure I pay on time. A few years from now, once the Amazon card has a few years behind it, maybe I close one of the two I don't use if I'm not anticipating any new upcoming borrowings.

Feel free to poke holes in my thinking, that's why I'm here. Really appreciate everyone taking the time to educate me.

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Author: Rael137 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 305986 of 308881
Subject: Re: Switching Credit Cards Date: 9/21/2012 4:56 AM
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Just thinking here...

You currently have 2 Visa cards and 1 Discover. The other card you are considering is also Visa. Would there be any value in diversifying to have a Mastercard and/or Amex?

I got rid of my Discover a long time ago because at the time fewer places were taking it.

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