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I have two credit cards that charge fees and have significantly downgraded their value to me. In both cases I would like to switch to no-fee versions of the same card, but I don't want to reduce my average age of credit lines.

How can I tell if switching cards will be considered a close/open of accounts or just moving my line of credit?

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    This may be helpful: doctorofcredit.com/… – user48207 Sep 30 at 12:24
  • @user48207 this was extremely helpful — exactly what I was looking for. Thank you. – sujeet Oct 1 at 18:05
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If you change your cards, you will most likely reset the credit age for that account. This has happened to me twice. Once the credit card company offered to upgrade my card and I accepted. The other time, the card changed provider bank without asking me. Both times they reset my credit age. In the first case, I asked about this and the person I talked to at the bank said they didn't think it would affect my credit score. Whoops.

You can call the credit card company and ask, but there's no guarantee the person you talk to will know the answer--they don't work for the credit rating agency.

========== EDIT ===========

Looks like it does happen more often than I thought. I don't know how you can find out for sure whether it will happen for you, though.

  • When Costco changed their card partner from Amex to Visa, I was afraid I’d lose the near 20 year history it sported. I guess I was lucky, the fresh Visa hit the account showing the long history. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Sep 28 at 21:54
  • Yikes, maybe my answer isn't correct, then. Luck of the draw? – farnsy Sep 28 at 22:26
  • I know for a fact that it can be done; my oldest card from my credit union has been upgraded a few times, preserving the age. But like you say, I wouldn't trust a typical csr to provide accurate info on this. – sujeet Sep 28 at 22:35
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    That was just one counterexample. I’d never say always, and never say never. More common is to lose the history. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Sep 28 at 22:45
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    @JoeTaxpayer - I'm pretty sure one of the letters they mailed out about that move was that they were specifically making efforts to ensure that it was considered the same account. There's a huge number of people who would have been affected, otherwise. – Bobson Sep 29 at 0:04

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