Background: I recently graduated from college. I have had a student credit card (Visa) with Wells Fargo since 2008 and it is my only credit card. Obviously, I do not want the history of this card to go away since it is my oldest account.
Being a simple student credit card, it doesn't really offer the perks that I would like (such as cash back). For this reason, I would like to apply for a Cash-Back card with Wells Fargo and close the old one, essentially upgrading my credit card with them.
Question: Will my financial institution report the new credit card as a new account to FICO and wipe out the old account or will they simply attach the new credit card to the same account and continue to report the original start date? Do financial institutions generally handle it the same way or is it a case-by-case/bank-by-bank situation?
I do plan on going in and asking in person, but I want to educate myself beforehand.
EDIT: Added the conclusion
I ended up waiting for a while since I wasn't in any dire need to upgrade my card to a cash-back one. During the summer, Wells Fargo automatically upgraded my college student credit card to an unsecured, real, big-boy credit card with an increase of about $1800 to the credit limit.
A few months after that (last week) I decided to see if I could use their new-found trust in me to make the card do a little more for me, I went into the local branch and spoke with a service member and she informed me that when Wells Fargo upgrades a credit card, they maintain the same account (same number and everything) and simply change the account type.
I made sure to clarify that I was not interested in risking closing the account (should I be rejected for upgrade) in three or four different ways, and she explained that that would not be an issue. Right there, at her desk, she called to upgrade the credit card to a cash-back one. The person on the other end informed her that the promotion to do that had just ended. So, apparently they have windows of time where they upgrade credit cards to cash-back/rewards and I had just missed it.
However, I was informed that these promotions come and go and that she would keep an eye out for me and once the opportunity presents itself, she will call me and ask for permission to upgrade to a cash-back card and that should be the end of that.