What Does Switching Credit Cards Mean

Navigate through the world of making informed credit decisions.
What Does Switching Credit Cards Mean
5 min read
22nd Aug 2023

Credit cards, an indispensable tool in the current financial landscape, offer convenience, rewards, and purchasing power. However, it is not uncommon for you to consider switching credit cards to better align with your changing requirements. Credit card switching is a decision that requires careful consideration and understanding of its implications.

What does switching credit cards mean

Credit card switching is the process of closing an existing credit card account and opening a new one with a different card issuer. This change could involve moving from one type of credit card to another, such as switching from a rewards card to a cashback card, or from a card with an annual fee to one without. Credit card switching is often motivated by the desire to access better rewards, lower interest rates, improved terms, or other benefits that a new card might offer.

When is the right time for credit card switching

Credit card switching should be made after a careful evaluation of your financial situation and goals. Here are some scenarios that might indicate it is the right time to consider switching credit cards:

  • Changing spending patterns: If your spending habits have shifted and your current card's rewards or benefits no longer align with your expenses, it could be a good time to switch to a card that offers more relevant rewards.
  • Interest rate reduction: If you are carrying a balance on a card with a high-interest rate, switching to a card with a lower interest rate can help you save on interest payments.
  • Improved credit score: If your credit score has significantly improved since you first obtained your credit card, you might qualify for cards with better terms, such as lower interest rates or higher credit limits.
  • Expired promotional offers: If you initially signed up for a credit card with a promotional offer that has expired, switching to a new card with a similar offer could help you continue benefiting from perks like 0% APR (Annual Percentage Rate) or bonus rewards.
  • Change in lifestyle: Major life changes, such as marriage, starting a family, or retiring, can impact your financial needs. Switching to a card that offers benefits tailored to your new circumstances can be advantageous.

Things to keep in mind when switching credit cards

  • Credit score impact: Opening a new credit card account and closing an old one can impact your credit score. Be prepared for a potential short-term dip in your score due to a new credit inquiry and a reduction in your average account age.
  • Annual fees: Consider whether the new card has an annual fee and whether the benefits it offers outweigh the cost. Sometimes, the rewards and perks can justify the fee, but this should be carefully evaluated.
  • Balance transfer fees: If you are transferring a balance from your old card to the new one, be aware of any balance transfer fees associated with the new card.
  • Introductory offers: Be sure to understand the terms and duration of any introductory offers, such as 0% APR or bonus rewards. Ensure you can take full advantage of these offers within the specified time frame.
  • Reward programs: If rewards are a primary motivator for switching, review the new card's rewards program, redemption options, and whether they align with your spending habits.

Pros and cons of credit card switching

Pros Cons
Access to better rewards:
Switching to a new credit card can grant you access to rewards, cashback, or travel perks that better match your spending habits and preferences.
Temporary impact on credit score:
Opening a new credit card account and closing an old one can lead to a temporary dip in your credit score due to a new credit inquiry and reduced average account age.
Lower interest rates:
If you are carrying a balance, switching to a card with a lower interest rate can save you money on interest payments.
Potential for new fees:
Some new cards may have annual fees or other charges that you did not have with your old card.
Improved terms and benefits:
New cards may come with improved terms, such as longer grace periods, better customer service, and enhanced security features.
Balance transfer fees:
If you are transferring a balance from your old card to the new one, you might encounter balance transfer fees.
Tailored benefits to changing needs:
As your lifestyle changes, switching to a card that offers benefits aligned with your new circumstances can be advantageous.
Loss of long-standing account history:
Closing an old credit card account means to lose the positive account history associated with it, which can impact your credit score.
Continued introductory offers:
If your current card's introductory offers have expired, switching to a new card can allow you to take advantage of fresh promotional benefits.
Potential for overspending on new card:
Switching to a new card with higher credit limits or different spending incentives might lead to overspending if not managed carefully.

Switching credit cards is a decision that requires careful consideration of your financial goals, spending habits, and potential benefits and drawbacks. Before making the switch, evaluate your current credit card's alignment with your needs and explore new card options that can enhance your financial well-being. You can check out some of Bajaj Finserv co-branded credit cards that offer exceptional rewards and cashback, airport lounge access, 1+1 movie ticket, discounts on OTT subscriptions, as well as multiple other benefits.


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