Converting First CC Affect Credit Score?

Discussion in 'Other Credit Card Programs' started by Jimgotkp, Feb 21, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Jimgotkp
    Original Member

    Jimgotkp Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,834
    Likes Received:
    80,011
    Status Points:
    16,495
    Thankfully, my first credit card I got that I haven't used since 2009 is still active and I was wondering if my credit score would be affected if I were to convert it to lets say an Alaskan Air (BoA) card. From my understanding, the credit length (history) is a huge factor on the credit score so I don't want to convert it if it will affect my credit score. I'm asking because since this was my first CC it has a very low CL compared to my current cards and I would rather apply for a new CC while getting a sign-up bonus instead of having a hard inquiry on this non-rewards CC just for a CL increase.

    Thanks!
     
  2. kenbo
    Original Member

    kenbo Silver Member

    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    735
    Status Points:
    645
    I was in a similar situation a couple of years ago. I was informed that I could convert the card without any harm to my credit history. However, a request to increase the credit limit would require an inquiry.

    I agree with your idea of getting a completely new card if you're going to get hit with an inquiry. Maybe once you get the new card, you can convert your first card and then transfer some of the (new) credit limit over. Of course double check with your bank about the credit history stuff just in case it varies from bank to bank.
     
    Jimgotkp likes this.
  3. schnitzel
    Original Member

    schnitzel Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,867
    Likes Received:
    2,833
    Status Points:
    1,470
    There are lots of theories about this issue.

    One important point is that if you close a card, and lose the line of credit (instead of transferring it to another card from the same bank) then you've increased your utilization ratio. So that's not good. Be sure to transfer the credit line if possible.

    Next issue is the age of your accounts. But this gets a little more complicated. General accepted wisdom has been to keep old accounts active, because they continue to live on your report, giving you a long history. But, recently, there have been reports that, since even a closed account stays on your report for several years, there's no huge loss to canceling it, as long as other medium-age accounts will age out to replace it.

    Bottom line is, these are all just educated guesses.

    I have one old longstanding card with a huge limit that I haven't used since the Citibank account opening days where you could charge the opening balance. But it has no annual fee and the bank doesn't really offer any other cards, so I have no need for that credit line. So I'm keeping it. If it had an annual fee, though, I'd cancel it in a heartbeat.
     
    Jimgotkp likes this.
  4. okrogius

    okrogius Silver Member

    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    853
    Status Points:
    795
    Generally converting a card should be a no-impact activity. (Same account as far as your credit report goes - i.e. just a change of benefits/terms).
     
    Jimgotkp likes this.
  5. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

    Messages:
    9,320
    Likes Received:
    10,970
    Status Points:
    14,975
    It didn't affect my score when I tracked that kind of thing closely. At most, it was about 5 points. (There was a 5-point score change that month, but it wasn't my only change.)
     
    Jimgotkp and Bluto like this.

Share This Page