Does switching credit card issuers affect your credit score?

May 19, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.

Reader Questions are answered twice a week by TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Ethan Steinberg.

One of the most important factors that affect your credit score is the length of your credit history, which is why you want to be especially careful before closing any of your older cards as this could have an adverse effect on your score. TPG reader Billy wants to know if switching to a different issuer would impact his score …

Hello I was wondering if switching card companies will hurt my credit score? I have been using Chase as my main issuer but am considering switching to Amex. Will my credit score crash by closing the significant amount of credit I have with Chase?


For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

This is an interesting question, though it’s one of just several things Billy needs to consider. First of all, your credit score doesn’t change at all whether you use Chase, Amex, Citi, Capital One or someone else as your primary credit card issuer. Different types of cards, such as personal versus business or credit cards versus charge cards may report differently to the credit bureaus, but which issuer you use won’t have any real impact.

However, the second half of Billy’s question is much more important. Closing out an older credit card, especially one with a large limit, could really dent Billy’s credit score. Not only would it decrease his average age of accounts, but it would also lower his total available credit making his utilization ratio skyrocket.

The factors that make up your FICO score. Image source: FICO.

If he decides to switch to primarily using Amex cards, perhaps because the network of Membership Rewards transfer partners work better with his travel goals, here’s what I would suggest doing to minimize the impact to his credit score:

  • First, Billy should take his oldest Chase card and downgrade or product change it to a no-annual-fee product. If he primarily has Chase Ultimate Rewards earning cards he should pick either the Chase Freedom (No longer open to new applicants) or Chase Freedom Unlimited. Because these cards don’t charge an annual fee, Billy can pick one to keep open forever. He doesn’t need to use it regularly, just make a small charge every three to six months to keep the account from being closed.
  • When Billy goes to close his other Chase cards, he should first ask to transfer his available credit lines to the Freedom or Freedom Unlimited so they don’t get lost in the account closures.

The information for the Chase Freedom has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

By taking these two simple steps, Billy can keep his oldest Chase card active and open forever and not lose any of his credit limits when he closes his other Chase cards, effectively mitigating the two biggest risks to his credit score.

Related: Chase cash-back showdown: Chase Freedom versus Chase Freedom Unlimited

Bottom line

Your credit score won’t be affected by which issuer you use for your primary cards, but closing out old accounts and switching to a new bank could create some problems. Downgrading to a no-annual-fee card, consolidating your credit limits around that card and then continuing to keep that card open can help you make the switch without your credit score dipping.

Thanks for the question, Billy, and if you’re a TPG reader who’d like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at

Featured photo by Popartic/Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.