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Credit Cards

Can I Switch From One Amex Card to Another?

If you have an American Express credit card that no longer meets your spending needs, you can switch your Amex card through an upgrade or downgrade. This request is called a product change, and it is allowed in specific situations.

Read on to find out when product changes are allowed, why you may want to upgrade or downgrade a card, and how to switch from one Amex card to another. 

In this guide:

Can you change your Amex card type?

When looking to switch Amex cards, you must first understand what type of card you have. For example, you can’t switch an Amex charge card—which doesn’t have a set limit and requires the cardholder to pay the balance in full every month—to a revolving credit card, or vice versa. They’re two different account types. 

Amex cards are also grouped by product line, and switching between product lines isn’t an option either. For example, certain Amex cards earn travel rewards, while others earn cash back. You can’t upgrade or downgrade a travel card to a cashback card. (We’ll discuss card product lines shortly.) 

In addition, if you have a card that’s attached to a loyalty program, such as a Delta SkyMiles credit card, you cannot switch products to a different rewards program.

The following Amex product change rules govern switches:

Rule
You can’t change from a charge card to a credit card
But you can downgrade a credit card to a charge card—if you can pay off the balance monthly.
You can’t change from a cashback card to a Membership Rewards card.
If you have a co-branded card—e.g., a hotel, airline, or retail card—you can switch to another card under that co-brand.
You can’t change a business card to a personal card, or vice versa.
Your account needs to be in good standing to be eligible for a product change.

Timing is critical when it comes to requesting a card upgrade or downgrade. You should wait at least 13 months after account opening before you request a product change. American Express takes suspicions of welcome-offer abuse seriously.

To combat welcome-offer abuse, Amex implemented a one-bonus-per-lifetime rule for most of its card families. For instance, if you’ve earned a welcome offer with your Platinum Card, you can’t earn another on a Gold Card because both cards are within the same family. If American Express suspects you’re trying to game the system, it can cancel your account or revoke your original welcome offer. 

Ensure you’re not trying to take advantage of a welcome offer, and prove that the product change request is due to spending habit changes. Doing so will improve your chances of qualifying for a new card.

Which Amex card types can you change?

Here are the Amex cards you can change.

Card categoryType of rewardsCards in product lineOption to upgrade?Option to downgrade?
Travel and diningMembership Rewards pointsPlatinum

Gold

Green
Everyday spendingMembership Rewards pointsEveryday Preferred

Everyday 
CashbackCash backBlue Cash Preferred

Blue Cash Everyday

Cash Magnet
Charge cardMembership Rewards pointsPlatinum

Gold

Green
Delta AirlinesDelta SkyMilesSkyMiles Platinum

SkyMiles Gold

SkyMiles Reserve

SkyMiles Blue

American
Hilton HonorsHilton Honors pointsHilton Honors Aspire

Hilton Honors

Surpass

Hilton Honors Card
Marriott Marriott pointsMarriott Bonvoy

Brilliant

Marriott Bonvoy

Bevy

Note: You don’t need to upgrade or downgrade the cards above in a specific order.

Should you change your Amex card type?

Whether you should change your Amex card type depends on your situation and spending habits. Cardholders often choose to downgrade or upgrade for the following reasons. 

Reasons to downgrade

Downgrading can make sense if your habits have changed. Here are common reasons you might choose to downgrade an Amex card:

  • Your spending habits have changed, and you no longer spend much in a particular category. 
  • You’re not traveling as often and aren’t taking advantage of your premium travel benefits. 
  • You aren’t using the card often enough to justify the annual fee. 

Reasons to upgrade

Upgrading your card can also make sense in certain instances. Here are reasons you might choose to upgrade: 

  • Your spending habits have changed, and you’re spending more in a particular category. 
  • You’re traveling more often and can benefit more from premium travel perks. 
  • You’re using your card often and can benefit from a higher earning rate. 

Our expert’s take

Erin Kinkade

CFP®

I recommend creating a spreadsheet or writing out a list to compare the benefits of the cards you’re considering switching to with the old card against the associated fees. As long as you pay off the card in full each month and no interest is charged, you can compare a potential new card to your current card by calculating the points or cash back you expect to earn on the card and how the cash or reward points are applied. If an annual fee is associated with a card, but you don’t intend to use the card often or at all, it makes sense to choose a card without an annual fee, which could mean a downgrade. 

How does upgrading or downgrading affect your credit?

Our expert advises

Erin Kinkade

CFP®

If the change is downgrading, it shouldn’t affect your credit score. If the upgrade stays with the same provider—Amex in this case—the account history should carry over to the new card without affecting your credit score or history. I recommend inquiring about the impact, if any, to your credit score before you proceed with a downgrade or upgrade.

How to request an Amex card change

Upgrade or downgrade cards by phone

When you decide on the product change you’d like to pursue, here are the steps for upgrading or downgrading your card. 

  1. Ensure your credit card account is in good standing; otherwise, you likely won’t be eligible for a product change. 
  2. Understand which cards you can upgrade or downgrade to.
  3. Call Amex customer service using the number on the back of your card.
  4. Ask the customer service representative if you’re eligible to switch to a new card.
  5. If approved, get your new card in the mail and begin using it. 

Upgrade cards online

Log in to the American Express website, and see whether you qualify for any upgrades:

Source: American Express

If you’re interested in upgrading, click “Request an Upgrade” for your selected card. You’ll likely get an immediate response. If you’re approved, wait for your upgraded card to arrive by mail, then begin using it.

Source: American Express

What to do if your request is denied

If your request for a product change is denied, ask Amex customer service to explain why you weren’t approved. Chances are good you’ll get approved for a downgrade, but it may be harder to upgrade. Potential reasons could include:

  • Your request didn’t align with Amex’s product change rules—for instance, upgrading to a card in a different card family. 
  • You’ve missed payments or paid late in the past. 
  • Your credit score isn’t great.
  • You’ve applied for too many new Amex cards or made multiple recent product change requests. 
  • You’ve had your current card for less than a year.

Ask the customer service representative whether you can do anything to have your request approved later. If the representative says your request isn’t possible, you can try calling 1-800-567-1083 to see whether they’ll revisit their decision. 

You could also apply for a new card altogether. You’ll need to submit a new application. If you want to compare your options, check out our picks for the best American Express credit cards.