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Credit Card Upgrade: Another Opportunity to Get Huge Bonus

You can get huge bonus when you sign up a credit card, which we have covered this topic before: Credit Card Classes for Dummies: Part 1. Also, you can get another round of bonus when you want to close your card: Retention Offer Before Closing the Credit Card, you can check an example here: Credit Card Retention Offer Request: Dummy Easy Step-by-Step Practice. Today, I am telling you another trick to get the bonus: Credit card upgrade.

First, I must be clear, not all cards have such trick. It mostly happens in American Express (AMEX) cards. Basically, upgrade means you are request a credit card with annual fee, or higher annual fee, to replace your current non-annual fee or lower annual fee card, while keep the card number and credit limit the same, and no credit check during the upgrade. Mostly, you will get approve without any problem. For example:

  • AMEX Gold upgrade to Platinum
  • Amex Hilton no annual fee card to $95 annual fee card, or to $495 annual fee card
  • AMEX Everyday card to Everyday Preferred Card.
  • AMEX Delta non-annual fee to Delta Gold to Delta Platinum to Delta Reserve

Second, since AMEX has a policy: you cannot get the welcome bonus if you have or had this card before. So, let’s say if you don’t have AMEX platinum card before, and you upgrade your gold card to platinum card. Later, you want to apply for the platinum card, you will not be eligible to the Platinum welcome bonus! So, upgrade method works best when you already have the card you want to upgrade.

Let me give you an example. Recently, I received an email from AMEX, which ask me to upgrade my no-annual fee Hilton card to the $95 annual fee Hilton Surpass card, and spend $3000 in 90 days, to get 100,000 Hilton Points!

I already had Hilton Surpass Card before, which I had 100,000 points as the welcome bonus. So, it completely makes sense for me, as I don’t need to worry that I will lost any welcome bonus in the future. And although I need pay $95 annual fee, I can get 100,000 points, which could redeem hotel room that worthy at least $500. As a fan of travel and Hilton brand, it is really a good deal for me!

And the best of the best, actually, you can repeat this circle multiple times! For me, 2 years ago, I upgrade the non-annual fee version to the Surpass, then the second year I downgrade the Surpass card to the non-annual fee card. Now, I have the chance to upgrade it again! Do you understand? It could be execute multiple times! Therefore, for these series cards that have the potential to upgrade and downgrade, no need to close cards, just downgrade to the non-annual fee version, and waiting for the opportunity to upgrade, again, and again!

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