Ask Money

New credit card

Chris Farrell Aug 22, 2009

Question: My MasterCard company (Citicards) recently sent me a letter saying that my card number had been compromised by a large-scale theft of credit card numbers. They sent me a new card, which has a different 16-digit number than my old card. When I called to activate the account, the customer service representative asked permission to “close” the old account and “open” the new one. Will this show up on my credit report as one 7-year-old account closing and a new one opening (thus hurting my credit history)? And whom do I call to find out? I am conscientious about paying it off in full every month – I would hate to have this hit my record negatively. Jennifer, Boston, MA

Answer: No, the change in numbers shouldn’t impact your credit score. Your credit history should be transferred into the new account when the old one is closed. The other thing is that your balance and credit limit are the same (that’s what happened with me after a similar shift following a credit card security breach.) So, there shouldn’t be any negative impact on your credit ratio.

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