Answer: An upgrade may include running a credit report to see how you are handling other obligations. Running a credit report will take a few points from your credit score; however, if you have not been applying for a lot of credit over the last 12 months, it really should not make any difference in your credit rating.
But there is a chance, since you have been such a valued and loyal customer to Chase, that they will only do an account review. If an account view is done, it is considered a soft credit inquiry where no points are deducted from your credit score.
Now what you may want to ask a Chase representative is whether or not upgrading will entail you losing your account history with your current Chase credit card. You have a wonderful long history with Chase which adds to what I am sure is a very good credit score. You don’t want to lose that long history.
Although I am not completely positive, upgrading may require you close the current account to open the new Travel Mastercard. If this is the case, I would consider retaining the current card in order to keep that rich account history you have maintained the past 40 years. Length of credit history accounts for 15% of your total credit score.
If Chase requires you close one account in order to upgrade, I would consider simply applying for the Travel Mastercard as a new account; while retaining your current account. Perhaps you would be able to transfer your balance from the current card to the new card as long as the balance transfer would not put you near the new card limit. Keeping account balances to no more than 30% of your available credit makes for good credit scores.
When you contact Chase see what your options are in upgrading, specifically will you be able to keep the account history you have with your current card or will they close the current card to upgrade you to the new card. Do what you must in order to maintain your current account history as it is good for your credit score as well as commendable to have a 40 year history with a creditor.