Applying for new credit cards is a great way to take advantage of the different offers. But as a general rule of thumb, it’s usually best to space your credit card requests, wait at least 90 days, and ideally more than six months, between a new card and the next.
The reason? If you apply for too many cards at the same time, it could serve as a red flag on your credit report, as lenders might see this activity and wonder why you need so much credit at once.
Plus, every time you apply for a credit card, it counts as a serious investigation of your credit report. A single serious request will reduce your score by a few points and cause minimal damage, but multiple serious requests will have a greater impact.
Finally, your credit mix – that is, the types of accounts you have opened – will help you determine what your credit score looks like. If you apply for multiple credit cards at once, it could skew your personal mix further in favor of credit cards, which is bad for your score. A more ideal mix is credit cards and other installment loans, such as a mortgage or car loan.
Still, in some cases, it may be a good idea to open more than one credit card at a time, but it’s only if you’re looking at multiple offers that you really can’t refuse.
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When signup bonuses call your name
Every once in a while you may stumble upon a sign up bonus credit card that is just too good to pass up. For example, you might qualify for a card that gives you $ 200 cash back for spending $ 500 within 90 days. That’s a pretty easy threshold to hit, and one that could easily net you $ 200 with minimal effort.
But what if you come across two of these offers at the same time? If you only apply for one card, you might miss out on the second offer and in this case it might pay off to apply for both.
That said, only open multiple cards at once if the offers are truly exceptional. And if you’re looking for signup bonuses, make sure you can hit the minimum spend on each offer you’re looking for. Otherwise, there is no point in opening multiple cards at the same time.
Also, when looking for this free cash back, make sure you don’t find yourself in a situation where you will be spending more money than you normally would. If you usually charge $ 800 in spending on a credit card each month and get two offers that cumulatively require you to spend $ 2,000 in three months, you should be good to go. But if these offers require you to spend $ 3,000 in three months, that’s more than you would normally charge. So these offers may not be worth it. In that case, you’d better apply for just one card, unless you have larger one-time expenses to charge.
When it comes to applying for a credit card, there are certain rules to follow. But sometimes the rules can be broken. It might get you to open more than one credit card at a time, but if you do, make sure it’s for the right reason, and also understand that your credit score may be temporarily affected.