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Question

Do You Pick a Date Every 3 Months for Card Applications?

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TPG Reader Michael sent in a question:

“…if you do a new round of applications every three months or so, do you choose an exact day in January, April, July and October?”

I’ve got 23 different active credit cards right now, and I know a lot of people who have many more than that. My personal strategy is to apply for credit cards when the offers are high, and I don’t necessarily have a set schedule. If you’ve got a good job, good credit and good income, getting approved for a credit card is all about making sure your score is over 700; the higher the better.

There there are some points and miles enthusiasts out there who have exact dates. A common strategy is to wait 91 days between applications, and since previous card applications drop off your credit report after 6 months (often on a specific date), synchronizing those applications ensures that your credit score will be at its highest when you apply. Some people use this technique to maximize the number of cards they can get. Instead, I prefer to strike while the iron is hot when a particularly high signup bonus is available. Some only last a very short time, so the opportunity cost of having to wait when you see an amazing deal is much higher than the benefit of timing your applications on a certain date.

Should you pick the same date every three months to apply for a card? Image courtesy of Shutterstock
Do You Choose an Exact Day Every 3 Months to Apply for a Card? Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Whenever you apply for cards just make sure that you are abiding by the rules that the issuer states on the application (e.g., Chase states that you can’t get the bonus on the Sapphire Preferred if you’ve received that bonus within the last two years). Your best bet is to focus on that versus a set schedule, especially if you’re only applying for a handful of cards each year.

What’s your strategy for credit card applications? Please share your ideas and suggestions in the comments below, and feel free to write me with additional questions by messaging me on Facebook, tweeting me @ThePointsGuy, or sending me an email at [email protected]

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