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Credit FAQ

Will a Lower Credit Limit Help Me Get Approved for Cards?

October 12, 2014

TPG reader Blake messaged me on Facebook to ask: “Do you ever recommend calling in to receive a lower credit limit than what is granted to you after an instant approval? Is it advantageous to keep limits lower to make room for more cards with the same bank?” I’ve got a huge amount of credit […]

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If I Just Got a New Credit Card, Can I Apply for Another?

October 5, 2014

TPG reader Luis tweeted me to ask: “@thepointsguy- I just got approved for a credit card. When can I apply for another one?” I’ve said it time and time again, but credit card bonuses are probably the most lucrative and easiest way to bring in tons of points and miles. A 60 second application online (and meeting spending […]

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Which Credit Cards Are Best for Building Credit?

September 21, 2014

TPG reader Martine asked me on Facebook: “I just completed paying off my consolidated debt and am looking to build my credit, if possible with some type of rewards credit card. My credit score is 694 with Transunion, but 744 with Experian.  Do you have any recommendations?” Maintaining a high credit score is critical if […]

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Should I Call if I Don’t Get Instant Credit Card Approval?

September 14, 2014

TPG reader Brian asked me on Facebook: “If my online credit card application isn’t approved instantly, is there any benefit to calling the reconsideration line right away rather than waiting until I receive a yes or no decision? Would it be better to wait and then call if the decision is no?” Applying for credit cards […]

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Will I Earn Points If I Pay My Credit Card Bill Early?

August 17, 2014

TPG reader Sean emailed me with a question this week: “My research suggests that I can make charges and pay them off multiple times during the billing cycle. If I do that, will I earn points based on the total I spent in the month, or are points awarded based on my balance when my statement closes?” Paying your credit card […]

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

August 10, 2014

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 […]

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Should I Reduce My High Credit Limit If I Don’t Use It?

July 27, 2014

There are a lot of different factors that influence your credit score, the biggest ones being paying your bills on time, and the amount of credit that you’re utilizing. For example, if you’ve got $20,000 of available credit between all your accounts, and you’re running a combined balance of $17,000, that represents a high credit utilization, and […]

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How Card Applications Affect Your Credit Score

July 16, 2014

Today, TPG contributor Jason Steele reviews how new credit card applications impact your FICO score, and reminds us to consider the big financial picture when playing the points and miles game. There’s no way around the fact that credit card sign-up bonuses are among the quickest and easiest ways to earn points and miles. Even if you […]

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How to Get a Free FICO Credit Score From Certain Credit Cards

February 26, 2014

Compiled by the Fair Isaac Corporation and sold to individuals and companies/banks, the widely-used credit score known as FICO helps lenders and credit card companies determine a consumer’s level of fiscal responsibility and risk. The higher this score, which ranges from 300-850, the better your credit. Once every 12 months, consumers can receive their FICO report […]

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Credit Card Reward Program Regulations May Be On The Way

November 15, 2013

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, Congress passed financial regulations meant to add more oversight into the financial markets to hopefully avoid another crisis. In 2009 they passed the CARD act, which enforced new rules on credit card companies including how often they could change consumer APRs and how much they could charge merchants […]

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Barclaycard Cardmembers Get Free FICO Scores Starting Today

November 4, 2013

Barclaycard has been making some very positive moves in the travel credit cards marketplace as it beefs up its offerings with great products like the Arrival card, and in another new initiative, it has become the first top 10 issuer to offer cardmembers complimentary FICO scores. Barclaycard announced today, November 4, 2013, that it has […]

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Will Applying For A Business Credit Card Affect The Credit Of The Business?

October 6, 2013

TPG reader Eric is wondering whether his business credit score is affected by applying for or canceling a business credit card: “When I apply for (or cancel) a business credit card, does it affect the credit of the business (the EIN of the business)? Or do they just pull my personal credit to see if […]

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How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open At Once And How Does That Affect Your Credit?

September 22, 2013

Update: The offers mentioned below for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards from American Express has expired. View the current offers here – personal, business. This question comes from TPG reader Seth, who asked: “How many credit cards do you have, what are the effects of having so many cards open at once, and do you ever decide to […]

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Which Credit Reporting Agencies Banks Use To Pull Your Credit Report – And Why It Matters

September 12, 2013

Update: The offer mentioned below for the Platinum Card from American Express has expired. View the current offer here.  One of the most important things to know when applying for multiple credit cards at a time is which credit bureau each bank pulls your credit report from. There are three main credit bureaus or credit reporting […]

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Equifax Hit With Suit on False Credit Report Items – And What You Can Do To Protect Your Credit

July 30, 2013

Your credit score is the key to everything from getting the best points-earning credit cards to securing a loan for a home mortgage, so it’s imperative that you not only monitor it to make sure it is healthy, but that you also go over it in detail to make sure the information on it is […]

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How Can I Save My Credit Score After a Late Payment?

July 28, 2013

TPG Twitter follower Eddie made a very late payment on one of his credit cards and is worried about how it will affect his credit score: “‪@thepointsguy‬ I accidentally forgot and paid my Club Carlson Business Visa bill 36 days late! How do I save my credit score?” When I saw this tweet come in […]

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What Are The Consequences Of Putting All Of My Spending On My Business Credit Card?

June 23, 2013

Our first question this weekend comes from TPG reader Kevin who wants to know what the downside of using a business credit card for the majority of his spending would be: “What would be the negative consequences of having all my spending on business credit cards be? I guess this shows my lack of understanding […]

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Video SRQ: How to Handle Getting Denied for Having Too Many Credit Inquiries

May 5, 2013

TPG reader Evan would like to know what he should do when his credit card application is affected by too many inquiries: “When churning and playing the credit card points game, how do you respond to banks that decline for massive inquiries?” This has happened to me many times before and usually can be cleared […]

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Video SRQ: Can I Earn Points on Prepaid Cards?

April 14, 2013

TPG reader Ruth asked what options there are for earning points and miles if you have poor credit: “For those who have bad credit who want to get a prepaid credit card, is there one where points can be earned as well ? If so, which one?” Unfortunately there are no prepaid cards that give […]

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When to Cancel a Credit Card: My Personal Card Inventory and Decision Process

March 20, 2013

Update: The offers mentioned below for the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Cards from American Express has expired. View the current offers here – personal, business. This is the second post in a series on my most recent round of credit card applications and will focus on how to conduct a personal credit card inventory and decide which cards to […]

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How To Check Your Credit for Free: Step One in My Credit Card Application Preparation

March 19, 2013

This is post one of four on my most recent round of credit card applications and will focus on the basics of credit and how to perform a personal check to make sure everything healthy before a round of applications. Post 2 will be how to conduct a personal card inventory and decide which cards […]

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Sunday Reader Question: Disputing Negative Information on Credit Reports

September 9, 2012

TPG reader David asks: “My wife recently had trouble getting approved for cards. I got a copy of her credit report and found out that there have been a number of late payments on her student loan, which her parents are responsible for. Have you had any history or know if that is something that […]

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Sunday Reader Question: How to Keep Credit Card Accounts Active

September 2, 2012

TPG reader Richard asks: “After combing through the interwebs, I haven’t found a definitive answer on whether banks will close credit accounts that aren’t being used. Is this just due to activity? I charge 1 dollar on each card I have every month via Amazon gift card to myself but I don’t know if this […]

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Sunday Reader Question: How College Students Can Build Credit

June 24, 2012

TPG reader Dianna had a great question that sums up one of the challenges facing many young people looking for ways to build their credit without much income: “I am currently a college student and a world traveler but I do not have all the things necessary to build a credit report. Most articles seem […]

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