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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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Points Guy Assessment:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great pick for the beginner and the frequent traveler. The CSP has superb travel benefits, double points on certain purchases, and a 50,000 point sign up bonus. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year so this puts it as one of the less expensive cards, while still allowing you to earn one of the most valuable point currencies.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards