should you apply for multiple credit cards at the same time

Applying for credit runs "hard pulls" on your account with incrementally lower your credit score for a limited time.

Long story short, no, applying for credit cards will not improve your credit score in any situation.

Yet, having multiple credit cards can make you look more favorable to some lenders, since other lenders have approved you.

The key point being that "credit score" isn't the indicator that lenders always use to determine if they will lend to you, unless it is a low score because then you will always be declined.

So it is important to know what outcome you really want, more credit or higher credit score.

When you apply for a new credit card you receive a "hard pull" on your credit report which will lower your credit score in the short term.

In the long term, purely credit score perspective, it will help your credit score for two reasons. One, by having more credit cards and therefore a higher total credit limit you will have a lower credit utilization ratio which results in a higher credit score. Second, the number of total accounts affects your credit score and additional accounts help the score. This second reason, total accounts, has less of a role than the credit utilization in your score calculation.

However, it is also important that a higher credit score only assists in helping you apply for new credit (credit cards, auto loans, house loans) and helps you to recieve a lower interested rate on those new lines of credit. Just getting lots of credit cards to run balances on is not a good use of credit.

The main problem with multiple credit cards, particularly for a person with bad credit is that they are likely to get themselves into debt.

If you want a higher score or more credit applying for more cards would generally be a good idea. The hard pull will take 1-2 points off your score and will be virtually gone from your score in 6 months. Having multiple new accounts will hurt your credit in the short term but several years from now it will improve your score and provide a buffer if you want/need to open a number of accounts in a short period of time.

The key here is that you should only use credit in situations that improve your over all financial situation. If credit saves you money or makes money over the long term then it is a good idea. If credit means that you can buy things you otherwise could not afford it is probably a bad idea and you will likely end up in a similar situation with credit problems.

Why You Should Always Apply for Two Credit Cards

by ThriftyTraveler · Published May 2, 2015 · Updated March 17, 2016

Credit card sign-up bonuses are the key to traveling the world for next to nothing, but we don’t want to travel at the expense of our credit scores. Remember to always apply for two credit cards instead of one! This simple trick is the key to obtaining large sign-up bonuses while protecting your credit score.

To maximize your point potential always pair one personal card application with one business card, from the same credit card bank, in the same day. This way instead of a credit bureau pull for each application you are generally only hit with one credit pull for both applications. The classic two for one. The reduction in credit inquiries helps to reduce the impact of card applications on your credit score.

It’s very important that your first application is always for the business card. The reason is business cards are typically more difficult to get approved and you always have to call into the bank’s reconsideration line. You will have to talk to a real person who could deny you if they see you already applied for a personal card. I recommend calling the business reconsideration line immediately after applying for the business card. If you do not call it is unlikely you will be approved.

When calling the reconsideration line a credit analyst will ask you questions about your business such as years in business, number of employees, total revenue, net income, etc. Once they are satisfied with the information you have provided you are typically instantly approved. Don’t worry you don’t actually need to have answers for all those questions or even own a REAL business. If you only sell items on eBay or Craigslist you can still qualify for a business card. Don’t have an IRS issued employer identification number (EIN)? Then enter your SSN on the application in the EIN’s place and select Sole Proprietorship as the business type.

Once you call and your business card is approved then apply for the personal card. Personal cards are almost always approved immediately online.

Thrifty Tip # 1: Pair an application for a business card with a personal card in the same day. This way you will only get one credit bureau inquiry for both applications! This reduces the impact of applications on your credit score.

Thrifty Tip #2: Always apply for the business card first. Call in to get approved immediately after application. After approval apply for the personal card. This will increase your chances of getting both approved.

Thrifty Tip #3: Even if you don’t have a REAL business you can qualify for a business card. Just enter your SSN in the place of the EIN and select Sole Proprietorship.

Thrifty Tip #4: The only exception to the two apps per day rule is Citibank, which will typically only allow you one app per day. Sorry guys!

By following these Thrifty Tips you will get more credit cards with less impact on your credit score. This method will also help you to avoid having credit applications rejected for having too many credit bureau inquiries in too short a time period. I always recommend applying for two cards per quarter to start out and ramp it up to four (from two banks) as you get more comfortable. As I state in the Beginners Guide make sure to wait 90-120 days between applications and alternate quarterly with a spouse if at all possible!

Check out our Top Credit Cards and leave a comment below letting me know how your applications went!

Who to call if you are not instantly approved:

American Express Credit Card Reconsideration

  • 877-399-3083 (new accounts) 8am-midnight EST M-F, 10am-6:30pm Saturday

Barclays Credit Card Reconsideration

Chase Credit Card Reconsideration

  • 888-245-0625 (personal credit analyst, 7am-10pm EST M-F; 8am-10pm EST Sat. and 9am-9pm Sun.)
  • 800-453-9719 (business credit analyst, 8am-10pm EST M-F)

Citibank Credit Card Reconsideration

  • 800-763-9795 (personal and business card application status/analyst) 7am-midnight EST 7 days a week

Should you apply for multiple credit cards at the same time

Should you apply for multiple credit cards at the same time

Updated on September 4, 2016

6 Rules for Applying for a ton of Miles Credit Cards

Should you apply for multiple credit cards at the same time

Anyone can get tons of free travel by simply signing up for credit cards. Want to go to Thailand? Just sign up for two credit cards and you’ll have more than enough miles for a roundtrip. Probably enough miles for a business class ticket even.

But there are so many credit cards out there (and many you can get more than once)- it makes total sense to apply for more cards when you need more trips. To scale the amount of free travel, just increase the number of credit cards you have.

Just from the millions of miles from credit cards, we’ve been able to fly all around the world and stay in some incredible hotels. Here are the flights we took last year on miles alone:

Why and how it’s good for your credit score.

I won’t go into this for too long as there is already a lot of writing on how people with more credit cards end up having higher credit scores. But the basics are that your “credit score” has nothing to do with income and is completely related to how good you are at borrowing money.

Having credit, and paying it off well with on-time payments proves that you are trust worthy. Someone with 11 years of history has a much higher credit score. But similarly, that person would have a higher credit score if they had that history with 11 credit cards rather than 1 card.

Our credit score went from high 600s to high 700s within the first two years of getting multiple cards for miles.

There are also a few rules to having good credit:

  • Always be on time with payments.
  • Low balances are better than high balances.
  • Pay off your card in full.

(If you can’t, don’t get credit cards. It’s a terrible loan, even with the miles, 20% APR is not wise.)

1) Apply for multiple cards on the same day

As I’ll explain in a second, banks are weary of people who are desperate for credit, so they try not to give too much credit to people aggressively opening cards. But for whatever reason, perhaps it’s just how the credit bureaus work, they don’t notice when you apply to other banks if it’s on the same day.

They might deny you if they saw you opened up an account elsewhere yesterday, and yet, they don’t know if you do it all at once.

We have applied for as many as 5 or 6 cards on the same day and gotten approved for all of them. It helps if you also have a great credit score though. But if you have a credit score 700 or above (which is “excellent”) it is totally worth applying for 5.

2 )Wait at least 90 days between cards

Although this is not a hard rule at all, many times I’ve applied for cards every 30 days… but every 90 is safest for one reason. Banks are weary of people desperate for money, blowing all their money and going bankrupt. To open new cards they need higher credit limits.

In my experience, applying for cards 31+ days apart will come with more denials. Often they specifically tell us when we call that there are just too many new accounts.

Yet, when I wait at least 90 days I never hear them say I applied for too many cards recently. It seems to be the magic amount of time to prove that I’m not some crazy person looking to max out all my cards.

The point of doing it on the same day is that Bank of America won’t be able to tell if you just applied for a Citi card. However, if you apply for two Bank of America personal cards… that’s the exact same depart and they will know that you just applied for two cards and with most banks, you will surely get denied on one of them. Plus, it won’t look good.

4) Business cards are separate products and departments

The exception for everything is business cards. Business cards and personal cards are treated very differently and are often handled by very different departments.

This means that if you are applying for the American Airlines personal card you might as well go ahead and apply for the business one as well. It is the exception to the one per bank rule.

It also means that you can apply for the same card twice, basically. And the crazy part is that anyone can get a business card. Just see this post on how to fill out a business card application.

5) Call reconsideration [after denial]

Often nowadays we automatically get declined for a card, but when we call, the bank is very apologetic and a person will often manually approve it for us.

Do not be afraid to call and ask them to reconsider you! It’s so normal. And often if they don’t want to give you more credit, you can just move the credit lines around from one card to another to open the new card – this is true with Chase at least.

Also, don’t call too soon. Just because it’s taking a long time for them to make a decision doesn’t mean that you aren’t on the right track. Back in the day a bunch of people applied for the AA cards and got a pending message – “your application is under review”. I and my friends got the same message but didn’t call just yet. Others did call at this point, and all of them got denied over the phone. My friends and I got our cards in the mail a little bit later.

Just let the denial letter come in the mail and there will be a phone number on it. That’s the number to call for reconsideration.

6) Do your spending with the good bank

The reason Chase is so apologetic that we got automatically declined is because we use their cards. They want to approve people who use their cards, and they don’t want to give more credit to people who get their cards and never use them… they can’t make money that way.

They make money when people spend on the cards. They usually make a percentage, or unfortunately some people rack up too much debt and have to pay interest. Your goal is to be the person who makes them money from the actual spending so you can continue to get the miles.

To start out, pick cards that offer 50,000 miles or more! My exception is usually the Chase Sapphire Preferred which is 40,000 points nowadays.

As I’m about to explain, not all miles are created equal. In general I advise you to get United miles (or Chase points because they transfer 1:1 to United) and AA miles because they don’t pass on fuel surcharges. Plus they have generally good prices.

You don’t want to pay fuel surcharges, plus you don’t want something that charges double or triple miles because Delta or Virgin Atlantic appeared to have big bonuses. But in reality, they get you half as far.

Before you apply for any cards, make sure you read 4 cards 2 programs. It will talk about the best credit cards and how to know what the best cards are. It will also set you on the right track to get your first few cards.

Not all points are created equal, and so not all bonuses should be judged on the same scale. As a friend says, “if I offered you 100 dollars and 100 Japanese Yen, you would want to know how much they are worth in relation to each other.”

Similarly, you want to know what your miles are worth. But even if you’re not into all the research or caring about miles yet, let Drew recommend 4 cards for you.

A Change to My Advice on Applying for Credit Cards

Should you apply for multiple credit cards at the same time

The landscape for credit card approvals, and more importantly, getting cards’ bonuses has changed during the five years I’ve been in the game. I combined the new rules to write “Best Order for Card Applications to Maximize Bonuses Over Your Lifetime” two months ago, and everything in it is still true.

But I want to write a follow up post about a further change to the recommended best practices for applying for credit cards.

The Change: Instead of applying for cards from different banks on the same day, wait a day or two between applications to let credit inquiries from the last bank combine.

  • If you apply for multiple cards from one bank on the same day, that bank often combines those applications into one credit inquiry. But it takes a day or two for the multiple credit pulls for the multiple cards to be combined into one inquiry.
  • The fewer inquiries you have on your credit report, the better your chances are for approval with the next bank.
  • The reasoning to make all your applications on the same day–that maybe each bank wouldn’t see the other bank’s applications yet–is dead because pulls show up instantly on your credit report.

When you apply for a credit card, the card issuer will check your credit report to see if you are good enough credit risk to be approved.

When a bank checks a credit report after a credit card application, it is considered a “hard pull” or “hard inquiry.” (A “soft inquiry” results from a check of the credit report not related to a lending decision, like when you check your own credit report.) The hard pull shows up instantly on your credit report. Hard pulls lower your credit score. In my experience, after a hard pull, my score drops 2-5 points for a few months, at which point the effect is gone. And after two years, the hard pull itself is completely gone from the credit report.

Hard pulls are bad because they temporarily lower your credit score and because some banks count them to see if you’re applying for a lot of credit cards, which they assume you are doing just for the bonuses, which would make you an unprofitable customer that they’ll deny.

Of course, hard pulls are worth it if a credit card is offering a juicy deal, but all things equal, we’d like to minimize the number of pulls on our credit report. So if we could get multiple cards but only one pull, that would be ideal.

This is indeed possible because some credit card issuers will only do one pull for all the cards you apply for on the same day. Usually, though, each application shows up as a hard pull for a day or two before they are combined into one pull.

Let’s pause here and marvel at all those “weasel words” as my English teacher called them: “possible,” “some,” “usually.”

Should you apply for multiple credit cards at the same time A whole family of weasel words

Unfortunately the rules for combining inquiries vary by bank, sometimes by whether you are applying for personal or business cards, and sometimes change so that your results don’t match previously reported results.

The best way to know whether your multiple applications from one bank will be combined into one inquiry is to read this Doctor of Credit post and its comments for updates.

How Long Does It Take Credit Inquiries to Combine

Just because credit inquiries combine doesn’t meant it happens instantly. The Devil’s Advocate has conclusively shown that multiple applications show as multiple pulls for 12-48 hours before they combine. As he puts it:

There’s a bit of confusion about what actually happens when inquiries combine, so let’s clear things up. It’s not usually the banks that combine credit inquiries, but rather the credit reporting agencies themselves. Many CRA computers appear programmed to assume that two or more inquiries on the same day from the same lender are a mistake, or simply a duplicate of the same inquiry. Therefore, the repeated ones are deleted (or “combined”), leaving just one inquiry on your credit report.

So credit pulls show up instantly on your report (and to other banks), credit pulls can be combined, but the combining isn’t instant. Add that up and you get a new strategy for applying for multiple cards from multiple banks at the same time. Instead of applying for them all in the same day like I used to recommend, you should apply for all the cards from one bank on one day, wait until your credit pulls from that bank are combined, and then apply for all cards from the next bank on one day.

While previously you did all of your applications in the same day, not maybe the process will take three days or a week.

I think the change to strategy laid out in this post is very important, but let’s not forget what it doesn’t change.

So if you understand all that, it should be a snap to understand that the new best practice for applying for multiple cards from multiple banks is to wait until the credit inquiries from each bank combine before moving on to the next bank.

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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Tempted to Apply for Multiple Jobs at the Same Company?

This post originally appeared on POPSUGAR Smart Living.

When you're excited about a company, it's natural to want to apply to several different positions there. But job hunters might be worried about the impression it gives off. If you're wondering if it reeks of desperation, the answer is . . . it depends.

Applying for different positions in the company works if you are truly qualified for the positions you're applying to. It also helps if you are tailoring your résumé for each position. Another factor you must consider is the size of the company. If the firm is huge, then chances are you might not be getting the same HR person looking at your application.

Most importantly, even if you're applying for multiple positions, try to limit yourself and be realistic. Applying to two or three positions you qualify for is acceptable, but submitting your résumé for every single position listed can be a turnoff.

Some recommend applying to one job at a time and, if you don't hear back and some time has passed, applying to another position later. However, the danger of this strategy lies in the fact that the jobs may be gone by the time you're ready to apply again. You'll have to weigh the risks on your own to see which approach to take in different situations.