Credit cards is by far the easiest and quickest way to earn miles and points – hands down. By applying for credit cards, you’re able to utilize both sign up bonuses and normal day to day spending to earn the currency that will allow you to travel in style.
There’s a lot of different strategies to apply for credit cards, and while I think much of the strategy is the same across bloggers and travelers, I wanted to provide my take on how I do things, and how I utilize my cards.
I apply for cards every 90 days
The best way to apply for credit cards to limit impact on your credit score is to apply every 90 days or so, since with this, you’ll minimize the hits on your score, and allow your score to pick back up prior to getting “hit” again with the next round of applications. The only deviation to this plan is when there’s a limited, worthy sign-up bonus that won’t be around when the 90 day mark hits – in that case I deviate and apply.
I apply for multiple cards at one time.
When I apply for cards at the 90 day timeframe, I apply for more than one card, since many times the applications, if done correctly, will only result in one inquiry to the credit bureaus. I open up the application windows for the cards I want to apply for, fill each one out, and simultaneously click “submit.” Doing this may result in the inquiry only being pulled once.
I pick one primary card and spend on it.
I pick one credit card for a majority of my spend. While I know many will maximize the bonuses across 10 cards, I find a majority of spending on one card to be the best strategy for me, with some exceptions. For me, that’s American Express since I find their extended warranties and service to be worthy of everyday spending. Right now, I prefer the American Express Premier Rewards Gold card.
I don’t mess with cards I like.
If there’s a card brand I really like or card I really love, I don’t manufacture spend with it, or risk possible closure from the bank.
If I don’t get approved for a card right away, I call the reconsideration line immediately.
If I apply for a card and don’t get approved instantly, I may see a screen saying that I’ll receive a decision in a few days. For me, that isn’t worth the risk, since without providing more information, I’m more than likely to be denied. If I’m not approved right away, I immediately call the bank’s reconsideration line and see if I can provide more information to justify my acceptance to the card.
What are your tips, tricks and strategies for applying for and using credit cards?
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