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If you are thinking of applying for a new credit card to consolidate debt or for some other cause, the process may seem hectic to you. For some, the collection of documents might cause anxiety but for others , it might be an overjoyed feeling to get their new card. But most importantly you need to consider the best time to apply for a new credit card. As no season is better for credit card applications and it totally depends upon your personal financial situation and credit card history that when should you apply for a new credit card.   

Finding the perfect time to apply for a new credit card cuts half of the anxiety. With the right timings, there are greater chances of approval for the application. As most of people run for limited-time bonus offers that tempt you to file an application but that does not mean it’s the best time to sign up. For a clear picture in your mind to minimize your approval time, take into consideration the following factors.

What is the right time to apply for a new credit card- Key Takeaways?

What is the best time to apply for a new credit card
  • If your balance is high, you want to make big purchases or consolidate credit card debts then it may be the right time to apply for a new credit card
  • If you are planning to get a mortgage loan and your finances are currently low, then its preferable to wait for the appropriate time to apply for a new credit card.
  • Getting the timing right for the approval of your credit card application also reduces the chances of negative impacts on your application

Main reasons to apply for a new credit card

Main reasons to apply for a new credit card

Having the credit card already in your wallet is advantageous for you. If you don’t own a credit card, applying for a credit card as a part of your financing plan is a great move. What is appropriate for you mainly depends upon your card usage and your financial and credit situation.

When you have an existing balance with high APR

If you have to pay credit car balance each month with high interest charges then its viable option to apply for a new credit card with low interest charges. Always look for credit cards that offer 0% introductory Apr for an extended duration of time. The average rate of interest is nearly 21% and by transferring the existing debt to the card with 0% introductory APR you can save the additional money. In this way you also get ahead of the interest payments and pay down your balance quickly and efficiently.

 Best 0% APR Credit Cards

Although there is a long list of cards that offer greater rewards, cashback and 0% introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers for extended periods of time. The Wells Fargo Reflect® Card is the top contender in the list of best cards with 0% APR  for a duration of 21 months on purchases and qualifying bank transfers. After this duration a variable APR of 18.24%,24.74%, or 29.99% is applicable. This means that you can enjoy almost 2 years’ worth of relief from the interest payments and can save a huge chunk of money.

When you are planning to make a big purchase

If you are planning to buy something big then it is good to apply for a new card for two reasons : get promotional APR to avoid interest charges and easy fulfillment of spending cap limit for generous sign up bonus. 

Many of the premium card issuers offer welcome bonuses with specific spending requirements in a prescribed period not greater than 3 months. The welcome bonuses are in the form of cashback, miles for travel, statement credit, and other specific reward points. If you have a prepaid time slot to make a big purchases you can easily apply for a new card prior to it. In this way, you can get approval and earn a generous sign-up bonus readily at the same time.

If you don’t anticipate any big purchases then you can plan to apply for a new card only when you will be shopping the most. For most people spending on shopping is major the goal during the holiday season

When the credit score is high

If you currently have good to excellent credit scores (FICO scores greater than 690) than you must be eligible for the new best credit cards, The responsible use of previous credit cards with monthly payments is necessary to place a new credit card in your wallet.

When taking in consideration the decision to apply for a new card, think of your spending habits and choose the best card options for points, cashback, and miles. For instance, if you spend a lot on groceries, then Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express is good for you. This card can earn you 6% cashback with a spending requirement of $6,000 per year.

When you are trying to build or rebuild credit

Credit cards are a favorable choice to build or rebuild credit. In comparison with the major loans such as home mortgages, car loans credit cards are the favorable choice. If you are starting from scratch or have bad credit, then it’s the best time to apply for a new credit card.

The two credit card options for the starters are a secured card and a student card. They both are designed to help you build a great credit history. Building credit can also lead you to great opportunities to reap benefits in form of rewards, cashbacks and miles for travel. Once you build a good credit history, you are automatically eligible for big loans such as mortgage, car loan etc.

When shouldn’t you apply for a new credit card?

When shouldn't you apply for a new credit card?

So there are multiple cases when you should not apply for the credit cards. Following are some of the recommended scenarios:

When you are about to get mortgage or other loan

So if you are planning to get a personal loan, mortgage or car loan then its preferable to avoid applying for a new card. No matter whether it’s approved or not, the number of hard inquiries will potentially have a negative impact on the credit score. Moreover, the low credit score along with hard inquiries can put you at greater credit risk. In case, you mortgage loan is approved you have to deal with stringent terms  and conditions.

When your finances are not in good shape

A credit card should shape your financial standing and uplift them in the best possible ways. If it’s not the best time to apply for a new credit card and you are struggling with recent credit card issuers then it’s right to step back. Firstly, try to manage money and work to improve your finances. Once you get in a better place financially then it’s preferable to apply for a new credit card.

 When you have got recent hard inquiries

Most credit card applications require hard inquiries that will potentially lower the credit score. If you have got too many recent inquiries then it is a great possibility that the new card issuer will reject your application. Instead of adding multiple hard inquiries to your credit, it is good to press the pause button on your credit card applications.

Make sure you check the credit report for the number of hard inquiries before you apply for a new card. In ideal situation, the best time to apply for a new card is when excessive hard inquiries are dropped.

 In brief , the best time to apply for a new card is when you are financially stable and want a new credit card to get additional rewards and cashback. As per your preferred reward category you can check the best credit cards to reap all the benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I wait before applying for a new credit card?

Before you apply for a new credit card it is preferable to wait for a minimum of 90 days and a maximum of 6 months. Considering your financial situation you can make a decision at your convenience.

 Can I file an application for 2 credit cards at the same time?

Yes, you can. There is no limitation on the number of credit cards you can apply for but some credit card issuers have specific restrictions and only let you apply for a single card at a particular time.


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