Credit Score FAQs Part 1: Opening And Closing Cards.

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First in a series. In the future I hope to cover topics like building credit for beginners, FICO vs. FAKO scores, credit pulls by state of residence, credit freezing for more card approvals, when to pay your bill to gain points on your credit score, and more.
Have a question about your credit score? Post a comment and I’ll try to tackle it in a future FAQ post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part of my collection…
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Q: Doesn’t opening and closing cards hurt your score?

A: Not if done properly.

Opening a card typically entails a credit check, also known as a hard pull, which can lower your score by a couple points. However the “New Credit” category only makes up 10% of your FICO credit score, or 85 of 850 possible points. Even if you theoretically you had zero points in that category (extremely unlikely) you can still have a top-notch credit score by scoring well in the major categories. Payment History makes up 35%, amounts owed and credit utilization make up 30%, length of credit history makes up 15%, and types of credit used makes up the final 10%.

To mitigate the effects of opening a card for a signup bonus I always apply for cards via the “2bm/3bm method.” This means using 2 or 3 web browsers, like IE, Chrome, and Firefox, to apply for 2 or 3 different cards from the same bank, as close to each other as possible.  Personally I’ll fill out the application form on all 3 browsers and then hit submit on all of them within a few seconds. This way you can get 2 or 3 cards with just 1 credit pull. There’s no guarantee you’ll get accepted to all 3, but this increases the odds of getting multiple cards.

An “AOR” or app-o-rama is the process of using multiple 2/3bms from multiple banks as quickly as possible, in order to get approved for more cards from more banks.

Note that when applying for a Capital One credit card you will get 3 hard credit pulls for a card application, while every other bank only does 1 pull.

Hard pulls count against you the most for about 6 months and fall off your report completely after about 2 years.

The bottom line is that by having more total credit which means lower overall credit utilization and by paying those bills off on time your score will easily recover the few points lost for opening the card and your score will be even higher than where it was in the first place.  That’s how I’m able to have a top-notch FICO score even with applying for hundreds of credit cards.

As far as closing cards, there are many different options here:

-You can downgrade a card to a free version, sparing yourself the annual fee.  This can be done even after you get a statmeent with the annual fee due.

-You can speak to a retention department who will often be willing to either waive an annual fee, give you miles to stay, or give a spending credit for you not to close your card.

-You can apply for new cards and after being rejected talk to the Reconsideration department and the vast majority of the time they will be willing to approve a new card in exchange for you agreeing to close an older card and move the credit line from an old card to a new card. You can also always get reconsideration to move over part of the credit line of an old card to get a new card approved.

Bear in mind that with cards from American Express there are just so many promotions they run, that they should easily be paying off your annual fee and then some, especially if you add free additional cardholders that can also participate in all of their promotions.

A common misconception is that closing a card hurts your score. This does not have to be the case. Even after you close a card it still remains on your credit report for at least a decade and still helps the average age of your accounts/length of your credit history. When you do close a card if you lose the credit line that can hurt your total credit and credit utilization, however if you close old cards by getting approved for new cards via reconsideration then you can have that entire line moved over to a new card. By doing so there will be no hit to your credit score, at least until that account falls off your report in a decade from now, though by then you will have other older cards to take its place.

You generally should not close your oldest credit card though, as that card sets the date of your credit age and you don’t want that to ever fall off your report.

It’s worth noting here that AMEX cards actually always backdate the opening to when you first opened an AMEX card, so opening AMEX cards can actually have a very positive effect on your credit score. You can especially use this to your advantage by adding yourself as an AU to one of your parents cards, but that’s for another article…

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133 Responses to “Credit Score FAQs Part 1: Opening And Closing Cards.”

  1. avram Says:
    1

    What do you suggest is better to build credit history a gap credit card or a capitalone credit card (MTV visa)which is for average credit history???

    ReplyReply
  2. Jay Says:
    2

    Dan,
    So if I get a second the Starwood card, after I spend the necessary amount and got the miles/points. Do I close the card and transfer the line of credit? Will that affect my credit history/score score?

    ReplyReply
  3. sol Says:
    3

    If I open up 3 different chrome windows will that have the same desired affect as 3 mb or does it have 2 b different browsers specifically? also will this work when applying 4 business & personal?

    ReplyReply
  4. Gilad Says:
    4

    Dan, if you downgrade a card or transfer a credit line, how does this affect the average age of your accounts? In other words, is this considered like a brand new account, or a continuation of the previous credit line?

    ReplyReply
  5. J Says:
    5

    How does it work for AMEX? You are always deemed a “member since” with a date. Wondering if that means your credit has been open with them for that long if you open and close different AMEX cards or if opening and closing AMEX Cards (all the while having at least one AMEX Card) hurts the score.

    ReplyReply
  6. Gilad Says:
    6

    It seems you are suggesting in your analysis that it is viewed as a brand new account, but it would be great if you could confirm.

    ReplyReply
  7. cw3323 Says:
    7

    How about asking for a credit increase from amex does it hurt ? Is it worth ?

    ReplyReply
  8. YouG Says:
    8

    What credit score do I need to get accepted for Amex? I just applied for a business starwood. And they rejected me because I only have Fico 637.
    Would it help to call reconsideration? Or is there a minimum Fico I need first

    ReplyReply
  9. Dan Says:
    9

    @avram:
    Capital One is 3 credit pulls, GAP takes just one.

    @Jay:
    If you transfer the credit line then it won’t affect your credit, but why close it?
    Open free AU’s and make a profit on all of their promotions like Small Business Saturday, etc.

    @sol:
    No, it needs to be different browser brands.
    It’s really hard to get 4 new cards approved.

    @Gilad:
    Downgraded cards typically retain everything from the previous card.
    When you transfer credit to close a card then that card is closed, however it continues to improve your average age for at least 10 years until it falls off your report.

    @J:
    I’ve added a paragraph to the end of the article for you.

    @cw3323:
    Usually that will entail a hard pull, but you can ask if you qualify for an increase without a hard pull.

    @YouG:
    It’s always worth calling reconsideration, but 637 is a low score. Definitely try working to improve that.

    ReplyReply
  10. jj1000 Says:
    10

    @sol: Must be 3 different browsers. Try and keep it just business or just personal. Also for Amex use incognito or clear cache and cookies.

    ReplyReply
  11. Zoli Says:
    11

    Great post series. Looking forward to the rest.

    ReplyReply
  12. Sunny Says:
    12

    if I closed a card and transfered most of the credit line to a different card besides $500 that they didnt let me, will that effect my credit?

    ReplyReply
  13. sol Says:
    13

    @Dan: TO CLARIFY: WILL THE 3-BROWSER’S HELP FOR CROSS BTWN BUSINESS AND PERSONAL CARDS OR ONLY 1 TYPE?

    ReplyReply
  14. Dan Says:
    14

    @Sunny:
    Unless you have a small overall credit line I wouldn’t sweat the $500.
    However had you applied for a new card and offered to close the old one in the process you can usually salvage the entire credit line.

    @sol:
    It’ll still help to get approved for both cards, though if you mix consumer and business it can cause a 2nd pull.

    ReplyReply
  15. Anonymous Says:
    15

    How many Cards are in that Picture?
    Are those cards all open or closed or a mix?
    What’s your credit line?

    ReplyReply
  16. ENJOYED THE ARTICLE! Says:
    16

    I just got the Amex Platinum card. Anyhow I can use the $200 annual airline credits for airline vouchers?
    Also can I close out a line with Amex and move the line to a new card the way it can be done with chase credit cards? I know the Plat is a charge card but I’m wondering about what to do because I have no other MR cards and I want to be able to transfer to airlines…
    Also how long can I wait from signup until I can sign up for another plat and get signup bonus?

    ReplyReply
  17. Helene Says:
    17

    Please help! I’ve tried a few times not to pay my annual fee on the Starwood card and the Platinum card but to no avail. How do I do it? What do I say? Who do I speak with?

    ReplyReply
  18. q's Says:
    18

    A few questions:

    1) Does closing charge cards have an effect on your score? (Since there is no “official” line of credit)

    2) How does business credit cards affect your score?

    3) Is the damage of closing a credit card so great that it is worth the hassle of asking the cc issuer every time to move over the old line?

    ReplyReply
  19. Eli Says:
    19

    In the past i have applied for chase credit cards but was rejected because i had too many chase cards already open. It seems that by not closing some accounts you will be prevented from opening new ones. Is this true? Is it so terrible to close accounts and then apply for new ones from the same bank?

    Also, if i continually apply for new credit cards to get the promotion sign up bonus and then cancel after a few months or a year, can i then just re-apply for the same card to get the sign up bonus again? Would i have problems getting approved? is there a waiting period? And how would this all effect my credit score?

    Thank Dan!

    ReplyReply
  20. Izz Says:
    20

    Where is ur virgin america credit card?

    ReplyReply
  21. Frank Says:
    21

    If i have 15 credit cards should i try to use all of them every month or just use some

    ReplyReply
  22. David Says:
    22

    Dan:

    1. Sincere thanks for this website and your dedication to it!

    2. This first post of a series, is very informative and very helpful. Particularly relating to shifting credit lines to new cards to close out old cards and why that doesn’t hurt your score.

    May I make two suggestions for future topics:

    1. How to properly “churn” cards. When to close out old ones (I’m assuming you can’t apply for a new Starwood when your first is still open and ask them to transfer the line of credit)? When to reapply for new ones? How to deal with issues along the way?

    2. This one may be more work – profiles of people / couples / families. This is something similar to what you did last week with a guy who had four cards and was making a chart for what to use when. What I am suggesting is taking several profiles of families, each with its different income levels, expenses, and needs and suggesting how to maximize their credit cards.

    Just a thought.
    Thanks again!

    ReplyReply
  23. Elliot Says:
    23

    are all ofthose credit cards active and open? is it possible to gain sign up benifits from a card when you already have that card open? i tried getting the sign up bonus from starwoods but since i closed my last starwoods card back in november, it hasnt been a year yet and i cant get the 30,000 bonus points. any pointers?

    ReplyReply
  24. Cholentfresser Says:
    24

    I’m really excited about this new series, it’ll surely help clear up misconseptions and be a great source of knowledge. Thanks Dan! I’m looking forward to the next one!

    ReplyReply
  25. hey Says:
    25

    is fico my real score? i got approved for for an amex and they gave me my score with it, just wana know if thats the right score

    ReplyReply
  26. jj1000 Says:
    26

    Does getting rejected for a card affect your score?

    ReplyReply
  27. AJK Says:
    27

    @jj1000: Yes. Everytime you apply for credit, whether you are approved or not, your credit is (hard) pulled. Every hard pull causes a slight dip (up to 7 or 8 points or so) in your score.

    ReplyReply
  28. Dan Says:
    28

    @Anonymous:
    -Hundreds.
    -Mix.
    -Enough to buy a house if I wanted.

    @ENJOYED THE ARTICLE!:
    -Yes, but buy $100 in gift cards at a time.
    -Only credit cards can transfer lines.
    -There’s no time limit.

    @Helene:
    If you have tried multiple times then give up and downgrade it to a free card.

    @q’s:
    -Not much.
    -I’ll leave that for a future article, but it affects it much less.
    -Rather than it being a hassle, use it to your advantage to get approved for more new cards and signup offers with reconsideration!

    @Eli:
    -If you are rejected you NEED TO CALL RECONSIDERATION ASAP!
    Don’t let the hard pull go to waste, call and negotiate to have older cards closed and their lines transferred over to get a new card approved.
    http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/16036

    The ability to churn cards depends on the card, your score your ability to negotiate with recon, and many factors, but if done right can earn you lots of points and improve your score.

    @Izz:
    Don’t have one.

    @Frank:
    Use them all occasionally, but no need for every month.

    @David:
    Good ideas.

    @Elliot:
    -Of course not.
    -Sure.
    -When did you try opening it again and you leave your SPG number blank on the app form?
    You can get it more often that what the app says…

    @hey:
    They don’t necessarily give you your FICO score.

    @jj1000:
    In that you get a hard pull and no increased credit it’s not a good thing, but it’s not a big deal as those fall off fairly quickly.
    If you apply as a 2bm/3bm and get approved for at least 1 card then the other rejections won’t hurt at all.

    ReplyReply
  29. hey Says:
    29

    @dan they gave me my fico score, said its 764.. is it accurate?

    ReplyReply
  30. do100 Says:
    30

    I opened an amex gold card last year in july, and they did pull from all three credit bureau’s.

    ReplyReply
  31. Dan Says:
    31

    @hey:
    If it’s FICO it should be accurate. Good score by the way!

    @do100:
    I’ve never heard or experienced AMEX doing that, sounds very strange.

    ReplyReply
  32. dave Says:
    32

    I just opened a sapphire preferred card- after getting the sign up bonus how much spending on the card justifies paying the annual fee? if i dont reach that threshhold and they wont waive the fee what is the best option? closing it? getting a non preffered instead??

    ReplyReply
  33. rots5 Says:
    33

    wow dan great post! :-) u quickly threw it in “adding an au helps credit line” http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=18923.45 there is a whole argument if this is even true…

    also i second that about amex, my father opened me up a looong time ago bec i thought i needed a biz card for a corporate acct and till today amex acknowledges that im a long time costumer with them, even though i have never seen that card and that i signed up for my first card with them 5 yrs later

    ReplyReply
  34. hey Says:
    34

    thanks!

    ReplyReply
  35. Dan Says:
    35

    @dave:
    Applying for more Chase cards and getting them approved by closing the Sapphire Preferred card.
    Alternatively you can apply for a Sapphire Preferred Mastercard and have them close to Visa to approve it and get the signup again.
    Sapphire Preferred World Mastercard
    Sapphire Preferred Visa

    @rots5:
    There’s no argument, it does.

    ReplyReply
  36. sol Says:
    36

    @jj1000: K THANX- IM ASSUMING 3 DIFFERENT COMPUTERS/SMARTPHONE WONT HELP UNLESS DIFFERENT BROWSERS? FIREFOX AND I.E. ARE SO UNRELIABLE TO FUNCTION PROPERLY AND SUBMIT SAME TIME..

    ReplyReply
  37. Dan Says:
    37

    @sol:
    3 different computers will do the trick as well, even if it’s from the same browser.

    ReplyReply
  38. dave Says:
    38

    dan,
    1)how much spending do i need to do on that card to justify paying the $95?
    2)if i dont spend enough which cards should i apply for? i have freedom, should i downgrade to sapphire non preffered? or does it make sense to just keep the card regardless bc eventually i will be spending more money on the card?

    ReplyReply
  39. Aryeh Says:
    39

    Dan
    I recently applied for the business spg and Platinum , they said they need a copy of my tax return to process the application. Do you recommend me sending it in? I dont really have a business but im a teacher and could use it to buy supplies. My income on my tax return is about half of what I wrote.I currently have active personal amex cards

    ReplyReply
  40. dave Says:
    40

    dan,
    if i close down visa sapphire preffered to open mastercard sapphire preffered to get the signup again- wont i run into the same annual fee problem the next year?

    ReplyReply
  41. Berryl Says:
    41

    I Dan I recently applied for 2 Citi AA cards and was approved but right after i applied i realized that there was an offer for Citi Amex for 50k bonus miles so i applied for that one as well and was rejected, when i called reconsideration they said that i cant have 2 AA cards, even if its Visa and Amex, Now my credit score went down from 761 to 741 does that make sense, just for 2 pulls and one denial?

    ReplyReply
  42. dovid Says:
    42

    I had a Costco card from amex and when after 3.5 years I changed it to amex blue cash it I lost my whole history with amex

    ReplyReply
  43. yosele Says:
    43

    I applied and was approved for a couple of amex SPG (wife myself personal business etc…)

    Could I transfer all points into one account to avoid confusion?

    ReplyReply
  44. pilot Says:
    44

    @Helene: Amex DOES NOT waive annual fees.

    ReplyReply
  45. Eli S. Says:
    45

    Dan, I’m really looking forward to the building credit for beginners post. I recently moved here from the UK and don’t have a credit score over here, whenever i applied for CC i was sent a letter saying “to few revolving accounts opened”.

    ReplyReply
  46. HLS Says:
    46

    Dan,

    Thanks very much for all that you do.

    Thoughts on United PP card. Will it help my kids get “free luggage’ on their flights to TLV?

    I have a score in the 720 range. I already have the Continental One Pass Plus card – $95 card.

    ReplyReply
  47. Yochi Says:
    47

    yasher koach for a fantastic site/service.

    A question on credit.

    About five years ago i was using a debt counseling service and when Amex found out they immediately closed my accounts (which were all in good standing to that point and i had been with them for about 15 years.)

    After that, i settled the two amex accounts for less than the full amount and that was that.

    Do you think at this point they’ll approve me for credit with a new account?

    ReplyReply
  48. MG Says:
    48

    does a charge card like amex gold if closed do anything to your credit

    ReplyReply
  49. quick question Says:
    49

    so you say that a closed card still counts towards credit lenght, how about closing a new/yong card does that help increasing the average age of credit cards since the new one was closed or does it still count towards age, in that case for the bad meaning that your accounts are in average new ?
    thanks for your great work

    ReplyReply
  50. deal lurker Says:
    50

    Hey Dan, great post!
    You wrote that it’s free to add AU’s. I have only two amex cards – the plat and the Mercedes benz plat.
    Is there a fee to add an AU with these cards?

    ReplyReply
  51. john Says:
    51

    dan. if i dont have any credit cards yet and i want to start building my credit, how shud i start?

    ReplyReply
  52. dave Says:
    52

    If I apply and get approved for a new credit card, will that hard pull still effect my credit score negativley?

    ReplyReply
  53. Balance Transfers?? Says:
    53

    Dan: When CC companys offer balance transfers, is that what you mean when you say moving a credit line to a new card?

    ReplyReply
  54. Balance Transfers?? Says:
    54

    Thanks for the great article btw! Your articles are straight to the point and very informative.

    ReplyReply
  55. Tzws26 Says:
    55

    Dan:
    1. I have capital one no hassle with 50k credit line. I want to upgrade to venture or their cash rewards. My fico is 795 but want to buy house in a few months. Should I spring for it? Is their hard pull when staying with same issuer?

    2. I have Amex gold. Is it worth to upgrade to premier gold and pay a little more annual fee?

    Thanks,

    ReplyReply
  56. Anonymous Says:
    56

    OMG
    I just drooled a little bit after looking at your pic of CC’s

    ReplyReply
  57. Dan Says:
    57

    @dave:
    Too many factors, it depends what you spend in the bonus categories and abroad.

    @Aryeh:
    I’d probably pass in your case on the business cards.
    They don’t usually ask for tax-returns, though they do occasionally.
    Unless you want to tell them it’s for a new business, etc.

    @dave:
    And back and forth every year to get more points, not exactly a bad gig.

    @Berryl:
    Where are you checking your credit score?

    @dovid:
    Seems hard to believe. With AMEX your cards should always be backdated.

    @yosele:
    Yes, call SPG.

    @pilot:
    But they do give points and spending credits if they feel like it.

    @HLS:
    Sure if they fly United.

    @Yochi:
    You won’t know if you don’t try.

    @MG:
    Not much.

    @quick question:
    It stays on either way.

    @deal lurker:
    Nope.
    Get a Starwood card!

    @john:
    Stay tuned :)

    @dave:
    That is explained in the article.

    @Balance Transfers??:
    No.

    @Tzws26:
    1. Capital One points are garbage compared to SPG or Freedom/Sapphire.

    2. Nope, but it’s worth getting it for the points and closing before the annual fee in a year and getting the points again.

    ReplyReply
  58. michael Says:
    58

    Hi Dan or anyone else,

    I was not sure what Dan meant in article by saying you can get benifits on Amex if add on new users – does that mean I can get the 30k starpoints for example twice if add wife as authorized user?

    ReplyReply
  59. Anonymous Says:
    59

    BTW, how many Amex Platinum cards have you churned in total?? I’m dying of curiosity, but I have bad eyes at the moment and cant decipher from your picture

    ReplyReply
  60. James Says:
    60

    Thanks dan this was very helpful

    ReplyReply
  61. Tzws26 Says:
    61

    Dan:
    I assume u mean capital is garbage compared to spy or sapphire for mileage not for cash back?

    ReplyReply
  62. dovid Says:
    62

    dan what should i do with my spg card if i don’t use it and i dont want to pay the yr membership fee

    ReplyReply
  63. Berryl Says:
    63

    I checked it at credit check total

    ReplyReply
  64. Shmuel Says:
    64

    A bit off topic, but what’s the best signup bonus I could get for opening a Chase Freedom card?
    Thanks for your great website!

    ReplyReply
  65. MosheD Says:
    65

    How long do you need to have a card before getting approved for your first (real) credit card?

    ReplyReply
  66. Oren Says:
    66

    I have noticed that you probably have more citi aadvantage and chase united cards than any other cards. I
    s it easier to churn those cards than other other cards?
    Can you get the company to give you a retention bonus for each one of your accounts of the same card?

    ReplyReply
  67. dave Says:
    67

    just applid for ae card got declind becouse my score was 525
    how do i get my score to go up i got in the last year 6 chase cards i make sure not to spend more then half of my credit limet pay allways on time in full i have one outstanding bill what i am still fighting with a madcel cop

    how can i make my score to go up
    thanks

    ReplyReply
  68. The flow Says:
    68

    Dan, please explain the flow:

    If I close a card that has a $10k line, but then I open an entirely new card that has a $10k line, shouldn’t that bring the score back to where it was?

    Is there some kind of “permanent damage” done when a line of credit is closed?

    Also, what is generally considered a “healthy” credit score (or at least range)?

    ReplyReply
  69. e Says:
    69

    I have a question on a related but slightly different point. Do bank accounts have any effect on your credit score ie., having very little in an account or over drafting etc…?
    Thanks

    ReplyReply
  70. fradl Says:
    70

    When are you planning to have your next seminar? Personally, I would love to learn how to use miles to get tickets. I have heard there are different ways to search, etc. I have made quite a bit of money with credit cards and now I would love to learn how to get airline tickets. I usually sell my miles. BTW at your next seminar, I think E should get an award for pulling off Hong Kong, and Mickeyg should get an award for posting the Elal bonanza. Thanks for a very informative website.

    ReplyReply
  71. tyler Says:
    71

    hi dan great post, i applied for a british and a saphire but was only aproved for the british. said not enough history bec min credit limit needed is 5000. any suggestion?

    ReplyReply
  72. Credit Says:
    72

    @tyler:

    Ask them to take some of the credit from the British card.

    ReplyReply
  73. Dan Says:
    73

    @michael:
    No, you get benefits like $25 for each card for Small business saturday and Gift Chain promotions that they run.

    @Anonymous:
    AMEX cards are pretty easy to churn :)

    @Tzws26:
    Even for cash back, though you’d have to find a good buyer.

    @dovid:
    Downgrade/churn it.

    @Berryl:
    That is not FICO, it’s just a fake score they make up.

    @Shmuel:
    10K, but it’s an awesome card for spending.

    @MosheD:
    A few months if you use it for $1 each month and pay it off.

    @Oren:
    AA used to be an easy churn, now it’s very tough.
    Most other cards are still pretty easy though if you know how to do it.

    @dave:
    That’s a very low score. Why is it that low?

    @The flow:
    Yes.
    No.
    For FICO 720-750 is good. Anything above 750 is excellent.

    @e:
    No.

    @fradl:
    Good question, dunno :)

    ReplyReply
  74. JOEY Says:
    74

    I HAVE BAD CREDIT WHAT DO I DO TO FIX IT THANK YOU

    ReplyReply
  75. Rob Says:
    75

    Is there ever a time where it makes sense to close a credit card without an annual fee?

    I have 16 open credit cards with $250K+ in credit limits and virtually no credit utilization, and annual income above that. I have a couple cards that I opened about 2 years ago (my credit history and oldest card go back about 15 years) that I have no real need for. . . I’m thinking of closing them to reduce the number of open accounts and since it won’t matter from a credit utilization standpoint. Any reason not to?

    ReplyReply
  76. Anonymous Says:
    76

    @Dan,
    I’m aware that they are pretty churnable (have churned 7 plats myself). Just wonder if i’d be pushing it to do another 2BM

    ReplyReply
  77. Sam Says:
    77

    This is a fantastic series!!
    Can’t wait for more

    ReplyReply
  78. Avi Says:
    78

    Hey Dan,

    I was trying to get a preapproval for a mortgage yesterday and had noticed that my credit score was just above 600. There are 2 delinquent accounts that i have being reported and a few past 30’s ranging from 4 years ago up to 2 years ago. What can I do to fix my credit score ASAP? Thanks,

    ReplyReply
  79. Berryl Says:
    79

    They write that they are affiliated with Experian and BTW the only credit score touched was my experian, the 2 others stayed at 771 (those were 771 to begin with)
    If they are a hokes where is a good place to check your credit score without a hard pull?

    Also can I email you the 2 pulls I have from Credit Check Total so you could tell me what I did wrong (if i did?)

    Should I hold back on applying for more cards now since i was turned down by Citi and that caused the made up score to go down or it should not be a problem to apply for more cards?

    Also I was never yet approved for a Amex card (except for one at Macys and Amex says its a third party) what is the criteria to meet to get approved for Amex?

    Thanks Dan for this great site

    ReplyReply
  80. Ricky's Says:
    80

    Dan, I currently have a capital one card with a very low credit line. I also have an Amex with a decent credit line. Is there any reason for me to keep my capital one open? Should I be making purchases on both every month or close one?
    Also, what site do u recommend for checking credit score?
    Thanx

    ReplyReply
  81. Yup Says:
    81

    Dan, You answered twice that a charge card doesn’t do much damage when closed.
    Does it do damage when opened?
    I.e. with no credit limit, so did it add to your overall credit availability?
    Does it recover from the 5-7 points that you loose from the hard pull?

    ReplyReply
  82. DanFan Says:
    82

    @ DAN
    1)I have sold the points and collected the airfair vouchers with pltm and mercedes AMEX for me and my wife. Instead of closing them which cards should I transfer the credit to (avoiding loosing credit line, and free card open being that they wont have to check into my credit to issue me a new card?
    2)and when I do this, do I call customer service and ask them to switch my credit into the new card and ask them for the signup bonus?
    Thnaks!

    ReplyReply
  83. churnbabychurn Says:
    83

    Experian says I have 8 hard pulls (in the list of negative things that could affect my score), they are counting a whole year of pulls, I only have 4 in the last six months.
    Are you sure that they only the pulls from the last six months count?

    ReplyReply
  84. ME Says:
    84

    Dan and DDF- FYI
    Called amex customer service on Friday to cancel Amex PR Gold to avoid annual fee. Just called amex today to reactivate and downgrade to Zync to avoid cancellation on credit report. Was advised because cancellation was by cardholder request and **after 24 hours** federal regulations require a new application to be submitted. Will call back retention department when i have time later today

    ReplyReply
  85. Berryl Says:
    85

    If that’s not the right FICO where should I look for the right one it should not be a hard pull, BTW they claim that they are affiliated with Experian, and interesting enough the only one that was changed was my Experian score according to Credit Check Total.

    Whats the Criteria to get approved for a Amex card? I tried it a few a year ago or more time and was always denied I would like to try it again but i dont want to mees with my credit so should I wait since I was denied from Citi or it dosen’t matter, I have a Macys Amex card but Amex claims its a third party whatever that means.

    Thanks Dan for this great service

    ReplyReply
  86. churnbabychurn Says:
    86

    do green instead of zync, zync cant transfer MR out

    ReplyReply
  87. moshe Says:
    87

    if i have a $8000 credit limit and use for example $20000 a month by paying multiple times during the month will that hurt my credit score if my balance is $0 when the statement closes?

    ReplyReply
  88. Dan Says:
    88

    @JOEY:
    Lots of companies offer services to help you with that.

    @Rob:
    I’ve heard arguments both ways, but it doesn’t seem like it will hurt you either way.

    @Avi:
    Ask for advice over on the forums, lots of experts there.

    @Berryl:
    The scores you got are meaningless, they are FAKOs.
    If you want a FICO go to myfico.com

    @Ricky’s:
    No reason to close it if there’s no fee but no reason to use it either.

    @Yup:
    Some charge cards report your highest balance reported as the limit, hard to say really.

    @DanFan:
    Charge cards don;t have credit lines.

    @churnbabychurn:
    Banks, like Chase, only really care about pulls in the last 6 months.
    But they do stay on your actual report for longer than that it’s just that they don’t have the same effect.

    @ME:
    You need to wait a year from opening before changing card types like that.

    @churnbabychurn:
    Even though Zync can’t transfer out it keeps your points alive and when you do open a new Gold or Plat card you will be able to transfer out again.

    @moshe:
    So leave your balance at $1.

    ReplyReply
  89. dave Says:
    89

    just applid for ae card got declind becouse my score was 625 how do i get my score to go up i got in the last year 6 chase cards i make sure not to spend more then half of my credit limet pay allways on time in full i have one outstanding bill what i am still fighting with a madcel cop

    how can i make my score to go up
    thanks

    ReplyReply
  90. Dan Says:
    90

    @dave:
    Get all 3 of your free reports at http://annualcreditreport.com/ and see what it bad on them.
    To be that low you probably have missed payments or delinquent accounts.

    ReplyReply
  91. Eg Says:
    91

    Im stuck with two accounts of 29000 mrp can’t combin them and don’t know what to use them for who should it transfer to I would love to put towards Isreal tickets

    ReplyReply
  92. Dan Says:
    92

    @Eg:
    http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/23168

    ReplyReply
  93. mendel Says:
    93

    so if i want to get approved say to gap credit card and i do it 3 times in 3 sep. browers i have a better chance and it will cost one pull? also if 2 is gap and 1 old navy is that considered 1 pull or since its 2 companies it will cost me 2 pulls??

    ReplyReply
  94. Dan Says:
    94

    @mendel:
    No!
    A 2bm/3bm is for different cards from the same bank.

    I don’t know if Gap/Old Navy/Banana would process as 1 pull, but why would you want more than 1 of their cards?

    ReplyReply
  95. Anonymous Says:
    95

    How Can I get all 3 scores?

    myfico.com ONLY gives you Trans Union & Equifax??

    ReplyReply
  96. Dan Says:
    96

    @Anonymous:
    As far as I know consumers cannot get their Experian FICO score unless they go through a hard pull.

    Correct me if I’m wrong though.

    ReplyReply
  97. Anonymous Says:
    97

    What do companies look at the FICO score or do they go to them directly- Experian, Trans Union, & Equifax?
    Great website, thanks a lot for it. great work.

    ReplyReply
  98. Dan Says:
    98

    @Anonymous:
    Most companies are pulling your FICO scores.
    They’re definitely not using Credit Check Total :D

    ReplyReply
  99. Shmuel Says:
    99

    I signed up for the SPG guest card just now and got approved. I already have one already. Do you recommend me calling & have AMEX close the old one and transfer the credit to the new one or just downgrade the old one?

    ReplyReply
  100. Dan Says:
    100

    @Shmuel:
    So you have 2 consumer SPG cards now?

    See if they’ll change it into a blue cash preferred (6% cash back at groceries though with a higher annual fee) or other useful card for you. If you downgrade to a free card don’t forget to ask for the annual fee you already paid to be prorated.

    ReplyReply
  101. mendel Says:
    101

    what about to increase my chance so i apply 3 times for the same card is that make sense?

    ReplyReply
  102. Dan Says:
    102

    @mendel:
    Not even remotely.

    ReplyReply
  103. Anonymous Says:
    103

    So your saying that the companies on get the FICO Trans Union & Equifax scores?

    ReplyReply
  104. @ rp Says:
    104

    @ME: Called retention and was advised the same thing. No Can Do
    @Dan- a second application for the same AX Charge card cannot be resubmitted 13 months from original approval date. after the 13 months you can reapply. my intention was to downgrade Gold to Zync but too late. This was my wifes card.
    Interestingly enough, i called AX on friday to explore my options to replace my Platinum card, which to be honest i am sorry to see go, and was offered the $100 statement credit to sway my cancelation. I wrote all the options (zync,green,gold regular, gold premier) down and told the CSR i would call back. then wrote a SM an hour or 2 later and had the $100 statement credit in online account. however the account was cancelled! I called them up and for some reason had cancelled by account and issued the credit. as this was their mistake they were able to reinstate the card. a CSR has advised me the ‘Vice President’ had signed off on it.

    ReplyReply
  105. Question Says:
    105

    I have never had a credit card before. Applied for a Delta Gold card and was denied because “We have been unable to obtain your consumer credit bureau score from the agency”. I see you wrote about calling reconsideration department in the comments, is there a benefit in me doing that? And what do you suggest I do to build a credit score?

    ReplyReply
  106. Dan Says:
    106

    @@ rp:
    That’s not true, I’ve opened/closed multiple charge cards in the same year.

    @Question:
    You first need to be added as an AU on your parents cards or start with a store card.

    ReplyReply
  107. MosheD Says:
    107

    I’ve had secure card for 6 months but chase says i need a year… is this true or just an excuse? Amex approved me right away

    ReplyReply
  108. Dan Says:
    108

    @MosheD:
    HUCA the various Recon departments.
    http://www.dansdeals.com/forums/index.php?topic=8028

    Or get yourself added onto a good AU card from your parents.

    ReplyReply
  109. Yitty Says:
    109

    Can you clarify-is it better for my credit score to use more cards with lower balances rather than one or two with a higher balance(s)?

    ReplyReply
  110. spgX2 Says:
    110

    @Dan
    Great article…You said that you can get sign-up bonuses even if you already have that card open. I recently applied for the SPG Amex and they told me i would not get the welcome bonus if i had one in the last 12 months. Being that i already have one open and this will be my second SPG card, how can i get the bonus offer of 30,000 points? If i can’t i would want to cancel the card in order to avoid paying the annual fee twice every year. Unless you have a better idea.
    Thanks!!!

    ReplyReply
  111. Dan Says:
    111

    @Yitty:
    Possibly, depends how often you can pay down your balance.

    @spgX2:
    In my experience that rule is not enforced.

    ReplyReply
  112. spgX2 Says:
    112

    @Dan
    Thanks for the response…Does it matter if i put my SPG# on the application or not?

    ReplyReply
  113. spgX2 Says:
    113

    @Dan
    Also, what’s the best card for someone to open if they have bad or no credit?
    Thanks

    ReplyReply
  114. Chaya Says:
    114

    If I Already have a Starwood card and want to take advantage of the 35k offer ten I don’t put in my spg number.
    Do they then assign me a new number?
    How do I combine all the points to one account?
    Do I just combine the accounts?
    How many times can I get the card?

    ReplyReply
  115. Dan Says:
    115

    @Chaya:
    They may give you a new number or put it in your old number.

    You can merge accounts on SPG.com

    ReplyReply
  116. Stefan Says:
    116

    How often would you recommend doing App-o-Ramas? And in each AOR would you recommend using the 2BM/3Bm for each of the major credit card issuers (Chase, AMEX, BofA and Citi)?

    ReplyReply
  117. Avi Says:
    117

    Dan i have a quick question. How do you keep track of all your Credit cards do you have an excel sheet or a software??

    thank you

    ReplyReply
  118. dave Says:
    118

    i was just added as an AU how long should i wait before applying to a chase perferred card??

    ReplyReply
  119. colors Says:
    119

    how many cc can i open up at once (meaning how many a week, month, year) b4 it will hurt my credit?

    is there a good card to open that has no interest for the year? if i recently got two cc and got this type would it affect my credit?

    i have a citi card now and want to cancel it bc i don’t think it does much and has an annual fee. is there one that you would recommend so i don’t lose my credit history from the card?

    ReplyReply
  120. lazer Says:
    120

    One question i want to apply for the 3 best chase cards (meaning the most rewards)with the 3bm methud which three shuld i try and the same with amex which three should i try and whan will i be able to combine does points Thanks

    ReplyReply
  121. Sam Says:
    121

    When is coming the next chapter please ?

    Special an authorized user issue

    ReplyReply
  122. DanFan Says:
    122

    I am closing Platnm Regular and Mercedes anything I should do like transfer to a different card, or just close them? (I already got all the benefits from the card, now just avoiding the annual fee.)

    ReplyReply
  123. Tzviks Says:
    123

    In what way does a business credit card affect my personal credit score?

    ReplyReply
  124. tolch Says:
    124

    if the amex wants to speak to u about youre buisness cc meaning you being viewed what do u do? have u eve been viewed what did u do

    ReplyReply
  125. ggb Says:
    125

    I tried a 2BM today with the usair barclays card and i got an instant approval on one browser but the 2nd browser said that I had already applied for a card etc. Obviously there was a time lag between the two browsers. What did I do wrong?

    ReplyReply
  126. ymk Says:
    126

    Many of my AMEX cards have no credit limit. (I pay my bills on time.) How does that affect credit utilization? There’s no ‘percentage of credit used’.

    ReplyReply
  127. Joe Says:
    127

    Can I downgrade my sapphire preferred to just regular sapphire(dont want to pay annual fee anymore) or should i just cancel and transfer line of credit to freedom?

    ReplyReply
  128. Sholom Says:
    128

    when’s part 2 coming?
    I liked the information the way you wrote it here. It was concise, and to the point.

    ReplyReply
  129. beaut Says:
    129

    I might be applying for a mortgage in a couple of months. should I not apply for cards now?

    ReplyReply
  130. Ari Says:
    130

    I currently have a capital one secured card ($3,000), PayPal Extras Mastercard ($4,250; most underrated card out there if you know how to use it), Chase Freedom Visa ($1,000; increased from $500 to $1,000 out of the blue when I just happened to deposit $10,000 into a new chase savings account), Bank of America Cash Card ($2,000), Discover It ($2,500) and Barclays Arrival World Mastercard ($2,500). I’m planning on closing my capital one account because it has an annual fee and no rewards. Which card do you think is suited to me next? Also, is it true that if you have more credit than your income it’s not good?

    ReplyReply
  131. Elazar Says:
    131

    @Dan I just got off the phone with Citi and they no longer do line transfers for credit lines. Should I cancel my Citi Premiere card and just sign up new for something else? is there anyway to save the credit in order to not hurt my credit score?

    ReplyReply
  132. AA Says:
    132

    If I want to apply for 3 credit cards with three different browses how do I know which credit cards use the SAME BANK to get only one credit check?

    ReplyReply
  133. Anonymous Says:
    133

    how often can u apply for chase cards and still get the sign up bonus?

    ReplyReply

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