You can have multiple credit cards, but can you apply for multiple credit cards at the same time? Perhaps. Here’s what you need to know.
Can I apply for more than one credit card at the same time?
Technically, there’s no reason you can’t apply for multiple credit cards at once. Lenders review each application separately, so you may be approved for a few cards on the same day.
Why would you want to do this? Well, maybe you are not sure which card you will be approved for, so you want to apply for more than one at the same time. Or maybe you want to take advantage of great welcome offers for different cards. No matter why you want to do it, there’s nothing stopping you from doing a few apps at a time.
Does it make sense to apply for multiple credit cards?
It depends on your situation. Weigh the pros and cons.
- Applying for more than one credit card at the same time can save you time. Rather than waiting a few weeks or months between applications, you could get a quick decision in hours (or days, depending on the lenders involved).
- If you’ve spotted a few welcome offers that appeal to you, you can potentially take advantage of them all at once. So maybe you want to apply for a 0% credit card, but you’re going on vacation soon and spot a travel credit card that offers triple points to new customers. There’s nothing stopping you from going both and potentially getting two great new cards.
- Don’t have a lot of credit history? Perhaps applying for more than one credit card could help you start building your score.
- Each request results in a new “hard” search request appearing on your credit report. Multiple inquiries in a short period of time could temporarily affect your score.
- If you make multiple requests and they are all rejected, you may run out of options. It might be better to take a step back and see what’s wrong with your apps rather than building them all at once.
- You may end up with more cards than you expected. If this happens, you may have more credit than you can afford to repay.
- Having too many credit cards at once could affect your debt ratio and make it harder to get credit for things like a mortgage.
Can I improve my chances of approval before I apply?
No matter how many credit card applications you decide to make, consider improving your chances of success before you apply. Here are some tips to help you achieve this.
- Check your credit score. As a general rule, the higher your score, the more likely you are to be approved.
- First go through some eligibility checks with different lenders. These “soft” searches can show you which lenders are most likely to give you a card, without affecting your score.
- Pay off debts, like loans and other credit cards, on time – late payments can hurt your score and make it harder to get new credit.
- As much as possible, keep your credit card balances low. The higher the balance, the more you have to repay each month, and lenders want to know that you can manage your repayments.
So, can you apply for more than one credit card at a time? Sure, but it’s not always the best idea. While it’s often okay to have multiple credit cards – it can even be helpful – too many requests in a short period of time can hurt your credit rating.
A lower credit score makes it more difficult to obtain credit in the future. So weigh the pros and cons carefully or consider getting financial advice first.
Finally, just make sure you can afford the refunds before you apply for a new credit card. Otherwise, you could go over budget.
Some offers on MyWalletHero come from our partners – this is how we make money and make this site work. But does this have an impact on our grades? Nope. Our commitment is for you. If a product isn’t good, our rating will reflect that, or we won’t list it at all. Additionally, while we aim to showcase the best products available, we do not review every product on the market. Find out more here. The above statements are owned by The Motley Fool only and have not been provided or endorsed by any bank advertisers. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of the board of directors of The Motley Fool. The Motley Fool UK recommended Barclays, Hargreaves Lansdown, HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard and Tesco.