Credit Cards

When to get a new credit card? Is it time for a change?

If you are thinking about getting a new credit card, read this article before doing it. We are going to show some things you need to know.


Don’t get anxious about it: we are going to help you figure this out

Find out if you should get a new credit card or not. Source: Freepik.

How do you decide when to get a new card? For many people, applying for a new credit card can be an emotional roller coaster. For others, it might even generate excitement and anticipation. 

However, this is an important decision that should not be made in such emotional terms. Credit card issuers will push new and more attractive promotions, especially during certain times of the year. 

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This often gets people excited to get a new credit card when in fact, this decision has to do with each person’s particular financial circumstances.

It does not matter how attractive an offer may seem to you. Keep in mind that credit card issuers have dedicated marketing teams whose sole purpose is to get you to behave in an irrational manner.

Instead, you should be the one deciding when and if it is time for you to get a new credit card. 

Take a close look at your financial situation and current spending habits. Knowing your financial self will help you analyze and decide about the best credit card candidates.

Have your goals clearly stated so that you know why you are getting your new card. Make sure a credit card will help and not hinder the process of achieving those goals.

With that in mind, we have prepared a few reasons why you might want to apply for a new credit card. Have a look below.

Get a new card if: you want to build or improve your credit score

Improve your credit score with a good credit card. Source: Freepik.

Having a good credit score is essential if you want to have access to better offers. A new credit card can be helpful in attaining a better credit score depending on how you manage it.

This can be a good reason to decide when to get a new card. It can help you in terms of establishing a history of on-time payments.

This accounts for 35% of your FICO score. And there is a smaller yet important factor that accounts for 10% of your FICO score, which is your credit mix.

These factors play an important role in how lenders estimate the risk of handing you credit. Cards like the Chime Credit Builder Visa can help you build a solid credit history for no annual fee.

This is an entry-level card that, if used properly, can greatly increase your chances of qualifying for a much better offer in the future.

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Get a new card if: you are carrying a balance on a high-interest card

Carrying a balance is never a good idea. But sometimes, things get tough, and we have no choice but do just that. In situations like this, it is important to mitigate the amount of interest you pay.

Doing that will help you save some money, which in turn will make things a little easier for you to get out of debt. This is the perfect time to look for cards that offer a 0% intro APR period.

There are a number of cards that offer 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 months or longer. One good example of this is the PenFed Gold Visa® credit card, which offers 15 months of 0% APR on balance transfers.

In an ideal scenario, you want to pay off your balance within the introductory period. However, if that is not possible, this card still offers one of the lowest APR on balance transfers in the market.

Get a new card if: you want to make a substantial purchase

This is a situation where a new credit card might come in handy.

You can reap excellent benefits from a promotional APR and even earn that big welcome bonus that usually only applies after you spend a certain amount.

This is a matter of timing your purchase so that you can decide when to get a new card and then use it to buy what it is that you want to buy.

There are a number of cards in the market that offer handsome welcome bonuses.

Most commonly, the welcome bonus requires you to spend a high amount (from $750 to $6,000 depending on the card) within a specified period of time (usually within 3 months from account opening) so that you qualify

One such card is the Capital One Savor Rewards, which earns you $300 after you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months from account opening.

Get a new card if: you have a high credit score

souple using new credit card for online purchase
A high score can grant you an excellent credit card. Source: Freepik.

A Good to Excellent credit score of 670 points or above will give you access to credit cards with more and more advantageous rewards, benefits, and perks.

Good to Excellent credit gives you a lot of freedom to decide when to get a new card. Lenders become eager to give you access to credit because they know your risk of default is very low.

With that, your chances of being approved for a new credit card are much better.

Cards that require Good to Excellent credit, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, offer incredible travel rewards. That is what you get for being diligent and always making payments on time.

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Reasons why you shouldn’t apply for a new credit card

Ok, now you already know when it might be a good idea to apply for a new card. But what about the contrary?

How about when the issue is not “WHEN to get a new card” but “SHOULD you get one”? Sometimes it is just not a good idea.

When you get rejected for a card, for example, you get a hit on your credit score, which could make it even harder to get approved for other cards in the future. 

So consider the following situations.

You are in a bad financial situation.

The only reason you should consider getting a new credit card when you are in a bad financial situation is to reduce and eliminate your debt. If you are thinking about increasing it, that is a no-no. 

You have been denied cards recently

As we have mentioned before, this has a negative impact on your credit score. It also increases the chances that you will be denied again, further damaging your credit score. 

In this case, work on your score by making on-time payments, and once it has improved, apply for cards you are sure you can get.

There is a mortgage or a loan coming

When you are shopping for a mortgage, a personal loan, or a car loan, there will be a significant number of hard inquiries on your credit report.

This gets issuers on alert and increases the chances that they will not concede you a card.

First, finish the loan process, then check your score. If it has suffered a blow (which it probably has), work on your credit and then apply for a card once it has improved.

Need to cancel an old credit card? Learn the best way to do this

One does not simply go slicing a credit card with a scissor and calling the issuer to cancel it whenever they feel like doing it. This is not a good strategy.

Remember that your credit is an entangled net of many factors. Canceling a credit card will impact your credit score somehow.

So, if you have figured out you’d like to cancel a credit card, we’ll tell you how to do it in the best way possible. Just check the following content, and we’ll have you covered.

young woman looking at credit card statement

How to cancel your credit card

If you're looking to cancel your credit card, make sure you do it the right way. Here's how to cancel a credit card without hurting your credit.

About the author  /  Danilo Pereira

Danilo is a copywriter with a passion for learning. Deeply interested in philosophy, politics and arts.

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