Questions about signing up for credit cards

Won't applying for credit cards hurt my credit score?

The most important concern our users have is that applying for credit cards hurts their credit score. The answer to that depends on how responsible you are with your credit.

When you apply for a credit card the issuing bank pulls your credit report from one of the three main credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and Transunion). Each bureau has their own range of scores but the main factors affecting your credit score encompass the following:

[source: myfico.com]

Payment history – Perhaps the most important component of any credit report is your demonstrated ability to pay debts in a timely manner. Lenders like to see on time payments for all your debts ranging from credit cards to auto loans to mortgages. Missed or late payments will hurt your score.

Amounts owed – Another key ingredient is the amount of debt you owe. The higher the amount of debt outstanding compared to the total credit available to you, the lower your score. Remember to always keep your debt manageable and low.

Length of credit history – It’s important to start building good credit as early as possible. Every time you open a new account, pay as agreed and keep it open for long periods of time, it should reflect well on your credit report. The longer your accounts are open and in good standing, the more the banks will want you as their customer.

New credit application – Every time you apply for a loan or credit card, the bank will pull your credit report from one of the three main credit bureaus. If you do this too often your credit score will be impacted adversely as each new pull creates a new inquiry.

Type of credit used – Banks often like to see different types of credit (loan, mortgages, credit cards, etc.) being used responsibly.

So the short answer is yes, your credit score may go down initially when you apply for a credit card. But by opening a new line of credit and making on time payments, chances are your score will trend higher in the long run. As always please consult your financial advisor before applying for new credit.

What's the best credit card out there?

There’s actually no easy answer to this. What works best for you will depend on a combination of factors based on your financial situation and spending patterns. Signing up for credit cards based on their reward program alone can be a significant part of your decision, but it shouldn’t be the only one. The ability to pay down your outstanding balances in full each month has a very important role. As always, please consult your financial advisor before applying for new a credit card.

I already have the card your site prompts me to apply for. Will I get the sign up bonus again if I apply?

Most banks only award the signup bonus once per cardholder. There have been situations where it is possible to get the bonus again. However, you must read the fine print on the applicationpage to see if you are eligible to get the signup bonus again.

I am applying for a loan/mortgage in the near future. Should I still be applying for credit cards?

Applying for credit cards before taking on a major loan can lower your chances of getting that loan. Please consult your financial advisor before doing so.

When should I cancel my card?

The benefits you receive from your card should be beyond just the initial signup bonus of miles/points. Each and every year before your annual fee comes due you should weigh the merits of the credit card. Some cards have in-built benefits such as free baggage allowance, priority boarding, lounge access, etc. Moreover, cancelling cards may hurt your score, as it’ll reduce the credit available to you and bring down your average age of accounts. As always please consult your financial advisor.

How many cards is it safe to apply for?

The banks always have the final say in approving you for a credit card. Should they see multiple requests of credit from more than one bank they may hesitate to approve you. Also applying for multiple credit cards in a short period of time may hurt your credit score.Therefore be prepared to answer any questions they may have regarding your applications and your desire to have their card. Only apply for cards if you can responsibly take care of your credit. And always consult your financial advisor before applying for credit card(s).

How many cards can I apply for from one bank?

Depending on your credit score, banks may be willing to approve you for more than one credit card at a time. The rule of thumb is that banks usually wont approve you for more than one personal and business credit card. Some banks may not approve you for more than one card in total. The approval policies for each bank varies but always be prepared to answer additional questions if asked why you would like to apply for more than one card. Also note that certain banks may sponsor programs with multiple airline partners. As always, consult your financial advisor before applying for credit card(s).

Where can I check my credit score?

Services such as Creditkarma.com and Creditsesame.com provide you free credit scores. However, official scores are only available at one of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion).

Questions about the site

Is the site free?

Yes, the site is 100% free. We do not charge you for using any feature of our site. Even the Award Booking Service is free as long as you meet the criteria to qualify.

Do you require any personal information? And is the site secure?

Security is always on top of our mind and as such we don’t ask for any of your personal information on our site. The only time you may need to provide personal information is when using our Award Booking Service.

I don’t see the loyalty program I have miles in as an option?

We currently only have a limited number of frequent flyer programs shown in our searches. Our plan is to expandthis in the near future. If there’s any particular program you would like to know the availability for, please contact us directly. We hope to incorporate more airlines in the upcoming months.

Also some airlines such as Southwest, Jet Blue and Virgin America are excluded from our searches since their frequent flyer program are designed differently from the legacy carriers. They have what is called a ‘revenue based’ program and a point/mile in their program has a fixed value against the price of the ticket. It’s better to use their sites directly to check for seat availability.

What's the best way to search for hotel rewards?

Another feature we will add in the future is the inclusion of hotel programs.

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