You can have multiple credit cards, but can you apply for more than one credit card at the same time? Maybe. Here’s what you should know.
Can I apply for more than one credit card at the same time?
Technically, there’s no reason why you can’t apply for numerous credit cards at once. Lenders consider each application separately, so you could be approved for a few cards on the same day.
Why would you do this? Well, maybe you’re not sure which card you’ll be approved for, so you want to apply for more than one simultaneously. Or, perhaps you want to take advantage of some great welcome offers for different cards. No matter why you want to do it, there’s nothing to stop you from making a few applications at once.
Is it wise to apply for multiple credit cards?
It depends on your circumstances. Let’s weigh up the pros and cons.
- Applying for more than one credit card simultaneously can save you time. Rather than waiting a few weeks or months between applications, you could get a quick decision in a matter of hours (or days, depending on the lenders involved).
- If you’ve spotted a few welcome offers you like, 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 holiday soon and spot a travel credit card offering triple points to new customers. There’s nothing to stop you from going for both and potentially securing two great new cards.
- Don’t have much credit history? Applying for more than one credit card could maybe help you start building your score.
- Each application results in a new ‘hard’ search inquiry appearing on your credit file. Multiple inquiries within a short space of time could temporarily hurt your score.
- If you make multiple applications and they’re all rejected, you may run out of options. It might be best to step back and see what could be going wrong with your applications rather than making them all at once.
- There’s a chance you could end up with more cards than you planned for. 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-to-income ratio and make it harder to get credit for other things like a mortgage.
Can I improve my chances of approval before applying?
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 do just that.
- Check your credit score. Typically, the higher your score, the more likely it is you’ll be approved.
- Go through some eligibility checks first with different lenders. These ‘soft’ searches can show you which lenders are most likely to give you a card, without affecting your score.
- Pay your debts, such as loans and other credit cards, on time – late payments can damage your score and make it harder to get new credit.
- Where possible, keep your credit card balances low. The higher the balance, the more you need to repay each month, and lenders want to know you can manage your repayments.
So, can you apply for more than one credit card at once? Well, sure, but it’s not always the best idea. Although it’s often fine to have multiple credit cards – it can even be helpful – too many applications in a short period can damage your credit rating.
A lower credit score makes it harder to get credit in the future. So weigh up the pros and cons carefully or consider getting some financial advice first.
Finally, just make sure you can afford the repayments before you apply for a new credit card. Otherwise, you could overstretch your budget.