Understandably, when people find out what I do with credit cards and travel, one of the most common questions people ask is about how all these applications impact your credit score. My answer is that it does impact your score, but it doesn’t trash it. I think the rewards far outweigh the risk.
A couple of years ago I decided to pay for my FICO score so that I could see exactly what all the credit card applications were doing to my score. I didn’t want people to use the excuse that I was only using my FACKO score from Credit Sesame and Credit Karma.
Here’s a review of my credit scores over the last 2 1/4 years:
My highest score was 786. This was a the score I had before I started doing a lot more applications.
My lowest score was 751.
My biggest drop was 35 points. This was back in 2011 when there were so many crazy good sign up bonuses that it was hard to sit on the sidelines and watch. This included things like the Capital One $1,000 worth of travel sign up bonuses, British Airways 100,000 miles, and two Citi American Airlines cards for a total of 150,000 Aadvantage miles.
In the last 2 1/4 years, the total drop on my score is 22 points.
All in all, I’m happy with my credit score. Most lending institutions will set their lending rates depending if your score is within a range. As such, the drop of 22 points wouldn’t actually have any functional impact on my score.
However, if I were going to apply for a home loan, refinance a home, or borrow money for a car, I’d probably lay off the credit card applications for a couple of years before applying. Fortunately, in our situation, we don’t have any debt, so I really don’t care what my credit score is.
In the last two years, I’ve probably applied for about 15-20 credit cards and have seen my score drop 22 points. I’ll take that point drop any day in return for the sign up bonuses for 15-20 cards.
Your results may vary. The point of this post isn’t to help you know what will happen with your credit score if you apply for multiple credit cards. Instead, it’s to share my history as a point of reference. In your case, your results will vary depending on your credit history.
I’d suggest you learn how credit scores are calculated.
It’s important to notice that only 10% of your score is based on new credit.