Credit cards and their various sign-up bonuses are an easy way to accumulate large amounts of frequent flyer points quickly. But it’s important to consider the effect of credit card churning on your credit rating before applying for many cards. A healthy credit rating is highly important if you want to apply for a credit card, or any other type of credit such as a loan.

Your credit rating will take a small hit after every credit card application, even if it wasn’t successful. So, how many credit card applications is too many?

Hi just wondering how many credit card applications you can safely go through in a year without it doing you credit score much damage? I applied for 1 in July, 1 in September and 1 December last year. Can i safely apply for another now (or next month or so) or too soon?

There is no single correct answer to this question. Some members wait six months before applying for a new card, while some will usually wait only three months. One member even claims to have been successful applying for a new card every six weeks. The main thing is to spread out your applications. Applying for many cards at once could make it look like you’re in financial difficulty. This could limit your access to credit in the future.

If you’re planning to apply for more than one card in the near future, our members suggest checking your credit score. This can be done for free using online services such as Veda or Experian. Checking your credit score regularly can help you to keep track and also to understand how each new application impacts upon it. Checking your credit report is also a useful opportunity to spot and correct any potential mistakes.

How it impacts your credit score depends on a lot of other factors about your financial situation. You can get both your veda and experian credit scores free online. Veda from ‘get credit score’ and experian from ‘credit savy’. I check every time before I do a credit card application.

With multiple credit cards open at the same time, it can become difficult to keep track of them all. Our members recommend starting a spreadsheet that includes the dates new cards have been applied for. A spreadsheet can also be used to keep track of each card’s annual fee due date. Members that are serious about credit card churning will often cancel new cards before the second annual fee is due, so keeping track of these dates is essential.

I have a trusty Excel spreadsheet with statement and sign up dates so I know where I’m at with each. Highly recommend this strategy to all.

Join the discussion HERE.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]