How to successfully apply for reward credit cards

Applying for reward credit cards plays a major role in accumulating the miles needed in order to use award tickets. Below are the most common questions.

How many cards should I apply for?

Many 'flight hackers' including yours truly have found out that it's a good idea to apply for cards in a certain cycle. Each cycle should not be shorter than 90 days but it can be longer.

In each cycle you apply for all credit cards in the same day. This reduces the amount of fresh inquiries on your credit report the credit card companies can see.

I applied for as many as 12 cards per cycle day but 2-4 is a more sensible number. Apply for one business and one personal card per card issuer maximum.

Doesn't the application for a card decrease my credit score?

Temporarily yes – by about 2-5 points but if done right it should lift your credit score permanently. My own credit score developed from 700 to 830 within 2 years! This was driven by the new credit extended and my low utilization over that time frame. This is a major indicator for credit scoring.

What about keeping balances?

Simple – don't keep balances. Pay them off as soon as possible.

How can I track my credit score?

creditsesame.com and creditkarma.com are two good tools that track your credit score for free.

Can I sign up for business cards without owning a business?

Yes you can if you have any self-employed activity. You don't have to be incorporated.

What is reconsideration?

Ideally you will be instantly approved for a new credit card when submitting the online application. However if you recently moved or have many inquiries on your credit report this may not be the case.

In these cases you will need to talk to reconsideration. This phone call can range from pleasant to interrogation style.

Our reconsideration guide will help you lead the call and succeed with the approval.

Do I have to be a US resident to apply for US cards?

Yes – the issuing banks require you to be a US resident (but not citizen) and have a sufficiently long credit history. However we will also feature credit cards from other countries where u may be eligible for.

A good help is HSBC Global Passport bank accounts allow you to easily build a local credit history. It requires a hefty $100,000 in deposit though.