If you’ve recently applied for a credit card, you might be wondering how long you should wait before applying for your next one.
Typically, 6 or more months is the optimal waiting period. It’s long enough that your previous application won’t drag down your next one. It will also help increase your chances of approval. However, you could apply sooner if you’re a strong applicant with an excellent credit score.
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply
Purchase interest rate
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
Apply today and get the $20 annual fee waived in the first year. Plus, get a rate of 3.99% on balance transfers for 9 months (with a 1% transfer fee).
- Purchase interest rate: 12.99%
- Cash advance rate: 12.99%
- Intro balance transfer rate: 3.99% for the first 9 months
- Standard balance transfer rate: 12.99%
- Annual fee: $20
- Credit rating: Good
- Minimum age: Age of majority in the province/territory of residence.
How long should I wait to apply for another credit card?
Typically, it’s best to wait at least 6 months between credit card applications. If you’re a strong applicant — for example, you have an excellent credit score or high income — you can consider applying more frequently. Even then, consider waiting at least a minimum of 3 months between applications.
Submitting multiple credit applications within a short period of time implies the applicant is desperate for credit. 3 to 6 months is generally enough time for a previous application not to negatively impact your new application.
Can I submit multiple credit card applications at the same time?
Yes — you can submit applications for different credit cards at the same time. But consider avoiding this, because each time you submit an application, the provider will initiate a hard pull on your credit report that will lower your credit score by several points.
A lower credit score and multiple applications on your credit report can hurt your subsequent applications. To combat this, apply for cards selectively.
Why should I wait to apply for another credit card?
There are a variety of reasons why you might want to wait before applying for another credit card. These include:
- Your credit score is too low for the card you want.
It’s always a good idea to apply for cards that fit your credit score. If you check your score and find it’s too low for your preferred card, consider waiting while you steadily build your score.
- You’ll soon be applying for an auto loan or mortgage.
With high-dollar purchases such as vehicles and property, even a small increase in your interest rate can mean paying thousands more over the life of your loan. Protect every point on your credit score before applying for an auto loan or mortgage to help secure the lowest rate possible for your biggest purchases.
- You’re having a hard time keeping up with your current expenses.
While a credit card could offer temporary relief, it may not ultimately be useful if there’s a structural problem with your finances. It could, for example, tempt you to spend more and get deeper into debt. Examine your income and expenses, then cut spending where you can.
- There’s a signup bonus you’re trying to earn.
Most signup bonuses require you to spend a certain amount on your card within a period of time. If you’re trying to earn a bonus, you may not want to split your focus with a new card. Instead, you can keep all of your spending on your current card to get the bonus more quickly.
- You recently applied for a credit card.
An issuer will typically frown upon multiple applications within a short period of time. It makes the applicant seem desperate for credit and risky as a potential customer. Accordingly, the issuer will be more wary about approving the application.
Compare credit cards that’ll pair well with your first
If you’re ready to apply for another credit card, consider getting a product that covers the weaknesses of your existing card.
For example, your current card might offer poor rewards for certain spend categories. You can get a new card with bonus rewards in those categories, giving you strong cash back, points or miles for more of your expenses.
It’s wise to wait 6 months between credit card applications. If you have a strong credit score and high income, you might be able to apply sooner. As a rule of thumb, 3 months is the minimum you should wait.
If you’ve decided it’s time to apply for your next credit card, consider our top picks for rewards, interest rates, and more and find the right card for you.
Frequently asked questions