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How Often Should You Get A New Credit Card?

written by: H. Rox•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 6/29/2011

New credit card applications arrive all the time, urging you to switch credit cards and insisting, "You're Pre-Approved!!" Should you switch? There could be benefits to getting a new credit card, but there’s a limit to how often you should do it.

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    Credit Card Applications

    Your credit card is charging you 20 percent interest, and hardly any points or airline miles? It may be time to get a new credit card with a lower interest rate and better perks. However, there are several things you need to consider.

    First, if you’re trying to get out of debt and you have an offer for a new credit card with a lower interest rate, it may be a great time to get a new credit card. Many experts suggest that you call your current credit card issuer and ask for a lower interest rate, but if that doesn’t work, changing credit cards may save you a bundle.

    In her book, “The Road To Wealth”, personal finance expert and author Suze Orman says, ‘’To keep getting the best deal available, you may have to transfer your card balances two or three times a year. Too much trouble? Hardly… it might save you hundreds of dollars.” {Page 12} But later, she has a word of caution before you get a new credit card: “constantly opening new credit card accounts can hurt your credit score…don’t shop for new cards more than once every six months” {page 33}

    Here’s why: the Federal Trade Commission says your credit report is based on things like your bill paying history, how many accounts you have and of what kind, late payments and longevity of accounts. If you get a new credit card, your score will go down. Here’s a free tool from Bankrate.com that will help you estimate your credit score.

    What does all this mean?

    You'll have to assess your own situation; but if you need to get out of debt, getting a new credit card with a lower interest rate may help. If you’re getting a mortgage soon, or a loan that requires a great credit score, a new credit card may not be a good idea.

     

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    Should you get a new credit card?