If getting the best credit card is your only concern, there’s probably no reason you should wait until you have excellent credit. Cards for good credit, such as the Capital One Venture, Citi Double Cash, Discover It, and others, tend to be just as attractive as cards for excellent credit. The possible exception would be cards that have especially long 0% offers or particularly good travel bonuses. And if you plan to apply for a mortgage, auto loan, personal loan, etc., in the next six months or so, holding off could be the right move. Applying for any card lowers your credit score temporarily. And you want your score to be in the best shape possible when you try to get a loan.
Otherwise, there are plenty of reasons to go for a card for good credit rather than waiting until you have excellent credit.
Why you should get/not get a credit card for good credit:
Cards for good credit are just as attractive. Cards for good credit can give you high rewards and low fees. With excellent credit, you may get a larger initial bonus, a longer introductory 0% APR and more rewards. But those cards tend to come with high annual fees.
You’re about to take out a major loan. Applying for a credit card will generate a hard inquiry, which temporarily lowers your credit score. You want your score in the best shape possible before a loan. So you may want to wait before applying.
Your credit rating is close to excellent. Applying for too many cards in a short time frame could cause your credit score to dip. It’s best not to apply for more than one card a year. So if you’re very close to excellent credit, it’s probably to your advantage to wait a few more months.
Faster credit building. A new credit card account will increase your overall credit limit, thus lowering your credit utilization. This can help you build up toward excellent credit even faster.
There’s an offer you can’t refuse. An attractive sign up bonus or rewards earning rate may be available only for a limited time. If there’s a card for good credit with a big bonus, it may be worth it to apply. Avoid overspending for the sole purpose of accumulating rewards.
It may not take long for you to graduate from good to excellent credit, if you’re close to begin with. It could happen the next time you make an on-time bill payment or if you reduce your credit utilization. You just have to decide whether waiting is worth it in your particular situation. And monitoring your free daily credit score updates on WalletHub will help you make the right choice.
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