Why You Should Apply for Cards From Different Banks

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Million Mile Secrets reader Chris commented:

Do you have a list of the different bank credit cards and what credit reporting company they use?  This would help in deciding what credit card to open next.

Why You Should Apply For Cards From Different Banks

Choose Different Banks When Applying for Multiple Cards on the Same Day

Unfortunately for Chris, there isn’t a simple answer of which credit reporting agencies are used by the banks.  That’s because banks may use a different reporting agency depending on your state.

But I’ll give you some tips!

Applying for Credit Cards

Link:   The 5 Dangers of Applying for Credit Cards

Link:   Does Applying for Credit Cards Ruin Your Credit Score

Link:   How your FICO score is calculated

Chris can earn lots of miles and points by applying for credit cards.  But before he does, he should know the 5 dangers of applying for credit cards and the impact it can have on his credit score.

According to the FICO website, Chris’ credit score is calculated by:

  • 35% payment history
  • 30% amounts owed
  • 15% length of credit history
  • 10% new credit
  • 10% types of credit
Why You Should Apply For Cards From Different Banks

5 Factors Determine Chris’ FICO Score

Chris can get his credit report for free from AnnualCreditReport.comCredit Sesame, and CreditKarma.

And he can get his free FICO score if he has a card issued by:

Timing Applications

When Chris applies for a credit card, the bank pulls his credit score which temporarily lowers his credit score a few points.  But, after 3 to 6 months, Chris’ score will bounce back.  However, the credit inquiry stays on his credit report for 2 years.

So Chris should consider the timing of his credit card applications.

Some folks apply for cards every 90 days while others wait to cherry-pick big sign-up bonuses.  Waiting every 90 days gives Chris’ credit score time to rebound.

However, folks who wait for big bonus offers don’t have to worry too much about a lowered credit score because it may have been months since their last application.

Why You Should Apply For Cards From Different Banks

Waiting to Apply for Credit Cards Gives Chris’ Credit Score Time to Go Back Up

Why You Should Apply for Cards From Different Banks

Link:   5 Free Ways to Find Out Which Credit Bureau Banks Use & Why It Matters

Chris should apply for cards from different banks because the banks don’t like it if he has 12 to 16 inquiries per credit bureau.  So applying for cards from different banks helps to spread his credit pulls over all 3 credit bureaus.

However, there isn’t an exact science to which credit bureaus the banks use because it can vary depending on where Chris lives and the credit card.

Folks who you apply for less than ~5 credit cards a year, may not have to worry about this as much.

Note:   Capital One pulls from all 3 bureaus!

Why You Should Apply For Cards From Different Banks

Chris Can Use CreditBoards.com to Figure Out Which Credit Bureau a Bank Pulls From

There’s a data base where people contribute information about their applications.  You can search by issuing bank (such as American Express) and your state.

Here’s my post explaining how to use the data base, along with other ways to find out which credit bureau will likely be used for your application.

Which Banks Use Which Credit Bureau

It’s hard to find complete information about which bureaus the banks pull from, but here’s what I’ve found:

Note:  I put this together for your convenience.  But it is NOT a comprehensive list!

1.   American Express

A.   American Express Premier Rewards Gold

Link:   Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

  • Experian (California and New York)
B.   American Express Platinum

Link:   The Platinum Card from American Express

Link:   The Enhanced Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN

  • Experian (California, Illinois, and New York)
  • TransUnion (Illinois)
C.   Gold Delta SkyMiles

Link:   Gold Delta SkyMiles

  • Experian (Illinois and New York)
  • TransUnion (California)
D.   Starwood Preferred Guest

Link:   Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Link:   Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

  • Equifax (Illinois)
  • Experian (California, Illinois, and New York)
  • TransUnion (California)

2.   Barclaycard

Barclaycard Arrival Plus

Link:   Barclaycard Arrival Plus

  • TransUnion (California, Illinois, and New York)

3.   Chase

A.   British Airways

Link:   British Airways

  • Equifax (California)
  • Experian (California and New York)
  • TransUnion (New York)
B.   Freedom

Link:   Freedom

  • Equifax (California, Illinois, and New York)
  • Experian (California, Illinois, and New York)
  • TransUnion (California and New York)
C.   Sapphire Preferred

Link:   Sapphire Preferred

  • Equifax (California)
  • Experian (California)
  • TransUnion (Illinois and New York)
D.   United MileagePlus Explorer

Link:   United MileagePlus Explorer Card

  • Equifax (California)
  • Experian (Illinois and New York)
  • TransUnion (California and Illinois)

4.   Citi

A.   Citi AAdvantage

Link:   Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

  • Equifax (California, Illinois, and New York)
  • Experian (California and Illinois)
B.   Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve

Link:   Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card

  • Equifax (California)
C.   Citi ThankYou Preferred

Link:   Citi ThankYou Preferred Card

  • Equifax (Illinois)
  • Experian (California)
  • TransUnion (New York)
D.   Citi ThankYou Premier

Link:   Citi ThankYou Premier Card

  • Equifax (Illinois)
  • Experian (New York)

Remember, to get more specific information, Chris can use resources like CreditBoards.com to find out which banks use which credit bureau.

So Which Card Should Chris Open Next?

It depends on Chris’ travel goals!

Choose cards that can get you the Big Travel you want.  Then just watch that you don’t apply for too many cards from the same bank at once.

Each bank makes their approval decisions differently.  But in general, you’ll do well when you establish a good relationship with each bank.

You can do that by paying your bills on time and using the cards (even after you get the sign-up bonus)!  And it doesn’t hurt to have a checking account or years of history with the issuer.

Bottom Line

Banks use different credit bureaus depending on the card Chris applies for and where he lives.

So Chris should apply for cards from different banks to help limit the number of inquiries to each credit bureau and the impact on his credit score.

Chris can get a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com, CreditKarma, and Credit Sesame.

He can also get his score for free if he has a Citi, or Discover card.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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8 responses to “Why You Should Apply for Cards From Different Banks

  1. I live in Connecticut and my Experian credit report has gotten killed with inquiries from Bank of America, Citi, American Express, and Chase all pull from Experian (16 in last two years though some were for loans as well). Granted I’ve opened up lots of credit cards with only two denials the last few years (both not due to too many inquiries for credit) and a mortgage as well. I usually apply for multiple cards using the two/three browser method from Chase and Bank of America. I found they will only pull my credit report once when this happens. I have frozen my Experian credit report and the information on Flyertalk suggest that Citi and Amex won’t be willing to check another report but BOA and Chase will though I may have to call again to get a rep that will. Oddly enough Barclays is toughest to get approved for cards but they check my Equifax report which has my best score and fewest inquiries. I read beforehand that U.S. Bank pulls from Equifax on Connecticut so I thought US Bank would not see my inquiries on the other reports. However It did. I now know about the fact that they check the ARS AND IDA reports as well. US Bank only approved me for the secured card which is equivalent with a non approval.

  2. Here’s my New York state resident data based on ~50 or so applications over the last 4 years, in case it’s helpful to anyone:
    — Experian:
    — Chase personal
    — Chase business
    — American Express personal
    — American Express business
    — Bank of America personal
    — Citibank personal
    — Equifax:
    — Citibank personal
    — Citibank business
    — Transunion:
    — Bank of America business
    — Barclays personal

    Note that Citi hits both Experian and Equifax for personal cards, and I that have no data for Barclays business cards. Also, it’s only one data point from early 2014, but my same-day business and personal applications with Amex did get combined into a single inquiry (Mercedes-Benz Platinum and SPG business)

  3. Thanks for sharing the information you’ve pulled together about which bureaus the banks pull from in various states.

    It seems like, somewhere, somebody/something would be compiling a more complete picture of this — maybe by “crowdsourcing” it. Anyone know where that might be?

  4. Greetings,

    Have you ever received a letter from a credit card company, Citi in this case, that asks for additional information in the form of a IRS Form 4506-T? That is the form where you request a transcript of you income tax and if you don’t send it, no further consideration will be given to your request.

    Well, not only NO but Golly gee, NO.

    Sure looks like a scam to me, even with the letterhead and all the phone numbers. And they included a lForm 4506-T to boot.

    What do you think?



  5. Robert M jones,
    It looks like Citi wants to confirm your Income Tax returns for the previous year by contacting IRS for which the request is in Form 4506-T. You will have to sent it back to them so they could pull your Tax return before approval of the requested credit card from Citi

  6. Elliot Rosenberg

    This is all useful as I become more aggressive with my applications.

    Can anyone please clarify, if one of the above cards lists multiple credit bureaus for a particular state, does that mean the issuer pulls from BOTH bureaus or just ONE of the bureaus? For example, as a California resident applying for the Chase Freedom, will Chase pull from all three bureaus listed?


  7. Has anyone used AnnualCreditReport.com recently?
    Heads up: I just tried today and easily obtained my Experian report online. As for TransUnion, the screen went blank and URL stated “null” after I clicked the button to request it. When I refreshed the screen, TransUnion showed a check mark by it which implies I received it. I then tried to get the 3rd report from Equifax. The screen blinked a couple of times and then showed a check mark next to Equifax implying that I also received that report! I just read A LOT of complaints at ConsumerAffairs.com regarding using AnnualCreditReport.com. When trying to use their “Contact Us” it won’t go through due to “errors” in your submission.

  8. Discover Card pulled only my Equifax Report today 09/22/16