Does It Matter When You Apply for a Credit Card?

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Million Mile Secrets reader, Mike, commented:

“I’m wondering if anyone has had better luck applying for a card on a certain day or time.  Does it matter if you apply on the weekend?”

Does It Matter When You Apply For A Credit Card
The Time of Day or Week You Apply Will NOT Affect Your Approval Chances

Mike wants to increase his chances of getting approved by applying at the right time.  Let’s see what his options are.

When Should You Apply for A Credit Card?

The day of the week or the time of day that you apply will NOT affect your chances of getting approved.  But, sometimes the department you need to talk to won’t be open on the weekends.  If you need to call the reconsideration line, then you will most likely have to call during normal business hours.

Does It Matter When You Apply For A Credit Card
Call the Bank’s Reconsideration Line to Get an Application Decision Sooner

The only time you will need to be aware of the timing of your application is when an offer is changing.  As long as you apply before the offer expiration date you will earn the current bonus, even if your application isn’t approved until after the expiration date.  You should take a screenshot of the offer you applied for just in case you need run into trouble later.

Even though the timing of your call won’t help you score your next big bonus, there are other things you can do that can help.

Increase Your Chances of Getting Approved for a Credit Card

1.   Know the Rules

Banks sometimes adjust their rules, especially when it comes to travel cards with lucrative bonuses.  Chase likely won’t approve your application if you have opened more than 5 credit cards with any bank within the last 24 months.  But, there are exceptions to this rule.

You can only earn the bonus on each American Express card once per lifetime.  And you can’t earn a sign-up bonus with Citi if you’ve opened or closed an account within the same “brand” of cards in the past 24 months.  Even Bank of America seems to be restricting users to 3 cards every 12 months.

Knowing whether or not to apply is the first step.

2.   Maintain a Good Credit Score

Your credit score is the main thing banks consider when reviewing your application.  It is made up of several factors including payment history, debt owed, and the age of your overall accounts.

Does It Matter When You Apply For A Credit Card
Knowing How Your Credit Score is Calculated is Important for Having Healthy Credit

If you don’t know your credit score, you can check it with free services like CreditKarma, and CreditSesame.

3.   Don’t Take No (or Maybe) for an Answer

If at first you don’t succeed, try again!  If your application is declined or “pending approval” you can be proactive and call the bank’s reconsideration line.

Does It Matter When You Apply For A Credit Card
Don’t Be Afraid to Make Quick Call to the Bank to Plead Your Case for Approval

Remember, banks are businesses.  At the end of the day, they want you to be their customer.  Sometimes the reconsideration department representatives only need to ask a few simple questions to get approval.  Other times, you might need to offer to cancel another card with the bank.  Or move around your current lines of credit.

If you need more help, here are 5 tips to make your reconsideration call a success.  Don’t be afraid to ask.  The worst that can happen is they’ll say no.

Bottom Line

The time of day or week you apply for a credit card will NOT affect your chances of being approved.

But there are a few simple principles you can follow that will greatly increase your approval chances.  Do your best to maintain a healthy credit score, keep a good relationship with the bank, and follow their rules – all will go a long way in getting you the big sign-up bonuses you’re looking for.

Thanks for the question, Mike!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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