I get asked everyday: “How high should my credit score be if I want to apply for credit card sign up bonuses?”
I wish I could give you are hard and fast answer. The only one I have is: It depends on the circumstances. I’ll use Josh as an example.
Josh is my new step son in law. A hard working 23 year old firefighter that has never had a credit card in his life. His one previous loan was from a credit union for a truck that is now paid off. When we checked his scores they were all mid 600′s. 650, 656 and 650 and the comments on his report were obviously “You need more credit boy”
We took a flyer and applied for the Hilton Honors American Express card to get them enough points for an AXON award at 125K Hilton points after the transfer from AA to Hilton. No such luck as the denial came back with:
“You have had no credit activity within the last 6 months”
Moving on to plan B, I knew we would never get approved for the top end card from Citi, but felt his job and past car loan warranted at least the mid tier AA card which gets him 15K AA miles and a start on the trail to a decent credit history. (The low end card was a student card that offered like 5K in miles and one mile for every $2 spent.) It worked, he was approved and is now awaiting his shipment of US Mint coins to meet his $750 minimum spend.
In Josh’s case, he needed all of the 650 credit score he had to get his first card. About three months from now, we’ll go back and get him that Hilton card and he can continue on the journey to the free nights in Hawaii.
So is 650 the magic number? For some, yes, but not most of you. If you have a credit history, (and I don’t know unless you tell me), the magic number is now probably in the low 700′s to apply for and be approved for multiple credit cards. And 750 is an even better number. Remember, each inquiry and each open account effects your credit score to some extent.
To do my job to the best of my ability, the more information you can provide, the better job I can do for you. It all really does depend on your individual circumstances.
There is no Magic Number.